Problem catching after my pony slipped his head collar

Jessey

Well-Known Member
Dec 20, 2004
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Suffolk, UK
#21
At least you have him now :) even if you leave a head collar on in the field for the minute, could you catch him off that, then put another one on over the top, just so he gets used to going through the motions in the field of having a head collar on and off a few times without buggering off :)
 

chunky monkey

Well-Known Member
May 2, 2007
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...la la land
#22
When I'm trying to catch my cows if they haven't been on a halter in a while. I usually put a halter over the neck and let it hang down. Quite often this calms the cow and they stand for me to put a halter on. If I approach with halter they give me the run around and aren't cooperative.
 
Apr 25, 2003
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#23
Funnily enough it did almost work the first day I tried it (having used the technique once before when he was playing hard to get) -- he kept stopping to turn as you describe, and I could have tried to 'grab' him them, but I didn't want to risk upsetting him again. Anyway, the long, patient game seems to have worked - the photographs above were taken tonight after he followed his nosebag, then a bucket back. He was very good earlier today - let me touch him all over, even rub his eyes which he only allows when he's feeling very trusting; he even came and stood over me when lay flat out on the grass for half an hour. Sorry, I should have stated he was back in a bit more obviously, but I was just so relieved and pleased to have him back in. Tomorrow I find someone to help re-start his training seriously. Thanks for all your help and support.
the thing is not to grab and catch ignore walk away then do it again i.e. when loading if they are a pain take them in then back out again and walk away. keep them guessing as to what you intend so they don't always associate it with one thing. with leo I might just get him to come and be able to catch him but instead just give him a scratch and hug and walk away and he usually follows
 
Oct 10, 2018
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#24
I brought him in again today. He came up to me, went through his exercises, touched his head/collar a few times no problem, but when I actually held it the penny dropped, and he reared up to try to shake me off (a new trick he seems to have learned at livery over the summer). I hung on, calmed him down by distracting him by rewarding 'smiles' and bending/walking backwards, and quietly slipped the lead rein on. He wasn't exactly enthusiastic about coming, but no real battles about leaving his friends, and came up the ramp into his box reasonably nicely. I gave him a light brush, spent a lot of time making a fuss. He's still quite bloated with grass, but I could see his the ridge of this brisket muscles after he went out last time. I feel I should accustom him to his box gradually again, rather than making him resentful about being 'imprisoned' for long hours.

Also, I'm wondered about getting help. I had a few names recommended before his little' holiday'. Both would involve sending him off, away from his friends and familiar place just as he's setting back in again, and the girl who said she'd come over to help here seems to be having some sort of personal crisis and not responding. I don't think it would be fair to unsettle him but he needs someone with more experience than me to help restore his good manners, and also I think he does need more work to do so that he can have more exercise for both his body and mind later on. I'm in Oxfordshire if anyone knows of a freelance person who could help.
 

chunky monkey

Well-Known Member
May 2, 2007
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#26
I would keep doing what your doing. Its sounds like you are making progress. Whilst I agree you need help, I also feel that you need to be doing the majority of the work. Your horse needs to bond and trust you. You need to be his herd leader. It's easy to send to a trainer but if you don't know how to continue the work it will be in vein.
Isn't Kelly Mark's oxford area.
 
Likes: ~elizabeth~
Oct 10, 2018
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#28
I would keep doing what your doing. Its sounds like you are making progress. Whilst I agree you need help, I also feel that you need to be doing the majority of the work. Your horse needs to bond and trust you. You need to be his herd leader. It's easy to send to a trainer but if you don't know how to continue the work it will be in vein.
Isn't Kelly Mark's oxford area.
Yes, I think one of her partners, Ian Vandenberghe, is 5 minutes down the road. I should have thought of that, as I followed the lessons in "Perfect Manners" with religiously when he first arrived (when he was trying to knock me over each time I tried to lead him, being aggressive with food etc.) and it just following it steadily did get us to where he'd stand nicely for everything.

