Haflinger Re-Training

Discussion in 'Horse Training' started by Broadway, Oct 15, 2010.

  1. Broadway

    Broadway Full Member

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    I am going to start over with training on my daughters Haflinger mare. The mare has gotten pushy, somewhat barn sour and belligerent towards my daughter when she is riding her. The mare likes to do what she wants to do, not what my daughter wants her to do. This mare is also on a weight loss plan as she is very over weight. For the last week we have moved her to a stall from 24/7 pasture. The stall is 12x24 and she gets out for a while each day either for lunging or to graze a little. I have started her on good grass hay and Enrich 32 twice per day. Her grazing muzzle just arrived and so I will fit that on her so she can be outside of the stall more often.

    This mare is broke to ride and was broke to drive but hasn't been driven in 4 years. I am going to switch her from the curb bit we've been using back to a loose ring snaffle and work on lunging, long line and ground driving. Currently if lunged in a buckle halter she will pull so hard she gets away from the person lunging. She will also buck a lot (like she is ticked off) when lunging. She doesn't buck when riding but she can get pretty sassy. This mare is 8 years old.

    I'd love to get suggestions for ground work that will keep this mare interested and her mind thinking. I think she gets so bored that she just doesn't want to do anything. (That and she's lazy). So anyway, Let me know what you think.

    Thanks
     






  2. osage

    osage Senior Member+

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    This is kinda funny but only because my fiance's haflinger did the exact same thing and was the same age and situation(with not being ridden/driven) in 4 years. Know that there is hope...lol. she sounds like a female version of his gelding.

    we got Doc after we had him saddled up and ridden after not being ridden for 4 years. He did awesome. Extremely responsive, affectionate, knew whoa and go. was extremely overweight. so we bring him home...first 3-4 rides were perfect, then it's "let's rub up against a tree...or go this way...or lets throw our head and shake...or even maybe bow up and just throw a tantrum... it really was not funny. It was irritating and made it an unpleasant ride. And it was mostly due to the fact my fiance was more of a pushover and would "let" him get away with stuff. they both learned from it. Now after 2 months of persistence, about a 100lb wt loss, a lot of going in circles and some small battles we usually only get a few headshakes a ride....we did try several bits, and found the best for him is just a plain ol' snaffle. Now though he sometimes (especially when we first head out) tries to throw his fit, it's not nearly as bad or as long of one, with over half the time...none. Both of them have learned...and it's good. It's amazing the attitude they can pick up...very quickly when given just a LITTLE freedom.
     
  3. osage

    osage Senior Member+

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    oh! and lunging! that WAS funny. I am the "groundwork" person at my house. My brother who lives with us (he's 44, im 34, fiances 47 and least experienced) is the 'under saddle' one (most of the time), and fiance is learning... anyway. brother decides to "teach him to longe". Gets the longe line 'whip' and ends up scaring him and you know as well as i do, a horse (even a little one) with the power a haflinger has there is no way to 'force' your way and still keep hold. (not that u do with ANY horse, bc u dont)...but he did one circle at a trot...next one at a run and slung brother. time to go back to school for both..lol. it took about 1/2 hour but we (doc and i) were lunging peacefully...lol. Yes, consistent groundwork and saddle work should have u an even nicer mare. just thought i'd share that little funny thing... "old school" is not always the best school (spurs and curbs and corn--we've butted heads a few times)..lol
     
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  4. Broadway

    Broadway Full Member

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    Well, she's been ridden in the last 4 years but just not pulled her wagon. She sounds just like your gelding. My daughter rode her at the county fair this past summer and did well. She rode her all over as much as she could and the mare seemed to be fine. I think it's just that she needs to have a job to do. And she needs to know that someone is going to make her do that job. Once I get her back in better physical shape I'm going to introduce some jumping (low jumps). She seems to really like that.

    I really need ideas of what to do with her on long lines to keep her mind thinking though.
     
