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Franklin Levinson's

Horse Help Center

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horse pulling backwards

Hi Franklin,

We have raised Belgian horses for years, we lost our first horse to Monday Morning illness. He had a soul mate and 1/2 brother for 18 years. So we had to find a match for him right away. We purchased a 9 yr. old gelding, with very good manners, he was a little head shy at first, but is now OK. BUT, the problem is when he is released from his stall in the morning. As soon as you touch his halter he goes backwards at full speed and nothing better be in the way. He has broke all lead ropes and chains. we have tried the rope behind the ears and a chain around his halter, but nothing stops him. We are so afraid someone is going to get hurt. Its just as soon as you touch the halter. We have tried putting grain in his bin and releasing him as soon as he starts to eat, which worked for awhile, but, again as soon as you go to release him. It has something to do with the halter but, we don't know what to do????? He is a very good horse other than that!!!! We don't know where to go from here, we have talked to many horse people. One said, tie him to a tree others have said have someone stand behind him when he pulls back and hit his butt, that is to dangerous

Help!!!! Joe

Hi Joe,

Here is something to try: get a 50 or 60 foot length of rope. Maybe 3/4 inch in diameter or so. It should be soft enough to 'run' easily. You'll want a sturdy post or rail to wrap the rope around two to three wraps. Not enough to bind when the rope is 'running'. But you want 2-3 wraps to create some friction to slow the rope when it is 'running' without binding the rope and stopping it from 'running' out. Run the rope through the bottom ring or eye of the halter, then up over the horse's pole (just behind the ears), then under the horse's throat-latch and secure to itself with a 'bolin' knot. The loop around the horse's head will not close so as to not choke the horse. The trailing end runs through the bottom ring or loops of the halter and gets the 2-3 wraps around the post or rail.

Someone stands on the opposite side of the post or rail, spooks the horse or does what prompts the horse to pull back and then they will play the rope out gradually when the horse pulls away. Most horses will only back down 30-40 feet at the most. More often it is 15-20 feet. Once the horse stops backing down, bring it right back to the post or rail and ask it to just stand. Offer praise and comfort. Then repeat the process over and over until the horse no longer pulls away when the stimulus is presented. I have done this with many horses who have been pullers for various reasons and its has worked 99% of the time.

| Please let me know how it goes and if you have additional questions. This technique has risks for both horse and handler. Great caution and sensitivity should be exercised. It is non-abusive when done correctly and the animal will not be hurt. However, there is always a risk and that should be considered. Good Luck

Sincerely, Franklin

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