I'd love to see a set of online lessons on starting unhandled/minimally horses.
I have recently aquired two horses who have been raised in a herd environment. The only handling (I am aware of) is when they have been in a crush to be wormed, gelded,(one is yet to be gelded)and they were feed bread by hand at times.
When picking them up they had to herd onto the trailer and then off here at home, as neither of them have ever had a halter on, nor will they allow us to touch them.
All the lessons on the Uni atm are with horses who are haltered. I have attempted a JoinUp with one horse and he responded very similarly to "Georgia" - turning his rump to me, moving away and being very wary of allowing me to touch him. I have not been able to get follow up with him as he seems very reluctant, like Georgia. (I am new to join up, so I recognise this is a communication error on my end.)However, I notice Monty used his Geogia's halter to encourage her to make the decision to follow up with him. So without a halter, how do I encourage my little wild boys to do this? And then, when I am eventually successful, how do I go about getting a halter on?
Any tips or a series of lessons on this would be VERY much appriciated.
There are a lot of ideas on the forum about this, and Monty has a video, you and your wild horse, or something like that. I havent seen it, but I have had several wild horses, and what I always did, to start off, was let them get used to me without me doing anything but sitting in the corral or walking around in it. Sometimes it took days, sometimes not so long, but they would eventually come over to see what I was when I was just sitting on the ground and ignoring them. After letting them touch me, then I would try to SLOWLY touch them, just a light touch at first, stroking their face or just touching the nose. But I let THEM decide to come to me. I didnt do join up because I had never heard of it, but it seems like once they come to check you out, that would be the next step. But SLOWLY. Dont rush anything, like Monty says, slow is fast, and he is right. Hope this helps.
Thank you for responding so quickly :)
Ive been lurking on here for weeks and watching and re-watching the join-up lessons.
Thank you for reinforcing SLOWLY! I know this, but when they are just so darn cute I want to jump on them and cuddle them lol!
Thank you for sharing your experience too. It's always helpful to hear that you are not alone.
I know the feeling, believe me. But going too fast just doesnt work. Sounds like your horses are a lot like unhandled wild mustangs, which is what I always got because I didnt trust how they might be handled otherwise. That way I KNEW what they had been taught, and how. But just sitting in the corral, on the ground, doesnt make you seem like a predator, you are smaller than they are and notso much a threat. I have never had one run at me, or step on me, but they did get close after awhile and would smell my hair and snoff my face, then I would SLOWLY reach up and touch them, if they allowed it. Other wise, I just sat. If I reached to touch them and they shied away, I put muy hand back down and waited. Takes patience, but they are curious animals and if you dont do anything to scare them, they will be back. After awhile, they will get closer and stay longer. Talk to them, softly and gently, it seems to help. How old are your boys?
Oops, I meant they will SNIFF your face, not snoff it. Sorry about that.
The day will come when you can actually pet them, and when that happens, watch their eyes, you will see the fear fade away and a sort of wonder take its place when they realize that being touched feels good, and it is the best feeling in the world when that moment happens. Its the beginning of complete trust.
Rahni similar problems have come up a few times on forum so check out some of the other forum streams. Plus there are a few of Monty's videos on Youtube which may help - logon to Youtube and then search for Monty Roberts.
Rahni, sitting on the ground in a round pen with an unkonwn horse seems very dangerous to me.
You do not know their reaction.
Think also, what size is a mountain lion and when you reach your hand up how will the horse veiw this.
If you want the horse to get curious about you, as a human who is not viewed as a preditor, just walk around "doing work " in the pasture.
Completely ignoring the horse but keeping them in your site at all times.
At this point anything could spook them.
Try the following, it worked for me and others.
When I got my mare three years ago she too was delivered by truck and ran into a pasture. She was abused and wild.
I slowly introduced myself.
First I stood at the fence, just watching and learning her language.
Second, when I knew what she was all about and her trust level, I entered the pasture. Walked around as if I were busy "working".
Because I was non-threatening she eventually bacame curious and came closer.
As she would pass I would slowly reach my hand out,(at waist level) of course she ran. I kept my eyes downward, again she became curious and came closer.
