Tips for handling twits in the wind

Pearlsasinger

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I think you have to remember that they know that they have survived in the field in exactly the same wind. I must admit that we have a 'just get on with it' attitude. We are in a very exposed location, so high winds are not unusual here and tbf, we are not leading a long way from field to stable, we were going further, from a different field, last year. I find that if the handler behaves as if they are confident, the horse will be too. Certainly, wear a hat and gloves. I would use a rope halter and carry a schooling whip. The whip in front of the horse's nose holds him back and if he does step too far forward, taps his chest as a reminder. The handler has to be on the ball, reading the horse's body language and putting a stop to any hint of the wrong thing before it happens.
 

gina2201

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My mare can be rather flighty in this wind, it's so much fun...not! I have taken to leading my two out separately (I know i should do this all the time really), I wear a hat, gloves, lead her in a control headcollar, and perhaps consider a lunge line so even if they do 'get away from you' a little bit, they don't run off completely and you can regain control rather than them charging odd across the yard/field!
 

Hallo2012

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i dont think an hour creeping around in a cold wind is going to incite good behavior in ANY horse let alone one known to be rude and spooky.

hat and gloves, lungeline and bridle and frog march him along, expect no trouble, take no trouble, stop making a a huge deal out of him behaving-it should be the norm,not an event worthy of so much prep or praise and certainly not treats!
 

amymay

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Use a bridle, not a dually. If he gets away from you in that - game over.

Also, don’t use a lunge line, that’s another recipe for disaster.

OP, he’s just being a prat, so treat him as such. Calm and confident is always going to be a winner in the silly horse stakes x
 
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Sussexbythesea

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spooked or not he shouldn't be either barging in to you or pulling away.

we dont let them just leg it under saddle, they shouldn't do it led either IMO so i would do a bit of groundwork to reinforce boundaries and like above poster says stay between him and the spooky objects.
This is important my WB can get excitable but it’s always on the end of the rope, he doesn’t flatten me or pull me over, he controls it. Making sure you have appropriate safety wear and equipment to keep him under control is half the solution and not letting yourself get into the position of not having him under control in the first place. A longer than normal rope gives more leverage and space if needed to keep you safe.

Reds suggestion is good and a friend of mine has done the same with her rather dominant gelding working him in the paddock before bringing in. Only works though if you don’t have others in the paddock. Alternatively go straight to school and lunge until he gets bored. I’ve done this within my new horse who was trying to tank off when I took him into the school. He’s soon learnt that bad behaviour leads to hard work. Also means they don’t rush in because they’re not going straight to a nice comfy stable with food.
 

Horsekaren

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My boy can be spooky in the wind, went through a stage of bolting off most days, i used to try so hard to keep hold of him and keep him calm. As soon as i had caught him i would take him straight back to repeat the walk and not run away (sometimes would take 5 attempts)

After about 2 weeks of this bolting i was so fed up, i felt him about to go and i just threw the rope and thought to myself just go, i cant be bothered. It was a Eurika moment, as soon he realized id let the rope go he stopped dead about 2 strides away from me, let me catch him and walked calmly. I then did some research on what had happened and why it had worked. I came to the conclusion i was trying too hard to block his flight instinct, i was trying to take away his flight mode and it would make him fight and flight. I then kept very loose line and let him jog and prat around along side me. It worked! He was then choosing to stay with me rather than being forced. On windy days i would often give him a treat to keep his attention.

He is a cob and knows his strength. Not long after having him and having this bolting issue i had a trainer come out to try and help me, they put a really big knot onto the end of a lunge line and said let him go then just anchor down and hold... i paid £120.00 for that bit of nonsense!

it might not work for you but my jaw hit the floor when he stopped dead for me.
 

nikkimariet

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So am I but on the odd occasion, my own can be a spooky t*t in the wind. I think the OP is looking for ways to keep control, rather than knowing how good our horses are!

The other horse I lead with my own can also forget his manners on the odd occasion but that is usually due to him forgetting, rather than spookiness. I use the method outlined above for my own, whereas the other gets his lead rope round his nose if he attempts to lead me, rather than the other way round. If they are particularly unsettled at the gate, I opt for bringing in separately. It is never worth getting hurt.
I just don't expect trouble. So I don't get it. They know I'm in charge and I stay in charge in all weather conditions. Can't remember the last time a horse pulled away from me on the floor!

