How to get a halter on a head-shy horse? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 37 Old 07-22-2013, 02:24 PM
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Originally Posted by DriftingShadow View Post
Not to sound rude, but to me it sounds like there are more things you should be working on this horse besides trying to get her halter back on..
Yeah. And if that trainer guy who's coming is the one who trained her to date... well, maybe you should think about finding a different trainer, because it sounds as though you have way bigger problems than just the horse being head-shy.

I'd also question whether she really needs to have a halter on when she's out in the paddock. I certainly won't claim to be any sort of expert trainer, but in my experience, if you want a horse (or any other creature) to accept something, you do it a lot, so that it becomes accepted as normal, and you associate the action with something pleasant, like getting a treat.

Last edited by jamesqf; 07-22-2013 at 02:26 PM.
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post #12 of 37 Old 07-22-2013, 03:13 PM
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I understand that "life happens" and gets in the way of plans, but I am wondering why you have a horse that cannot be touched, and seem (so far) to not have any interest in training it? Sounds like a big liability since the horse sounds like it is dangerous.

Either your farrier must charge you an arm and a leg for his services, or he's a glutton for punishment. NO FARRIER should have to trim the feet of a horse that can't even be haltered, because I would imagine they won't hold their feet nicely. It's a little bit different of a scenario if you are dealing with (for example) a wild mustang that was just adopted and is in need of serious hoof care. Not when a horse just keeps their halter on all the time because the horse is head shy ..... rather than fixing the head shy and violet problems.

Sorry for the rant, but if you've never taken the time to work with this horse, you aren't going to get her halter back on today. Or tomorrow. Or maybe even the next week. Training takes time.

Treats are fine and dandy, but what are you going to do when the horse isn't interested in a treat? You've got to demand respect from the horse whether or not a treat is involved.

Get yourself a trainer (probably a different one since it doesn't sound like this guy did much, nor are you a fan of his methods). In the meantime, you can look Clinton Anderson or Chris Cox. They've both had episodes of dealing with hard to catch horses. Basically, always make the horse look at you. If the horse is not looking at you, then you are making them work. Once they look at you, leave them alone. This teaches them to pay attention to you and respect you as the leader. Also, don't square your shoulders directly at the horse. That's confrontational. Always have a slight angle in your shoulders away from the horse. Don't try to "sneak closer" to your horse. That's acting like a predator. Walk up casually and normally. Do NOT try to touch the horse, until they are ready. Most people try to quickly grab to catch them; that's setting you back. When you actually go to touch the horse, it should be a comfort to them that the leader is touching them. The horse should literally be following you around as the leader before you even try to put the halter on. When you do put it on, be careful you aren't pulling on the ears or hitting them in the eyes; that's not comfortable.

I have never once left a halter on a horse. It creates rub marks on their face, and is just waiting to get caught on a fence.

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post #13 of 37 Old 07-22-2013, 05:57 PM Thread Starter
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I have multiple trainers, and we are looking to sell or trade this horse. I just need to get her halter back on so that I can get her into a trailer when the time comes.

We have trainers who are very good, and yes, I understand that she needs more training. I've never had this guy out before, heard he was good by word-of-mouth. He has never even laid eyes on this horse before. We've made progress with her in the past.

And I'm concerned with her getting violent because she has kicked my mom once, and me multiple times- once square in the chest. Thankfully, she didn't break my ribs.

Honestly, this wasn't the right horse for us. She was the one of the only options available after my first horse was euthanized (vet misdiagnosis) and my other horse needed a pasture mate ASAP, and it was closing in on winter. We were very interested in training her, and have worked with her in the past. This spring/summer, I haven't really been strong enough.

Thank you for your patience and advice, wish us luck tomorrow.
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post #14 of 37 Old 07-22-2013, 06:38 PM
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I have multiple trainers, and we are looking to sell or trade this horse. I just need to get her halter back on so that I can get her into a trailer when the time comes...
Seriously? You can't even get a halter on this horse (indeed, it seems like you can't even get close without risk), and you're going to get her into a trailer? How, exactly?
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post #15 of 37 Old 07-22-2013, 07:24 PM Thread Starter
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Seriously? You can't even get a halter on this horse (indeed, it seems like you can't even get close without risk), and you're going to get her into a trailer? How, exactly?
Yeah, that's the whole point of this thread! She "loads well" according to the lady who sold her to us, and she did, she's just never had her halter off before.
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post #16 of 37 Old 07-22-2013, 07:42 PM
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I would get her into a fairly small area and toss a lariat over her head. If she loads, she is most likely just playing an "I don't like to be caught" game. Chances are, if you rope her, she'll stand there and let you put on the halter.

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post #17 of 37 Old 07-22-2013, 10:42 PM
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I have multiple trainers, and we are looking to sell or trade this horse. I just need to get her halter back on so that I can get her into a trailer when the time comes.
I wouldn't bank on her loading into the trailer, because if I'm getting the drift of your post, the lady you bought the horse from lied to you. If she doesn't trust you to let you handle her head, I highly doubt she'll take one step toward a horse trailer; especially since she is downright dangerous. I wouldn't let anyone near this horse (except a trainer) if I were you. It's pretty easy to get a punctured lung from a broken rib and make a situation life-threatening in a hurry.

You'll either have to do a lot of prepatory work with this horse before you sell her, probably spending lots of money on a trainer if you want to get any money for the horse. Or you can try your luck giving her away for free, with full disclosure of her problems. If she is sold, you'll have to "cowboy" her onto the trailer to get her to her new owners.

Either way, not a good situation.

Good luck.

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post #18 of 37 Old 07-23-2013, 07:50 AM Thread Starter
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She was at an Oklahoma breeding farm for a lot of her life- she was just left out in pasture until it was time to give birth then brought in. (They didn't even refer to her by her name, she has a number branded into her rump.) So, I'm thinking that she may be familiar with a lariat.

And we do feel that her previous owner lied to us. But hopefully, we can find a farm that will take her as a broodmare, since she is an excellent mother (and makes really expensive babies) with fantastic bloodlines.


And I had to "cowboy" my current horse into a trailer when we got her 3 or so years ago. Not fun!
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post #19 of 37 Old 07-23-2013, 07:52 AM Thread Starter
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...she is most likely just playing an "I don't like to be caught" game. Chances are, if you rope her, she'll stand there and let you put on the halter.
Definitely- when she had her halter on, and we would catch her, once she was caught she was very well behaved.
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post #20 of 37 Old 07-23-2013, 08:37 AM
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Definitely- when she had her halter on, and we would catch her, once she was caught she was very well behaved.
If that is the case, I would lure her into a stall or pen, toss a lariat over her head, and then she will probably be ok. She would probably bring a lot more money if you sent her to a good trainer after you get her caught.
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