Halter/Lead problems
 
 

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Halter/Lead problems

This is a discussion on Halter/Lead problems within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • Halter training a problem horse
  • Weaterm spproach to halter lead a young horse

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    09-25-2013, 09:45 PM
  #1
Foal
Halter/Lead problems

I have a horse that I am to train as a part of my class; the class is geared towards taking a young horse and teaching him proper ground manners, to accept a rider, and to be able to do a small course at the end of the semester for a final grade. Problem is everyone else has gotten 2-3 year olds that are just green and when mine came in the owner informed us that he is in fact 6 years old, they found him running down the road, and that the previous owners just gave him to them and heís just been sitting at their place now for over a year. They informed me that they believe he was abused previously as he acts deathly afraid of halters and lead ropes.
Iíve been working with him and the problem is, I canít decide if heís actually afraid of the halter/lead or if heís really just being unruly and a brat because he doesnít want to work. I have yet to get a halter on him but he will let me go in without one and rub all over on him and stand. As soon as a halter or lead is brought into the equation though he will either take off to the other side of the stall or present his ass. This leads me to believe heís not exactly as scared as everyone thinks he is and is more so a brat because he knows he can. Itís not like Iím coming at him with the halter swinging and attempting to throw it on his face either, I more or less rub on him and then attempt to rub the object either on his shoulder or neck to show him it isnít going to kill him or cause him any harm. He will even smell it freely but just wonít let anyone touch him with it. Presuming he was indeed just afraid of it I strung a lead rope all over his feeder so he would have to touch it and be near it and have it dangling in front of him and brushing against him while he ate, this again he did flawlessly but will not let me even get remotely near him (even when the lead draped over my shoulders and not trying to touch him)
So my problem is I donít think heís afraid, I think heís being a brat, heís in a rather large stall by himself and I need to at least get him haltered to be able to start anything and I am truly to the point where Iíve taken up reading and researching and still have yet to find something that can help me and am looking for any suggestions. Heís nowhere near my first horse and I usually enjoy a challenge and in fact my two that I own now were deemed ďproblemĒ horses when I got them but have since blossomed into amazing horses with training, time and patience. But Iíve never really had to deal with this specific issue and it seems like all my reading is turning up the same strategies Iíve already been trying ie. Sit with the horse show it youíre not a threat, approach and walk away and repeat, crouch down and let him come to you, rub him all over, patience, the list goes onÖ
So my question is, does this sound like fear to you or simple unruliness? To me it sounds like the second. And has anyone else had this issue and maybe some other methods, tips, or tricks that I could try. Also please note, I realize halter breaking is always scary ect, however, this horse is halter broke and when they brought him in, he trailered, loaded, and un loaded just fine, lead fine, ect. Just the owner threw him in the stall and took the halter off and then proceeded to tell us all his issues and since heís been more than a handful.
Also please be respectful and not rude with your replies, and any and all suggestions or insights would be greatly appreciated. And I forgot to add in my above post a little more about the horse, if it interests anyone to know, he's a 6 year old gelding, some sort of paint/draft cross.
     
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    09-26-2013, 10:31 AM
  #2
Weanling
I think this one just has everyone buffaloed. Abused or not he should allow a leader to halter him. The only time I ever had to deal with this type of issue I used my saddle rope and caught it. Then slipped the line through the loop and over the nose to make a halter.
     
    09-26-2013, 12:13 PM
  #3
Super Moderator
Something can happen at any point in a horse's training that will give it cause to act afraid. Then, if this is not dealt with the horse will continue to think it is frightened and act as he is - until he is!

I would get this horse with a collar or rope around his neck high up. Then use a halter with a buckled noseband do the head piece up and then the noseband so it is on him. Then I would have another halter and put that on and off until it was a regular thing with him. You would have control with the one he has left on him.
If the owners had not told you a thing about the horse then you would probably react differently. They had to have been able to catch him with a halter to get him to the place.
     
    09-26-2013, 12:43 PM
  #4
Green Broke
Honestly, I'm surprised about the dynamics of this situation. Was this horse provided to you as part of the class, or did you purchase it with the class in mind? If it was the former, you should have received something closer to what everyone else got... I'm just thinking out loud, here.

