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Silver
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xx Halter breaking - suggestions please
« Thread started on: Oct 1st, 2012, 11:39pm »

Hi just wondering if anyone has any advice on how to catch a 5 and a half month colt. He has never been handled however is gaining our trust when we feed his mother and him by putting carrots out in buckets, and will eat from them. As yet he will not let us handle him but will follow his mother when we lead her around the Paddock.

We only got them a short while ago, so is it just a case of give it time and patience and when he is ready to be handled take it from there?
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Liz
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xx Re: Halter breaking - suggestions please
« Reply #1 on: Oct 2nd, 2012, 5:16pm »

Interesting position to be in smiley If they were mine I'd work on 'little and often'. Just spend up to 10 minutes with them in an enclosed area, perhaps 15-20 yards square and do nothing. Just be there. If the mum is happy for you to feed her and stroke her then do that - ignore the little 'un until he makes the first move and then very quietly just hang your arm out and hope he takes a sniff - don't push it, just stay calm and quiet. I'd aim to spend time with them 4 or 5 times a day, every day, until you're as uninteresting as a fence post to the colt! I think his curiosity will get the better of him and then you can try to touch him, scratch him. Perhaps even try some low level clicker stuff - if he lets you stand beside him click and treat; if he lets you brush him click and treat.
I'm no expert and have never been in the position you're in but that's what I'd do - it may all be wrong - wait and see what Judith comes back with - there's your expert!
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xx Re: Halter breaking - suggestions please
« Reply #2 on: Oct 2nd, 2012, 6:57pm »

Oh thanks for your reply, that's pretty much what I am doing also there are two more women who have more experience than me who go but it is good to know I am on track. Thank you patience and time it is x
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Judith
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xx Re: Halter breaking - suggestions please
« Reply #3 on: Oct 6th, 2012, 11:04am »

Hello Silver, and welcome to the forum.
We ve been back a few days - have both felt very jetlagged and fuzzy - or perhaps just shocked a lovely hot sunny Canadian holiday was so quickly over......
Liz has given you good advice . One extra thing to remember is that to look squarely at a nervous animal can frighten it , so watch from the corner of your eyes! We bought 2 wild calves and a reluctant foster mum last December. Even to look at the calves sent them climbin gthe wall- literally! So I sat in the byre and watched with a very 'collapsed' head and body. Any time they turned to look at me I d then turn my head completely away from them. They then would watch me for quite a while.As foster mum was to tie up for them to drink , I could do this 2x a day - and within a couple of weeks they were really at ease with me. One has gone on to be a real pet , even in the filed I ll give her a scratch and shes completely trusting.
With your foaly, keep doing work with his mum eg grooming etc , so that he sees human handling as ok. It ll be a rewarding process! Best of luck, and let us know how you get on.

Our Canada holiday was fairly horsefree. Had hoped to ride in the Rockies [ one on my 'bucket list'] but everything so dear out there , all extras were cancelled [ so no whale watching , train rides,or even lunches!] We did see horse drawn carriages in Banff, Victoria and vancouver. All these were draught horses - the flaxen maned Belgians and grey drafts - not quite Shires or Percherons as we d recognise them. All were docked...and shod really badly!
Now we re back to the wet fields and dark nights . Wills slightly lame with the foot absess coming back, so C has 'stolen' Guinness to ride and I get Idaho or Topper. Neither of those are shod as they dont do much work, but with my sciatica riding for an hour is about all I can manage!
Have tried Idaho at liberty , and thoroughly enjoyed the session. Of course she 'told' me she had no idea of liberty and her mum and Keanu over the wall were much more interesting. However, she soon was working well- she has alovely draw [ as Vanessa will remember from camp] and I was able to do shoulder in /boiling pit very nicely. I am also beginning to get Keanu handled , after a summer 'off' . I d worked a few weeks with him in April , and found he hated his ears touched, and worked with that. After this break he is completely fine with his ears- so that was good! He s a very supicious and untrusting character by nature, so patience is a must , and in my sessions all I m after is softness and lateral flexion. The Welsh cobx tradional cross makes for a horse used to pulling , and therefore bracing against touch. And thats what he likes to do. Hold his head high, stiffen spine and not bend. Even his mouth gets very tense! It ll be a slow process over the winter getting him pliable , ready to back and ride away next spring.
Anyone else got a query or problem? Do get in touch! Charlie seems to be quietly dropped from Your Horse mag - no letters sent for months [ and not even a thank you for 9 years work!] so we are missing answering problems . Probably thats why I answer stuff on the Horse and Hound forum....
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Judith
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xx Re: Halter breaking - suggestions please
« Reply #4 on: Oct 15th, 2012, 10:24am »

