Pulling Back - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 11 Old 03-18-2010, 01:39 PM Thread Starter
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Pulling Back

I have a 2 1/2 year old filly (Lilly). Just recently she started pulling back on the lead, which I think is being caused by the movement of my hand under her nose (where she can't see it) moving up all of a sudden. It startles her. Then I think this caused her to jerk her head up and panic because she feels a sharp pull on her rope halter from pulling back. She has done this four times now, but never gotten loose.

What I have been doing is just holding her by the tie ring and making that startling motion and 99% of the time she doesn't react, but that 1% of the time she had a reaction (I think it's when she can't see my hand then it appears) and lifted up her head up. When this happened I would Slowly let her back up, slowing her down with little pressure on the lead. She only took 3 steps at the most then came forward again like nothing happened. Is this just teaching her she can pull back?

My first reaction to this was she's head shy, but she's not. It's just that action of not seeing my hand under her chin then it all of a sudden coming at her lead. You can do jumping jacks around her head and she wont bat and eye.

Does anyone have and suggestions to both my problems? I don't want her scared of that movement, but I also don't want her pulling back. What should I be doing and was what I was doing wrong? What would you do?

Thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 11 Old 03-18-2010, 02:15 PM
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I watch all types of people leading horses. Most have their hand almost on the halter and no slack in the lead line.
I lead mine with at least 3 feet of slack and he may not walk beside me. He must be slightly to the rear but in no way do I have pressure on him. If I stop he must stop and without passing me.

The majority lead with far too much contact, far to short a lead.
Give the poor guy some slack, teach it what you want and then trust it to do so.
I know this is a mare but she does not need to be lead around by the halter ring or 6 inches of taunt lead.
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post #3 of 11 Old 03-18-2010, 02:17 PM Thread Starter
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I'm sorry, I didn't make myself clear... Oops!

I mean pulling back when tied.
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post #4 of 11 Old 03-18-2010, 02:25 PM
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I never tie by the halter. I am not talking about cross tying. I am tieing to the hitching post so to speak. I always tie with a neck rope, never the halter and living in amish country you will never see them tie by a halter, never. I try to tie wither height and about an arms length and I tie solid.
If the horse chooses to pull back, so be it. I don't discipline for this. I ignore but he will stay tied and if something stupid upsets him causing him to pull I will repeat said offense until he is tired of fighting.
Leave her tied properly to something strong every day for grooming, saddling and working around the barn and if moving your hand to the halter ring upsets her, so be it. Do it until she learns it will not hurt her.
Tie proper , tie to something solid, about your arms length and make sure it is strong enough that she can not break it.
This behaviour could go on for months off and on so EVERY TIME you tie her think that today she could fight the tie so tie tight and proper.

I do not discipline for a horse fighting this tie.
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post #5 of 11 Old 03-18-2010, 02:29 PM
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I agree with RD. One thing that I do when my horses pull back is wave my hat at them or stick my hand in their face and really bother them until they stand back up and behave. I don't have a single horse that I wouldn't leave tied overnight. Many of them have been tied overnight while packing in the backcountry.

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post #6 of 11 Old 03-18-2010, 04:30 PM
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I also teach my horses to tie even before I introduce them to the saddle. This is a vital lesson for them in many circumstances. I tie them securely to my hitching post, grab a chair a good book and sit and watch them work their own issues out. I don't interfere in the lesson. I do this consistently for about a week and within no time they are standing tied with no issues at all. I use a rope halter and a thick rope to ensure that they cannot break the tie as I have seen horses turn into monsters once they discover that they can break free.

Good luck
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post #7 of 11 Old 03-18-2010, 06:57 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tina View Post
I also teach my horses to tie even before I introduce them to the saddle. This is a vital lesson for them in many circumstances. I tie them securely to my hitching post, grab a chair a good book and sit and watch them work their own issues out. I don't interfere in the lesson. I do this consistently for about a week and within no time they are standing tied with no issues at all. I use a rope halter and a thick rope to ensure that they cannot break the tie as I have seen horses turn into monsters once they discover that they can break free.

Good luck
Thanks for the help so far!!!!

I do the EXACT same thing! Except she has been tying for over a year and never done this before. I use my Clinton Anderson halter and my Parelli style lead (same material, but no safety snap - so it won't break).
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post #8 of 11 Old 03-18-2010, 07:02 PM
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I use a tie blocker ring. It will release slowly and keep them from panicking. You can adjust the tension also. Heard of some horses breaking there neck when the halter and rope didn't break and free them.
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post #9 of 11 Old 03-18-2010, 07:35 PM
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Me and my friend did stuff RiosDad and kevinshorses said to her pony when we were like 12 (not knowing trainers actually did this, we thought we were cool and made it up) because We would trailer her pony to her house and tie him up (cause she had no fence) and he'd stand tied all night. Absolutely fine. That is definitely good advice to heed.

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post #10 of 11 Old 03-18-2010, 07:47 PM
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I tired the neck collar on Latte - It worked, but didn't seem to dissuade her. She just kept on trying. In her case I think the solid pressure was the issue.

So now I just wrap her lead around the tree a couple times so there is resistance, but she still gets some rope when she pulls. She hasn't puklled back in a while since I sarted doing this - As soon as she realises it isn't a solid pressure, there is give, she relaxes and settles again. I ahve hand-made some blocker tie rings to use when I strat taking her to shows.

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