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cara 10-22-2007 06:58 AM

Halter training
HI ya,

I am new here and I need ye'r help.

My new mare {That I can't catch} She will come up to me in the field if I have a bucket but when she see the halter she legs it. It a new halter and is very shiny. I have left it in the field with her last night to get used to it. Any suggestions ??????

Her hoofs are in bad need of been done they are in bad condition. I need to catch her to try and get her used to having her feet picked up. Farrier coming in 2 weeks. She is in the field with my other cob and a pony. I dont have my stables built yet ,so have no where else for the moment but the field.

prettypalfrey 10-22-2007 07:42 AM

She needs to be taught to respect you. I would start by either putting her in a smaller paddock or in a stall. That way the only way she gets to go somewhere is with your permission. As for catching her you may need someone else to help for right now. I am sure its more of a lack of respect than fear (unles she has been hurt before).

Vidaloco 10-22-2007 08:01 AM

When I first got Vida she was like this too. I started going out every day several times a day with feed and treats. I put a lead rope up on my shoulder so it wasn't in my hand, and a halter stuck down the back of my pants. When she is eating bring the lead rope around her neck so she is "caught" get the halter and rope on her and rub her all over with the rope. Take off the halter and let her go. After a few times, start throwing the rope around her, over her back, neck etc. I did this every day several times a day for a month. I got so I could just take a pocket full of horse treats and when she saw me stick my hand in my pocket she knew I had treats. I stll go out once in a while just to put the halter and rope on her in the pasture give her a treat and take it off and its been 3 years. But now she lets me walk up to her with a rope and halter. Unfortunatly (or maybe not) I am the only one who can catch her. I'm sure this isnt a "proper" training method but it worked for me.

Spirithorse 10-22-2007 12:52 PM

Here is an article that will help you. :)

You Can't Catch Me
"Why do you call your horse General Lee?" I asked.

"Because he was one of the greatest military strategists of all time, and this horse has got more strategies around not getting caught than any other horse I've ever owned!" came the reply.

The easiest way to teach your horse to be hard to catch is to only visit him when you want something and, believe it or not, by putting tension on his lead rope whenever you have a halter on him.

If you want to start programming your horse so he wants to be caught, start doing the opposite of what I've just described! You also need a long range program so that whenever he sees you coming, your horse thinks "Oh boy!" not "Oh no!"

Distance and Approach
A great way to start changing a horse's opinion of being caught is to go to his pasture or corral and play with him. Put a halter and lead rope on him and play a 'friendship' game (The Friendly Game) by rubbing him with the end of the rope all over his body until it is obvious that he actually likes this.

Next, try tossing the rope with rhythm over different parts of his body until he can stand relaxed without it bothering him. Then rub him all over again with the rope. Make sure you can do both sides. If he gets worried, just smile, keep going and try to keep slack in the rope so he can move around until he settles down.

Now stand at the end of your lead rope, face your horse and make a game out of distance and approach. Wild horses and domestic horses alike make a living by reading the body language of the predators that live in their environment. They pay great attention to 'distance and approach' so they can read a predator's intention.

See how many ways (walk fast, skip, hop, jump, etc) angles and speeds you can approach your horse from without him flinching or moving then rub him all over with the rope again. This procedure is called habituation through progressive desensitization - or 'The Friendly Game.' This completes your first session, but put no time limit on it.

For the next session, repeat the first, and then try the same thing with a longer rope (like a 22-foot Line). The idea is to simulate your horse being free with a safety net for correcting him. By the third session you should be able to progress to no rope at all, but make sure you are in a small corral - no bigger than 60 foot - for this.

When you do these tasks without a halter and rope on your horse, do exactly the same as if you still have the rope on him. If he runs away, cause it to be uncomfortable. You can fling the halter toward his hindquarters repeatedly until he turns to look at you. As soon as he looks at you, smile and welcome him. Allow him to smell the halter and lead, and then play the Friendly Game with it.

Play with your horse like this every time for seven sessions in a row.
Do not skip these tasks until you know your horse has got the concept.

Remember, your horse has to fight instincts given to him by Mother Nature. He is programmed to flee from a predator and anything he perceives as danger. Don't blame him, try to understand that he is only acting out of a strong sense of self preservation.

Changing Perceptions
For the long-range program, establish a forbidden zone, a small corral he cannot get into unless you open the gate. In this forbidden zone should be the only food and water that he can find. Give him access into that place two times a day, only long enough to eat and drink what he needs.

Try this for one or two weeks every day with no exceptions until your horse gives you the credit for providing these life-sustaining substances. From then on, keep him guessing. Leave the gate to the food and water open or closed at your discretion. I have never seen this fail, even with wild horses, so don't give up. You horse will start watching for you and come-a-running when you show up.

Please take notice that I am assuming a worst case scenario in offering these solutions. If you have a horse that's only playing a few tricks, your program will not have to be quite as intense. Just playing the Seven Games is an important pre-requisite and will solve a large part of your catching problems.

Vidaloco 10-22-2007 07:00 PM

I just read the above article on Parelli's web site. Guess I sort of kinda did the same thing. For some reason Vida was afraid of the rope when I first got her but she isn't anymore. Parelli has the best web site for getting information. Their training techniques are fun too. Its much improved from the first time I visited it years ago.

cara 10-24-2007 02:55 PM

Getting there

Thanks guys for ye'r help. For the past few days I have been going out to the field with a bucket of feed, and Cara is comming up and I have been rubbing her head and neck with the lead rope.{She was a bit nervous at first but got used to it}, Today I was able to lead her with the lead rope and even better this evening I got a head collor on her and my hubby and I were able to lead her around the fiels and she was as good as gold.

We will do this for the next few days and maybe then on to her hoofs as they badly need a farrier.

Cheers for ye'r help again xxxx

Sara 10-24-2007 03:05 PM

Good job!

Vidaloco 10-24-2007 04:16 PM

Hoorah! Glad we could help. 8)
Shes a beautiful horse by the way.

Spirithorse 10-25-2007 04:10 PM

Congrats!! That's awesome! :D Keep up the great work!

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