My horse won't stop yanking on the lead rope!
 
 

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My horse won't stop yanking on the lead rope!

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  • My horse won't let me lead her out of the stable
  • The worst thing to let a horse do

 
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    01-18-2010, 02:20 PM
  #1
Foal
My horse won't stop yanking on the lead rope!

My mare is a very sweet girl, until you try to lead her somewhere she does not want to go. She is afraid of water, ditches, pretty much everything. Her previous owners did not ride her much out of their pasture. My problem is that when I lead her, sometimes she will jump backwards and pull on the lead rope as hard as she can to get free. I never let go of the lead rope, but I allow her to move backward. When she calms down, I get her to go forward again. She does fine for a few feet, but gets nervous and pulls on the lead again. I keep my hand on her halter, but she still does it. Any suggestions/ helpful advice?
     
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    01-18-2010, 04:29 PM
  #2
Weanling
I would try when she does it just use your lead rope and have her do circles around you, make her work for pulling back against you. Just make her trot a couple circles around you and then try again, rinse and repeat. Eventually she will just go with you because not going with you is more work.
     
    01-18-2010, 04:48 PM
  #3
Green Broke
When she jumps back, go with her, don't jerk the lead or fight her, that just reinforces it in her head that it is scary. Just go with her until she stops, then use your lead or carry a crop or small buggy whip and get her feet moving around you to disengage her mind. When she relaxes move forward and reward her for doing so, but do not let her avoid what she is afraid of. Keep her working until she chills out. The worst thing you can do is let a scared horse stand still.
     
    01-18-2010, 07:54 PM
  #4
Trained
Sounds like she's just doubting your leadership a little. Nothing a little ground work won't fix. Do you know how to do the "send" exercise? Pretty much every person with a website who calls themself a natural horse trainer has a version of it. On a semi-long line, you put the horse between you and the scary object at a safe distance and send the horse back and forth in front of it until the horse is no longer reacting to the object. Like Honeysuga said, every time you send her past the object, disengage the hind end to stop her and turn her back toward you.
     
    01-18-2010, 08:26 PM
  #5
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Honeysuga    
When she jumps back, go with her, don't jerk the lead or fight her, that just reinforces it in her head that it is scary. Just go with her until she stops, then use your lead or carry a crop or small buggy whip and get her feet moving around you to disengage her mind. When she relaxes move forward and reward her for doing so, but do not let her avoid what she is afraid of. Keep her working until she chills out. The worst thing you can do is let a scared horse stand still.
^^^ Agreed! Let her jump back, let her be scared, but then I'd make her back up some more. You want to be scared and nearly rip my arm out? I promise I'm a little scarier than that ditch...

I think you need to do alot more groundwork with your mare before encountering anything else she finds scary. You have to gain her trust and respect before she's going to stop doing this to you. The initial groundwork has to be there in order to overcome fear issues such as this...why would she trust you to lead her across a ditch if she doesn't trust you in the first place?

Once you have her trust and respect, if she continues with this, I'd let her back up, ask for a couple more steps, then forward a couple steps, then back, then forward and then back...until eventually you're standing right beside what she was scared of and she didn't realise because you've effectively kept her mind busy. The BIGGEST thing is YOU can't be scared of her, or the situation for that matter. If she's truely scared of whatever it is you want her to do, and then she senses that YOU'RE scared, it's only going to get worse.
     
    01-19-2010, 07:29 AM
  #6
Foal
Thanks for the advice. I believe that the previous owner's didn't work with her very much, and just let the problem get worse. Now my mare thinks that rearing and backing up is the answer to everything. I've made her butt do circles around me in both directions after she did this many times. I think she might just need a longer lead rope for now. And more work. I've watched Clinton Anderson's videos on safe tying, and he uses a long lead and a clip that feeds the horse slack when it begins to tug. When the horse finds out that it can get slack, it stops pulling. Maybe this will work with my mare while I have her on the lead.
     
    01-19-2010, 07:32 AM
  #7
Foal
I forgot to mention that fear on my part is not an issue. I think the issue is that she hasn't been worked with enough.
     
    01-21-2010, 12:54 AM
  #8
Foal
I would work on all her ground controls, give to the bit, head down, shoulders away, hips away, go forward, hip/shoulder/shoulder, and I would do it with a full check snaffle on and I would always lead her in that bridle until you have control and confidence in her.
     
    01-21-2010, 01:14 AM
  #9
Yearling
I have a pony that use to do this randomly and in the cross ties.. One time she was acting colicky and I needed to get something from the house. With her on the end of the lead rope I walked up 5 stairs to knock on the door to get my husband to help... She decided to jump back and I go flying down the stairs and landed on my ribs on the edge of the concrete.. UGH!

Anyways.. sorry for the tangent. I used some reverse phsycology on her.. She wanted to back up so I made her back up on MY terms... this time she ran backwards because I was telling her to and much more than she would've liked.. then of course I yielded the HQ and do various other go forward things. Then back some more and then I try to end on a "go forward" note.

She doesn't do it anymore.... :o)
     
    01-22-2010, 08:33 PM
  #10
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by starlinestables    
I have a pony that use to do this randomly and in the cross ties.. One time she was acting colicky and I needed to get something from the house. With her on the end of the lead rope I walked up 5 stairs to knock on the door to get my husband to help... She decided to jump back and I go flying down the stairs and landed on my ribs on the edge of the concrete.. UGH!

Anyways.. sorry for the tangent. I used some reverse phsycology on her.. She wanted to back up so I made her back up on MY terms... this time she ran backwards because I was telling her to and much more than she would've liked.. then of course I yielded the HQ and do various other go forward things. Then back some more and then I try to end on a "go forward" note.

She doesn't do it anymore.... :o)

I find this to be a really good idea. Works well with a stud at the barn who would talk to the mares. He learned to keep quiet.

Another suggestion which some people have stated that would be a bad idea to them I think is a good one. Make her listen and pay attention to you. I would put a chain on her with a break away halter in case she did get away. When she flips out on you snap the chain enough to get her attention. Make her pay attention to you. She shouldn't care about absolutely anything else while your handling her. Everything is about you. If you need to even tap her on the shin go for it because otherwise she will walk all over you. You can't be safe with a horse like that. Best of luck :)
     

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