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  1. #1

    Default Haltering the never touched yearling

    Hey all, I need some help and advice please. Yesterday the old farmer down the road dropped off a yearling for me since I had been admiring her for months and he has no use for her. Pretty enough girl, lets you touch her neck and rub her head but she can kick and buck at the drop of an eye.

    She was born last spring so just about a year old and has never been haltered. I have no idea where to start. My first thought was to tranq her but you can barely touch her, there is no way I can get tranq into her.

    Help please, thank you



  2. #2
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    If you can rub her head and neck, then you should be able to halter her. Take the halter in with you with the crown unbuckled. Let her sniff it and rub her with it, Slowly get it around her neck, then slip the noseband on from under her chin, then buckle the crown.

    If she turns and kicks at you, IMMEDIATELY kick or hit her for it, preferable right across her bratty rearend. I have no problem using whatever is in my hand or nearby for this - even at this stage of training she NEEDS to know this is unacceptable.

    Christa


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  3. #3
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    Not sure my advice will work, but I was given a freebie pony 3 years ago after he spent 2 years turned out by himself with very little human interaction.
    He could be haltered, but once taken off, initially getting the halter back on was a days long process.

    What I did was get him a too-large halter at first.
    That way I could easily slip it on, and if he bolted, it came off just as quick.
    If he consented to stand with the halter unbuckled, he got scritches and I'd take it off.
    The "off" usually resulted in him throwing his head up - all 12h of him - and taking off.
    But patience paid off and eventually I could put the halter on, buckle it and leave him haltered.
    Then eventually the removal became less traumatic and now he will poke his nose into the (correctly sized) halter and merely give me the Bugeyed Pony Look when I take it off.

    For me sloooooooooooooooooow progress worked to convince pony the halter was not a tool of Death and that I could be trusted.
    *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
    Steppin' Out 1988-2004
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  4. #4
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    Is she in a stall? I would leave her in a stall for a few days and work on haltering her there. Halter, cookie, halter, cookie, etc. You can back him into a corner which will help.

    Frankly, I would put the halter on and LEAVE it on until she's a little easier to catch and touch, then work on taking it on and off.

    Even the yearling in the barn who has been haltered since day one occasionally plays "feral" and doesn't want his halter on. Since this is the only means he has of getting out of his stall it is going to happen anyway but it's a little annoying/amusing.

    I should add that we also halter broke and taught to lead a 3yo stallion who had been locked in a stall for 2 years (literally). He was terrified of the world outside and having his stall cleaned but so willing to be our friend that it was heartbreaking.
    Last edited by enjoytheride; Mar. 22, 2013 at 12:18 PM.



  5. #5
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    Basically what Christa P said-- if possible get her in a stall or enclosed area first. I like to start with a neck strap that I can put around their neck and fasten very quietly before I start with the halter-- it's easier and will give you a handle in case she overreacts and gets loose, so you're not starting from scratch each time. You can use a belt or old stirrup leather as long as it's not long and flappy. Just sort of inch the halter on very slowly and quietly. Usually once you get the nose on it's best to stop and wait for a bit before trying to do up the crown. Use a breakaway halter so you can leave it on for a bit. And try to do it while she's quietly eating hay if possible so she will be thinking about food and not about you (but not thinking about way too exciting grain).



  6. #6
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    Depending on the horse and how you feel she would react and where she currently is I would do one of two things. I got a weanling this fall and she had never been handled either, I could not get closer than 5 feet to her. I had her in a smaller pen and using panels I managed to create a chute/sqeeze type situation and quietly and slowly squeezed her in there (she was injured and needed medicated so I had to catch her right away). She was not the panicky sort so she took it well and I rubbed her through the panels for a few minutes before slowly putting the halter on. I then left the halter on for a couple of weeks until she was good to catch. She is now super friendly and easy to catch on my 160 acres.

