Running out of the gate.... ugh - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 11 Old 04-20-2011, 11:57 PM Thread Starter
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Running out of the gate.... ugh

I have trained my horse not to run away from us when we let him out in his pasture... that is the only time we give him hand treats, but we always give him something... hay, grass, grain, a treat.... something so he hangs out at the gate and waits calmly while we lock him in as we take off his halter.... I cannot stand horses that charge to leave or rush to take off... anyone else agree?

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post #2 of 11 Old 04-21-2011, 12:40 AM
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My teacher's horse used to do that. YOu'd barely have the halter off his head and he'd rip right out of your arms.
What would happen if you walked into the pasture with him and kept him ON line for a bit. Stood there and asked him to stand, went back out the gate etc. I havne't dealt with this problem in a while, so I am spoiled, but with a big strong horse, it can be really intimidating.
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post #3 of 11 Old 04-21-2011, 12:40 AM
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I hate that too! I've taught my horse to "hug" me with his neck when I remove his halter until I walk away. I hate when people let go of their horse and he/she gallops off or bucks/kicks at them!
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post #4 of 11 Old 04-21-2011, 12:46 AM Thread Starter
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Plus. What if there are untrained horses in your field that also take off>? Run into fences...... it can be soooo dangerous.

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post #5 of 11 Old 04-21-2011, 12:47 AM
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It depends on the horse for me. It used to be a huge pet peeve for me. But it was more of a hurt pride that the horse wanted to bolt from me that fast. But now I find its just the energy that gets pent up. But if they tend to kick after.....that can be dangerous. But I have done far worse to my horses when they were loose and I know them to not be kickers (not that they won't....all horses can and will kick at some point!) So I don't mind it as much, but I also have taught my horses that they have to wait for a verbal cue if they want to bolt. My favorite way was having two halters one, one rope halter (light..or a rope around the neck for ones that don't really bolt but just run off) and a heavy nylon on top. Then I would take off the first halter and take few steps back like I would in turn out. And soon as the horse turns to bolt I would pull on the rope halter and have them turn and face me. Then I would walk them to the middle take it off and walk away. It works now, my horse waits for the cluck or hiss before he runs off to play.
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post #6 of 11 Old 04-21-2011, 12:55 AM
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It is just manners or ground work training, no reason why they have to do that. I expect a lively horse to trot away then kick, bolt, buck - if they do not, they would be driven away with a lunge whip.

A former horse of mine would bolt with the halter and lead rope, and me for a second attached. Not fun. Then you have to trudge through a field to get the halter and lead rope back once they have stood on the rope and come to a stop.
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post #7 of 11 Old 04-21-2011, 01:12 AM
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Ugh, I despise those horses who turn tail and book it the instant you have the halter unbuckled or untied. What I always do when I turn them back out is I will take the halter off and keep a hand under their jaw and pressed against their off side cheek until I have the halter either tossed over the fence or draped across my left arm. Then I will spend a minute scratching on their face/neck/shoulders. They learn that they can move off when I break the communication by walking away and not a moment before.

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post #8 of 11 Old 04-21-2011, 01:27 AM
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I do hate it when horses run off. However, for me it depends on the horse.
I allow Lacey to run off because she'll stay stationary until the halter/lead rope around her neck comes off and then she'll sometimes run off, and she's always respectful about it. If she starts getting antsy before the halter comes off or while it's coming off (I wrap the lead rope around her neck while I take the halter off, then "unwrap" her), she doesn't get to leave until she's stood calmly. But if she's standing calmly, and I've thoroughly gotten the halter/lead rope off, I really don't care if she runs off. Also, I know with Lacey that it's not a respect thing, she just likes running. She'll run away and run right back most of the time! Haha
I've also trained her that the word "ok" means she's free to do her thing, no more me imposed rules until I say, so on those days where she's feeling especially antsy I'll say "ho" (which is her "STOP" word), undo the halter etc, then say "ok" at which point she's free to go and she knows she is. I refuse to argue with her about running off because she always seems to have one up on me (I think I'm going to handle something one way, she creates a new behavior that I was totally unprepared for) and I can't afford to "lose" her games. So I have words that are "god" to her and I use them when I can't back myself up.
I do walk her all the way into her field and turn her towards me before letting her go. It would be different if I was releasing her inside the gate (like I know people do), in that scenario I'd want her to walk calmly off, always.
However, at the summer camp I work at, I never allow those horses to run off. Most of them are disrespectful lil jerks and letting them run off is agreeing with that behavior, imo. They get released calmly and only when they're being sedate, no fussing about being let go. The only time I do try to get them away faster is when they're all crowding at the gate for food and we're still turning horses out. Then, it becomes a safety issue and they NEED to go away faster. But then I'll release them (which they still have to be calm for) and if they don't walk away from me, I'll swing the lead rope at them to make them get away, but I don't incite them during the process of releasing them, if that makes sense.

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Rest peacefully, Lacey.

Last edited by Wallaby; 04-21-2011 at 01:34 AM.
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post #9 of 11 Old 04-21-2011, 08:37 AM
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I also trained my Candy to stand quietly when I was taking her to pasture. I always had a couple of horse cookies that she knew she would get after I took her halter off. Once we stepped through the gate I would turn her facing the gate then latch the gate. I did everything in slow motion to instill patience on her part. Then even as I undid her halter I still expected her to stand beside me quietly then she'd get the cookies. As a result after she munched on the cookies she would then turn gracefully and wait until she got to the center of our pasture and cut-loose and frolic.
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post #10 of 11 Old 04-21-2011, 08:49 AM
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I agree! Very dangerous habit for them to turn and bolt away from you. My horse also is walked in the pasture, turned to face the gate and petted on while taking the halter off. Not released until I say so. Then I let her walk off. Its almost the same concept when your riding towards home and you allow them hurry back. No good! Bad habit!

I think that most of the time, if they allow their horse to bolt at the gate, when people try to retrieve their horse from that pasture, they have a harder time catching the horse. Definitely disrespect. But they only have themselves to blame for the disrespect. Making it a good thing to be near you in any situation is key to getting a disrespectful animal to respect you.
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