  5. Jennymac

    Jennymac Senior Member+

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    Haflingers can be pigs. I got one last spring after a lifetime of training, including mustangs, ex-racers, etc. I have never had such an awful experience as this horse and ultimately having one of his "little fits" and unseated me, breaking my hip. 28 years of training and this little beast caused my first real accident. Good luck to you...
     
  6. Broadway

    Broadway Full Member

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    Oh my gosh. I'm so sorry to hear that you were hurt so badly! Yes, Pig is a good reference to her sometimes. I'm hoping that going back to ground work and starting over that way will refresh her mind a little. I'm also going to make a wooden sled for her to pull, to get her back into driving instead of starting with my light weight wagon. Maybe she'll help pull in the firewood this year.
     
  7. Jazzy Pants

    Jazzy Pants Senior Member+

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    Well this is my first post after lurking for quite awhile. I have a haflinger/paint cross 4 year old filly and I swear she's the same as the two you guys are talking about. She's over weight, got her a grazing muzzle from one of the posters in my area, put it on her and the next morning my BO found it in the pasture. Anyway...she has the worst ground manners of any horse I have ever owned. Last year I broke my leg and really haven't been able to work with her too much this year. The only person she likes riding her is the BO (well he is just a guy that owns the property I keep my horse with). I've been working with her as much as I can but I have no round pen and she does NOT know how to lunge and I can't seem to get her to learn without her getting all pissy and throwing a fit. She really is a sweet horse most of the time, she has learned to back up when I come into her stall, she loves baths and grooming, but I can't really enjoy her as much as I would like to. I also feel she needs to start from scratch with ground training. I just wish I had a place to really work with her besides her pasture.
    Anyway I'll be watching this thread to see if I can pick up a few tips on how to work with her..thanks.
     
  8. AppleBottomLuv

    AppleBottomLuv Senior Member

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    I too have had a very similar experience with a Halflinger. Buttercup was a 6yr old, that was skittish, spooky, mean tempered, and broke to cart. When dealing a halflinger, I have found the best way to get their attention and make them work is to make it entertaining, without pushing. You have to ask these stubborn little ponies and not tell. They are like donkeys with little ears.
    We played alot of games on the lunge line. Always made it interesting for her so she had only one real option of behaving or going through an obstacle as opposed to giving into her fears and frustrations.
    We did alot of line driving into a veil of noodles, crossing poles, bridges, water, tarps, I even played ball with her in the round pen. I would put a yoga ball infront of her and then ask her to walk. By this point though she knew what it was and wasnt scared. It took a few tries but she finally got the gist and starting working the ball infront of her.
    I never used a bit on her till we were starting to get ready for saddle breaking. At that point I became alittle more firm, but she trusted me and didnt bulk as bad as she did the first couple of times I tried to treat her like a real horse.
    I am happy to say though she is now a trail/show pony for a lovely set of twins.
     
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  9. Broadway

    Broadway Full Member

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    Jazzy Pants - I don't have an arena or round pen either. We have two pastures and most the time we work in the yard. I've been looking for a used round pen but haven't come across a good deal yet. I got this mare as a weanling and did all her ground work then sent her to be broke to ride and drive. I know she knows how to be good. Actually she's alot like my 12 year old daughter who rides her. She tries to see how much she can get away with before you make her listen! Anyway, I can't wait to work her tomorrow. I'll let you all know how it goes!

    AppleBottom - I agree with your theory on how to work these types of ponies. You've got to make them think and keep their minds busy other wise they get bored. Sometime I'll try to take pictures and if I ever get video figured out, that too.
     
  10. Mnhorsemom

    Mnhorsemom Full Member

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    Well, I had decided that I wanted to get a Haflinger as I'm looking for something on the short side but that can carry a heavier person. Now I'm wondering if that would be the right horse for me...Anyone out there with Hafies that doesn't have a piggy one?
     






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