Help Catching and With Brakes

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Help Catching and With Brakes

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    07-04-2010, 05:43 PM
Help Catching and With Brakes

Hello all,

I really need some help with my horse. She's 11 and a 15.2hh chesnut mare, I've had her for 3 years. Trying to catch her is a nightmare, she runs off even if you make your way over slowly and not directly walking at her. No matter if I take her treats or go over with lots of stops with my back to her she runs off. She's always out in a headcollar.

We did recently change stables due to cost but she's settled in nicely.

If you get a hold of her headcollar she's fine and comes in happily, no trying to run off.

When you're out riding though she's hard to stop, she's currently in a french link snaffle, she's not got a hard mouth. In the school she's easy to stop but out is another matter. I was thinking of a pelham but maybe too harsh?

Can anyone help? Thanks so much!
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    07-04-2010, 06:09 PM
First off, you don't need a new bit. Just do a simple excersize to improve the brakes. Say whoa, melt your hips back an use your seat to stop, and if she still isn't stopping touch her mouth and make her back up. Eventually she learns that if she stops when you say whoa you won't touch her mouth.

As for catching, don't play games with her because she is playing games with you. Don't give her treats unless the halter is on. Don't hide the halter. Walk forward with a purpose an body language that says "I'm going to catch you" and if she runs off, just follow with the same posture. As soon as she stops and looks at you/puts her head down she is tellin you she wants to stop playing. Quit advancing and turn away from her. Give it a minute, and then just slowly move toward her....relax your shoulders, keep your eyes down. And when you get to her, slip the halter on and then if you must, give her a treat or a scratch. If she runs away again, follow with the same firm posture that you were doing before.

Teaching a horse is about pressure and release. It doesn't matter if it's mental or physical pressure. In this case, it's mental. When you follow her you have your eyes up and are applying pressure. By turning away when she does good, you are releasing the pressure. It is critical you make the differance in body language, an never praise unless the halter is on.
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    07-05-2010, 02:57 PM
Thanks for the advice, I'll definitely give it a go :)

bits, catching, stopping

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