Orphaned Filly...I need help! - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 24 Old 04-01-2012, 11:23 PM
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Phoenix, AZ
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Hello! I'm new here, but I instantly gravitated to this post. Firstly, don't worry about how much time it takes... the quality of the experience is so important because you want to build her trust in you. Now, my two cents. When a horse's head or feet are messed with or restrained in anyway, it can be very frightening to them, and so they are very protective of these areas. I like the idea of of think low... yes, the lower part of the neck is good, and slowly work your way up to her throatlatch, approach and retreat, then under her chin and on her jaw bone (horses seem to be okay with the jaw area). Most importantly, convey positive thoughts to her- you want her to think that this new exercise is very special indeed- she will feel this energy, even though she may not agree with it in the beginning. When you can rub her head with your hands (do not restrain it in any way) then put some rope in your hand and use it to groom her, slowly releasing it and rubbing it on her head. Then slowly make loops with it and loop it gently over her poll area (no pressure, please!) and just rub it and then release it, same thing with her muzzle, create a large loop and then put it over her muzzle and then just rub her with it. This could take days or even weeks... just take your time. Then when she's comfortable with being rubbed everywhere with a rope and the feel of loops on her head- introduce the halter to her. Make it very enjoyable for her- let her think that she's at the spa!
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post #12 of 24 Old 04-01-2012, 11:27 PM
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Missouri
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Originally Posted by Leslie Nichols View Post
Hello! I'm new here,

Make it very enjoyable for her- let her think that she's at the spa!
Welcome! Great advice :)

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
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post #13 of 24 Old 04-01-2012, 11:47 PM
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Southwest Louisiana
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I have to agree with Celeste. If she is to rowdy for you try giving her a little ace and after she gets her halter on and sees you aren't wanting to harm her she will come around.
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post #14 of 24 Old 04-02-2012, 12:50 AM Thread Starter
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thank you guys! I will keep you updated for sure on how it goes(:
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post #15 of 24 Old 04-02-2012, 08:53 AM
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Fraser Valley, BC
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I have halter broke a lot of horses...from a few weeks old to years old, and even feral horses. The most important thing is to think in the moment...don't think about "catching" them or what you want it to lead up to...be in the moment (people kind of forget about this in general, but it really is important). Spend time with her...sounds like you have done a good job of this already. When she lets you touch/brush her all over, use the halter like it's an extension of your hand or like it's a brush. I find it good to use the halter you are going to put on because it makes its own sounds (like if it has a buckle) and it is what you will put on her...eventually. When you have the halter around her don't think about putting it on. Like others have said, this could take A LOT of time...so be patient (this will pay off in every training avenue that you go down). Rub it on the opposite side of her by reaching over her neck, under her neck, over her back, her belly, EVERYWHERE. It's not just about her head. Another important part is to not take the halter away when she wants to leave. Otherwise she is making choices and "running away" from what she doesn't want. When you feel that she is ready to have it put on, do it in baby steps. Put it over her nose, then take it off and walk away...do everything repetitively and then walk away when she has done well. And when you go to put it on for the first time...you cannot give up. If you start and she runs off and it all falls apart, you need to go back to the basics and start with the baby steps. Of course they progress quickly back to where you were before the running off part. I find, that when they decide to run off dig those heels in and hold the halter on their head until they stop, otherwise it's harder next time. And for a bit of a streamline approach...do it in a smaller space. I had to halter break 5 draft weanlings in a 2 acre paddock. Not fun. But with these principals it took me only 4 hours to get the lot done. Once you have put the halter on her...pat her and walk away...she will get used to you being her leader from a young age and she will look to you when things come up, and that is a fantastic feeling!!

Good luck and have fun!

I hope I didn't ramble too much...lol...It's my first time posting.
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post #16 of 24 Old 04-02-2012, 09:11 AM
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Southwest Missouri
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Leslie Nichols and PaintedPegasus both gave great advice. I have used the methods they suggested with great success. Go slow, easy and with a lot of patience.
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post #17 of 24 Old 05-15-2012, 11:39 AM Thread Starter
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Good news!!!!! Got a halter on her and now I can pretty much do anything! Sweetest Filly i know!
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post #18 of 24 Old 05-15-2012, 11:48 AM
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Phoenix, AZ
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Wonderful news! I'm sure your approach was just perfect, or it would not have gone as well. Remember this... horses are uniquely intelligent, very sensitive and have memories like elephants. Everything you do with babies or even adult horses, is either building trust or tearing it down... when a horse (especially a baby) trusts you- you can do almost ANYTHING with them. Build the trust first... and training is comes smoothly and easy.

Good luck!!
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post #19 of 24 Old 05-15-2012, 12:07 PM Thread Starter
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thank you! i will post pictures soon(:
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post #20 of 24 Old 05-15-2012, 04:00 PM
Join Date: May 2012
Location: South Dakota
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My gelding Knight was really head shy (actually he was scared of humans because of his previous owner). Can you get a rope around her neck?

What I did with him was let him smell the rope, and rubbed it all over his neck, withers, back, sides etc...once he allowed me to do this with no problems I then put it around his neck (slowly so he wouldn't shy). This then gave me the ability to have his head without the halter. I began touching and scratching by his ears, eyes, cheeks. I did that for a couple of days, then proceeded with playing with the rest of his face. Once he was comfortable with me touching his face I would lightly wrap the lead rope around his nose (almost mimicking the halter). After around a week into it (you have to work with her everyday though) I was able to slowly put the halter on. He halters like a champ now.

Hopefully you can find something that works for you!

I ain't as good as I'm gunna get, but I'm BETTER then I used to be.
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