February. 5, 2020 – Ask Monty Newsletter
Question: Does your horse follow you?
Hi Monty, I have a ex racehorse mare that I struggle to get in from the field. She’s good to go into the field and is happy while out there. But when I try get her in from the field she’ll plant her feet and if I do manage to get her to move she’ll continuously canter circles round me, she has run me over before, until we’re back to the yard. Also, if other horses get too close to her on either side she bolts and runs in blind panic and has run through and into fences on multiple occasions. Any advice you could give me would be greatly appreciated.
If you don’t have Dually Halter, then you need one. I will explain more about the equipment in the next paragraph. First, you need your own physiology to be right using diaphragmatic breathing. If your adrenaline is up, your horse’s will likely rise as well. Breathing and relaxing will create a calmer environment for you and the horse.
Second, appropriate equipment is essential to help build your confidence. Use a longer lead than most people use. I use a 30-foot line, but if your hands are smaller, a 17-foot line is sufficient for training. With this, if she is inclined to bolt you have more line in your hand to bring her around with. To train, find a time when you can focus on her, with no deadlines. Use an area with good footing, appropriate for safe training. I suggest you school your mare to stand still, walk when you walk, stop when you stop, and back up when you back up.
These skills will transfer to more challenging areas. Once you have your mare living to the rules you have trained for and once you get this behavior modified, go to the field and repeat the process. It may not be easy, but I know it will work.
Read the full newsletter: Does your horse follow you?