Horses being mannerly to handle isn't and shouldn't be a big deal.
 

Cortez

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Gosh, it wouldn't even occur to me that horses were going to be particularly difficult to handle in a high wind: on alert and a little jumpy perhaps, but certainly not crashing around or running off. That's a manners problem, pure and simple, and as such should be dealt with adequate equipment and a stern attitude towards any misbehaviour. If they can stand in a field in bad weather there is no reason why they can't lead in politely in it.
 
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Tiddlypom

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I'm in the 'I don't expect my horses to play silly beggars so they don't' camp. I accept, though, that it's harder if you've inherited the bad behaviour in one who has learned previously that it can get away.

The only time that one has got away from me was in a situation that was entirely of my own making. I was bringing my then 2yo homebred in on a stupidly stormy dark night. I opened the gate and started to lead her through, expecting the gate to swing open and stay open as normal. A gust of wind blew it shut and it slammed into her, who leapt sideways knocking me over, and she legged it to the stables without me. This could have become an issue for her, but whilst she was pretty jiggly about gateways and windy days for a while, she never did it again (and I made sure that I kept a hand on the gate in future!).
 

Carrottom

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Gosh, it wouldn't even occur to me that horses were going to be particularly difficult to handle in a high wind: on alert and a little jumpy perhaps, but certainly not crashing around or running off. That's a manners problem, pure and simple, and as such should be dealt with adequate equipment and a stern attitude towards any misbehaviour. If they can stand in a field in bad weather there is no reason why they can't lead in politely in it.
I totally agree with the sentiment but judging by the state of my field this afternoon they can't stand around in it!:)
 
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I live in a windy place so they get used to it. I was very thankful to my two on tuesday, who galloped down from their place of (relative) shelter to the gate, stood quietly with bums to the howling Gareth and torrential rain while I got head collars on and then got the two of them nicely through the small tricky gate, one at a time, and led them the 100yards to the byre-I'd forgotten my gloves and by the time I got them in I had no feeling in my fingers at all. I can no longer being doing with horses too daft to realise pratting about means longer getting in.

the last horse also got used to it somewhat but could be a pillock to catch at the best of times, let alone if he was a bit cold and wet.
 

Antw23uk

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Rightly or wrongly I was picking my two's feet out in a wind torn field at lunch, both of them were loose and stood stock still even when a branch went flying past! Obviously I'm showing off (yes silly as well for doing it!) but as someone else has said its fine to be a bit worried about the wind (horse not you, that's not your job!) but its not ok to be rude, barge into you or take off with you in tow!

OP I wouldn't be creeping around anywhere! As someone else said you need to get on with the job and expect cooperation and manners in any situation!
 

Surbie

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Use a bridle, not a dually. If he gets away from you in that - game over.

Also, don’t use a lunge line, that’s another recipe for disaster.

OP, he’s just being a prat, so treat him as such. Calm and confident is always going to be a winner in the silly horse stakes x
Thank you. :) This worked and it's a big relief.

He's in. Bridle, gloves, schooling whip & drill sergeant voice at times. I think everyone heard me telling him I wasn't having it. No treats.

I found a few things to weigh down some of the tarps over the grit heaps. Still flaps but less. We went past flappy stuff nicely if with snorting and eye rolling. He tried a few stops and turns on the road but the stick, different headgear, moving him around and being told to just walk on worked.

I am grateful for the time people have taken to give advice, particularly all the practical tips but also the comments that didn't make me feel quite such a pillock. 'Creeping' was probably a bad word to use - he was planting and refusing to move other than backwards/sideways. So we took ages to move not very far. Yesterday I felt a lot waily waily and I accept it was totally my fault for going out to the field without the right gear.

(As a ps for Red - I don't know how he was treated during/post-spooking at RDA as it wasn't ever on my session. I do agree it's something to work on & my instructor's been helping me with it. I don't put him straight in. The first day he got away from me I put him back in the field then went back & got him in with a bridle and a friend and then lunged him for 20 minutes. Then did ground work for 10 as he cooled down. Yesterday I put him back in the field, my bad but it seemed my best option with no one on site & feeling shaky. Today, more ground work after coming in.)
 
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