We have no fixed round yard. I have fashioned a small one using electric fencing, but our mini Popeye breaks through whether the fence is on or off. He completely panics and will do anything to escape and he does every time.
He is blind in his left eye and is still pretty wild/unhandled (he is reacts similarly to Lauke or any other extreme responding horse in the videos). I can halter him, brush him and I am working on picking up his feet.
I have him on a dually and I'm working with that, but I feel his responses are very much fear based as we have no join-up and thus no real trust to build our relationship on.
He often shakes when I am working with him and does not lick and chew. Although he did yesterday for the very first time when I was just sitting on the grass beside him. Then about a minute later he shyed at something and that was the end of that.
So due to not being able to do a proper join-up, I was thinking of alternatives, and thought perhaps I could attempt a join up in my "round pen" on the end of a long line.Even though I would keep the line very loose and only use it when he tried to escape,I am uncertain as I feel this removes the horse's "free choice".
I would just continue to use the dually to gain his trust. Join-up can happen later. Once they trust you join up is so much easier and can happen in a larger area. It will be interesting to note what others recommend here.
I agree with Maggie. If he keeps breaking out of the electric fence it is likely to become (a) a self repeating behaviour and will continue to do it and (b) associated with pain if he does it when it's on. If he is blind in one eye it makes life more difficult for you and 'Join Up' needs to be thought through carefully as he can't see you on the blind side! I would keep working on the Dually, build up his trust, "hang around" with him in the field and let him come and find you.
Dear Rahni, if he is blind on one eye, and break through fences, lower your expectations and demands.
You need a fairly good foundation and trust before you try a join-up - as in duallyhalter work and so forth - the risks are too high having him loose, you can accomplish Join-up very nicely by working in hand and walking with him.
Remember it is our responsibility to make it easy for the horse to want to be with us - Join-UpR) in a way that is easy for him will be the best.
Do you know how much he can see on his other eye? Blind horses really flee in what we can feel as pretty irrational, he is just trying to cope - so, help him, make it easy for him, make sure he has fun and enjoy the time with you and have fun.
Warmest Ann Lindberg /CI Sweden
Thanks everyone :)
I will keep working more on having fun and focus less on trying to "teach" him to like me lol!
I am really learning so much from these two little minis we have. They are really helping me unravel some of my old ideas, habits and are making me seriously look at myself and how I approach things!
I am a very "results" focused person and constantly need to remind myself to just enjoy the journey! (thankfully I have 4 children that are constantly trying to get me to learn that too :) )
(I should have just titled this thread "Popeye". Is there some way that can be changed? Admin?)
Wish you ALL THE BEST from Sweden!! Good Spirit Rahni! Warmest Ann
Hi Rahni, have you tried some approach/retreat with popeye? By this i mean when you go in the paddock with him you could walk toward him when he is not looking at you and the moment he does, turn away. If he goes back to eating then walk toward him again, if he looks up at you then turn away. I had to use this with Buster when he first arrived. His first meetings with humans and his first haltering were done by force, so he was very reluctant to be caught, so i used this technique and he would follow me everywhere without a halter and lead. I did all his initial training, brushing etc at liberty in the paddock! Eventually by using this he became much easier to halter in the paddock. Eventually i was able to do propper join up with Buster :-) It is all about taking the time it takes. Just enjoy being with this little fella for a while :-) I know what it is like to be results oriented and have had to let go of those feelings myself with Buster! One thing a horse won't let you do is rush them lol!! Enjoy the ride and i look forward to hearing how you go with him :-)
Hi Rahni, I agree with nellie bell, I had my horse come and he was very nervous to begin with, had been treated pretty rough, and I just used to go up to him in the field, be with him a bit, and then leave, and if he started to think of moving, I would leave before he did,a nd son he was following me around, no lead, no halter. Also lots of times, just go and be with him, no agenda, just be. Its fun, and takes the pressure off. good luck!