New Human/Halter Fear! (180 attitude change)
 
 

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New Human/Halter Fear! (180 attitude change)

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  • Horse afraid of halter
  • Horse scare of halter

 
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    05-27-2010, 11:01 PM
  #1
Foal
New Human/Halter Fear! (180 attitude change)

Tuesday night was a day of disaster.

We found a reliable Farrier on short notice (Bless his heart), and it was on reference from a semi-professional breeding facility. How can it be semi-professional? Friend of a friend. Don't ask detail.. I'm "D" on the Alphabet list.

My friend, "Annie" calls me, "What time is good for you?" "You and me can go before 5 pm. Or, I can go with my husband after 5 pm." -- What happens? She made the appointment for "around 5 pm." (The farrier would call her cell).

I'm not even going to get into detail about the fuzzy scheme because it was a FAIL that I didn't call myself. Long story short, I get out there at 5:35 pm after being hissed at by Annie and her friend, add in the 15 minute drive.

Drive up, Cerra is going NUTS. Annie is yelling and pulling on her face because she's afraid and dancing. When Cerra gets afraid, she does circles until she's calm again. Annie doesn't believe in this. (Annie also owns a horse.)

I overpaid the Farrier and apologized like mad for my absence. Her feet look so much better. Annie asked if I wanted to walk Cerra back, and I took the lead rope. She was good, although edgy. When I released her, she was her usual: polite. We ended on a good note. Next day I worked, but still came out to say hello and give her a treat/head scratch.

TODAY WAS TERRIBLE. Since then, Annie and I have had a huge scuff. And I go out to the pasture, jingling the halter as usual. Approach Cerra. She takes off. Okay, weird, but it happens.

Approach her again. She tears off again, circling just out of my reach. This happens a few more times. I can't even TOUCH her. When she does allow contact, it's without the halter in my hand. And it's brief.

Annie had mentioned that Cerra did not come to her initially, on Tuesday. She admitted to being forceful and "grabbing her when she wouldn't listen," and that "you wouldn't have wanted to be there anyways, I was in charge of discipline, and there was a thing on her gums that every time she misbehaved, I would tighten it."

Cerra's really good at giving her feet.. but she does like to be aware of what you're doing, so little acts of resistance and poking are what she does. Plus, she LOVES having her forehead scratched. I couldn't get half-way up her neck, let alone touch her face without her taking off today. (Overly head-shy) And brushing out her mane? Forget it. I used to walk up to her, scratch her forehead, play with her mane a bit, and then proceed to touch her all over. Today, gently clutching her mane caused her to run and attempt to buck. (Which, thankfully, I'm hoping her hind feet are simply 'stuck')..

What happened to my horse?! (My dad's opinion was that she had a bad experience with the farrier and has associated "halter/catching" with "bad experience".) How do I go about correcting this??

(Cerra was approached via 'she walks, I stop. She stops, I walk')
     
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    05-27-2010, 11:09 PM
  #2
Banned
You have two options--you can lure her in with treats, and show her that the halter is a good thing, or you can show her that running away is a bad thing, and making her butt work everytime she tears off. Your choice.
     
    05-27-2010, 11:10 PM
  #3
Showing
Hey, I going to be mean here, but... Is there possibility your friend actually smacked her in face when caught? Or did something BESIDES the pulling? Sounds to me that horse was either really scared by something or may be even abused in some way. Now you have to be very PATIENT and make her trust you again.

I had a similar story with my paint. She came to me abused and no handling, on 2nd week I had her I walked into the stall and she was TERRIFIED of the halter. I spent 30-40 mins assuring her it's OK and I'm not going to kill her. What happened was the BO decided she "knows it all because she has wild mustangs" whatever, went into the stall and tried to put a halter on my horse. Even though I told her NOT to mess with the horse at the moment until she'll trust people because she needs tons of patience from the handler to do the simplest thing. End result: no halter on horse of course, scared to death horse, and lots of efforts on my side.
     
    05-27-2010, 11:25 PM
  #4
Green Broke
Quite frankly, it sounds like your problems with this horse were well trenched long before any friend or any farrier touched her. I wouldn't blame others when it sounds quite obviously like you let this horse get away with murder in the first place.

I would remove all horses from the pen, and go to work demanding respect. A friend wanted a halter on a 3 year old filly with lousy manners who decided she didn't want to be caught. It took me all of about 2 minutes to move her out in that pen to make her realize running away sucked more then just letting me get the halter on her.