Well, the weather isnt getting any better! We are managing to keep the horses out, with the exception of Guinness and Wills. Ghas been fully clipped , and Wills will be done in a day or so.Wills hole in his hoof needs to be kept as dry as possible , so isnt out much. He and G arent 'stabled' as such, G lives in the indoor school and Wills has a pen18x30 feet. Charlie will be competing Wills in the dressage competitions agin soon , but will not hunt Guinness- too expensive and time consuming!
We went to see a horse with and for a friend last week . If it wasnt so potentially dangerous it would be amusing to see the difference between the ad s write up and the actual horse.
'Snaffle mouthed' - how often is that in an advert? And how often has the horse an iron mouth , no bend and no direction without hauling on the reins!!
Words that , to me, flag up problems - so if you see these words /phrases watch out - or better still do not go see
'Project'- a word that usually means it is already someone s FAILED project.
'Forward going'- it ll be faster than you could ever imagine.....
'Back in work' - its been lame
'No rider' - rider has been dumped and hurt
'needs bringing on'- see 'project' definition above
4yr old unbacked- someone tried and failed when it was three
'back has been checked' - theres been a problem - usually it has bucked rider off,or why would you check the back?
'has had bone spavin/kissing spines/navicular but is ok for light work '- no,no,no! They are palming off an unhealthy horse. Horses cost enough ordinarily, without starting with a duff one.
'18years young' - could be sound for years....or days.Should be given away!
'was a broodmare' - MOST mares lose too much spinal muscles and ligaments to carry a persons weight successfully. I have known exceptions - but not many.
I know theres not a lot of incentive to ride in the miserable weather - but what is everyone up to? And thank you, Peter, fot getting rid of the spam!
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Liz
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xx It's cold out there!
« Reply #5 on: Oct 27th, 2012, 10:57am »

We've got the first really really cold day of the winter here in Bedfordshire today - a bitter northerly wind and we even had to scrape ice off the windscreen this morning! The horses are coping OK, we started feeding a couple of weeks ago, they're out 24/7, and unrugged, but I can see myself weakening and letting Grumps (25yo with Cushings) have an overnight rug if she starts to get ribby.
What's everyone else up to? Anyone got snow yet?!
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Judith
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xx Re: Halter breaking - suggestions please
« Reply #6 on: Oct 31st, 2012, 07:50am »

Snow here meant the cows cam ein on Sat morning. WE d been out with friends Fri evening , and stepped out of pub restaurant to slushy snow. Getting hime we knew the cows would be sulky , and when we called once the nex tmorning they came rushing in.In fact Eric gave us a clarion call as if to sAY ' WHERE THE HELL HAVE YOU BEEN?' We stood aside to let him go past...
The horses are still out, apart from clipped and rugged Wills and GUinness , who are in at nights.
Wills won 2 elemantary tests last weekend , making 100 dressage points. He ll be out this Saturday too.
We took Guinness to a show rider today to assess whther he was HOYs quality, but his hocks , not being quite the perfect angle , let him down. So, hunting it is ! He would do local level, but for a pro rider they have to be champion county level material. ben has spoilt us for anything less than county level! Disapointed.....but not suprised.
So, Charlie will hunt him tomorrow- the Middleton are very local, so Wills and Ben & Topper will have to be in . We ll leave Polly, Idaho and Keanu out, as although Polly remembers hunting , she cant gallop around much!
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Liz
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xx Re: Halter breaking - suggestions please
« Reply #7 on: Nov 5th, 2012, 4:17pm »

