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- - Anti-Panic training (http://www.horseforum.com/horse-training/anti-panic-training-143040/)
I was just wondering, how do you train a horse to drop his head and relax when he steps on his reins/lead rope? I'd like to train my gelding to do this as a safety precaution. :) thanks!
Teach him to drop his head when he feels a little tug on the halter. It's a gradual process to get him lower and lower. Then when his head is down and he's relaxed, hold it there for a few seconds then release the rope and guide his head back up. I'll even step on the rope (easier on the back). A horse often panics and it feels trapped, can't escape. This teaches him there's a way to do it.
I just let them drag a rope for a few days and they learn it on their own
I also just let them drag a rope around. I watch them, I'm there in case something actually goes wrong, but I usually wait until they stop and stay still before I go "save" them. Gracie will slowly rock back and forth to see if she can get herself free but she hasn't panicked at all and goes through a "this? No. This? No" system until she gets out or I save her. Ricci just plum stops moving, I love my old girl. =]
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I agree with the let them drag it way. But, best to make the rope on the shorter side so it doesn't get tangled around the feet. AT least at first. so long enough to get stepped on but not so long as to get tangled on back feet.
and start in asmall space like a round pen.
I, too agree with letting to drag, but at first I'd teach to lower head by downwards pressure in the halter. Also, it is a good thing to teach to untangle himself - when a horse is comfortable with ropes touching his hind end and good with following the lead, you can wrap a rope/lunge from one of his sides, around his hind legs, and up to the other side and then tug the rope and let him figure out how to untangle.
I was recently very grateful that I've taught my horse how to react on ropes that are dragging behind him or when he's tangled himself, when he managed to get loose during a training session in a larger field and with a really long rope attached to his halter. He cantered and bucked around the field, but did not panic, did not step on the rope and untangled himself at all the moments the rope got stuck over his hind legs - it is sometimes a really useful skill.
If you allow the horse to drag the rope, DO NOT use a thin knotted halter as this can damage the nerves in the poll. I prefer a thin leather poll strap that will break under pressure.
You shouldn't let a horse drag a lead rope around as a method of teaching it not to stand on it. The horse could injure itself severely (seen result of that!). In the UK we are taught to teach horses to step back off the lead rope as a standard. Its not a hard thing to learn and much safer.
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