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My 10 yr old wont let anyone to touch him

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  • He jumps when i try to touch him

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    12-22-2008, 07:45 PM
Iridehorses, you took the words out of my fingertips! I too recommend picking a day when it won't rain, grab a book and some snacks (preferably granola bars in really loud, crinkly wrappers) and just hang out in his pasture. I'm sure your curious horse will come check you out eventually. When he comes up to you, don't grab him right away. If he comes really close, maybe give him a pet (or a bite of your granola bar).

You may have to invite/allow him into your space for many days before he is comfortable sharing a bubble with you. Just be calm and consistent, and soon enough, you'll be pushing him OUT of your space whenever you try to eat a granola bar!! :)
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    12-23-2008, 07:55 AM
Thanks - I will try that - I did sit with some apples and he ate out of my hand, but as I slowly extend out my hand to touch him he jumps back - and we have to start all over again until he gets tired of it and just walks back into the woods from.
    12-23-2008, 08:00 AM
That's great Jennifer. Until he is comfortable with you and comes to trust you, it's important that he comes to you and if he turns away, don't follow him - he'll come back, just ignore him.

Once he begins to stick around, you can slowly start to pet him on his face then the rest of him. It isn't going to happen all at once but it will happen with some time and patience.
    12-23-2008, 08:40 AM
Iridehorses suggestion is spot on. The realy key to catching issues is getting the horse to initiate the exchange/contact.

I would supplement the 'waiting for approach' with Join-Up. It helps the horse to bond and understand you are alpha. Have you read any literature on this? It works a treat with just this problem and helps the horse to be more confident around you.

I'd also spend time on the ground, making a real fuss of him; grooming and scratching nearly all horses like! Then he won't associate being caught with hard work!

Be a little careful with providing treats to the horse to catch them. If he's out with others, they'll soon cotton on to who has the food! Additionally, it is not resolving the root cause to his behaviour.

Best of luck to you both! (And keep calm! )
    12-23-2008, 09:22 AM
Another thing I like to do with a new horse is to keep a halter on him for a week or so and have an ~18" lead attached which makes it easier to hold him if need be.

After we are comfortable together, and I take the halter off, I'll go into the pasture from time to time with a halter and lead line over my shoulder. I may approach my horse or not, but he comes to see the halter as part of me, not as a signal that he is going to get caught.

I'll also halter him in the pasture and just groom him or sake him out with it then let him go. The intent is for him never to associate the halter with work.

I also whistle train my horses. When I go out to feed, I whistle to them even if they are by the fence waiting. When I go into the pasture, I'll whistle to them and sometimes give them a treat but most often just a petting or handling and leave them. After a time, all my horses come up to me when they see me in the pasture just to see what I'm up to or for some attention. Trust.
    12-23-2008, 11:26 AM
Originally Posted by JENNIFERM2010    
Thanks - I will try that - I did sit with some apples and he ate out of my hand, but as I slowly extend out my hand to touch him he jumps back...
I once worked with a horse who did this too. He'd be very curious and come up to greet me. But the second my hands went near his head, he'd jump back and run away. So, when I went in his pasture, I would squat down and wait for him to come to me. When he came, I'd stay squatting down and touch his hoof. I'd slowly start rubbing and work my way up his leg, shoulder, withers. I'd spend some time scratching his withers. Eventually I'd rub my way up his neck and by the time I got to his head he was calm. Just pay close attention to his body language. If you start moving up his neck and he tenses or shifts his weight away, go back to the withers and start rubbing again.

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