My horse is snatching the lead rope and being disrespectful

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My horse is snatching the lead rope and being disrespectful

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    05-21-2013, 12:39 PM
My horse is snatching the lead rope and being disrespectful


I recently moved my horse out of a pasture tucked away in the country where he could generally do what he wanted to a yard near where I live.

Now though there are other horses around and when I try and lead him to the front of the stable block he will snatch the lead rope out of my hand and run around eating grass, squaring up to the mares and running away from me. He knows he's stronger than I am and I suspect he also knows I'm scared of him.

I know I need to teach him some manners and to accept me as his leader but is this possible for 1) a veteran horse of 24 years who's always had his own way and 2) A novice handler like me?
I know some of it is my own fault, I didn't know how bad he was when he was given to me or I wouldn't have taken him. I'd like to find a way to make him respectful that's safe. I love him but when this happens it makes me think I'm just never going to be a good owner.
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    05-21-2013, 12:41 PM
Welcome to the forum.

You should get plenty of advice here. Do you have someone there that can help you?
    05-21-2013, 12:45 PM
A friend of mine is more experienced than I am, she's suggested a rope halter to help with it, but I want to stop him wanting to run off in the first place. :(
    05-21-2013, 12:46 PM
He'll have to know that he CAN'T run off, before he doesn't want to try. Control does seem to be the issue right now. Let your friend help you.
    05-21-2013, 12:46 PM
Green Broke
The best route is to get help. Get a trainer in who will be confident and show you how to handle him. Horses like to test you and figure out what they can get away with. Once they do, good luck. The trainer will be able to knock some sense into him and instill some confidence in you at the same time. And again, don't relax and let him get away with disrespectful behavior after a trainer puts him in his place. You need to uphold any training he goes through or he will regress. Good luck! :)
aforred, Corporal and morganarab94 like this.
    05-21-2013, 12:48 PM
Green Broke
I would suggest you only handle him with another more experienced person around. Is he a stallion?
    05-21-2013, 12:52 PM
He's a gelding - his previous owner let him do whatever he wanted. It's quite deep seated behaviour. I think only handing him with someone more experienced around sounds like a good idea for the moment - thanks

A quick look around on my local ads didn't flag up any trainers but I'll have to do something, I can't have him running around the yard, it's so dangerous - and disheartening
    05-21-2013, 12:56 PM
I have to agree with everyone else, he shouldn't be allowed to get away with that behavior. I would have a trainer/more experienced person work with him. Goodluck! :)
    05-21-2013, 12:59 PM
Green Broke
It sounds like you board at a stable? Is one of the other boarders experienced enough and willing to help you out? How about just your dad or an older man who can jerk his head around when he tries to take off? And yes, a rope halter would be better to train him in. It has more bite in it than a nylon halter, where a horse will just lean into the pressure.
    05-21-2013, 01:14 PM
Mac used to lake the lead and barge out of my hands from time to time, like when he decided he'd rather go back to the mares or rather not get into the trailer. He'd do it so quickly that I had not time to prepare. But, you have to be ready to stop that action almost BEFORE it happens

You watch him more closely and the minute he is even thinking about barging off, you give the halter a firm snap (and yes, definitely get a rope halter and wear gloves for this training. Or, use a chain over his nose). Get him to change the direction of his thinking so that it's on YOU, then walk forward, but keep an eye on him. The minute you see him "wandering" mentally, do something that brings him mentally back to you. You start out with a big snap of the lead and a stern veral scolding. Next time, give the stern warning (in a firm voice) , and if that doesn't work, the snap of the lead. Eventually, you give a stern warning when his attention wanders and he'll come back just with the warning. But, you must be ON him. If you catch his "thought" before it has wandered away very far, it is very light and easy to bring back to YOU. But, if you allow him the extra 10 seconds to really become fixated on that outside thing, his "thought" will weigh so much (figuratively speaking) that it will take a LOT from you to get it back.

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