Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Small town in Kansas
• Horses: 0
Unhandled Haflinger *Advice Needed*
Okay, so prepare for a book.
Recently, I've begun doing some small training jobs for some locals and 4H families by word of mouth. Last week, I got a call form a woman saying she had a haflinger yearling that needed some work. When I went out there, they had a roundpen set up, and inside it was a monster.
This filly, 18 months, ran circles around this roundpen. The woman had told me they bought her out of the killpen and she was unhandled when they got her. They told me after a few months, she would finally eat out of a bucket while their boy was holding it (something I couldn't get her to do). These people are studying Natural Horsemanship methods which I see no problems with.
Now the problem: the filly came with a halter on. Since she has done quite a bit of growing in the past three months since she has gotten correct nutrition, it is getting smaller and smaller. The family called and wanted to know if I would help get it off. I went out into the roundpen and she spooked at Everything. After 2 hours of just sitting in the middle of the roundpen with a bucket of feed while she ran madly around me, I walked out and talked to the family.
The family believes they can calm her down eventually, which I believe since from what the boy tells me they've already made decent progress, but the halter does need to come off. Aside from just roping her and doing something that could traumatize her even more, I told the family the only other option I could think of was to herd her into a stock trailer, and haul her to my family's facility and use a cattle chute to remove the halter and then release her back at their home in their corral or roundpen.
The family said they were willing to hire me to work with her through out the summer, but as of now, they just really want the halter off.
So my question to you is, what other options do I have besides what I've already mentioned. The halter is beginning to rub on the nose and behind the ears, and the family's main concern is for her health. So besides roping her and snubbing her against a post or such, or using a cattle chute, what else is there?
I talked to the family about sedation, and they didn't really like the idea of that.