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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May. 29, 2008
    Location
    Va
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    523

    Default training question, but not sure where to post

    Since all the rain we've had to try to preserve the paddock, I've been leading my 2 - 18h, 2200lb horses out to one of our cow pastures daily.
    They lead fine going out
    But coming back, we walk through a covered dirt road area. One of them always spooks at this spot My arms, literally are 3 inches longer trying to hold them the 1st time, second time I said screw it and let go.
    I have walked each through this spot individually working on this area. Individually they may act more "up" but won't spook.
    I work on head down cue in the scary area, walking back and forth until it seems resolved.
    Then walk them back in afternoon and all it takes is 1 of these 2200lb lugs to shuffle and both heads are up 20 ft tall and scampering.
    I do have someone that I occasionally get to help, like yesterday it was really windy. But I like being able to get them when I want to and they were fine for the last month until last week when the big, run off spook occurred.
    Any suggestions for preserving my poor, pitiful arms??? (honestly I know have, I guess it's call tennis elbow, but in this case draft horse elbow, so my strength is waning)



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug. 19, 2005
    Location
    NE PA & FL gulf
    Posts
    522

    Default

    If you don't already use one, a stud chain over the nose may help.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar. 9, 2006
    Location
    Lucama, NC
    Posts
    5,868

    Default

    Personally I would not try to lead two horses at one time, regardless of size and these guys are BIG! You really need the other hand to have a bit of leverage when you need it most. THis is a dangerous practice. I would say take one in and then go back for the other. In addition, I would do some serious ground work, teaching them to stop their feet when you stop yours, no matter what. Lots of work with a rope halter (the type that has a "bite" to it) one stopping, backing, giving their head to you will help.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul. 28, 2004
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    1,867

    Default

    I like the "Be Nice" halters.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun. 17, 2001
    Location
    down the road from bar.ka
    Posts
    30,689

    Default

    Just go get a couple of stud chains...cheaper then buying 2 new halters whatever they might do.

    Not unusual for them misbehave going back to the barn and not on the way to the pasture...no idea whay, maybe just eager to get in the stall and eat. Mine is the same way, in her case, she will not pee in the field when out for shorter periods-so she is really in a hurry.

    Feel the pain with the 2 of them...you sometimes cannot just take one in and leave the other out or you get one screaming left in the field and the other ripping your arm out as you dance around trying to stay out from under them, BDTD and I am a big ground manners person. This is one time they will misbehave on you despite all else.

    See if you can get some help getting them in so you don't get stuck with both of them dragging you around.
    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    May. 29, 2008
    Location
    Va
    Posts
    523

    Default

    yeah, taking one in at a time is not a possibility. The pasture is maybe 1/8mile from barn and is not visable from barn. So whoever got left behind would probably run through the fence and beat me back to the barn anyway
    I use the rope halters, but have thought about getting a couple of stud chains for instant "bite" even rope halters don't mean anything when this size horse decides to bolt.
    And each separately has good ground manners and respect. Will stop and back when I stop, will slow when I slow, but coming back together....a different story! I'm going to get help this afternoon rainy, cold, windy, not a good recipe!
    Can you buy stud chains separate from a whole lead rope?



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul. 18, 2008
    Location
    Ohio, USA
    Posts
    631

    Default

    Oh heck yes you can buy them separate! Just about any tack store or farm supply store should have them. Then you can just snap them onto the end of your lead rope and "off you go!" I have several around my barn, as they are great for many things, like securing gates, hanging buckets...

    ...and of course, the occational bolter!



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun. 17, 2001
    Location
    down the road from bar.ka
    Posts
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    Default

    Ahhhh...be sure to get the good ones and make sure they have the heavy duty snaps.

    Probably the only thing worse then being in a situation where you wish you had one and don't is having one and having that snap break. Jeesh, talk about a mess as you hang on to one and watch the other disappear while his buddy tries to join him.

    You know, in a pinch, even with a rope halter, you can loop the lead over the nose and that will help you out if you get into a jam.
    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    May. 20, 2005
    Location
    Desert Southwest
    Posts
    6,210

    Default

    Be sure to get the longest stud chains possible for your big guys, even if you have to special order them from a draft supply specialist. I'm sure such things exist.

    Please, please find an extra hand to help you bring them in. Not many months ago, here at COTH, a sad story was told about a woman trampled to death while trying to lead two LIGHT horses from turnout.

