Jango Halter Breaking

Halter Breaking Mustang Jango

Progress with Jango has been a long time coming. Finally after his three years in captivity, he has a halter on him. This was not an easy process and once the halter was on he still did not trust you to touch his face or to attach a lead rope.

I decided to do some more research on various techniques to build a trusting relationship with Jango.  I grew up with some training references to the Clinton Anderson Method. The Method as Clinton Anderson calls it seems to have done the trick with Jango and as you can see from the picture above. 

The process seems to be somewhat aggressive in that I had to toss a rope at him until he realized that I was not trying to hurt him. I started by tossing his lead rope over his back an action that he was used to and then I moved to various areas sporadically. Around his back, neck and legs he did not seem to mind the rope touching him. According to The Method, the process is to attempt to scare your horse and then reward them by stopping once the stop moving their legs and then back away relieving the pressure on them. This would indicate that the horse is responding to you without a complete fear and is building a trust with the handler. Keep in mind that the rope should be long enough to toss over the horse without the handler being in harms way if the horse were to rear, kick or jump in your direction (approximately 14 ft) without it being so long that you trip over the rope. 

When Jango first had some real fear was with his face, after watching several YouTube videos of Clinton Anderson working with horse that also had head shyness, I gained some prospective and realized that I would have to work with Jango directly at his face if he was to trust me with it. This process as you can see on the videos, involved tossing the rope directly at the horses face gently as not to actually hurt him. Jango was afraid at first but eventually he calmed down and I think he eventually became annoyed like you would if your little brother was poking you repeatedly. Having had that experience and hating it myself, I cut the rope tossing to a minimum and began instead using my hands to physically touch him. I rubbed him on his back and lower neck like he was used to and progressively moved up his neck. The same concept still applies to release the pressure when he react positively. Eventually, with The Method, I was able to handle his face. Now was the time to actually put a halter on (the normal way, no tricking with food and a contraption). I began by teaching him that the halter does not hurt him in the same techniques used previously, rubbing the halter around his face. After a while of desensitizing him to the halter, I slipped it over his nose, which he did not seem to react to at all. After tying the rope halter on, I stepped back and he walked with me like any normal halter broke horse would. 

This is not the end of the story for Jango and his halter it will take repetition and practice before he will accept the halter at any time.  

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