In a perfect world halter training begins when the foal is only a few days old, but things are often far from perfect. Whether you are working with a mustang fresh off the range or simply an unhandled colt or filly, it is important to approach basic halter training the right way. Halter training is the foundation of everything that follows, and the techniques you use to halter train your youngster will set the tone for both continuing ground work and eventual training under saddle.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
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Things you need
- Lead rope
- Horse feed
Place a bit of grain in the bottom of a bucket. Place the halter inside the bucket on top of the grain.
Make sure the nose loop of the halter is in the middle of the bucket and that the buckle extends toward the top of the bucket. Walk into the horse's stall or paddock and approach him with the bucket of grain.
Wait until the horse is busy eating from the bucket, then carefully pull the nose loop over his nose. Grasp the side of the halter and carefully extend it over the top of his head. Carefully buckle the halter. Do not be discouraged if it takes several attempts to actually get the halter on the young horse--patience is the key.
Carefully attach a long cotton lead rope to the halter. At first simply allow the horse to move around as he wants--it takes time for young horses to get used to wearing the halter and dealing with the lead rope.
Practice putting the halter on your young horse every day. After a week or so using the bucket trick you should be able to approach the horse and calmly put the halter on.
Choose an enclosed area like a round pen or small corral to work with the young horse. Practice leading the horse safely--if he attempts to rush you or charge ahead, calmly stop him and ask him to back up. Continue doing this until the horse walks calmly--he should remain a few steps behind you and to your right as you move around the corral or round pen.
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