Not really sure how to help, but subbing to see the replies~
     
    09-26-2013, 12:49 PM
  #5
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by Foxhunter    
They had to have been able to catch him with a halter to get him to the place.
Not necessarily... they could have put him in the trailer with a series of chutes like they do for wild mustangs. And speaking of which... Maybe treating him like a wild mustang at this point would be beneficial. Are you allowed to sedate him to put on the halter and then leave it on until you can trust him to be caught again?
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    09-26-2013, 01:16 PM
  #6
Started
He doesn't sound like he is afraid...just that his plans don't match yours.
I don't like this sort of scenario in a small because if things go south one does not have much room to get out of the way or force the horse out of your space. Even if you could groom and manage to get baling twine around his neck, you'd have him caught so a halter could be slipped on. I think my first project would be to instill the knowledge in his brain cell that turning his backside to you was not acceptable and that a halter was better than having his legs worked down to stumps.
I think you will have an interesting project. I hope you keep us informed.

Verona's "chute" point is a good one, too!!!!
     
    09-26-2013, 02:05 PM
  #7
Green Broke
Age really doesn't matter, except that being older, the horse may be more stubborn or stuck in its ways.

I have a horse that we got in February. I haven't worked with her on a daily basis but she is the same way. She will usually let you approach with empty hands but will take off if you are carrying anything. Every time I want to catch her or spray her with fly spray, I have to walk her down. That can take up to a half hour at times or more. She is about 9 years old and was a rescue.

Every time that you fail to catch your horse, you are reinforcing his action into a habit. It will take time to fix him. Plan on spending as much time as needed to catch him. That might be all day. Don't quit and give up, letting him win. If he wants to move away, let him but don't let him stop moving until he turns toward you. That's your first goal. When he does that, then you could quit for the day. Even though you didn't catch him, you got him to do what YOU wanted. The second day, repeat with the same goal or add a goal of letting you approach him. Each day repeat the same goal or add another goal but keep the goals increasing in small steps. Don't go for a major leap of trying to catch him. The next goal after letting you approach would be to let you rub the rope or halter on him. If he lets you, walk away and try again. It works best if you repeat each goal a few times before you go to the next one.
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    09-26-2013, 02:36 PM
  #8
Super Moderator
Quote:
Originally Posted by verona1016    
Not necessarily... they could have put him in the trailer with a series of chutes like they do for wild mustangs. And speaking of which... Maybe treating him like a wild mustang at this point would be beneficial. Are you allowed to sedate him to put on the halter and then leave it on until you can trust him to be caught again?
Opportunity lost if he was in a trailer without a halter on. They could easly have closed him up with a partition and got one on him.

I have bought many an unhandled horse and even more feral ponies. The first thing I want to do is worm them and get a (leather) halter on them. As you say they can be driven into a trailer or horsebox and close them right down tight so they cannot move to get a halter on them.

I have, before now, used another very steady horse to use as a barrier to close a panicked horse into a corner and get a halter on it.
     
    09-26-2013, 05:01 PM
  #9
Yearling
--- I am most likely clueless and probably don't have any idea of what the problem might be - just wanted to share my thoughts ----

If it is fear -- I see 2 possibilities

1. Previous owners were unable to communicate and resorted to clipping a lead onto the horses halter and beat it with the lead rope

2. Horse spooked when it had a halter and lead was tied to something and when it snapped - it could have hurt the horse


If you can get some sort of rope around it's neck to get a little control over it -- you might have a better opportunity to desensitize it to those things
     
    09-26-2013, 08:24 PM
  #10
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zexious    
Honestly, I'm surprised about the dynamics of this situation. Was this horse provided to you as part of the class, or did you purchase it with the class in mind? If it was the former, you should have received something closer to what everyone else got... I'm just thinking out loud, here.

Not really sure how to help, but subbing to see the replies~
Yes he was provided as a part of the class, he is not mine. I do agree, however, the horses or more or less donated/signed over to the class for training, they have to meet a certain criteria to be accepted, and some people... may bend the truth a little, which is how I got him. Im sure they had the best intentions just missed a few key points
     

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