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Plains Drifter 08-05-2009 02:14 PM

Herd bound
We have a horse that is slightly herd bound. I can go out and get her and saddle her, but when it comes to riding she's a bit head strong and yells and tries her best to get back to the herd. What is the best way to break her of this. I have a round pen, but it's not big enough to work her in. (She's a 16h+ thoroughbred)

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

TroubledTB 08-05-2009 03:51 PM

Leave her in your roundpen overnight before you ride. That would be a start and it's probably a good safe place for her to worry. I'm not saying she can never be with the herd again, but try some alone time so she gets the idea that she can't always look to the herd for advice, and you will start to establish a new herd with you as the leader. After a night all by herself you will look like a much better option than being alone.

Plains Drifter 08-05-2009 07:25 PM

Thank you. I will give that a go! :)

White Foot 08-05-2009 10:54 PM

Agree, just try to give her as much one on one attention and get her use to you doing things with her. And establish that you are the new "herd leader". It sound to me just like anxiety, she will settle down if you make this an ongoing thing.

mom2pride 08-05-2009 11:52 PM

If she wants to return back to the barn, then work her tail off at the barn...if you don't feel safe ON her while you are working her there, then keep a longe line and halter on her so you can easily get off and put her to work. The key is to make being at the barn uncomfortable for her, thus when you ask her to walk away she will want to go away willingly; and when you do go away, do alot of stopping, and asking her to relax, so she understands that 'away from the barn' is good.

Plains Drifter 08-06-2009 04:18 PM

Great idea!!! Thank you!!

iridehorses 08-06-2009 04:27 PM

All good advise. When she is thinking about the herd, she is not thinking about you. What I do is to make my horse work. If we are on the trail, we will do small circles, we'll back up, we'll do transitions, anything that makes her have to concentrate on me and my direction.

If you are on the way home and she starts, turn around and go back out for a few hundred yards, then head back home. This may take you 2 hours to get back when it should only take 15 minutes. When you get home, either make her work or tie her up to your trailer for an hour (no bridle but still tacked up) - be sure you are within sight of her for the safety factor. The purpose is that out with you is much better then getting back.

There is no quick fix but it's a common problem and the longer you allow it to continue, to harder it is to fix.

~Good luck!

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