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My new guy will not stand still

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My new guy will not stand still
  • I just bought a new gelding who will be 2 in June. Really has had no work done with him but being halter broke.  I know he is just a baby but he really seems to ignore you when you are leading him and you stop.  He will stop for a second but he HATES standing still. Even when he is tied up he can't stand it!  He has on a nylon halter right now.  Would a rope halter help him feel that I want him to do better?  I have never used rope halters much.  So I don't know a whole lot about them.  I have always used a nylon halter and a nose chain if need be.  I know we have to get to know each other still but I can't stand when horses walk all over you. When I stop they need to stop, when I say stand they need to stand. When I say go they go.  Again I know he is young and has learning to do. I am just trying to figure out what is the best way to go about this being that we are both new to each other.  I'd rather not use a chain right away.   
  • I, personally, really believe in rope halters.  They apply pressure to the nose, which is painful for a horse, and as soon as a horse stops moving the pressure from the knots will naturally release and the horse will learn that standing still is the way to be.  A 2 year old needs to be trained, and to stand still, at least in my experience, simply takes time to train by ... tying and teaching patience.  That is where I would start.  

    Right now I'm teaching my mare a sudden and sharp 'whoa' on the lead.  Firstly, a horse will crowd you when it's insecure and scared.  When I find a horse is crowding me and I need it to keep a respectful distance I walk around with the horse on the lead line, a crop in another and tap it on the chest until it achieves the right distance, in conjuction with teaching the horse to back up.

    At two, I would recommend baby steps.  Start with respectful leading.  But don't forget, get 30 experienced horse people in a line and ask them to lead their horses and all will expect different things from their horses as respectful and appropriate behavior from their horses.  You need to decide what you expect from your horse, and be consistent with that.  You also need to consider the situation from the horses mind, don't forget, crowding usually results from fear.  If your horse is being fearful, try to find the threshold you're crossing for him and address the fear issue so your horse is less fearful.  This will also help you in the future.  

    Once you decide exactly what you expect from your horse and leading, you can decide how to train from there.  But I would absolutely invest in a rope halter as well as at least a 10 foot yacht lead rope.  
  • A rope halter and at least a 14 foot rope lead is my standard training gear.  23 foot lead if I'm going to do a lot of circling/lunging that particular lesson.  Rope halters are not a cure-all but they sure do help!
  • used the rope halter last night. Did really good with it!  I am excited to work with him some more. 
  • Excellent news!
  • I'm really glad the rope halter helped.  I've been working with my mare respecting my space and understanding that WHOA from the saddle or on the ground means STOP.  

    I take her for walks as part of our bonding time and teaching her respect and what I expect of her and this is part of her training.  Although your horse is a baby, it's important that you not let him win battles.  He's still a horse and needs to respect you and what you're asking.  Yes, it'll take time, but there's no excuse for disrespect.

    Take it one step at a time, and if he's not liking standing still - ok, make him move, and I mean MOVE.  Back him up, get him to canter even if this means you're running too, teach him that when he stops, that's when he rests.  This is a training technique I use in the saddle and the ground and it's been extremely effective for me.  It teaches the horse that what it wants to do (from dancing around and not standing still to jigging on the trail) is extra work and what you want him to do is easier.  

    I'm extremely tired so I'm not sure how to correctly word what I'm saying, but I would read up on reaction times from the time the horse does something that you do not approve of and how quickly you need to react for him to learn.  This is EXTREMELY important.  Without understanding and mastering this skill it'll be hard, if not impossible to get any respect from the horse.  At least in my experience.