Improving my minis leading behaviour?
Can anyone offer me tips on how to improve my mini while leading her? She has not had much training with her previous owner and is quite disrespectful when being lead - she trots ahead, cuts me off and leans on me. The thing I struggle with is because of her height unless I bend down I cant hold the lead rope under her chin so if I want to apply pressure it always turns her towards me which usually results in her getting in my space. I want to be able to pony her from my horse for exercise but due to her lack of respect we end up getting pretty tangled!
Do you have a chain lead? When I first got my stallion, he had not been handled in about a year other than feet, vaccines. etc. He was pushy like your mare. I put a chain lead over his nose at first and when he would try to rear or trot off or strike at me, I would pop him in the nose. Not hard enough to hurt, but a quick tighten to let him know that I was not going to accept him misbehaving. As he got better, I moved the chain from over his nose to under it, and now I don’t use it unless I am practicing halter.
One other thing that helped his pushiness was every time he would try to rush off, I would make him back up a few steps really fast. This also worked with my old 16+ hand quarter horse.
One nice thing about the chain is that it goes to the side of the halter rather than under it, so that may help with your reaching problem.
Just a question before I depart, do you have access to a round pen. And does your mare lunge? I found that lunging helps a lot with respect issues, which is what this is.
Carry a little crop with you and tap him on his barrel to keep him away from you. When he goes in front, circle him to a halt and make him back up. Anytime he gets infront of you, make him back up so his shoulder is level with your... knee :P
The same leading principles apply just he's smaller so you have to be a little creative.
Thanks for the tips, I hadnt thought of a chain lead. I will have a go with circling and backing first with a crop and see if that helps.
She lunges ok but I dont think she has done it much before if ever. I dont have a round pen though which means we have to lunge in the paddock and she is constantly trying to eat which makes it a bit hopeless! I have tried to lunge with her grazing muzzle on and a halter over top but that didnt work so well.
I popped her in the butt today with an empty bucket because she always gets very cranky when I am putting her hay down in the evening - I like to spread it around her little paddock in small piles to make her work a bit more. Boy did she get a fright! Usually she runs around me trying to snatch at the hay and to be honest I have been a little lazy at correcting her but she has started turning her back at me more lately and threatening to kick. For once I had something in my hand so might start carrying a crop like Sky suggested.
I hope you begin to see an improvement! Mini horses are a lot of fun but they are trickier to handle due to their size, especially if you're rather tall :P
Just like with a big horse it's about respect. She doesn't respect you. You'd do good to work her in a round pen every day. A stud chain is a bit harsh IMO. That would be forcing her to do what you are asking. It will only improve her behavior while she has the stud chain on. Treat her as you would a big horse. When she starts trotting out in front take her in circles. Stop her. Back her up. Repeat.
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