Introducing...

Discussion in 'Horse Chat' started by tucklove, Nov 1, 2017.

  1. tucklove

    tucklove Senior Member

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    [​IMG]
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    And I would really appreciate input on this since I have never halter broke a colt this age. Little baby, yes, adults, yes, but no weanlings. He's only been here three days so I'm doing two sessions a day at about 10-20 minutes and he only gets moved if he moves off or if he's a sass (kicking at the flag, tossing his head, trying to cut in, etc.) I also let him just walk much of the time if he's thinking about things because I don't want to overwork him in this little pen on those young legs.

    I am teaching him to move his hips and his shoulders but also not be upset about the flag. Any suggestions? Tips? I can brush him and rub on him, I have the halter in my hands while I work with him so it's part of the routine, but I haven't tried putting it on yet.
     
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  2. D_BaldStockings

    D_BaldStockings Senior Member

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    Can you rub all over his head and ears, with and without the halter?

    Are you using a buckle or rope halter? Have you held the halter beside his neck and head and buckled/unbuckled or tied, untied it so this doesn't 'look or sound weird/frightening' to him?

    Have you put a cotton rope over his neck, taken both ends in one hand and gently asked him to move his head towards you and away from you?

    Have you installed a verbal whoa - stand? For instance when a flag is rubbed on him, does he jump away or just stand quietly?

    Have you trained him to drop his head at a hand pressure signal?

    Have you held the open halter below his nose so he can stick his nose in, with perhaps a cookie reward beneath the halter?


    -Don't get into any pulling contest with a big weanling: you will be flattened and he will get away regardless.
    In other words let him go and pretend nothing special has happened, then go back to whatever step he was comfortable with and work up from there.

    You need to train and condition the correct response in steps, then keep it small bites and positive.
     
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  3. CheyAut

    CheyAut Senior Member

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    Aww, congrats, I like him :)
     
  4. tucklove

    tucklove Senior Member

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    Thanks, CheyAut! I saw your little donk in that other thread and I could just die he' such a cute fuzz ball!!

    Alrighty, I went through the steps and introduced him to the halter in my hands, rubbed it on him while I brushed him, played with his ears, moved it around on his neck, etc. He will stand for the flag to rub on him but only after he doofs around a bit- I don't bother to ask him right away at this point since he's cooped up and young and probably very bored, I just let him get his goofs out first (just trotting around, nothing nuts). Not sure he actually gets the idea of 'whoa' but he does understand, if I stay, I get to relax and get brushed. He is turning out to be a pretty mellow now that he's settled in.

    Today I slipped the halter over his nose a few times and since he was unperturbed, I went ahead and put it all the way on, latched it, then just went on brushing. Took it off, walked away, came back, put it back on and brushed some more. He did great! No problems so that was encouraging. I'm going to put an actual line on him tomorrow. He's in a small pen so I plan on using a long line so I can let him leave if he really wants to, but still keep a hold of him. He'll be in a rope halter. I'm not using treats with him because he wants to be pretty mouthy- typical colt- but I don't want to encourage that.

    Yeah, I definitely don't want to battle with him, he's just too big. It was a really good step today just putting it on and off, for me and for him.

    Thank you so much for the checklist, it was very helpful!
     
  5. D_BaldStockings

    D_BaldStockings Senior Member

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    I advise no long line at first.
    Just use a 3 ft. grab rope to gently move his head side to side and respond to pressure.
    Eventually you can ask him to move a foot to the side after moving his head. he can get used to the rope swinging around as he moves, if he steps on it with his head down it doesn't take much movement for him to free his head and his legs are never caught.

    If you put a long line on and he moves off?
    First, you can't really 'hold' him, since he out weighs you and is much stronger. If he goes, he will be gone.
    Second, a long rope is likely to get tangles round him, causing fear and a possible wreck when the horse panics. In a small area with a rope and a flying horse you can also get tangled or kicked or run over.
    And too many people wrap a longer rope around their hand to take up slack or 'get a good hold'. This is a very bad habit that can hurt or kill you.

    -Voice of experience.

    Small increments. One little step at a time. Find the itchy place to scratch as a reward - when YOU approach Him.

    You should be able to stop and back the horse with whip cues, this will help if the horse decides to move away from the upset: you can stop the wreck before it starts with cues the horse already knows, not swinging from his head at the end of a rope. You should also have that lower your head cue with the right response.
    Many horses react poorly to head restraint, (halter, pressure, pulling, tying) so it needs to be short term to begin with.
     
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  6. CabterCrazy

    CabterCrazy Senior Member

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    I completely understand you not wanting to give treats, what you could do is at the end of the session give some grain in a bucket. Helps him associate working with yummy food, and not have to worry about him thinking fingers are food. And if you are giving him grain now, make him let you halter him and lead him before food. Helps them to enjoy being haltered more.

    He is a cute guy!
     
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  7. tucklove

    tucklove Senior Member

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    A little update on little man.
    He' been here two weeks now and wow what a difference! He's settled so well. I got the halter on him last Monday and have been haltering him every day, leading and yielding, grooming, etc. He's doing great. He walks right over for the halter, I can already brush him all over, he backs right up with a little rope wiggle and moves his ho off right away. He's had a couple of tantrums, but they are short and nothing terrible. I really love the little guy! He's had other people handling him and his pen in tripled in size since he's been so amiable and easy to catch. He gets his physical, shots, and possibly gelded next Tuesday. I will have to get some new photos of him as he turned 9 months on the 11th. Plugging right along with the horse no one wanted, lol. At this rate he'll get to go out with the crew in a few weeks and finally get to wrestle like they've been trying to do through the panels.

    Thank you to everyone for the tips, I certainly used a combo method to get him haltered safely and calmly and it couldn't have gone any better.
     
  8. SparkleDust

    SparkleDust Senior Member

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    He’s a cutie! Glad he’s settling in well!
     
  9. Bakkir

    Bakkir Senior Member

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    Nice update. Glad he is coming along for you.
     

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