    The other option I would look at doing especially for a kicker is getting her in a round pen and then putting a LONG rope/lasso around her neck. You want the rope long enough that you can stand in the middle of the round pen and still apply some tension to it. She will initially probably run with it but quietly just apply a small amount of tension until she starts to look in slighly and then release, repeat, repeat, repeat. Then ask her to not only look in but take a step in. She will pretty soon realise that running is not getting rid of it, it gives her the space to kick and learn that doesn't solve anything either and keeps you safe. Within a short space of time she should be easily giving to the pressure of the neck rope and learn that she can stand quietly if she she faces you. Then from there approach her until you feel her tense and then walk away, keep repeating as each time you should be able to get closer to her before she "thinks" of leaving. When she think of leaving back off the pressure and walk away as you don't want to push her so much she does leave. It takes many repetitions and lots of patience but it is worth it. Then from there work your way up to her a step at a time until you can give her a rub. At any point point when she tenses walk away or go back to her "comfort zone" of what she was fine with. Then when she is fine stroking all over present the halter and the same thing for that. You may only present it the first time, she tenses and then walk away or go back to stroking her, though you should walk totally away to release all the emotional pressure every so often. Anyways, I have done this with lots of young horses and it works great. Just one slow step at a time until you can rub the halter over her and quietly slip it on. But plan on being out there a good hour if not more the first time as it does take a while but you will build good trust and working relationship with her this way.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christa P View Post
    If you can rub her head and neck, then you should be able to halter her. Take the halter in with you with the crown unbuckled. Let her sniff it and rub her with it, Slowly get it around her neck, then slip the noseband on from under her chin, then buckle the crown.

    If she turns and kicks at you, IMMEDIATELY kick or hit her for it, preferable right across her bratty rearend. I have no problem using whatever is in my hand or nearby for this - even at this stage of training she NEEDS to know this is unacceptable.

    Christa
    Sorry to start the disagreement so soon, but I don't see how you can do both.

    If you switch from trying to touch her with a job in mind--- to get a halter on, including reaching over her head-- and then have to "pull over" to kick her a$$ for trying to kick your a$$, you won't get her back again for round 2 of halter training.

    IMO, OP, you'd do better to schmooze your way through getting her halter on than deciding that you'll work on either training issue as it comes up. Once she is haltered you have a hope of being able to restrain her (later).
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat


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  8. #8
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    If you can get her used to rubbing her..use advance/retreat, then you can put a halter with the nose portion in a grain bucket so that the rest of the halter is on the outside of the bucket, and when she sticks her nose in the nose portion to eat....smoothly attach the halter. I would put a catch rope (1 foot long on the halter) or a lead rope that she will step on to drag around...it can't be too long or it can get caught on stuff, but long enough that she can step on it and figure out how to release the pressure by moving off of it herself. This is just one method that works.



  9. #9
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    Can you still buy Ace in granule form?? If so, put that in some feed to take a bit of her edge off.



  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by fairtheewell View Post
    If you can get her used to rubbing her..use advance/retreat, then you can put a halter with the nose portion in a grain bucket so that the rest of the halter is on the outside of the bucket, and when she sticks her nose in the nose portion to eat....smoothly attach the halter. I would put a catch rope (1 foot long on the halter) or a lead rope that she will step on to drag around...it can't be too long or it can get caught on stuff, but long enough that she can step on it and figure out how to release the pressure by moving off of it herself. This is just one method that works.
    You can do this with a halter that has a throatlatch piece that snaps. Leave the crown piece buckled, put the nose part in a feed bucket, and get her used to eating that way. I gave my first unhalter broke horse a few days until he really didn't mind putting his nose into the halter. Then I quickly pushed the crown piece over his ears. He jumped back and I let him. When he settled and came in to eat again, I snapped the throat latch. It was a break-away halter in case he got caught up, but I left it on him until I could reliably handle him.

    Since that horse, I've deal with a lot of unhalter broke horses. And I've used different methods depending on the horse and the situation..
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvp View Post
    Sorry to start the disagreement so soon, but I don't see how you can do both.

    If you switch from trying to touch her with a job in mind--- to get a halter on, including reaching over her head-- and then have to "pull over" to kick her a$$ for trying to kick your a$$, you won't get her back again for round 2 of halter training.

