Halter walking and foals

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Jess P

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I have been working with Diego everyday to get him used to the things I expect of him (taking baths well, clipping, spray bottles etc.) and have slowly been turning him over. However, when I walk him he sometimes pushes back and plants his feet. I do not pull him when he does that, I was behind him and place my hand on his rump to give him a "boost" forward. Is there anything else I can do to get him moving successfully?

Im love this boy, and want him to be trained well for next year's shows.

Thanks!
 

Tapestry Minis

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What I found to work is when they plant I'll turn them in a circle and then walk straight off. When I turn and walk into them they are forced to move. We practice turning when they aren't being stuborn so they know what it means when I start walking into them. Worked so far...I'm not a professional by any means just something I've tried and is working so far


Hope that makes sense
I'm more of a visual person so easier for me to show than to tell
 

Miss_Fortune

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Have you tried a butt rope for when he does that? Thats what I did with my boy & it helped a lot, I also think its a baby thing. Good luck with your new boy.
 

justaboutgeese

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Halter walking I believe would be referred to as leading. One easy way to overcome the reluctance has already been suggested, a "butt" rope. Its just a rope around the hindquarters that you can pull from the front. I had a reluctant student and just put a croup strap off the harness. Kind of like getting a wedgee from a thong. One or two lessons had him going in the right direction.
 

Jess P

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Yes, leading, sorry. I couldn't think of the word.

Would taking another lead and wrapping it around his hind end and clipping it to my lead work?
 

SunQuest

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Oh the fun of halter breaking a foal. I often have foals that get stubborn like that. I use a but rope on all of mine when halter breaking for the exact reason that you are finding out. I can pull on the rope that is draped around their rear end and help to get them going forward. Now I have had some that are so stubborn that they just won't stop trying to plant their feet. I find that these horses sometimes respond better by backing them up when they plant their feet. I can put my hand on their chest and push them backwards while telling them to back. Normally a couple of times doing this and they forget about planting their feet as going forward is much easier for them than backing. Another thing to remember is that when foals plant their feet like that, they have a good brace against the halter. So try turning their head off to one side or the other to get them to unplant their feet. You may have to turn the head quite a bit to get them to move. This will make it so they can't brace their body as much, and they pretty much move their feet to get their feet back under them. With young foals, I am pretty much happy to praise them for any movement when they don't want to go at all as I would rather have some movement in any direction than none at all.

Of course keep trying until you find the right buttons to push for each foal as they are all different. He will eventually understand not to stop. The whole key seems to be having patience with the foals and trying different things to get them to move any direction when they decide to not go at all IMO.

As far as the butt rope... Use a second lead line. Don't attach it to the other one. Use the hand closest to the horse to hold the butt rope that is around the horse's rear end (over the top of the tail, not under the tail) and use the outside hand to guide the halter. You will have to twist some at your waist to do this as you walk. but you want to be able to drop the butt rope if the horse should get tangled in it.
 

RAPfrosty

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My yearling use to do that too! It was so frustrating when it would take you like 10 minutes to go 2 feet! I finally got it through to him to fallow me by having my dad walk with me and every time he would stop my dad would push him forward (being sure not to stand directly behind incase he would kick, which he never did thankfully
). That way your not preoccupied with makeing him move forward and giving him the chance to do something else thats bad (which Fever tried on many accounts). It was a huge help and it worked really quickly, now he's great with leading!
 

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