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CdnCremello 11-13-2012 05:16 PM

Houdini Yearling
Hi everyone,

I have an adorable yearling filly that I'm trying to work with, but I'm having a few problems. She is not a fan of being haltered, but we have gotten one on her a few times by being patient and gentle. Unfortunately, she's managed to get them all off. The barn owner, the vet and I have all haltered her, but with 48 hours, she takes them back off. We've done this probably 5 times. When she's haltered she is sweet, stands and leads well, and appreciates attention, but as soon as she gets them off, she's like a different horse. We have been using flat nylon halters. Would a rope halter be harder for her to get off? Any advice would be appreciated.

Lins 11-13-2012 05:25 PM

Is she in a pasture when she's getting the halters off? Is there a reason you want her to wear a halter when she's turned out?

I would not leave anything but a breakaway halter on a horse that absolutly had to wear one while turned out or in a stall. It is very dangerous to leave any halter on a horse unattended. I've seen many instances where even a worn out, old breakaway halter did not break when a horse was stuck.
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jaydee 11-13-2012 05:32 PM

I especially wouldn't turn a young horse out in a halter but if you have too it should be a soft flat breakaway type, they can injure themselves pretty badly if they get caught up on something
If its just to get something on her while you hold her then take it off again a soft as possible rope one might feel better to her and rewards for good behaviour are OK to me in these sort of training issues

CdnCremello 11-13-2012 05:38 PM

Yes she's in a pasture when she does it, she's pasture boarded. She is in the break away halters right now. If she doesn't have a halter on she can't be caught to put one on, she was unhandled until September of this year.

Thunderspark 11-13-2012 06:07 PM

could you put her in a corral for now till she is used to having the halter on/off?
Myself I wouldn't be comfortable leaving a halter on when I wasn't out there with or within view of a yearling.
I have a horse that is 4 now who's been boarded here since he was 6 months old, he had been out in pasture and not handled either. I kept him in the corral for a couple weeks (it's right beside the pasture so the other horses and him could get to know each other over the fence). I worked with him on being haltered on/off. It only stayed on when I was working on his leading or I was there with him. At supper time he would have to get the halter on and tied to eat. The more on/off with her the better, I would always change it up.....sometimes when he got his halter on I would take him out in the yard to graze, sometimes I would groom him, work on picking his feet up, want them to learn to have it put on/off and not anticipate what is going to happen when they get it on.
All the horses here have learnt that putting on the halter is a good thing, sometimes it means supper, sometimes it does mean work and sometime just groomed.....
When you go to catch her, do you do the approach/retreat with her?

NorthernMama 11-13-2012 06:17 PM

Instead of a halter, would you consider a neck collar if something is absolutely necessary to catch her? If it was me, I would invest the time in not requiring any tack on turnout...

CdnCremello 11-13-2012 06:32 PM

I can ask the BO about putting her in a small corral that is empty right now. She's turned out with 3 other yearlings, all of them wear halters 24/7, but I would like to not have her haltered all the time. She gets free choice hay, but I could give her a small amount of grain occasionally after getting her haltered to reinforce that it can be a good thing. In the field trying to catch her is difficult, its a large field and she usually doesn't give me an opportunity to do much, as she'll trot away when I get close. She really is a completely different horse with a halter. She isnt very curious about me, which may be in part to being bonded with a yearling that she is in with.

CdnCremello 11-13-2012 06:34 PM


Originally Posted by NorthernMama (Post 1756509)
Instead of a halter, would you consider a neck collar if something is absolutely necessary to catch her? If it was me, I would invest the time in not requiring any tack on turnout...

A neck collar is definitely something I will look into. Are they much less risky than a halter for turn out? Most yearlings I've worked with have been handled from birth, so this is new to me.

NorthernMama 11-13-2012 06:37 PM

Yes, neck collars don't get hung up as easily on things but it must be snug.

CdnCremello 11-13-2012 07:04 PM

Okay, I think moving her to a smaller corral and putting a neck collar on her might be the way to go :) Thanks everyone!

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