Starting a 6 year old Mare who has barely been halter broke ( rescued ).

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Starting a 6 year old Mare who has barely been halter broke ( rescued ).

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    03-24-2011, 06:41 PM
Question Starting a 6 year old Mare who has barely been halter broke ( rescued ).

I am starting a QH mare just turning 6 . I rescued her from someone who bought her as a yearling, barely halter broke and then put her in a field and never touched her for almost 5 years( she was too beautiful to leave in a field ).
She had to be corralled into our trailor and from there to my round pen just before winter( Canadian Long winter uggh) . I am in a bit of a pickle given my circumstances. I got to spend 2 weeks with her before sending her to winter pasture. I haltered her and did round pen work, got her feet done etc in those 2 weeks.
I see her everyday in the field, she lets me brush her and pet her most days- but not always and she is extremely flagmatic. If I bring out any type of halter or rope, she is gone and wont come to me again for some time. For her own safety and to get her started 2 weeks ago, I wanted to get a halter on her, I had to trick her into a neck rope - she blasted off with the rope around her neck for the day - teaching her to pull away, uggh!!.
I had to trick her again, getting the rope and tying her to a post to get the halter on. She seems to be very smart, learns very quickly what to do to get away. Unfortunately my circumstances have only hindered good progress, though she has come far in letting me pet her and enjoying it. She is usually curious wants to be my friend most days- but does not like to be lead around much by halter( I don't put a rope on in - now fearing her pulling away with the rope attached).
Long story short, we will be starting her in round pen this next month. What do you recommend with a horse this age with this little progress ? ( I know Mustangs are started all the time, this circumstance seems harder- she has learned human behavior) I would have stalled her for the winter if I could have but again, circumstances...She seems to be lead mare of our 3 other well behaved friendly horses. Should she be comepletely separated from them for the entire training and stalled - if possible, just for training? Will a month alone in a round pen being worked with everyday make huge progress with a horse like this ? Any input would be helpful. ;)
She seems very smart and has never been mean, no biting or kicking at all. She has just been independant for so long. She is worth my effort.
-Note, I have been doing Natural Parelli type horsemanship off and on for 6 years.I am new here = hello everyone ;)
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    03-25-2011, 06:04 AM
If you have trouble catching her, its probably best to put her in a smaller paddock until you can get her used to being haltered and enjoying it. When you're confident you can catch her easily, she can go back out with the others :)
Once you start the training, desensitizing her would be a good idea. Pick up random objects like lunge whips, tarp, anything she would fine scary that you will need to use around her later on & just get her used to being around it. Theres plenty of videos on youtube about starting young/untrained horses using clinton anderson etc. go take a look :)
    03-25-2011, 03:19 PM
Can you fence off a smaller area of your large pasture? If so, I would start feeding her in that smaller enclosure. When I wanted to work her, I would put out food like regular and simply close the enclosure once she began eating. If you have space, you could even make the temporary pen round and the size of a round pen so you can work her there once caught. (I do recognize this wouldn't be a real round pen so you'd have to watch her carefully).

colt starting, round pen stubborn horse

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