You cannot begin to fix this "problem" until you fix the other problems. Your horse doesn't get to choose when she's calm, nor does she get to choose when she's caught. This stems from a much bigger problem that will only continue to resurface any time someone handles your horse.
     
    05-27-2010, 11:36 PM
  #5
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by justsambam08    
You have two options--you can lure her in with treats, and show her that the halter is a good thing, or you can show her that running away is a bad thing, and making her butt work everytime she tears off. Your choice.

I agree 100 percent with this. She will start to learn that being next to you is better then being away from you.

My horse used to have a problem with being caught too. What I did was that everytime she turned her butt to me and tried to escape me I would go after her and make her run. Heck if she wanted to run away from me she can keep running! Now she understands that whether I catch her right away or not she WILL work.

Since your horse also has trust issues not just respect issues like my horse I would also do the whole patience thing with the treats and wait for her to walk up to you.

I hope everything gets better for you!
     
    05-28-2010, 12:13 AM
  #6
Trained
It does sound like from your original post that there may be some training "holes" there...a horse shouldn't be 'poking' at you or anyone else when you need to work with or around their feet, and once you have his foot, he shouldn't be rocking back and forth, or whatever it is he does. If she is circling you in the pasture, just out of your reach, I'm sorry, but that's not fear...that's her knowing she can play the game and get away with it, because you 'feel sorry for her' or think that someone scared her so she has an excuse. When she runs, take after her, and MAKE her move her feet...she only will get 'rest' when she finally approaches and remains standing for you to halter her.

My mare, for example, is really uncomfortable around other people, but she is respectful while being handled; I could have encouraged her to remain super flighty of people by not introducing other people to her, and having them work her, but I didn't. If your horse IS so untrusting of others, and thus reacts alot to others, then that is the area you need to work through...you have to be able to help her overcome that fear, because what if she gets sick or injured and someone else HAS to handle her until you get there? Or what if she gets injured or sick while you're too far away to get there immediately. I love having a horse who is devoted to me, but they also have to get used to other people handling them too, because it may be necessary for their safety or health.

Maybe find a trainer, to help you work through some of those trust issues.
     
    05-28-2010, 05:25 PM
  #7
Foal
Replying before work::

Today, you'd never suspect that yesterday happened. She was good as gold with EVERYTHING, including being caught and leading. O.O

Last night was a pretty drawn out thunderstorm.. and the rain started just as I went out... without making excuses, I effed up while spending two hours out there, and thank you for pointing out the flaws to work on.

I opt for treats as incentive, as she's currently in a clay-based pasture and I'd rather not have to chase her every time she doesn't listen, because the flip side is that she'll be like "human = run" (talk about a workout, running in wet clay!) There's a dark side to the treats too.

Thanks for the feedback.
     
    05-28-2010, 06:40 PM
  #8
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by ButterfliEterna    
.

I opt for treats as incentive, as she's currently in a clay-based pasture and I'd rather not have to chase her every time she doesn't listen, because the flip side is that she'll be like "human = run" (talk about a workout, running in wet clay!) There's a dark side to the treats too.

Thanks for the feedback.
Actually you'd think that making the horse move out would make them think that way, but it actually takes the 'fun' out of their 'catch me if you can' stunt, as you have done exactly opposite of what they want; they expect you to give up and walk away, or keep walking toward them only to have them run off just out of reach; you are putting the game back in your court by calmly keeping them moving, and not letting them stop and rest until you feel you want them too. Horses are notoriously lazy, and when you take the fun out of catch me if you can, they figure out really quickly that coming to you right away instead of running, is much easier!!!
     
    05-29-2010, 12:32 AM
  #9
Foal
Hahahaha. Okay, Mom2Pride -- I'm going to try this tomorrow then!
(Only, come prepared with rubber boots this time!) Muahahahaha..
     
    06-01-2010, 12:32 PM
  #10
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by mom2pride    
Horses are notoriously lazy, and when you take the fun out of catch me if you can, they figure out really quickly that coming to you right away instead of running, is much easier!!!
Yep! Scenario a couple of nights ago. The Boy's go out into the field at 7pm for a couple of hours. They both know that when I go get their halters to take them out they are to come to the doorway when called and pop their noses into their halters. This is nothing new, I've been doing the same thing for 10 years. I except it every single time I approach with a halter. You don't get to turn or raise your head away from me......

For some reason they both decided to be Sh*theads.. sooooo twirled the lead rope and sent them away, then I went about filling water buckets and picking the paddock. I completely ignored them for a good 10 or 15 minutes.

Finished mucking about and asked again..... both approached as they should. If they hadn't they would of been sent away again.
     

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