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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, so i have just bought a horse due to be dogged.

She was dropped off over 3weeks ago.

For the first week she was in a small pen until l i could halter her, when i went to approach her, she would tremble, her eyes would roll in her head and she would tremble when i touched her or leap away, once i got the halter on she settled right down, like there was nothing wrong.

Anyway she jumped out of her pen over night, this wasnt a major issue, she was relatively accepting ,as soon as she saw me in the paddock would run away to the other horse or cower behind him, that was all fine she'd allow me to catch her, still shaking and snorting/eye rolling and trying to jump away.

Now that horse who she was buddied with has been sold, and she's now in a much bigger paddock thanks to agistment owner leaving her gate open. Anyway, it is near impossible to get with 10 meter over her before she is moving. Food bribes do not work, and the other horses do not work. Does nyone have any ideas - PLEASE NOTE. Doing join up or chasing her off does not work, she proceeds to work herself stupid and the next sessions she is just as terrified as before
 

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If you have her in her stable or an enclosed area, don't try doing anything with her...Just sit. Maybe read a book or play games on your phone (on silent!).
Then she'll know your not actually going to do anything to her, and she should relax in your presence.
It might take absolutely ages, but it works!
 

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Curious. What do you mean by "due to be dogged"? I haven't heard that before.

One of our rescue mares is similar. If I have a halter, she doesn't let me approach her, not at first. Most of the time, I can approach her without a halter if she is next to the other mares and I rub on them first. She isn't very trusting yet.

I try to bring a halter with me each time I go in their pasture, even if I'm not trying to catch one. That way they don't relate the halter with being caught. If I am trying to catch her, I keep her moving, but not really chasing her. If she wants to walk away, she's going to keep walking, unless she stops and faces me. Then I turn my back to her for a few seconds and try walking to her again. If she walks off again, I follow and don't let her stop, again. I know she wants to be with the other horses and by the hay but I just keep her moving. As she lets me get closer, I'll hold my arm out for her to sniff. If she does, I'll walk away and try again. Kind of reverse psychology that I don't want to catch her.

It does take some time but it does get better. I don't like to bribe a horse to get them to be caught. Don't offer her food or a treat to come to you. Offer the reward after you get the halter on.
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My guess is going to be dog food.
That's what I was thinking. I guess I would have said "due to be dog food" or off to the glue factory but dogged is just easier.
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hrm, she's in a 10 acre paddock, can't get near her is the problem, i don't have stables either, and she jumped out of the round yard, as soon as i go into the paddock she gallops to the other side of the paddock, if im on the outside of the paddock she will mill around with the other horses, all im doing is handing out biscuits to the horses that are at the gate and ignore her, she kinda just watches, hich is all i am doing at the moment - ignoring her haha
 

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I'd try making a run from the paddock to the roundyard if at all possible, and herd her through it. Working with her in such a big paddock is going to be very difficult. If you can't do that, try and fence off part of the paddock to make it smaller.

Honestly, the next thing I'd do is work on making sure she doesn't think that jumping fences is acceptable or a smart thing to do. That's only going to cause problems.

How old is the mare? Do you know any of her history (has she been abused, is she unhandled)?
 

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I agree that you have to get her in a smaller area and away from the other horses. Best way to do this is to 'stampede' them all together into a smaller area and then take the others away.
Someone rides the lead horse and circles the field at a good fast canter and another rides behind making sure all follow the leader. Simple!
Once she is away from the others you can revert to what you were doing.
 

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Sounds like she will be a great test of your patience. She comes across as traumatized to me so it'll take twice if not tenfold the effort to make progress with her at least in the beginning. If you're leaving her in the big paddock, then your options are limited - she needs to see you as nonthreatening and approachable (as do the other horses in there already); I think you can only realistically accomplish this by spending many hours daily probably over many weeks in the paddock with her using approach and retreat - walking around, hanging with the rest of the herd. If you're going to get her back into a smaller space, then (as the other posters have said) you need to bring in the herd with her caught up in the movement. I also think she's going to need company if you contain her in a corral until you can get her "tamed".

Best of luck to you and I hope you'll keep us updated.
 

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There are a couple of ways to handle wild scared horses that do not take a real long time. Anyway you decide to do it, you need her in a smaller place that she cannot jump out of. Build a pen in one corner of the field and you can try putting feed or water in it or running them all in it. Once you get a halter on her, leave it on and let her drag a rope. That lets you catch her any time you are around her.

