training a horse/s - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 07-14-2009, 11:25 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Hungary
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training a horse/s

To start I'll give you a brief background / history

My neighbour has 4 horses , Moni, Willma, Lilly and a foal, Moni has been handled a bit but the others barely been handled at all. Two weeks ago I had to go trim their front feet ( no one can get anywhere near their backs at all ) , it turned out to be a little bit disastrous as Moni was the only one we could catch. I went back the following day and with the owners help ( he was missing the previous day ) we managed to catch Willma. During the course of trying to trim her fronts I got shoved into a fence rail and kicked in the leg ( I was a bit sore for a week but am OK now ) Lilly was non cooperative and can't be caught.
I had a sort of conversation with him ( my Hungarian is not good and his English is non-existent ) and he asked me if they were trainable and if so could I do it.
I looked the pair over , and rubbed a long stick all over them, neither kicked at it hard ( but they did kick ) , neither threw themselves around too much either, I sort of said that it could be done but it would take time. The aim is to have the horses calm and be able to trim all their feet without me getting killed in the process .
I agreed with Laci to work his horses at his place, he did ask me if I wanted them at mine but I don't need my place getting destroyed by four half wild horses .

I will keep you all updated as to what I'm doing with all four and the progress ( if any ) that I'm making - If I suddenly stop posting it's cause Willma has done me in ( she weighs in at about 550Kg and knows it ) .

Enough for now

Nutty ( yes really nutts this time to be doing this - but I like a challenge )
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post #2 of 8 Old 07-15-2009, 12:56 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Hungary
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First day

To start I have to assess the mental state / cooper-ability of each horse.
To do this I have spent about an hour in their turnout paddock , it's not too big - about 60m * 100m - and has a field shelter with feed tray.
All four are loose and at the moment I don't have any training aids with me at all.

I spent 1/2 hour just sitting in the shade of the shelter , getting them to accept my presence , when they came to the shelter i was able to start to find out what they are like by giving them attention.

Moni - she is the most handled and doesn't have much in the way of hang-ups. she'll pick her fronts up but doesn't really like to have her backs touched too much . She also has little respect and will walk through a person - not to be nasty she just doesn't know different.

Willma - she is the most dangerous of the lot . She will just about tolerate me touching her head but if I try go further down her neck she will either run away or give me a signal that she's not happy ( rolled eyes and ears pinned back ). If I try to touch her front legs she will strike out and if I went anywhere near her backs she would kick me real bad.

Lilly - she is last years foal - at the moment I can't get anywhere near her , she will stretch her neck out and try to sniff me but if I try to touch her she just runs away.

The fourth is Moni's foal from this year so she is just behaving normally for a 3 month old - exploring a bit but still wary of new things.

If I tried to catch either Willma or Lilly I would fail - so no point in trying - to start I have to get them to accept me more so the first week will be spent doing the same - not really trying to do anything except spending time with them in their turnout. Moni will have her fronts picked out every day and I will rub a stick over her backs so she learns to accept her backs being touched. None of them will be restrained at all so they will have freedom of choice - it's up to them to accept me , not for me to force my presence around them by tying them up.

I will get some pics and post them tomorrow.

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post #3 of 8 Old 07-15-2009, 03:22 AM
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nutty thanks for the info, pics and vids would be great at some point so we can connect with these rambunctious kids
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post #4 of 8 Old 07-16-2009, 09:15 AM Thread Starter
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As promised some pictures

Firstly is all four together Willma is in the lead followed by Moni , Moni's foal and lastly Lilly
willma, moni, foal, lilly.JPG

The main two for training are Willma and lilly , this is about as close as I can get to Lilly ( unless I have a pocket full of Oats - then it's hand feeding at arms length)
willma & lilly.JPG

Would you want to go anywhere near this ? - this attitude is about normal at the moment

Moni only really needs a refresher course as she is 15 yrs old and has done it all before ( just a lot of years back ) - here she is with her latest ( Lilly is hers as well - just last years )
Moni & foal.JPG

And lastly for cuteness factor - Foal
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post #5 of 8 Old 07-17-2009, 01:25 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Hungary
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Just to give you a look - here are Moni's feet. Willma's are about the same - if not a little worse.