He'd even started going nicely on the long reins just with a bit-less MIcklem, I was really enjoying that, feeling his response improving until that woman started interfering (shouting and saying I should be using a bit, even though he was turning nicely in figures of 8, zigzags etc with just squeezing my fingers lightly and using the pressure of the rein on his flank, and wouldn't listen when I said I wanted to practice this way first, rather than risk hurting his mouth when he was just getting used to being bitted). Just wish we could get back to that point again, as I'd really begun to have faith in myself when everything went wrong.

Thanks for that suggestion, I'll get in touch with Ian V and see what he suggests.
 

newforest

Tomorrow can change what happens today
Mar 15, 2008
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A field
#29
I think it's a good idea to have someone helps you.

Also I would move forwards from the what happened last summer stuck point you appear to be at. You have a young pony whom you've left the headcollar on for two years, he hasn't been taught the basics of being caught in the field and leading nicely, you have instead taught him tricks.
If he rears when he suddenly discovers a connection between you and him, it's because he's not used to being caught and is mentally, emotionally or physically stuck in his feet.
This isn't me being critical by the way, it's a personal experience from having dealt with it with my youngster. She decided she wouldn't be led at 18 months and previous owner 'just let her follow on'
What that meant was I had a halter bolter that came cantering to a call, but jeez if you could keep hold of her after that point! If she decided she was done she would plunge and sit you on your arse. She still lowers and turns her head for the headcollar/ bridle, but we went through the months of educating her to lead properly- as in with feel not praying!
 
Oct 10, 2018
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#30
I think it's a good idea to have someone helps you.

Also I would move forwards from the what happened last summer stuck point you appear to be at. You have a young pony whom you've left the headcollar on for two years, he hasn't been taught the basics of being caught in the field and leading nicely, you have instead taught him tricks.
If he rears when he suddenly discovers a connection between you and him, it's because he's not used to being caught and is mentally, emotionally or physically stuck in his feet.
This isn't me being critical by the way, it's a personal experience from having dealt with it with my youngster. She decided she wouldn't be led at 18 months and previous owner 'just let her follow on'
What that meant was I had a halter bolter that came cantering to a call, but jeez if you could keep hold of her after that point! If she decided she was done she would plunge and sit you on your arse. She still lowers and turns her head for the headcollar/ bridle, but we went through the months of educating her to lead properly- as in with feel not praying!
I'm sorry, but I don't think you realise the full circumstances. For two years he has been in an are of 80 acres and relatively happy to be caught and led in in a daily routine when he could have just run away and never come near. He hasn't just been 'taught tricks', I do a range of stretching exercises with him that help desensitise his body to touch, along with throwing lines over his body, getting him to accept having a roller put on, moving on to using long lines etc. He was coming along very nicely according to other experienced local horse people. Then, he went away to stay with someone else, who I trusted to carry on his routines, but who insisted on trying to lead him just by the head collar, then complaining to me that he reared and escaped from her, then stopped feeding him extra without telling us when the drought ruined his paddock, took his companion away without notice and so on. He also had painful tooth eruption around the time he came back which may have made him associate pain with the collar, as it was in the few days after that he rubbed it off. I had planned to practice the collar issue in the new place, but then after he behaved with the woman it wasn't going to be possible to leave him without one. I rue the day I ever went there, since then I've found out that other experienced local people had had their horses there but never lasted more than a few months, so I don't think it's something peculiar to me or my pony.

I took on a pony that had been traumatised by starvation that was clearly terrified of people initially and tried to knock them over to escape who was aggressive around food etc, and turned him into a calm, happy pony with good manners, who was willing to be led away from the rest of the herd without complaint, handled all over, have his feet done, etc and ended up with one that suddenly didn't like to be touched at all, overnight. I've already had my confidence wrecked by that horrible woman, who never once talked over with me what his training routine was, or might be, but who just launched into a list of unjustified criticisms just because of a her own poor judgment in shoving a newly--gelded stallion in with him two days after she'd bought it, then taking it out on him afterward by neglecting his needs, probably losing her temper with him as well when we weren't there to see it.