I have an 8 year old pony (almost horse size) who was kept in a pen with minimal visitation for about 4 years. I have taken her in on my farm about 6 months ago but cannot get her to come to me wilingly. She has been walked in the past. She is in a large paddock without options for confinement. Any suggestions?
Pet's Gender: Female
Pet's Age: 8
carrots & apples
Thanks for allowing me to assist you, I am the horse's servant and will do my best to help you with your horse. Does she have any contact with other horses? Do you have any experience with young and/or unbroke horses? How are you handling her routine hoof care? Vet care?A horse that has been isolated socially will have barriers keeping her from trust. She has relied on herself for several years and will be loathe to accept a herd leader. What has to happen is that she needs to be introduced to "round pen" style work. The principles are based on pressure and release from pressure. A horse learns when pressure is released. Such as a horse that fights being tied up will stop fighting when they break free, she will relax when she is helped to figure out what she has to do to release environmental pressure. In a large pen with no containment poses a logistical issue. There are solutions that range from having her transported to a facility that has a training corral for her or building a round corral within her paddock. In order to gain the position of herd leader you must insert yourself as a fair and equitable leader. No decision or reaction may be made with anger, only incremental pressure and release when she seeks a solution to the pressure problem. I recommend training philosophies of Buck Brannaman, John Lyons, Clinton Anderson and the like. There are clinics. Seminars, videos and books on the subject material. Alternatively you could send her to a professional trainer and receive home a finished product. Be sure that your trainer is an advocate of gentle handling to ensure a safe and trustworthy mount for years to come. Before any of this starts have in mind a clear goal and outcome for this horse in your life. Each step should bring you closer to that goal, and the goal must be given enough time to come to fruition. As Col. Alois Podhajsky said "ask often, expect little, reward generously". So once you have a final goal in mind, a place and system to work on with her, you can devote your time to the daily tasks that bring your horse-owner relationships closer to the ultimate goal. Good luck and please feel free to engage in further discussion for your horse. Best,Susie L, MS