    IMO, OP, you'd do better to schmooze your way through getting her halter on than deciding that you'll work on either training issue as it comes up. Once she is haltered you have a hope of being able to restrain her (later).
    First - I am hoping the filly is being worked with in a confined area like a stall or small pen (forgot to mention that in my first post).

    As for the discipline, as long as she is friendly, life is good, she is getting nice scratches etc. The discipline is ONLY if she spins to kick. If she has been out with other horses (including her dam) she will understand this. I am just suggesting 1 or 2 solid smacks and then go back to calm and friendly. It does work and IME they actually get a little more cooperative if they understand there are a few rules and yes, the human is alpha and kicking will result in consequences, the same as it did with the other horses. It sounds like the kicking is her testing the limits and trying to be the boss - something that needs to be nipped in the bud.

    Christa


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  12. #12
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    I worked at a farm with many large 'babies' think upwards of 5 year olds that did not get regular handling and haltering could be a royal pita.... They'd let you pet their heads and necks all day long, but once that halter came up by their ears to put on the crown piece the would be gone! We solved this issue by using vey large rope halters and started tying them farther back down their necks instead of right behind their ears. Once they were 'caught' it was easy to tighten up the halters to an appropriate fit



  13. #13
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    Also, her days and nights should be all about you - she should be in a stall with turnout for now in a round pen, keep the halter on her alot, work with her in the stall for behaviour and manners, introduction to cross ties, being lead around the property, always on correct manners. ou probably need to find the correct trainer to help you design your interactions with her and decide on the correct reprucussions and discipline, but for now, its all about her being a part of your barn activity - from the other side of the stall bars and in hand. She needs to feel safe in her stall, where she gets fed, watered, learns to give to pressure when you enter the stall, allow you to handle her feet, stand tied, come out of the stall politely, move about in the stall with her safely and quietly. Same time every day she goes to the round pen, preferably when she has some other horses to watch them working. Takes a walk around the property on halter and lead, is introduced to the bit, a longing circingle, eventually, etc. Gets blanketed and blanket removed, groomed, etc. All that. It should happen from her stall life, and as time goes by she can get more turnout running around. However, by then, she will be anticipating feed time, so coming to the gate to you at the end of the day to come into her stall shouldn't be an issue. The more you do matter of factly and not delicately, normally, the more normal she will consider her handling. But you need a trainer to help you create this program, so get someone to work with you. But don't leave her out in a big field. Its time to come in and be socialized, to some extent. Because she's such a baby, some of this might be for a month or so, then she gets turned out again, but always returning to the basics of good safe handling, but it has to be done every day, etc. Good luck.
    Trainer's website - photos of my horse Airborne under About and Francesca Edwards also in media page 1

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  14. #14
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    For those who do not have a stall with a low ceiling, like 8-9 feet this is another good reason to have one. They may hit their head pretty good once but the majority are not stupid and they won’t do it again. The ones that repeatedly rear up and whack their heads I don’t want in my barn. A low ceiling will keep them from being able to strike out with their front legs also. All of ours wear a halter not long after they are born. Most are easy enough to get back on when lost in the field or when it comes time to change to a larger one. But there is problem child or 2 even has yearlings.
    Personally I don’t put up with nonsense so I am in Christa’s camp. I have spent a lot of years just watching how horses of all different ages interact. Kicking, biting and body languish are what they understand and respect. I am not talking abuse. If the horse is in the stall with a low ceiling. And its not a giant, we only work with Tbs, I may start with a neck strap like Highflyer. I get the crown strap around their neck and hang on while they go through their changes. With low ceilings in a small stall all they can do is run around I am still able to keep an elbow in their shoulder and keep them pivoting to my advantage. They give it up, again the majority are not stupid and figure out pretty quickly it’s not worth the effort. When they do give in I quickly “flip” it over their nose hang on and get it buckled. I always punch out the buckle hole so it is easy to fasten. I also wear my riding gloves in case my knuckles get rubbed against the walls. Granted I have had a lot of practice at this over the years so I have pretty good technique.
    If the horse in a field, paddock, etc I do exactly what Cindy’s WB stated 2-3 porta-panels with one attached to the fence and V’d out. Put some feed up in the point, the horse walks in and we close it down. The same for hard to catch horses.

