Learning a 16hh 8 year old mare cob manners
I am working with a 16hh 8 year old mare cob called Ebony for a friend of mine called Julie. She has bad arthritis in her hands and would like to sell Ebony asap. So I offered to help and to learn Ebony some manners.
When she is being led from the field gate to her stable around tea time, she tends to literally pull who ever is leading her towards and straight into her stable.
I have thought of literally tugging her back and spinning her round but she tends to ignore it still, so tonight when I brought her in I slipped the lead rope in her mouth like a bit. It actually worked :-) she didn't pull to go into the stable block. When she entered the stable block, I took the lead rope out and she pulled to go into her stable. I managed to pull her back and made her stand for a few seconds. Then gave her a pat and let her walk into her stable.
Just wondered if there is any other methods I could try on her?
I would see if you can get your hands on a "be-nice" or rope halter that can give you a little more leverage. These kind of behavior extends further than simply being anxious for food, she also has inappropriate ground manners. If you can work with her when it's not feed time, just get her moving in hand, walk, trot, halt, back, side-step, turn on the haunches, turn on the forehand. The point is to get her to yield to you as the leader, and for you to be able to control her body. While leading her in for meal time, you are pretty correct in your thinking. If you pay close attention, you'll be able to tell when she is prepared to lunge forward to drag you. If you can catch her before she starts preparing, simply turn her away from the barn. When she is calm walking away from the barn, turn her back towards the barn and walk her to the barn. If she starts getting antsy again, turn back around. It may take a while, but she'll learn. When you finally do take off her halter, put the lead rope over her neck so you still have control. Take the halter off slowly; keep it on her nose until she is come, keep the rope around her neck until she is calm, and then release her.
There is tons you can do. I have already posted several tips before. As you noted, lead her in the bridle (snaffle only) and start teaching her to soften to your hand. You can also back her 10 steps every time she goes past your 'leading spot.' I like the horses' head even with my shoulder. Don't jerk her or pop her, just put pressure on the rein until she brings her nose in the direction of the active rein. When backing her keep the pressure steady until she backs off it, don't get into a fight, just wait. If she pulls hard you can hold your hand steady with your belt loop or pocket. Help her understand where she is to lead, it sounds as though no one has taught her and she doesn't know any better.
riccil0ve: She is great when been led anywhere when it is not tea time. She moves which ever direction I would like her to go. When she is tied up, she tends to move around a lot and pull to try and get off the lead rope. I just correct her and stand her straight and tell her to stand. She does stand for sometime. But I will do more work with her, handling her on the ground when it is not tea time so she understands I'm boss. But maybe around tea time, instead of leading her straight into her stable from the field. I could maybe tie her up and give her a groom, to change round the routine??
ReiningTrainer: Yes. I will also back her a few steps backwards when she pulls me. When she pulls with the head collar on or bridle, she tends to lift her head high. She brings it back down after about 10 seconds, and during this she does come to a halt.
She was taught every single manner. But she had a foal 2 years ago and since then, she has been turned out. I personally think she has forgotten some of her manners. But with her owner having arthritis in her hands, she just used to open the field gate and let Ebony come in by herself, which she shouldn't have done but nobody else was there to help her.
Thanks for advice :-)
Any more would be welcome :-)
I brought her in about tea time. When I brought her through the gate, she pulled me away. I managed to gain control after she pulled my feet forward two steps. I spun her round and took her back to the gate, inserted the lead rope into her mouth like a bit. She walked absolutely perfect until I took the lead rope out of her mouth to tie her up so I could groom her, she pulled and I spun her round. Tied her up and I groomed her. She went to kick me as I curry combed her hindquarters. Which is unlike her too. As I walked her into the barn, I used the lead rope as a bit for that bit of control, she stood still halfway into the barn when I asked her too. :-) (she normally just barges straight in and doesn't care who is on the other end of the lead rope)
I also made sure her tea wasn't in her trough when she entered her stable so she knew her food wasn't in there every time she went into her stable. She waited for me to bring it in to her stable when I made it.
I think I might use the bit for extra control for a few days/weeks then see how she goes without it in.
Sounds like she is a bit spoiled and with firm and fair treatment from you will come around.
I've been doing some extreme work with her on foot :-) I can't believe the difference in her and neither can anybody else who is on our farm :-) Thanks everybody for the help :-) Really appreciated.
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