Closeup of front
Moni front.jpg

Both fronts

Closeup of hind
Moni hind.jpg

Both hinds
moni hinds.JPG

Last edited by Nutty Saddler; 07-17-2009 at 01:29 AM.
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post #6 of 8 Old 07-19-2009, 01:19 AM Thread Starter
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Location: Hungary
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Just spent the last 3 days getting them to accept me , basically spent 1/2 - 1hr a day with them not doing much except getting them to know me.
Spending time around them and trying to encourage them to come to me ( amazing what a pocketful of oats will do ) , at the same time I'm establishing myself as someone who wont get pushed around, not allowing or rewarding bargy behavior or nipping for food.

Moni is her usual self, she can be a little bit pushy but nothing major and her foal generally hangs around her - so its getting to know me a little as well. Working on Moni's front legs - getting her to pick them up without waving them around, am also rubbing her hind legs - getting her to accept them being touched - will soon start to ask her to pick them up ( will only hold them for a second or two ) and see how she responds with an aim of being able to pick them out by the end of the week ( 7 days )

Willma has accepted me quite well - takes food when offered and allows me to stroke her head , can't get past her withers and mostly if I go beyond her face she backs off - there is definite promise there as she appears to be quite intelligent and appears to be trying to be friendly

Lilly just about allows me to stroke her face - and that's at arms length. No give in her position at the moment - no aggression just a lot of wariness and retreats fast . She also has little or no respect and doesn't like to get herself cornered. Lot of work needed with this one to break down her barriers - going to have to think on an approach for her that's not going to scare her away and make things more difficult.

Well - first phase over, next phase approach and retreat. Going to start with Willma and hope Lilly joins in a little. Will be sending her away and looking for acceptance signs ( licking and chewing ) to bring her in.
I will be doing this all by hand and body signals - no carrot stick at the moment ( one step at a time ).

I will update you all in 3-4 days as to progress
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post #7 of 8 Old 07-29-2009, 12:34 PM
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They are very pretty horses. I'm sure you will make a bunch of progress, you sound like you're not one to give up. You'll do a fine job. :)
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post #8 of 8 Old 08-20-2009, 12:44 AM Thread Starter
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Location: Hungary
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Had to take a little break due to having to make two training rollers !


Moni - continued to work on her picking up her front legs - just really repeat process so she gets used to it, have moved onto her backs. Started by running a stick up and down the leg, as she didn't kick out I proceeded to then rub my hands over the lower part of the leg. I can now ask her to pick her back legs up and can successfully pick them out - It will not be long now and they will get a quick trim.

Willma - started games with her, am not using any artificial aids as yet.
Sent her away using hand, arm, body signals and made her move around until she started to lick & chew, then allowed her to top and see what position she adopted, She straight away turned to look at me for further guidance, she was asked and allowed to approach me, which she also did straight away, I made a fuss of her and gave her some oats. I then sent her away before she backed off and repeated the process. I did this for about a week until she became really comfortable, I then got the carrot stick ( with the lash removed ) and started to get her to accept this - I can rub her all over - including her legs - without any major issues.

Shortly I will attach the lash and touch her all over with the stick and lash - flicking the lash over her so she gets used to this as well.

Lilly - She is still trouble to get near - Karin and I can get her to approach now and take food from our hands but if we try to stroke her she retreats.
She is going to take the most work as at the moment she is behaving the most wild - For the moment it's just more of getting her used to us being there.

Foal - now called Beebits
Typical foal - inquisitive and wary. Karin is doing the most work with her as I need to concentrate on Moni & Willma. Karin can handle Beebits and rub her all over - starting to get her to hold her legs up and accepting a rope dangled over her face ( preparation for halter ) , She is coming along nicely and provided she doesn't have any traumatic experience I don't foresee any major problems.

It may be a week or so before I can post again as I have several bridles, a training cavesson, dog collars etc to make
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