    I am not a big believer in schmoozing it has it’s place but IME it is not very effective in the long run.
    I rarely if ever use bribery unless pressed for time. Rewarding only. We are not a 1 or 2 horse operation more like 40+. Our time has to be used wisely and effectively. I am not a fan of catch leads attached to the halter they know what coming and it can become a real challenge and a lot of wasted time just trying to get a hold of it. The other horses play with it and eventually get the halter off. I don’t like to use grooming halters with a snap throat latch. I have seen horses get it caught on a water bucket eye screw and have seen it get snapped on another horses halter.
    When I have a horse/s like and or are hard to catch I do not turn them back out in a paddock or field. Most likely they are not very good at leading also. They are stalled and turned out in a small porta paddock until they understand the drill and become completely manageable, catching, leading, haltering. Usually a couple of weeks if not less. And the owners pay for the extra labor and training due to the lack of attention and discipline that should have been given much earlier.
    As always to each their own and what ever works.



  15. #15
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    You don't need a halter, any one rope you can put around her neck will help you teach her to give and stand there for you and eventually work to put a halter on.

    We used to get all kinds of horses of all kinds of ages, even older ones, that were feral and in no time were touching them all over.

    Can you find someone that is used to starting colts show you how they do it?


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  16. #16
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    Thumbs up

    Play Wildhorse Poker!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0-eauilWAXk

    (Seriously, very low stress for the horse. Notice how low-key, non reactive the humans are. Taking their time, not making a big issue out of it.)
    A friend told me I was delusional. I almost fell off my unicorn.


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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluey View Post
    You don't need a halter, any one rope you can put around her neck will help you teach her to give and stand there for you and eventually work to put a halter on.

    We used to get all kinds of horses of all kinds of ages, even older ones, that were feral and in no time were touching them all over.

    Can you find someone that is used to starting colts show you how they do it?
    This.

    Starting with a halter would be the last thing I would do.



  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by BEARCAT View Post
    Play Wildhorse Poker!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0-eauilWAXk

    (Seriously, very low stress for the horse. Notice how low-key, non reactive the humans are. Taking their time, not making a big issue out of it.)
    Getting it done, with a little fun! Great! Def love the low key, non reactive ways.
    Sheila
    Sheila Zeltt
    Chestnut Run Stable & Zeltt Racing Stable
    www.Zeltt.com
    Standing "Tiz Brian" at Stud, 16.1 h bay TB by Tiznow



  19. #19
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    Default Unhandled Yearling is dangerous

    I suggest a round pen and a rope halter. If you know how to use them, round pen her. If not, leave her in there and feed/water her inside. No feed/water unless she lets you put hands on her. Get her used to your hands on body then face. Then put halter on her from OUTSIDE round pen. Be sure to use approach/retreat with handling. There are lots of good videos on youtube to demonstrate.

    PKN



  20. #20
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    A local cowboy used to put the horse in a small pen or stall, using a stick with a glove on the end touch the horse all over until it didn't mind, then use a shorter and shorter stick, until he could rub the horse with his own hand.
    Then he worked until he got a halter on, but it went downhill from that.

    He then manhandled the horse around pulling on it hard, getting in a fight until the horse gave in.
    One weanling flipped so hard on him he hit his head and it killed it, very sad.

    Good way he had to get his hands on one, but then all for naught when he didn't know to proceed in a way the horse understood, not felt assaulted and needing to fight back.

    You need to understand the whole process.
    From the first time you lay eyes on the horse and the horse on you, it is a give and take dance of body language.
    No one can really tell you how to do it, because it depends on each human, horse and situation at hand, each one a bit different.

    The video of the poker players was neat.
    That is part of what we do, we don't just work with the horse directly all the time, but set it up where the horse also comes up to interact with you.
    Having more than one person, all on the same wavelength, is a great improvement to doing it alone.

    Just remember, you are training every second you are anywhere around a horse, especially the sensitive, mostly feral ones.



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