Gosh, snow this early! I hope it's gone again now? We're just having bitterly cold winds and lashings of rain. Too much rain on heavy clay soil is an absolute pain - it seems to go from a nice soft surface to a quagmire in about a week and in spring the reverse happens - it changes from a quagmire to concrete in days!
Sounds like your cows had their own agenda about when to come in - are they in for good now or can you pop them out for a few days if it's mild? I can see that no-one would want to argue with Eric - he is huuge and obviously has firm opinions on what degree of cold he can cope with!

What a shame about Guinness's curvy hocks - might they 'uncurve' or has he got them for good? As he's such a lovely horse, quiet, sane, laid back, good size, etc. etc. what other job could he do that you fancy with him?

We've got an itchy Claude - something is obviously troubling him - when we checked him this morning he'd scraped his upper back legs on barbed wire, there was blood everywhere - but surprisingly little in the way of 'damage' to him, just lashings of blood. I've been told that an old horseman's trick is to put the leaves of about an inch of thyme in his feed; we'll start adding D-Itch to his dinner as well and I'm worming him specifically for pinworm - hopefully that little lot will sort him out! Anyone got any other ideas?
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xx Re: Halter breaking - suggestions please
« Reply #8 on: Nov 8th, 2012, 08:49am »

If Claude s itchy legs are due to 'heel bug' or mites ,there are lots of remedies - yet havent found ANY to stop Ben getting it/them.
So far we ve tried
Spot on
dectomax
purple spray
demobian[ no longer available , but was good for old Tobes ]
louse powder
dictomatseous powder[ cant spell it , its the non chemical thing for poultry mites]
zinc and caster oil cream
leaving Ben with feathers
Keeping Ben closely clipped
Neme oil
dermilogical shampoo
Quite a list- but theres anyone with other ideas ,we ll have a try. Ben is worst on straw, but even out 24/7 he still bites himself and stamps his feet.

I went with Charlie to a dressage competition yesterday. Wills was nicely quiet and the pair won the sections of the 2 tests [ open elementary]. Dressage isnt really my thing , as I hate false collection , and thats what I mostly see! Getting past that , I could see most people did give their horses breaks for a neck stretch in the warmup arena , but theres always someone who keeps the horse on a short contact for an hour or so. I hate it , and the horse s ears were never forward , he was bored , uncomfortable - and didnt do a great test. Another horse , the rider of whom charlie knows , came direct from Holland - and rider is now working hard to get its head forward! he bunches up and tenses , but potentialy a fabulous warmblood.
Charlie wasnt the only one on a coloured cob , though the other was a little 'traditional' - he won his test , though at a lower level. Also, an ex show cob , who now looks like a 16.1 hunter was also doing Elem. It shows these cobs continue to grow for years and years - I saw him as a measured in lightweight many years ago. His legs just kept on growing!
The cows are unlikely to go out , unless we have very inseasonable weather. Its dring up , so the heifers are left out.
The job for Guinness would definitely be hunting- so if anyone wants a made quiet hunter that stands at the meet /first draw/at a cover , do let us know!
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Liz
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xx Re: Halter breaking - suggestions please
« Reply #9 on: Nov 9th, 2012, 12:47pm »

Wow! Sounds like you've tried everything for Ben's legs. But here's a new one - cut about an inch of Thyme stalk, remove the leaves and pop them in his dinner. I was told that today by our local feed merchant when I looking for some/any of the stuff you list! Actually though, with Claude the itching is much higher, on his 'cheeks' as it were. I'm investigating the possibility of pinworm at the moment but he's not showing any obvious symptoms and neither of the others are itchy so I doubt it's that.
If you want to get an advert pulled together for Guinness I'll pop it up on my website if you like? What a shame though sad
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