Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Alberta, Canada
First off you filly has absolutely NO respect for you and sees you as the very bottom of the herd, not the leader that you should be. If she doesn't like her face touched, TOUCH her face. Don't just leave it alone because it won't get better.
What it sounds like is you need to do alot of ground work, respect wise. Teach her to yield away from pressure. A horse that yields its front end easily won't bit, same way a horse that yields its hindquarters easily won't kick.
This is done by getting a long rope (no less than 10 feet) and a whip (around 4 feet or so with a long lash) and adding steady, rhythmic pressure on the part of the body that you want moved.
For example: if you want her to move her back end, lean down, LOOK at her hindquarters and tap the butt-end of the whip on her flank, increasing pressure until she moves off (even 1 step counts!) Then release ALL pressure, stand back. Wait a second and do it again.
Do the same with her front end until you've got her moving away at the slightest signal.
Get her backing up too. Use the same principals as before, adding pressure with the whip to her chest until she backs off. Don't follow her, but rather let her back out of the pressure herself. This teachers her to respect you space.
Then invite her back in by pulling steadily on the rope until she moves forward. A good way to get horses to follow when they're uncertain is to back up while she's coming forward and slowing your own step until she's bridged the gap herself. This takes the pressure off her & builds confidence.
To get her used to touching her face & her legs & feet, get a short whip and tie a bag onto the end. Using a long rope, loop it around a fence post so that she can back up a bit if she needs to, but you still have control, and shake the bag all over her "touchy spots". She might throw a fuss but whatever you do DO NOT stop shaking the bag until she calms down. When she does calm down, then release all pressure again. The release of pressure is the reward.
Horses learn from repetition and rhythm so if you keep the pressure steady, she will learn quicker that it's not hurting her than if you give it to her in small spurts.
I would check into other trainers, even if you want to watch videos on YouTube or buy books. Natural Horsemanship has many good principals and I would suggest Pat Parelli's Natural-Horse-Man-Ship book as it has many good tips.
You don't have to follow him to a T if you don't want to, but there are several aothers who do the same thing and it all works. Just study a few techniques and take what you feel will help you in your situation.
Another thing to get her doing is circling. It's like longeing, only you give the horse something to think about, not just chase her around with the whip. Get her to back away from you first and then send her off in either direction with a little pressure behind by the whip (increase pressure if she doesn't move off and stop when she does). Let her walk/trot 3-4 circles around you and then get her to yield her hindquarters and face you. Then do the other direction.
By allowing her to walk on her own without you chasing after her with the whip will force her to think about what she's doing, not just react to a stimulus. She will also want to pay more attention to you because you will be the one giving her direction.
Ok- almost done lol. The biggest thing is to spend time with her! Just hang out, pet her, give her treats, get her liking you presence. Bring ropes out, throw them around, across her back, around her legs until she trusts your actions and is comfortable with then.
A good way of getting a horse used to swinging ropes is to lead her forward and as she's following, throw the rops ahead of you. That way she sees the scary thing moving away from her and it releaves some of the pressure until she will allow it to be thrown all over.
It's suprising how many "well-broke" horses can't handle this exercise.
"If a horse fails to do something that is because he was not trained to do it. If a horse fails to do something properly that is because he was not trained properly." www.wildestheartart.com
Last edited by lilruffian; 09-07-2011 at 12:40 PM.