A sticky situation...need help!

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A sticky situation...need help!

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    09-11-2010, 04:26 PM
A sticky situation...need help!

I've been working with horses for a long time, but this is a new one for me and I'm curious for some ideas.

I have had to move my horses to a boarding facility for the next year or so while we completely re-seed our pastures and give them a chance to take hold and grow.

Before that, we had our 2 horses turned out together in about 3 acres. In their new situation, they are in about 8 acres with 4 other horses. Suddenly my horse doesn't want to be caught. I know how to deal with that, and have been working on it...but my GOSH this is a huge pasture with a great big hill in it, too. Talk about a work out!

The problem is when we return to the pasture. As soon as I go through the gate my horse starts acting ridiculous. He is super impatient for me to let him go, and has tried to bolt away from me and dances around and tries to push his way away from me. I refuse to let him go while he's acting like this, and thus reward him. I have been making him wait until he stands calmly...but I'll be honest, it's about all I can do to keep him from getting away from me. When the other horses make their way to the gate and start getting into the mix, it just becomes worse and I get a little concerned with all those feet moving around us.

This is a new problem for me, and with all the other horses around and the level of activity I am unsure about how to go about this. My "go to" is to ask the horse to work until he's ready to stand still. This becomes an issue with all the other horses moving around and getting caught up in the rope...plus I'm frankly concerned about his being able to pull away from me.

Any ideas or suggestions is greatly appreciated!!
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    09-11-2010, 07:39 PM
I've been in this situation a few times.
The thing is I worked at the barn so was able to work with the other horses without anyone complaining. When I went to feed hay or grain I snapped my fingers and gently pushed back any horse that crowded into my space or grabbed at the hay. Eventually I had every horse at the barn trained to back away and give me my space when I raised one hand and snapped my fingers so I could hold onto a horse fighting to be let go with one hand and snap my fingers to get the other horses to back off without making them all excited and running off.
In the case of not being able to work with the other horses you might want to try using the gate post/fence post to brace the rope so the horse is pulling against the post not against you and you can stand outside the closed gate. When he stands quiet reach over and unclip him.
    09-12-2010, 02:53 AM
I would almost suggest using either a pretty hard rope halter that would give you a little more grab when he decides to pull, or a chain either under his chin or over his nose, depending on what he reacts to better. That will give you more control when he's acting up, and give you access to make him stop.

As far as the other horses, when you're in a group like that you just have to demand your space. Use the rope like a helicopter if you can and try and make them back off a bit. It's natural for them to come see, but they still have to respect you. Either that or carry a lunge whip or a dressage whip with you when you go in so that you can demand your space with that. Good luck, my horse is pastured with 6 other horses and while he comes to meet me at the gate, there's always a tussle because a few people haven't taught their horses not to push through the gate as you walk out. I know it's hard, but it's getting to the point where the horses realize I won't allow the crowding, i'll send them away before I even try to leave the gate.
    09-12-2010, 10:49 AM
Maybe try fencing a bit of the paddock off with elecric tape or something and have them in there until they behave better.
This is what I did with my horse when I first got him it worked for me but they're two different horses so im not sure if it will work for you. Just a suggestion, hope it helps or you find some way.

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