I have found that there are a few horses that just stay wild and crazy and do not settle down by just haltering and handling them. I have also found that using 'restraints' or laying one of these horses down usually does the trick and it does it overnight. a person can get 4-way hobbles on one and just do everything with them in one session. I cannot tell you why it works, but it 'messes' with a horse's mind and it really works. Horses with no future but slaughter have nothing to lose. I have turned several around with 4-ways or laying them down.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for the opinions guys!

The little mare (16.1hands of her) Was meant to be a race horse. Her owner got sick and died, so the son took her back home from the track, she had been mouthed while at a trainer, but not backed or started as a race pony. From my understanding she has had basic handling, can be rugged, haltered once she is trapped enough, she leads well, can have her hooves done and can be wormed. IF she is caught first ;) .

She is now rising 12. Has been sitting in a paddock doing nothing since she was 2. What i have been told is, they did nothing with her, but do her hooves every now and again, the guy who contacted me about her, was such a kind guy with her, talked to her very sweetly and was not in any rush or hurry to get her off the truck and let her sort things out on her own. To me he didn't come across as a horse abuser. The horse just doesn't know, and being a stocky, im guessing he has treated her as a cow since he had her (running her with a mob into a pen or crush and doing things from there, she knew exactly what to do once she was in the crush etc.)

She is very nervous once she is around humans, and leaping out of round yards is not a thing to go with me, but i'd rather not risk her injuring herself and me not being able to get near her. the fence she jumped out of was 1.6m. But doesn't seemed fussed about leaving her paddocks now.

She is coming around slowly. Yesterday i arrived as usual and she was about 10 meters behind the head horse. The other 4 came over while she stayed back i turned around and she was at the gate, i handed out feeds, she left, she came back as i left, when i went back she kind of rolled her eyes and left but only so far as behind another horse. to me that's a bit of progress from galloping the fence line fr 20 minutes ! She is currently halter, as i didn't have spare rope to tie onto her.
 

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I might be missing something but is this horse just destined for slaughter?
If so why bother with it at all?
Catch up all the other horses and take them out then get enough people and drive it into a small corral or stall and leave it there - just feed and water it.
Why waste time trying to train something that's going to be shot?
Sorry if I've got it wrong
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Hi Jaydee, i'm a firm believer in anything and everything can have a purpose, i have already got the horse, so it's now obviously my problem. To me, it was not her fault any of this has happened to her, and it's not her fault no one put the time in to make her valuable. She is older, but whose to say she can't be useful. She is built very well, she is easy on the eye, she has good bloodlines beind her, and is a registered thoroughbred. She is so to say blemish free as no one has handled her, to say she is blemished because she hasn't been handled is another thing.

To me i don't feel like im wasting my time if i make a difference to just one horse. :) sure everyone needs to eat, but maybe not this girl just yet. I have no problem with the approach and retreat method, it has brought around another horse of mine, Duke, who was much worse, except he as ore into "Leap onto what ever is now attached to your head" and I was going to send him to slaughter myself as he as becoming dangerous. Suddenly one week, he gave himself to me, just liek that, he suddenly stopped freaking out, and started "looking" at me, it's hard to describe, but it was like he finally realised i was not going to bring him harm. He always had this petrified look, like the shadows were going to kill him, and one day it was gone. He is now always first at the gate, instead of hiding somewhere. Like i said, it's not the horses fault, someone's done them wrong, they're just an naimal that doesn't know better. :/
 

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So if you can work her through her problems you will either keep her yourself or rehome her?
The reason I sounded a bit hard was because if all of the effort to catch and handle her was stressing her out and she was just there waiting to be shot it seemed fairer to her to just leave her be - as she's made it pretty clear that she doesn't want to be handled/doesn't enjoy being handled
If you want to try to turn her around into a useful horse and save her life then that's different and she will have to learn to deal with it
If you have a stall she can be safely kept in with another horse she can see for company then I'd keep her in and make her rely on me for everything, eventually she'll come to you if you're quiet and patient enough, spend time just standing in there ignoring her, once she realizes that being around you is a good thing she wont worry so much about being caught. As long as she has grass and water out there she cant see any point in socializing with a human she has no need for.
David Archer found that having this nervous filly in a stall worked better than trying to do anything with her outside
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UXTxY3bKZXc&feature=c4-overview&list=UULTzlnO_HjfQNwzoeivpzQQ
 

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If you have enough time to spare, just walk out to the middle of the pasture and sit down.
As you walk and sit, don't look at her, don't walk towards her, don't face her.
Sometimes when he head is turned in another direction - look at her. But as soon as she turns to look at you again, look away.
If she walks up to you (this may take some time) then don't look at her, don't reach your hand out. The only time you touch her, is if she touches you first.
This lets the horse know that you don't mean any harm, you just want to sit down and relax and enjoy being with her.
Don't have treats or anything. She needs to explore on her own - and when she gets closer and closer to you, this may mean that her confidence level in trusting to be with you is going up.
 