    Please don't become a statistic!



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug. 6, 2003
    Location
    Lapeer, MI, USA
    Posts
    4,075

    Default

    If you cant' find stud chains, you can use dog choke collars; however, you will need to squish one of the rings on the collar to feed it through the square metal pieces of the halter. Measure around the nose so that you can buy the correct length. They work wonderfully. I clip the lead onto BOTH sides of the chain. I do NOT use it like a choke collar.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec. 5, 2007
    Posts
    538

    Default

    My only concern with the stud chain is if they bolt, then you have a lead rope dangling with a chain across the nose for them to step on.

    I wonder what would be less severe if the horse were to get away from you - the rope halter with the strategically placed pressure knots, or a chain across the nose. Both will make the horse listen to you and if they do get away from you, and continue to step on their dangling lead rope, which one would be least likely to cause harm?

    I would think the rope halter would cause the least harm.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug. 6, 2003
    Location
    Lapeer, MI, USA
    Posts
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    Default

    Actually, letting them step on the lead rope and hurt themselves might not be such a bad idea.

    It's a method used for weanlings and foals. Leave a short lead on them and when they step on it, they fuss around but eventually learn how to extricate themselves OR stand still.

    If the OP works with each horse individually, with the stud chain, they should learn to respect it - just as they would learn about the extra knots on the training halters. Running the chain over the nose band of the halter is usually enough to soften it.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    May. 20, 2005
    Location
    Desert Southwest
    Posts
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    Default

    Good Lord, these critters are 18 HH and weigh 2200 lbs apiece! Rebmik needs to get their attention. I'd use whatever it takes!

    I'm more concerned that OP doesn't get killed.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun. 17, 2001
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    down the road from bar.ka
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpringOakFarm View Post
    My only concern with the stud chain is if they bolt, then you have a lead rope dangling with a chain across the nose for them to step on.
    In all honesty, if one goes up and spins on me, knocks me down, drags me and bolts off, I don't care if he steps on the friggen chain....maybe he will stop himself before he gets to the road.

    A loose horse can cause alot more harm to property and people then a chain will cause to a disobediant horse.

    We are talking a couple of otherwise well behaved 2200lb draft horses here outside a fence line, not some horse getting pushy in a confined area.
    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    May. 29, 2008
    Location
    Va
    Posts
    523

    Default

    HA HA, if only there were cameras when this actually happened, not funny, but geeez. The only good thing was they both spooked into me and sandwiched me with their big bellies, which kept me up. If one had "bumped" me I'd been down for the count. And actually they are smarter than a lot of other horses that this has happend with...both when they stepped on their lead rope turned around and looked at me like "yeah, what do you want us to do now? Come get us!" Such different beast compared to my 35+ years of dealing with tbreds, warmbloods, etc. Good and bad!
    Grass was saturated so they were sliding all over trying to run (not real agile on good footing) and realized it wasn't such a good idea.
    I think the stud chains would be enough to get their attention back to me at the "spook area".
    Just didn't see at our local 2 feed shops. Guess I'll have to order in XXXL



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct. 6, 2004
    Location
    central New York State
    Posts
    2,845

    Default Try this possibly

    We have big horses too and all of our horses learn to lead in pairs, so when it is necessary they can lead that way. They also learn to lead on either side too, only by halter, halter and lead rope, lead rope only.

    When teaching them we use the Walk 10 steps-give or take here, whoa, count to three (in your head), repeat. I use voice commands too. I know it takes much longer but do this a few times and HAVE THEIR ATTENTION. As you approach the boogie dirt pile, take fewer steps and repeat and don't even give one "Hint" that the pile is there. Just proceed. You are the leader.

    If one gets a big hotter, catch him/her when their behavior is at "1" not just as they are to have a bolting moment i.e a "10". Back them up. Whoa, count to three, walk.

    Trust me it works as I have had more than my share of 'Jesus on the cross' moments when Both horses have lifted me off the ground when they are in the learning curve of this. I am a smaller person too.

    We have nearly 40 horses here. I have done this when we have had horses out and a mile from home leading my stallion in one hand and my gelding in another. Both are 17 hands and closing in on 1700 pounds each. Best wishes



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug. 6, 2003
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    Lapeer, MI, USA
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    Default

    Actually, Stud chains come in 30, 32, and sometimes ... hard to find 36" so that you can go over the nose and up the far side of the halter to the top ring.... which is why I've quit trying to buy separate stud chains and went to chain dog collars. LOL... : )

    A 30" stud chain barely goes over the nose of a porker MFT I have. sigh.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    May. 29, 2008
    Location
    Va
    Posts
    523

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by classicsporthorses View Post
    We have big horses too and all of our horses learn to lead in pairs, so when it is necessary they can lead that way. They also learn to lead on either side too, only by halter, halter and lead rope, lead rope only.