I again reached my hand out, she eventually smelled my hand. I touched her for less than a second and I walked away and continued to "work".
Remember a predetor does not walk away.
Always keep your eye on them, knowing where they are.
Slowly they will come to you.
Do not be in a hurray, watch your horses first and their body language it will tell you a great deat about them.
Be safe and have a good day,
Ronda, I did that with every wild horse I adopted, 10 of them over the years, and no matter how wild they were, NONE of them EVER tried to hurt me. As for reaching up, I waited until they had their heads down close to my face and then moved my hand barely enough to touch their noses, after they had come over several times to sniff me, if they raised their heads, I put it back down. But I will say this, dont try it if you are not confident or dont feel safe doing it. It always worked for me, but it might not be for everyone. One time, my late husbands newly adopted mare, who was VERY wild, had a baby and he couldnt get close enough to find out if it was a filly or a colt, so I went in the poasture and sat down, which terrified him, he KNEW I was dead. The 4 biggest mares, including new mom, came over, with colt, and stopped about 15 feet away, then the new mom gently pushed her colt toward me and they all stood watching while the little guy came and sniffed me, then they all came and she gently pushed the baby away and they walked around me and left. It was a colt, by the way. I just sat and didnt move until they had left. Then my stallion came and asked me what I was doing sitting on the ground and walked with me back to the gate. I had adopted him and his mom when he was a baby, so he wasnt wild. But 3 of the 4 mares were.
All I can say is you are one lucky women!!!! A truly wild horse would never allow her baby near an unkown, never, nor would she send it out on it's own.
Perhaps the horse was use to humans but not trusting.
Well, we had had her for a couple weeks, and she was used to me being around, although I had never touched her, nor had my husband.
Comments here just re-emphasise the comment I just added under "filly wont move". What works for one may not necessarily work for someone else. We need to experiment and work out what is best for us in terms of our past experience, our learning from videos and books, horsey trainers and friends and our own feeling towards horses. If we had no fear of horses and felt we could trust them then sitting in the pasture with wild horses may work and it has certainly worked for phantommustang1- not sure if I would try it - I think I would rather just mooch around picking up manure etc. with my back to them. Sitting still makes sense providing the horses showed no aggression. Each to his own - hey!
Thank you, Maggie.
I was only trying to help with a problem I THOUGHT I knew something about. I wasnt trying to get anyone hurt or give them bad advice. Maybe I shouldnt try to help or give anymore suggestions.
Hi phantommustang and all,
I'm so sorry when posts are misunderstood and people are withdrawing their good thoughts from this forum! Please don't feel offended, when others are not following your train of thoughts. I found very interesting, what you contributed above and would dearly miss your writing about your experiences.
Let's respect other opinions and try to learn from eachother and seek what we have in common, instead of the differences!
My only interest on the forum is SAFTY and nothing else.
When we give advice to others we really need to take THEIR experience into account, not our own.
Some of us have been doing this for years while others are new to the method and horses themselves.
I have always and will continue to tell you all, BE SAFE AT ALL COST !!!!
Rahni, please look at one of Monyt's videos on youtube called, Monty and Rosie.
This will explain why I am so concerned about your safety.
Any of the instructors and Monty himself will tell you, be safe.
If anyone takes offence at my advice I have to say, look in the mirror, we have to take responsibilty for our advice.
We all want what is best for ourselves and our horses.
Yes what works for one may work but we are here to learn Monty's method.
His utmost concern is safety.
Please all of you be safe, for me that is very important. I do not want to hear that someone got injured while following adivice given here, even if it were mine. That would break my heart.
I try so hard to let my advice be as close as I can to what I have watched and read that Monty teaches.
You must notice that the instructors always instruct us to go to something Monty has done that has been successful in whatever problem we may be having.
Thanks for all the imput, i have found a gem of info from everyone, so thank you.
Just a bit about me.....
I have been around horses for thirty years, have been a horse own for twenty and worked in the racing industry for a short time. So i understand where everyone is coming from re: safety :D
I read two of Monty's books (man who listens to horse and horse sense for people) a few years ago and went to a demonstration here in Australia. So although the concepts are not new to me in theory, i have never had "brand new" horse to learn with since reading the books. Since joining the uni too i have discovered that the concepts reach far further than i had considered in the past, (very excited about that!)
