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 Post subject: Putting a Halter on a Foal For the First Time
PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2007 10:04 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2007 3:57 pm
Posts: 195
Location: Iowa
To halter a foal for the first time, you need the right size halter with lead line, and a small enclosure, such as a stall, small enough that she can't get very far away from you. Make sure it is a safe area, no obstacles or feed pans to trip on. Don't use grain or treats to entice the foal closer. You don't want to teach a youngster to be "mouthy", always nibbling, nipping, wanting something from you. You may have to do these steps in sections, if she is very wild. For instance, the first day, you might just get to touch her and pet her. Then try the haltering another day, after more gentling is accomplished.

Once she is in the stall, I would work on her left side, and your goal is getting a hand on her shoulder, near the withers. It is the easiest place to touch a horse. A frightened horse won't let you near it's head, but a touch on the shoulder is usually the way to say "hi, it's okay, I'm not here to eat you." Watch out for her heels. Stay beside her shoulder, if she tries to swing her tail towards you, you can put your hand on her hip and hold her away from you if the side of the stall or fence is there on her other side to keep her from wheeling. But if she has room to wheel and turn, she can kick you anyway, so be careful.

Once you can touch her, start rubbing and working your way along her neck and back. Then try to pet her head, around her ears. The most sensitive place will probably be her nose. When you can, loop a soft lead rope around her neck, just to prevent her moving away from you. Hold both ends of the lead rope, don't make a noose or tighten it. Keep petting her.

When she is calm, pass the strap of the halter under her neck, and hold it on the other side if her with your right hand. Then take the buckle of the halter with your left hand, so it is hanging under her neck. Raise the halter into place gently, watching for her to shy if it touches her nose. Once you get her nose into it, she'll most likely be fine, and you can buckle it.

Continue working with her, you can lead her outside the stall and get her used to giving in to the pressure on the lead line. Just be sure and remove the halter when you're finished. I never leave halters on my horses, though I see others do it all the time. Dangerous, if they get caught on something, and foals stick their heads through fences, etc., and anything could happen. Just remove it and if she's still spooky, put her in the stall to catch her until she gets gentle enough you can just walk up to her. Lots of patience and time spent petting her will help her learn you are friendly and she will begin to trust you.

Good luck!


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