KBR Horse Training Information

Exercising Body AND Mind

Lucky in the
"Safe Squeeze"

For background on Lucky click here
While we were able to interact with Lucky using the Gentling Wild Horses 101 approaches, he was still extremely volatile at times, especially when it involved getting our hands up around his poll. Lucky had an explosive response pattern which typically would lead to his panicking and crashing a fence, hurting himself. We had to get past this explosive point using some kind of confinement that would allow him some "wiggle room" but in which he couldn't accelerate to becoming a danger to himself.

Once we got the Lucky Horse Rehabilitation Project panels put together, we put him in the Safe Squeeze. This permanent Safe Squeeze is similar to the temporary squeeze described in the Training Section with the exception that our panels are attached together by loops of chain rather than being tied off. The "entrance" end of the squeeze is held together by chains with carabiners that can quickly be snapped on and removed.

Here's how Lucky did in the squeeze. Although he didn't like people on his left side, his biggest hangup was being touched around the poll and ears. Herbie Kicker and Willis did lots of rubbing from both sides, then worked around his head with a rawhide loop.

People on both sides.
Loop hanging from that scary poll
Advancing the loop up his nose
Over the head without panic
Some pressure on the neck
Rubbing his cheek with the loop
A little click-target distraction
Starting to tolerate the loop going over
Working from the other side
"Holdng" the loop quietly

It took finesse and quiet persistence. Lucky had to understand that being approached and touched in certain places did not constitute a mortal threat. He also had to be able to generate some movement and we had to read his responses so he didn't panic, kick out and get a leg through the squeeze.

The end product speaks for itself. By the fourth time in the squeeze, we were able to halter him and actually lead him around the stable.

A few munites after being haltered-
the objective realized
Please note that Lucky's ability to come out of the squeeze and be led around the stable is the result of our prior "Gentling Wild Horses 101" work. Without some interactive work with the horse, it is not appropriate to take a newly haltered horse from the squeeze into an unconfined area!

Continue to
Lucky's First Big Adventure

An effective and fun companion activity to the safe squeeze is the Human Round Pen.

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