Trouble with leading my horse

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Trouble with leading my horse

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    11-29-2011, 09:00 PM
Question Trouble with leading my horse

My 9 year old gelding is a brat when it comes to grass. I take him out of his field(which has no grass)and he pulls me to the grass spot. His field is on a hill. So I have to yank his head up and walk down the hill and take him to the barn..its a long walk from the field to the barn. He is always pulling me to the grass spots.

Then I ride him and stuff. Once we are all done I take him out of the barn and let hiim eat some grass for 10 mins before I take him back up to his field.

Then when the time is up...i yank his head up... I have a lead with a chain that I put over his nose.. and take him to his field. But he fights me to keep his head down so he can eat grass.

So today I was up on the hill with my horse and he dove his head down to eat the grass and as I was tryn to yank his head up...i fell to the ground . So I got back up and yelled at him and smacked him on his head for making me fall like that. I was sooo mad at him.

So how do I make my horse stop diving down for grass. Im a 5'4 gal with a 16.1 paint. His ground manners arent that great.

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    11-29-2011, 09:09 PM
Green Broke
First off, DON'T let him eat when he's with you. Period.

Instead of trying to yank his head up, make him move. If he's still trying to put his head down, make him move faster. Don't be afraid to pop him on the butt to get him to move. If he's eating, he's not paying attention to you.
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    11-29-2011, 09:12 PM
Green Broke
I guess I should add that when he does have good ground manners and will listen to you, then and only then would you let him eat with you.
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    11-29-2011, 09:19 PM
Yey, don't let him push you around, if you feel him going for the grass maybe turn him in a circle just do something to keep him moving! Maybe try the chain under his chin, rather than over his nose, might have more of an effect to keep his head up, mighten be while practical but another tip could be to put a bridle on him in the field, even just the head piece and bit, at least then ul have more of a hold of his mouth
Good luck
    11-30-2011, 02:11 AM
Green Broke
Instead of using the chain or a bit, which may work initially until his mouth gets hard or you do damage to the nerves in his face, make him use his brain. Make him work when he doesn't listen or pay attention. That's how you'll get his respect and better ground manners.
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stingerscricket likes this.
    11-30-2011, 11:43 AM
Firstly, every time you work with your horse from the moment you halter him, to the moment you turn him out is a training session. They're 1200lbs and you definitely want to make sure that they listen to you and are not causing you to fall down, but also you want to learn to communicate with your horse so he respects you. It sounds like your horse needs a lesson on ground manners (and they all do sometimes) but think of your training sessions with your paint like this: when you bring your horse in work on whatever it is that they're showing they need to work on that day -in your case, leading (my mare yesterday, she is broke and leads well, but I noticed her flinching a bit at the stirrup before I mounted, so spent some time sacking her out again so get her used to it).

As far as leading goes, I have found that lead training works really well in a bridle, I have bridled my horse in the field to bring her and as you have much more control, you can pop them up if they lean down, turn them, or back them up. I would go into a field, and walk him back and forth over grass without letting him stop and eat. When you're done give him praise and some pets then take him inside and begin the riding session. At the end, Iw ould also do that and when he stops trying to eat, turn him out with praise.
    11-30-2011, 01:35 PM
Teen Forum Moderator
When I have a youngster or an ignorant horse to work with, I always put a durable halter, and a stud chain. I also bring a whip along with me.

To begin, give your horse some slack. Allow him to walk shoulder to shoulder with you. And watch him. As soon as he begins to bring his head down, put pressure on the chain (DO NOT jerk the rope with a stud chain on, as you can damage the bridge of his nose), putting more and more pressure the longer he resists. The moment he stops resisting, release the pressure and continue walking. If he still refuses to put his head back in place after pulling the chain for 3-5 seconds, give him a good whap on the chest with your whip, without releasing the pressure of the chain. As soon as his head goes up, release the pressure and TURN him. Don't lead him directly forewards, make him follow his nose. Push him away from you in a tight circle, then continue forewards.

It may take a few times but it has never not worked for me within a session or two. Reward them with release, and discipline him with pressure. Use the whip if absolutely necessary. He's too big to walk all over you.
    11-30-2011, 07:31 PM
Thank you everyone for the great tips. :)

I; let him eat grass because his field is dirt. I let him eat the grass so he can enjoy it before he goes in the dirt field.

But it is a pain getting him away from the grass and out to his field. This is why I like the winter time....snow everywhere. No grass ;p
    11-30-2011, 08:08 PM
Green Broke
I had a similar issue with my 20month old. His pasture is practically dirt now, so there are times I let him eat some grass. But it is when I let him not when he wants.

I worked with him on this by jsut making him move, had him lunge around me for about 5-10min, I took the pressure off, after I thought he figured it out, but he continued. Once he stopped, I turned him around, had him go for a bit more. Then stopped him, his head went straight back to the ground, so I popped him on the butt with the end of the rope, he took off again, and so on and so fourth.

We did it for probably 20-30min, but it was a major issue we had to work on. After that, I was able to walk him through grass, stop, and talk to someone without having to worry about him trying to eat the whole time!

Good Luck!
    11-30-2011, 08:27 PM
I can't really lunge my horse because where I take him to eat grass...its next to the barn..its a small area .. not much room to lunge.

But thank you for the great tip.

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