Halter training help - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 3 Old 02-16-2014, 12:17 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2012
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Halter training help

I am in charge of halter training a yearling whom does not want to be trained. He is affectionate and curious but will run if I try to approach him. He was previously roped and haltered but the training was very incomplete and the result is that he now fears ropes and halters. The other day I corralled him in a side pen and tried to work with him but as soon as he was separated from his heard he shut down and ignored me completely. He worked himself into a lather running back and forth calling for his friends (whom seemed happy to be free of the little nuisance). After an hour of this he tired and I was able to touch him using the approach and retreat method which spiked his curiosity again.
I am working with this colt as a volunteer since his owner is ill, and so i can only spare about 2 hours twice a week with him. Are there any techniques to go about halter training that would work best in this situation? I would rope him but i'm afraid I won't do it properly and will end up with a colt running around with a rope dragging behind him. I've also thought about laying him down to build some respect and trust but I would need a halter on him first.
Any suggestions or experiences would be appreciated.
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post #2 of 3 Old 02-16-2014, 01:36 PM
Join Date: Jan 2011
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I have posted numerous times on HF on how to do this. It may take an hour or more. If you try this in the pasture, take a lunge whip in case the other horses decided to mill around you and get pushy. Otherwise drag it behind you.
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post #3 of 3 Old 02-16-2014, 02:49 PM
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Humboldt, Saskatchewan
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I have dealt with a number of horses like this, usually in a big pasture with a whole herd of other horses and they can be so frustrating. I would suggest bringing a buddy for him into the side pen (so he can stay calm but can not run around the whole pasture if he decides to leave you) then just work incredibly slow on catching him use pressure and retreat. If at the end of the 2 hours you haven't caught him, oh well.

i get them comfortable with me touching their head and neck then putting my arms around their neck then i go over it all again with the halter and lead, (always with a lot of pressure and retreat) it is a slow frustrating process but you have to try your best to keep it positive. i have found that sometimes if you put in a couple of hours and don't even bother catching them (i.e my goal for today is, at the end of two hours is to put my arms around his neck) then if after an hour you get it done great! you are happy, lots of praise and possible a treat or two for him maybe reenforce the hug a couple of times with him (if you think he can succeed) then let him out, everyone is happy! next time you come out work a little farther (hug him to review then have him calm with the lead/halter involved), try to set small goals so it is always a positive experience for both of you, then work on basic halter training and basic respect gaining ground work.

I know this is a frustrating response, it may take a while and I realize that you're volunteering your time so it's not ideal but this is the best method I have found for me personally, some days are tougher than others I once spent a grand total of 6 hours trying to catch my mare because I was convinced I was going to catch her and ride her that night, it didn't really help she was still bad to catch afterwards but spending more time and getting less frustrated has helped a lot.
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