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teaching a horse to drag logs/small trees to the barn

14691 Views 19 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  sandy2u1
I was thinking of teaching Major to drag logs up to the barn. It's winter time and he's getting fat and lazy. Also, he seems more settled the more work he does and anything I can desensitize him to is beneficial. I don't want to do anything to mess him up or cause myself if you think this is a bad idea PLEASE SAY SO!!!! If it's ok to try it then here are my ideas:
I was thinking of saddling up as if I were going to ride and then walking him away from the barn and the leading him back with someone dragging a log behind us (not attached to him in any way) until he gets used to the sound of it. Then I thought I would tie a rope to the horn and attach a small log to the rope get him to pull that up. You think that would work? Or do you think I need some other kind of equipment? Or should I train him in a different way? Or should I not train him to do that at all (it's not a necessity}? I know it's kind of a strange question, but I'm seriously considering it, but I don't want to do anything that will mess up my horse or cause him to get hurt!!!!! That is the most important thing to me!!!
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Don't tie anything to the saddle! If he spooks, you need to be able to drop it. It will be a disaster if it is tied to him and he bolts.

I teach all of our horses to drag. I start with just desensitizing him to the rope. Start on the ground. Toss the rope over his withers, back, rump, and last, legs. Once he is comfortable with the rope touching him all over, then carry the rope and let him get used to it being all over him. Throw it on the ground and drag it back up, walk him around with it dragging on the ground, from both sides. Let it touch his legs and drag underneath him.

If you have an experienced horse that will drag something, ride your horse behind it and let him get used to following it. Then you can ride next to it and let him get used to that - be careful not to let him get tangled in the rope.

When you do start dragging something with him, start with something light. When he's OK with that, then you can add some weight. He needs to get used to the weight gradually.

Another thing that sometimes scares them - after they are used to dragging items forward, is if you back them up with the object being drug. They see it chasing them, and it's a whole new thing to get used to!

Don't take anymore wraps on the horn than you have to to drag the item. In fact, you can just hold the rope at first and drag it with your hand. Then take one wrap. If you need to, take two wraps - never more. Be sure you can get the dallies off quickly if your horse spooks.

Hope this helps!
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