Horse memories and habits. Did your horse have a problem or vice that you fix? :)
Hey guys! Just a fun little forum. Did your horse have a problem when you first bought it or did it develop a vice over time? How did you guys get through it?
Just a little fun chat... :)
My miniature mare was virtually unhandled when I got her. Every vice in the book was hers, it seemed like xD you couldn't touch her anywhere but her neck, was completely one sided and wouldn't let you on her right side, she invaded your space and bolted/spooked/kicked out on the lead line, you couldn't pick up her feet, she pointed her butt at you if you came close to her, she couldn't be caught without luring her with a bucket of grain or cornering her and risking being kicked, she bit and lunged at people, and she didn't listen to pressure.
I just took the vices one at a time, most important ones first, until she was a well behaved member of society. I started with being touched wherever I wanted to touch her, then picking up feet, then lead line manners. Eventually I had her lunging with my voice as cues, ground tying, picking up and holding her feet for me to clean them, loading herself in the trailer, and even pulling a cart. She's now a quite nice 5 year old driving pony. It just takes time and patience. I think if I had been more experience when I got her though, we could have avoided half of our problems by nipping them in the bud, before they even really started.
Well, there was the trailering saga. First time (for a vet trip) it took 4 people and tranquilizers to load her. Next few were easier, but she was still hard to load, and would still come out soaked with sweat.
Fast forward through about 18 months of rehab and walks, and we're ready to haul out for real rides. She's still not gonna get in that trailer, and if she does, is going to turn right around and come out again. (Marvelous exercise for developing quick reactions when you're the one leading her :-)) But eventually, persuasion & familiarity (and carrots) get her to go in, and we have a lunge line from her halter and around a loop so she can't come back out. A little practice with that, and a few trips out so she discovers that trail rides are actually fun, and she got to the point of nervously loading and waiting while I snapped her halter in. And a year later? Hops right in, stands patiently, never fusses... I think I could just about tell her "Get in the trailer" and she would.
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