I've got a 6 y/o Percheron mare, and have had her since this September (2004). I've been able to touch her, brush her, and catch her pretty easily up until about 6 weeks ago. We had to do some logging in our yard and in her pasture, so we put her in a nice sized pen with another Percheron mare for about a week. The trees were falling near the pen, though not nearly close enough to harm the horses.
The thing is that ever since we put her back out to pasture, she is almost impossible to catch. We have to push her into a small pen to halter her, and when we have her stand tied she goes nuts and breaks things.
She was being pretty bad, so I put her in a pen with a halter on and have been working with her every day. The problem is that I don't feel as if I've made any progress. It's a big ordeal just to hook a rope onto the halter. She walks away snorting, sometimes freaks out and runs away. I move very slowly with her because she gets even more upset if I rush. I also bring her different treats every time I go to work with her.
Does anyone know what to do? I'm at a loss.
Rooty Posted From: 22.214.171.124
Posted on Wednesday, December 29, 2004 - 12:48 pm:
I've always had good luck with treats, even with colts that were brought in from the wild. I would definitely leave her halter on, use a leather one or one with a breakaway strap so it will break if necessary. You could start by only catching her, feeding her treats, scratching her and then letting her go until she's happy about that. Then, move to having someone hold her while you run a brush over her for a minute until she's comfortable with that, etc. Baby steps and don't move on to the next step unless she's 100% comfortable with the one you're on. I would absolutely keep her in the pen until you've got her to trust you again. Was she well handled before you got her? If you have the facility for it study Monty Roberts method and try that, or if you have someone who uses his methods in your area see if you can get them to come in and work with her. I've found that to work well also.
Laurie Posted From: 126.96.36.199
Posted on Thursday, December 30, 2004 - 05:59 pm:
It might be worth having her eyes checked since this seems to have come up so suddenly.
LJ Posted From: 188.8.131.52
Posted on Friday, December 31, 2004 - 04:28 pm:
Well, I've recently made some progress. My brother dealt with a rather wild colt this spring and reccomended that I treat her more like a weanling than an adult mare. Instead of walking up to her with a treat and a rope, I bring out her grain bowl, sit down in the straw and have her eat out of my lap. As she eats I scratch her face (yay!) and slowly hook the rope on the halter. When she's done eating I rub her down a bit, then take her for a walk down the road. She seems to be getting better. Thanks for the reccomendations. I'll give your method a try if I can't get anywhere else with her, Rooty. I'll keep y'all posted.
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