Tag Archives: rope halter

Clinic Secrets: The “How” And “Why” of Using Consistent, Quiet Communication

“While love and patience is important, what’s more important are the ways you ask her to step up and do something, and those things must come through to her as patience and love. Those two virtues are nothing without some form of “question”.”

This is a post I said I would never write, but it came to my on my Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/April-Reeves-Horse-Training-Questions-Answers/192644566518?fref=ts). I save this information for my clinics, mainly because it’s better understood when you SEE it as well. However, this question does merit this information, and I always say, I may not be here tomorrow, so I will say it all today. These are also trade secrets that my clinic participants usually get to hear. Enjoy and I hope you gain from them!

Question: YAY! thank you! I have an 8 yr old mare, mustang cross., her name is HotLipz (she has a flame on her nose) She has a history of abuse and had severe trust issues when I first got her just over 2 years ago. I got her from the feedlot, just hours before she was to be shipped. She has come so far since then in learning to love and trust. She is super sensitive and needs to have a relationship before she will trust, so not just anyone can work with her. She needs lots of Patience and love. I’d like to take it a step further and be able to ride her. She is like 2 different horses. On the ground she is soft and calm and trusting. When someone is sitting in the saddle she can now tolerate it but once things get moving she falls apart. Sometimes big, sometimes not so big, its hard to predict. We have broken it down to the tiniest of steps for her. Rewarding the good behaviors, head down, relaxation, licking chewing breathing, with clicker training and carrots. She seems to make progress then something happens(and we can’t pinpoint what it might be that sets her off, something internal maybe, a click of self preservation?) and she reverts backwards to needing us to start all over again. I have contacted an animal communicator, animal empath, used essestial oils, massage, flower essences, calming supplements etc.. We have actually made a lot of progress together but seem to be stuck with the rider piece. She can walk on a loose lead anywhere with me and not worry, like holding hands with my best friend. We have a very strong connection.
Any suggestions? If you need more info let me know! I have lots of pics on my page: SerendipityFarm and Studio.
Thanks so much for any advice you can offer! I really enjoyed reading your blog and thought maybe there is hope after all. I don’t want to give up on her.
Thank you!
Peggy

Response from April Reeves: Hi Peggy,
Don’t give up on her. What I think she needs is just a different approach. While love and patience is important, what’s more important are the ways you ask her to step up and do something, and those things must come through to her as patience and love. Those two virtues are nothing without some form of “question”.

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How do I tackle a frisky 7-mth-old Paint colt?

Question: Hi there. I’ve been around horses all my life but to be honest, I’ve never actually trained one. I’ve only ridden and taken care of them.

I adopted a Paint Cross colt a Month ago who’s now 7 Months old.  He lives out with my 4 other horses who are all way taller than him.

He’s a sweet little guy who loves attention but he has no emotion.  He’s so calm and cool and thinks he is stronger than anyone.  He walks into me, through me, nibbles me, pushes me with his head and all the rest.  Doesn’t know his space and does everything a colt can at that age.

I know it’s normal so I’ve decided to tackle his problems NOW instead of later on when he will be stronger.

I read you’re not supposed to be violent with them when they are so young but he’s emotionless.  He only responds when I smack him.

Do you think you could give me some basic tips on how to earn his respect?  Am I right using physical force on him when he misbehaves?

I have no intention of training him under saddle alone but I want to at least get his ground manners in check. Thank you, Laura

Answer from April Reeves: Hi Laura. I first want to speak to your comment “I’ve never actually trained one.” I have this theory/understanding that anyone who has been in the presence of a horse has had influence on the ‘training’ of that horse (what he knows of humans). This is because horses ‘soak’ everything a human does. All your movements, signals, voice and body language ‘speak’ to a horse. That non-verbal language translates into what the horse will become. So while you may think you have never trained a horse in all your life, you have actually spent years training horses. Humans believe that training is simply a matter of learning techniques. While this is true to a point (and it’s best to learn good techniques that produce happy results) humans need to understand the horse at a much different level first before entering into a relationship of any kind. Humans must learn to speak their language first.

This is where we will start.

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Basic Groundwork and Saddle work for the Herd Bound Horse

 

Clinician, Instructor, Trainer

April Reeves: Clinician, Instructor, Trainer

By April Reeves: I get this question all the time so I thought I would address it here. Herd bound horses can become dangerous if the problem is not nipped in the bud right away. However, it’s one of those problems that many people are unable to deal with as it takes a certain level of skill.

This article is for those who are baffled and need a solution that they can accomplish. It is the longest one I have written to date, and covers some very extensive ground and riding exercises. It won’t be easy, and does require patience and dedication, but the techniques are easier to follow than some others and the results are good.

This is for the horse that is strongly bonded with a single buddy or herd, and those horses at the point of showing aggressive behavior and lack of respect for the handler/rider through rearing, kicking and biting.

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I ride English. Do I need a rope halter? How do you tie it?

ropehalter45

Rope Halter

Question: I ride English. I use nylon halters, but my horse does not respond as well as he should. He can take me half way down the road sometimes, especially when he wants to eat grass. Do you think I should be using a rope halter? What is the difference? How do you put one on the horse? How do you tie them?

Answer from April Reeves: Traditional halters have a nice elegant look to them and are easy to put on a horse. Unfortunately, some horses tend to pull against them and drag their handlers around, as the wide bands of leather (or nylon) are almost comfortable for a horse.

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My horse rears when I lead her? Why does she do this?

Horse rearingQuestion: I moved my two year old mare a month ago. She was really behaved for the first three weeks but now when I lead her she keeps rearing. Why would this be and would it help to use a pressure halter or would it make her worse?

Answer from April Reeves: By a pressure halter, are you referring to a rope halter? If so, I would strongly suggest it. If you are referring to nose chains or other methods, then I strongly argue against it.

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Horse dances around and won’t take the bit

Question: We just bought a 6 year old gelding that is really gentle but won’t take a bit. We tried a split and a straight bit but he slings his head everywhere and dances his feet. Please help we have know idea what to do next. It really tires us out trying to fight with him.

April Reeves, Clinician, Instructor and Trainer

April Reeves, Clinician, Instructor and Trainer

Answer from April Reeves: The first thing I do when examining a problem is to look for the source. A horse that dances around when you are trying to do anything is doing so out of fear or conditioned response. With fear, the horse will always defend himself (rearing, striking), but your horse sounds as if he is typical of the latter.
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