    When teaching them we use the Walk 10 steps-give or take here, whoa, count to three (in your head), repeat. I use voice commands too. I know it takes much longer but do this a few times and HAVE THEIR ATTENTION. As you approach the boogie dirt pile, take fewer steps and repeat and don't even give one "Hint" that the pile is there. Just proceed. You are the leader.

    If one gets a big hotter, catch him/her when their behavior is at "1" not just as they are to have a bolting moment i.e a "10". Back them up. Whoa, count to three, walk.

    Trust me it works as I have had more than my share of 'Jesus on the cross' moments when Both horses have lifted me off the ground when they are in the learning curve of this. I am a smaller person too.

    We have nearly 40 horses here. I have done this when we have had horses out and a mile from home leading my stallion in one hand and my gelding in another. Both are 17 hands and closing in on 1700 pounds each. Best wishes

    I can do that with 1, but can't get enough attention at the "1" with both, where the other one doesn't think "oh @#$%, what's he getting in trouble for?" When I lead them single, I make them literally do baby steps if I'm going really slow AND do not get in front of me. But can't transfer it to 2 for some reason. Also, I used to have good upper body strength, but these 2 pulling on me has really taken its toll on my elbows for some reason, had to order some cold compress thing because it hurts so bad...it sucks getting old.
    I should have messed around with these big guys when I "bounced".!



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb. 14, 2001
    Location
    Lexington, KY--GO BIG BLUE!!
    Posts
    3,099

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Rebmik View Post
    When I lead them single, I make them literally do baby steps if I'm going really slow AND do not get in front of me. But can't transfer it to 2 for some reason.
    Practice baby steps and frequent halts with both of them, somewhere away from the Bad Place. "Whoa" means STOP NOW AT MY SHOULDER, NOT ONE *INCH* AHEAD! Lazy halting is met with shank-shank-shank (aggressive as necessary) until horse backs up to proper position or beyond. You must be very consistent; praise when good, correct when bad. Make it black and white, 100% of the time, and the horses will understand their boundaries. Then tackle the Bad Place antics; halt, back up, attention on YOU, just like anywhere else.

    Horses are pretty smart. The "good horse" of the pair rarely gets upset when I reprimand the other. I'm the herd leader and they all respect me; they know when I single someone out, and usually why. When I'm leading, I want their attention on me. My life is above theirs. Any move into my space is never tolerated; no shoving shoulders, no thinking about nipping, no dragging, no lagging. Correct any misbehavior quickly-- a glance in the direction of Something Scary is dissipated with a sharp jerk and verbal "QUIT it! Attention on ME!" It takes focus on your part to handle two horses, you must be aware of both their minds simultaneously. I do not hesitate to (properly) use a chain to correct bad manners, especially with large-bodied animals. It's far kinder and much easier to snap the chain than to pull, yank, and drag ineffectively on a wide piece of strap across their nose. Rope halters are great, too, but impractical in some boarding situations.

    Sure, leading two horses together is dangerous. So is riding and handling horses in general. Proper technique, respect, awareness, and good training makes it safer. It is impractical to have someone to help you, and leaving one horse alone is not a good option. Leading two obedient beasts together is very reasonable and necessary in these situations.
    “A clever person solves a problem. A wise person avoids it.”
    ? Albert Einstein

    ~AJ~



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Aug. 6, 2003
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    Lapeer, MI, USA
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    Default

    Horses are pretty smart. The "good horse" of the pair rarely gets upset when I reprimand the other.
    This one made me grin... I have a similar situation when I'm getting after the porker MFT and my steady eddy QH just stands there and hardly blinks when I'm cracking the whip at the porker for something he's done to dis me. LOL....

    Reb... you need to work on teaching your left arm (if you are right-handed) how to respond separately from your right.

    Or... I saw a photo in a magazine recently (Western Horseman?) where a string of horses (8 or so) had lead ropes tied to each other, in a string back to the rider on horseback. Each tied by lead rope to next horse's halter so they were nearly side-by-side.



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