Join Date: May 2009
Location: Mid Northern TN
I go and fetch my horse from a field with 9 other horses daily. My guy is low on the totem pole, so if other horses crowd me or the gate, he wants to back up and get out of the area (yield to the pushier horses). Working around multiple horses can be dangerous, and if you feel unsafe doing it, you probably are and should get help. For me, there are two parts to getting my horse.
1. Convince all the other horses that I want nothing to do with them and they are to leave me alone and give me a wide berth. I had to take a whip with me and use it to get a couple of the pushier horses to back off the gate and away from me at first, but now they all know that I am a big mean mare who they don't want to get anywhere near because the gate belongs to ME and I will eat them if they irritate me (though they still love scratches and such from me if I want to go up to them... they're just not allowed to come up to me).
2. Teach my horse to come when called/stand quietly and let himself be caught. I give him one cookie when he gets/lets me get close enough to feed/touch, and a second when I finish putting a halter on or a rope over his neck.
Step 2 is step 2 because originally all the other horses wanted my attention and cookies and my horse would move away as they approached me. Or the other horses would try to get close and squeeze/rush through the gate when I was letting my guy in. Now that all the other horses know that they don't want to come near me uninvited, open gate or no, and that my cookies are never for them, my guy is happy to walk up (invited) or stand to be caught or let in.
Last edited by Sharpie; 12-21-2012 at 10:28 PM.