Hi ClassyDaarcy. Welcome to the Horse Forum.
Am I just expecting too much and do I just need to give her more time getting used to me?
No! You're expecting too little.
I suspect that when she acts 'fussy' or 'upset' about something (like touching her feet), you back away and try not to upset her but to sooth her.
WRONG! You need to continue doing whatever she does not like until she relaxes and 'settles' and THEN, back away. Whatever a horse is doing when you 'back off' is what you are training them to do. It is just how they respond.
If it takes more than 2 or 3 sessions to get a horse to accept and be comfortable with a certain action on your part, (it usually takes only one when you get your timing right), then you are doing it wrong.
I suggest you do a search on this forum for 'approach and retreat' . This method has been discussed many time. I also suggest that you try to be more of a leader and less of a friend. For some unknown reason on how a horse's brain is hooked up, they become your 'friend' in that leadership and strength is what they crave and truly need.
Here is an old post that popped up that explains a little of how it works.
I am afraid that you are missing everything. This horse needs a competent leader and trainer and not a friend. |
If it were my problem, I would put her in a small, sturdy corral. If you don't have one, build one or make one from sturdy panels. [I do not ever use my round pen for a corral. It really messes up the footing and it does not have any corners.]
Then I would get a halter on her any way I could. I have used a stall, bucking chute, a stock trailer or roped them when there was no other way to get it done in a timely fashion. Then, I would work with her and when finished, I would turn her loose in the corral dragging a 15 foot rope. Catching her with the rope should be no problem.
A person that knows what they are doing can use a round pen to get a horse to come to them, but I have never seen this technique taught on the internet. It takes a real live person that knows when and how to 'read' a horse and they 'approach' (drive) the horse at the appropriate time and 'retreat' (draw) the horse at the appropriate time. Timing and 'feel' are everything.
If you catch this horse by picking up the dragging lead-rope, you can do the same thing. The 'approach and retreat' method there is also the easiest on both handler and horse.
The main thing you need to learn -- no matter what method you try -- you cannot back up or offer release at the wrong time. I suspect that is exactly what you have done to make her worse now. Timing is everything and you can't learn that off of the internet.
Even a feral horse that has never been handled can be gentled within a week and can usually be caught anywhere within a couple of weeks. Remember, a horse needs a competent leader that they respect and look up to. From that relationship comes trust. Not the other way around.
I have to go out and get some chores done, but I will try to come back in later and explain a little more of what I think you need to do specifically.