A Tip for Haltering Your Horse

Clinton Anderson from Downunder Horsemanship has developed a way to train horses, regardless of their past problems or traumas. It all begins with training the owners so they can gain their horse’s respect and understand how to properly control them. Join Clinton on his weekly endeavors of tackling some of the most challenging situations with problem horses, and problem owners. This week, we watch as Clinton shows us a few tips for haltering your horse.

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Clinton begins by telling us that he’s fairly particular about how he puts a halter on a horse or takes it off. Learning how to put a halter on is common in the beginning of training programs and how you take it off makes a difference in how you finish a training session. Therefore, it’s worth taking the time to practice.

The demonstration today is with Clinton’s three-year-old cut and fraternity mare Dolly. Clinton shows us that when you go to put the halter on, you should approach the horse and put your hand over their neck as he does in the video. This consistency can help communicate to your horse that you intend to begin the haltering process. Add a little pressure on your horse’s jaw to help tip their head towards the halter. Next, Clinton puts the crown piece of the halter underneath his horse’s neck. This helps provide a degree of leverage in case the horse was to try and run away. Avoid putting the halter on your horse when their head is tipped away, as this can be difficult and cause irritation.

The five steps to haltering your horse include first, putting your arm over their head and neck. Step two is tipping their head towards the halter. Step three, place the halter around their neck. Step four, scoop their neck to finish securing the halter.

If you plan to tie your horse up, make sure the halter is nice and high on their face. If you’re going to do groundwork, drop the halter down on their nose to produce more leverage during training. Always put the tail of the halter sticking backwards.

Now, when you go to take off the halter just work backwards from these steps. So, begin by lowering your horse’s head and keeping it tipped towards your body. Then, undo the halter and gently remove it while your horse’s head is tipped towards you. After removing the halter, you can give your horse some love by scratching behind their ears or letting them enjoy the pasture. When you spend the last five- or six-minutes interacting with a horse by just loving on them a little bit, scratching them, or having some fun with them, you’ll leave a positive lasting impression. It’ll be the last thing they remember, especially if you keep your horse in a pasture situation. On the contrary, if you only go out there, catch your horse, work them, and put them away, they’re going to try and avoid being caught.

When Clinton leaves his horse, he wants to make sure that he’s the one to walk away first. This kind of leaves your horse wanting a little more attention and a little more interaction, which gets them excited about seeing you again. One of the worst things you can do is to teach a horse bad habits when you take the halter off. This is why Clinton is so particular about leaving them with boarding facilities and other places where the workers aren’t invested in the horses. Bad habits can form quickly and eventually, starting the process of removing the halter will have them trotting away from you without a care in the world. Pretty soon they jump away from you, kick out with both barrels, and kick you in the face. Clinton might seem a little particular but putting in some extra effort will help you make sure bad habits never get started. The same steps should be taken when putting a bridle on or taking a bridle off.

This comprehensive training program will streamline your journey to becoming a great horseman. Gain access to all of the training material through three different levels by joining our No Worries Club. Start your digital training experience today. Visit our homepage and download the Downunder Horsemanship app to experience the Clinton Anderson method in a whole new way. You can also purchase any of the halters seen on today’s show on our website.

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