To answer your question Phantom, i think the colt is about 2/3 and the gelding (late cut) is about 4, but im looking forward to checking their teeth! They are minis btw and i have found siting on my haunches or on an upturned bucket less confronting for them.
Thanks again everyone!
Hi Rahni, i have been folowing this post and have found it interesting :-) I just noticed you said you are in Australia....me too, and Maggie aswell. Where in oz are you situated? Also you have just said that your two are mini's....aha!! I have recently purchased a mini as a companion for my Brumby. He is a delightful pony who was raised as a normal horse. the stud owner who we got him from told me that she has dealt with a great deal of mini's who have been spoiled by owners who treat them more as dogs than horses. You say they have been fed bread by hand so someone has already been making mistakes with them there. Mini's from what i have heard can become disrespectful very quickly due to their dominant natures. A bit like a jack russell dog wanting to rule the roost...and they usually do lol! When attempting join up with your mini you do need to be very mindful of your own body language. I have done successful join up four times with mine and he is super sensitive to my body movements, so be mindful of this when he turns his bum. Maybe you are stepping past his balance point?
When i got my Brumby he also would not allow me near him to halter him. I remember thinking that how was i ever going to ride him if i could not even touch him! He would just walk away from me when i got near! I had him in a round yard and so i used approach/retreat on him to halter him. I walked up to him and when he walked off i kept walking with him, when he stopped i turned away. i had to do this a few times but within a few minutes i reached out very slowly and touched his neck, walked away a couple paces then very slowly walked back to him but not directly and with my eyes down. I remembered a video off the 'let your horse catch you' seres on here where he says your movements should be slow like you are in sticky oil. Apply this with your minis :-) Once my brumby would allow me to stand next to him, no patting yet, i then just rubbed wherever was closest to my hand, i think it was his soulder from memory. If he moved i followed and turned away when he stopped but then reached slowly and repeated the rubbing. It took maybe close to an hour but i got his halter on and put a 'dangly' on it - a short piece of rope to make catching easy for the first few days - I then would use the same method when i went to catch him in the round pen. It does all take time but i am sure you will get there!
I would like to point out that this method I used was reccomended by the BLM for people who adopt wild horses.
Hi phantommustang1 - we all enjoy your input so much so please continue to give us your input and suggestions. You probably have more experience with wild horses than anyone else on forum and this is very special and a great help to us all. If I adopted a wild horse now I would try your suggestion as it does make sense. These horses would be very frightened of an upright person and they would be unlikely to be aggressive. I think aggressiveness in horses is usually caused by bad experiences with humans and it is these horses that we would need to be wary of not wild ones. Take care and continue to make your excellent contributions as we all appreciate them as we appreciate Ronda's too.
I am in Sydney, on the Northern side.
Where do all you Aussies here live?
Yes minis do have that reputation, sadly. My husband got bitten by a very spoilt one a few years ago and my old farrier wouldnt shoe or trim minis or donkies due to too many of them being so bad mannered. Actually that is a concern of mine, getting a farrier who will trim/shoe minis. Anyway fist things first :)
Yes i have found the catching your horse in a large pasture videos very useful. Thank you for sharing how you were able to get a halter on your brumby.
Thanks again everyone, I am very busy tucking away in my head all your tips.
I used to have a farrier who specialized in minis and mustangs. She loved working with them, and yes, I said SHE. Unfortunately, her husband was in the military and got transfered out of state. Hated to see her go, she was very good with them.
Thank you for the vote of confidence, Maggie. I appreciate it.
I thought I would clear something up for those of you outside the US. The BLM is the Bureau of Land Management, which oversees the Wild Horse and Burro Progeam, which handles wild horse and burro adoptions. In case anyone was wondering.
Hi Rahni I was from NSW and spent sometime in Sydney but my husband took a job in Melbourne in 1976 and we have been here ever since. Still don't think of myself as a Victorian. We live at Diamond Creek on the northern side of Melbourne.
Hi Rahni, i am in Tasmania :-) North of the state. I have family who live in sydney, canberra and bega also. I hope you will keep us updated on your mini's!