Halter Breaking Older Horse - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 01-27-2020, 09:20 AM Thread Starter
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Halter Breaking Older Horse

So, I am currently in the process of purchasing an un-touched 3 year old Quarter Horse filly. I have started many horses riding in the past but have never halter broke a horse at this age. I was wondering if anyone has any tips or stories about their past experiences with this. Was also hoping i could get some tips on teaching her to tie as well. Thank you in advance.

Thanks
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post #2 of 9 Old 01-27-2020, 09:29 AM
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I have done this once and found halter breaking the older horse was much easier. I just followed the same steps I did with a colt. The advantage for the older horse was that they seemed to be able to reason a little better. I took it slow and steady and just worked a couple of hours a day. The mare I worked with was halter broke and tying well in just a couple of weeks. There is a training diary here "chucks training diary" and @blue eyed pony is working with an older gelding that had no handling
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post #3 of 9 Old 01-27-2020, 09:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottie12 View Post
So, I am currently in the process of purchasing an un-touched 3 year old Quarter Horse filly. I have started many horses riding in the past but have never halter broke a horse at this age. I was wondering if anyone has any tips or stories about their past experiences with this. Was also hoping i could get some tips on teaching her to tie as well. Thank you in advance.

Your girl might be a little old for this, but I always thought that this method of halter breaking was very interesting. https://www.bedonna.com/RanchRaisedFoals.htm
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post #4 of 9 Old 01-27-2020, 09:39 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carshon View Post
I have done this once and found halter breaking the older horse was much easier. I just followed the same steps I did with a colt. The advantage for the older horse was that they seemed to be able to reason a little better. I took it slow and steady and just worked a couple of hours a day. The mare I worked with was halter broke and tying well in just a couple of weeks. There is a training diary here "chucks training diary" and @blue eyed pony is working with an older gelding that had no handling
Thanks! I'll check that out for sure.

Thanks
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post #5 of 9 Old 01-27-2020, 05:19 PM
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@carshon - Chuck was lightly handled, and about halfway halter broke when I started with him, but didn't lead at all. Now he leads beautifully with his nose on my shoulder 99% of the time.
He is 2.

I used a lot of the approach and retreat method with him because he was very suspicious of me. The challenge imo with halter breaking an almost adult horse is that you HAVE to teach them yielding to pressure so effectively that they don't even consider breaking away from you because if they think they can they probably will.
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post #6 of 9 Old 01-27-2020, 07:52 PM
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You're thinking of a 3yo as an 'older horse'? Have you only ever handled foals or such? I was imagining by the title, you were talking about a 20yo feral horse or such. One like that may have some previously confirmed fears about having a rope around their neck/being trapped to get over, but otherwise no real diff to training a young one, but the only real diff with training a 3yo v's a foal is you don't have to be quite so careful when tying them & avoiding causing them to fight the rope - still best avoided/minimised, but foals can be easily & badly hurt in the process(I don't believe they should be tied solid at all because of this), while a more mature horse is less likely to sustain a bad injury from fighting.

If you have only ever started a horse under saddle & not had anything to do with the basic foundation training before you get to that point, I'd suggest you find an experienced trainer to help/advise you if you can.
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post #7 of 9 Old 01-28-2020, 09:25 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loosie View Post
You're thinking of a 3yo as an 'older horse'? Have you only ever handled foals or such? I was imagining by the title, you were talking about a 20yo feral horse or such. One like that may have some previously confirmed fears about having a rope around their neck/being trapped to get over, but otherwise no real diff to training a young one, but the only real diff with training a 3yo v's a foal is you don't have to be quite so careful when tying them & avoiding causing them to fight the rope - still best avoided/minimised, but foals can be easily & badly hurt in the process(I don't believe they should be tied solid at all because of this), while a more mature horse is less likely to sustain a bad injury from fighting.

If you have only ever started a horse under saddle & not had anything to do with the basic foundation training before you get to that point, I'd suggest you find an experienced trainer to help/advise you if you can.
I have worked with younger horses to be halter broke and have quite a bit of experience doing it, they have all been halter broke before the age of one, I have a feeling it wont be much different than a younger horse but was just wondering if there were people on here that have their own experiences that can shed light on it. I am just always open to learn from other peoples experiences and knowledge :)
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post #8 of 9 Old 01-28-2020, 11:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottie12 View Post
I have worked with younger horses to be halter broke and have quite a bit of experience doing it, they have all been halter broke before the age of one, I have a feeling it wont be much different than a younger horse but was just wondering if there were people on here that have their own experiences that can shed light on it. I am just always open to learn from other peoples experiences and knowledge :)

Yeahhh, 3 year olds are still babies around here. They may be getting started on a formal education at 2, but they're still very much 'babies'. It's pretty much the same thing - but they're a lot bigger at 3 years than 3 months. Take it slow and easy - she may catch on right away, or maybe not... just be patient with her. If she's unhandled, you may have to gain her trust first and sometimes that can take a while. If she's been abused, same thing. You'll have to take it slow and easy and undo any mental damage done to her by people. The good news is, horses are very forgiving.

"We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that death will tremble to take us."
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post #9 of 9 Old 01-31-2020, 03:27 PM
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The approach is going to depend on what you define as un-touched, how much time you have & your skill set. The horses age is not relevant.

With a wild horse or one I canít walk up to and catch I would put them in a round pen & work them from a saddle horse with the intent of eventually roping them. After I have a loop on them I can get them comfortable with the rope on their body, then teach them to release from pressure of the rope with some time. As the horse progresses I work toward getting my hands on them and building some trust, then I can get a halter on. How fast I progress through this would depend on the individual horse. This can also be done from the ground, but itís just easier from a saddle horse and the presents of a calm saddle horse can sometimes comfort the un-touched horse youíre working with.

If the horse is not wild but just leery of human contact or If youíre not handy with a rope I would just do enough ground work to get him following me in the round pen. With consistent ground work you will eventually be able to catch the horse and put a halter on. Once the halter or rope is around their neck its just a mater of teaching the horse to come off of pressure.

I left out the details, but in a nutshell that how I do it.
Best of luck
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