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  1. #1
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    Nov. 4, 2006
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    Default Breaking the breaking out of the gate

    I am not sure if this is the right place to ask, but does anyone know how to re-train a TB horse from breaking out of the gate? We have a "retired" 9 year old that is very sweet and is living with us as a pet. The only problem is he still breaks out of the gate, that is the gate from his pasture to the barn. Even trying to put a halter on him is impossible at the gate, he is over 17 hands and is just too excited. We have tried chasing him away to catch later in the field, but someone must have given him a watch, because he knows when it is time to go in. Suggestions?



  2. #2
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    Mar. 13, 2005
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    electric wire? Or randomly changing the times you bring him in so he does not expect it.
    "To my Gub... Godspeed my friend, till we meet again." 1996-2007.
    Runway (Sasha) 2009 Zweibrucker filly by Redwine.

    "Silence is golden...and duct tape is silver."



  3. #3
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    Apr. 2, 2008
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    Can you explain more what is going on. I'm trying to get a visual of the situation, but can't.



  4. #4
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    Jun. 18, 2007
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    If I'm getting the right image here of what he's doing, I'd suggest:

    1. Leaving a turn-out halter on him for easy handle.

    2. Catch him, take him out of the pasture, stop, turn around, and go back into the pasture. Pats for horse and let him go. Repeat many times at random at various times throughout the day.

    3. Is he alone in the pasture? Company back at the barn? Maybe a turnout buddy would calm any "get back with the herd" anxiety.

    4. If he immediately gets fed when he gets back to the barn, stop that and feed at least an hour after he's back in, so he's not thinking he can get to immediate grain by hurrying back inside.



  5. #5
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    May. 4, 2006
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    If he is as dangerous at the gate as this situation suggests I would carry a lunge whip into the field and play the back up and pay attention to me game with light taps on the shoulder or knees, if he does not respect that, you will have to up the ante a bit.

    Do as others suggest if you can and come out at different times of the day, if he is hot and bothered by bugs or the sun that is a different story as he may be thin skinned, and once the anxiety level kicks in from pain or panic, you will have your hands full. So, just speaking of normal perfect conditions the above would apply. Also, see if you can get him to come in from the field when you go out at these random times, if he barrels at you make sure you get him stopped well before he slides into your space, stand your ground lift your arms and yell whoa at him, hopefully he is not so bad he will run into you, delineate a space beyond which you will not let him enter unless you say so, give him a cue, be consistent and let him approach on your terms, if you have difficulty with this at first, leave the halter on, I am a bit obsessive about no halters out in the field or in the stall so only leave it on if he is shying away from you and then playing the knock the person down game when he relents for you to capture him.


    You have to change the roles where he dictates to you when and at what speed he comes in, I use the words, wait and okay alot in these situations, or wait and walk on, but the wait must be a real wait, no treats. Also, he must walk calmly in, use a chain shank if needed and do not let him drag you to the barn. Most importantly, if he is on high powered energy feed type forumulas, cut some of that back until you feel that is no longer affecting his behavior, but likely this is just that he has learned he can intimidate someone at this point and is just being a horse and treating you like one.
    "When written in Chinese, the word "crisis" is composed of two characters, one represents danger, the other represents opportunity."

    John F Kennedy



  6. #6
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    May. 3, 2006
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    You need to spend a lot of time doing ground work with him and teaching him to lead and walk and to respect your space.

    This comes down to the fact that he doesn't respect you as a handler and either was never trained to properly lead in the first place or has become forgetful. Before you can sort out this problem in gates, you need to get him to respect you generally and get him listening to you when he's in hand. Once you've done that then work at the gates. Remember hard hat, safety shoes and gloves and schooling whip and have him on a long lead rope.

    (By the way its got nothing to do with being an ex racer, the majority of horses I've retrained out of this one have been "pet ponies")



  7. #7
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    Nov. 4, 2006
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    Thanks for the advice. I guess I did not give enough information. He is very respectful of our space and leads well. He pays attention to where we are and does not try to run over us. But once we are out of the way, he takes off. I am just worried that when he takes off like that, he can hurt himself. He does it backing out of a trailer also, we try and get him to slow down with treats and he is getting better in that respect. I was thinking that since this such a isolated problem, he may be thinking of racing out of the gate. Otherwise he is a good boy that even my husband can play with.



  8. #8
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    Aug. 3, 2004
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    San Francisco
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    If I understand correctly, you might try two halters. You take the first one off and the second one (with lead) is still there for control.

    good luck
    A man must love a thing very much if he not only practices it without any hope of fame or money, but even practices it without any hope of doing it well.--G. K. Chesterton



  9. #9
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    Jul. 19, 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Equine Lady View Post
    But once we are out of the way, he takes off. I am just worried that when he takes off like that, he can hurt himself. He does it backing out of a trailer also, we try and get him to slow down with treats and he is getting better in that respect. I was thinking that since this such a isolated problem, he may be thinking of racing out of the gate. Otherwise he is a good boy that even my husband can play with.
    I don't think he's really associating turn out with a starting gate. I think it's more a typical TB mental wiring thing. I've had a few that had a similar habit - it's like the stupid switch just gets flipped when you about to turn loose of them.

    Stopping and making them think and walking them in and out of the gate a few times helps. As does making sure you turn them back to face the gate before unsnapping the shank.

    Good luck!



  10. #10
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    Nov. 4, 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by SleepyFox View Post
    I don't think he's really associating turn out with a starting gate. I think it's more a typical TB mental wiring thing. I've had a few that had a similar habit - it's like the stupid switch just gets flipped when you about to turn loose of them.

    Stopping and making them think and walking them in and out of the gate a few times helps. As does making sure you turn them back to face the gate before unsnapping the shank.

    Good luck!
    That is exactly what he acts like he has, a stupid switch that just gets flipped. Too bad we can't turn the darn thing off!



  11. #11
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    Oct. 25, 2007
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    I have had the same issue in the past. Have you tried taking treats with you? After unsnapping the lead or taking off the halter, feed a treat as they stand quietly and you can back away. I have found that it reinforces the idea that you are not in a hurry, and helps break the habit.



  12. #12
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    May. 3, 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by SleepyFox View Post
    I don't think he's really associating turn out with a starting gate. I think it's more a typical TB mental wiring thing. I've had a few that had a similar habit - it's like the stupid switch just gets flipped when you about to turn loose of them.

    Stopping and making them think and walking them in and out of the gate a few times helps. As does making sure you turn them back to face the gate before unsnapping the shank.

    Good luck!
    Piffle! I've had t/b's all my life and in large numbers. NEVER as in NO WAY NEVER had an ill trained one though.

    Trust me the fact its a t/b doesn't make it automatically not know what to do. Rather than the root cause being its breed, its a lack of training!

    I can just picture it the next time someone phones me to say they've a horse doing something similar and I say "yes I can train it" and they say by the way its a t/b and I just say "well that will be why its an ill trained puke"

    Think not!!!



  13. #13
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    Nov. 13, 2002
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    "well that will be why its an ill trained puke"


    Thomas1--that was too funny!!!!

    I agree that TBs have a tendency to react before they think.... You must insist the horse think before acting. TBs can do it--it's just that so many of them have a hard time picking up the knack....
    "Marriage is like a deck of cards--it starts with two hearts and a diamond and after a while you wish you had a club and a spade." ~seen on an anniversary card~



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