The Horse Forum > Training Horses > Horse Training


This is a discussion on herdbound within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

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        02-16-2009, 04:20 PM

    Hi everyone. Im new here and this is my first post. I showed our horses in 4H for about 8 years but I was not really active in it as I was too wrapped up in hockey and other sports. We have two quarters and an arabian mare. I am wanting to ride our horses more this year. We rode only a handful of times last year and surprisingly, they did retain most of their commands, although not exactly their manners, it seems. A problem we face is the fact that they are very herd bound to each other and it is nearly impossible to gain all of their attention while with one of them. Where should I start so that we can break them of this?? And also do you have any advice for me, as they are going from not being ridden at all to trying to get their manners back on track, and then to training them to do things they have never done in the future. I appreciate all of your help!!

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        02-16-2009, 04:57 PM

    Hi Derek,
    Welcome to the forum
    I think generally speaking it's a pretty common problem with a lot of horses. It's actually one of the first things I work with whenever I buy a baby for training.
    The problem with a horse that is herd bound is that they long for safety. A buddy out in pasture is a horse that they trust and therefor want to stay with. What you need to do is show that horse (him/her) that you are just as trustworthy and that going away from the herd is A-ok. It's something that takes weeks if not months to develop. I will try to explain this one to you by telling you about my monkey.
    When I first got Cobalt he was very young and didn't know much of anything(only 8 month old). I started out by catching and tying him inside his field, brushed him, played with him then fed him at the end. Did that until we had a routine. Once we got over that, we started to go for not just a grooming in his field but I'd take him for a simple walk down the driveway and then back. He didn't like it, he would call his mare, he'd throw temper tantrums(which were quite funny) but I ignored it, continued talking talking to him and finished the walk. Again did that until it was routine. From there I added more and more. He eventually spent more and more time with me away from his buddy and he realised that it was always ok. I never asked anything of him other than come with me for a walk.

    Take your time, spend time with your horse, build a bond and things will improve but don't rush things.

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