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At this place do you have a box stall available? if not do you have a paddock or pen that can be made so she cannot jump out that is 12X12 or 12X14 (loose box sized)?

I bought a gelding that was like this. He wasn't truly abused.. and somewhere along the way someone had halter broken him. He was said to be saddle broke.. but I found no evidence of it.

He had been out in a 300 acre field for about 3 years and then was rounded up to the auction. You could not get near him and he would run with other horses when I went to see him.

I told them to catch him up so I could see him up close and if I liked what I saw I would take him. That is what I did.

The delivered him and it was clear this horse had never been in a barn (other than where I looked at him) and he was clearly afraid of me much like your horse. He had not had his feet handled and he was 7 or 8 years old.

I blindfolded him and got him in the barn and into a loose box where I took off the blind fold and the halter. He stood against the far wall and shook. He did not know what grain was and he was clearly not used to being handled.

Within 6 weeks he was fine. This is how I did it. He did not eat anything unless I was there. When I left I took the feed with me. He did not know what grain was. Well.. there is a time and a place for Sweet Feed and this was that. The first time he ate it he was like, "Wow! This is GOOD!" But he only got a little. And only when I was there.

Eventually I worked it up to you not can't eat unless I am there, you have to eat out of the bucket I am holding. You have to eat the hay out of the hay net I am holding.

This worked up to touching and eventually to grooming and eventually to eating out of the bucket on the wall and the hay net hung on the wall while I groomed. We worked on stuff like Halter On, Halter Off and leading as well. Everything calm. No rodeos (so remember that.. the threshold lowers with time.. read the horse).

The box stall had an attached paddock and eventually we went out there and eventually I let him out there with a halter and a rope on him and eventually without the rope on the halter. Eventually no halter.

Spent time teaching him a whistle meant come (using that cursed awful sweet feed LOL).

I knew we were doing well when he would hear or see me and nicker. Yup. That was good.

Then I called the farrier and explained what I had and said we need to teach him feet handling manners and that even if the feet did not get trimmed.. I would pay him to come and help me. We had a little rodeo that day but in the end we actually did trim up all 4 feet. After that I would tie him and handle feet every day.

At around 6 weeks it was time to test the "under saddle" claim. He was fine with the saddle and bosal. I had him in the small paddock (stall door closed) and got on. That is when I learned if he had been ridden there was no evidence of it. Some horses will buck. Some horses will freeze. Some run.. and have no brakes. He as the last one.. and I was glad of that small paddock.

So.. we went back and retrained as if he was a 2-3 year old.

This horse became one of the best trail and cattle horses I ever owned. He had to be shod because I used him so much. He was fine to shoe. He would often throw his left front shoe (he interfered). We tried some things to stop that but until we got it right I often had to put a shoe on him after he threw it. Always asked my farrier to leave me a "spare" in case he "got a flat." LOL

Anyway.. not sure this will work for you but that is how I dealt with a similar horse. He was a humdinger.

When I finally sold him he was very reliable. He went to a lady who was in recovery and short term remission from cancer. She needed a reliable horse and he was all of that.
 

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Elana that is exactly what we have always done with any 'untouched' horse, its a method I used because its what my grt uncle always did with success with the untouched New Forest ponies he used to buy from auction
Nothing went out on any acreage until it had learnt to trust and want to be around humans
 

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We got a filly two years ago that had not been handled and had suffered from an accident. She had run head on into something and split her face open and injured her right chest.

We kept her in a stall with other horses all around her. I found she wouldn't let me within 10 feet but I could scratch her with a long stick. I duct-taped a back scratcher onto the stick and scratched her often. She loved scratchings!

I used the stick to get closer. I noticed she would let me slide my hand closer and closer to her. In 3 days, I was touching her.

We also haltered her with a length of old rope dangling down. She learned to yield to pressure on her poll on her own as she stepped on the rope.

The scratching stick helped a lot !
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If you check further back on this topic I explained about the importance of walking the horse down, how to do it, what to watch for, etc. It's too lengthy to explain again. The reason you walk the horse down and not chase it is you are making it move, even if only a few steps, but you are telling it what to do. Very important in gaining the horse's respect.
 
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