6month foal- Kind advice appreciated

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6month foal- Kind advice appreciated

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    05-08-2011, 06:19 PM
6month foal- Kind advice appreciated

After owning horses for twenty years i've had a break for the past five. I've done something very brave or very stupid, but it HAD to be done. I've decided to buy a yearling who's spent the past 3 months in the dark. In a 12ft by 8ft stable. He hasn't been halter trained, his feet have never been picked up, he's been groomed a few times. He's now weaned (which I think is the stupidest thing ever as teaching him manners with his mother there would have been a million times easier) and he is extremely miserable. I just can not bear to see him shut away every day. I've got plenty of time to care of him (i can keep him on my own land which has stables and plenty of pasture) I have patience and time. But i've never owned a yearling before. In fact the youngest i've own was 7. You're going to tell me im mental (i probably am) however he weaves, he box walks, he stamps, he's frustrated. I've been spending time with him in secret (the owner doesn't know- she's hardly ever there) so we already have quite a bond. Just need a few pointers and a bit of encouragement from you guys. It was either I bought him (ridiculously over priced so no one else could afford to) or she kept him locked up in there. She has 4 other horses who are never turned out or exercised. Animal welfare (RSPCA) are not interested as they are fed and watered. Any tips for my first week or two?
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    05-08-2011, 06:21 PM
Im calling him a yearling, as I've had to guess his age, as though the sale has been agreed the owner is being cagey regarding his date of birth. Im guessing 6months-1year. Somewhere in the middle.
    05-08-2011, 06:22 PM
Do you have other horses, or is he alone? While I know less than nothing about young horses, I would thing any horse would benefit from just being able to be a horse. Lots of time in a pasture, preferably with other horses he can learn from, or at least side by side with them until he understands herd dynamics. The more he can experience the better in terms of sights and sounds. You've already done a great thing by taking him. Hopefully he'll appreciate your giving him a better life.
    05-08-2011, 06:29 PM
Thank you, there are other horses here who use the land they arn't my horses but he wont be alone when turned out to grass. I'm thinking that I will start off by walking him in a halter in the grounds for a few weeks or a month. The spring grass maybe too much for him (so far he has only had short feed or hay) it may make him more difficult to handle let alone catch! Until he knows me and the halter. What do you think?
    05-08-2011, 06:34 PM
I would think any time you spend with him outside would be good for him. Do you have any pics of the little guy?
    05-08-2011, 06:38 PM
Ill up load some pics asap. I'm a bit reluctant in case the current owner uses the site. We haven't completed yet. I just want to make sure that before I bring him home (next weekend) I had not only thought it through but I had a plan of action using advice from people who's dealt with youngsters before. Personally had I of bred him, he would have been halter trained and having his feet picked up with in a few weeks of being born. Its going to be tough doing it now!
    05-08-2011, 06:41 PM
Ah, didn't realize he wasn't home yet. Yeah, hold off on pics until he's yours. I'm sure other more experienced people will give you some input before next week.
    05-08-2011, 06:48 PM
The best thing in the world for a youngster is to have one or two older horses in his "herd" to teach him how to behave in a herd. Raising a baby alone is not the best thing at all.

I would see if I could pasture board him somewhere or bring in a boarder or two with decent horses that will show him how to behave. Another horse will do a FAR batter job teaching a baby manners and respect 24-7 out to pasture than the 20 or so minutes a day they spend with us and can handle focused training efforts when they are that young. Baby's like to push boundaries and another horse is its best teacher. Preferably one who isn't a complete pushover but also isn't overreacting.

That is where I would start. Give him some time out with other horses to expell his frustration and have a let down period from being stall bound. Then in a month or so, start working with him on halter training etc. His mindset will be better, he wont be so reactive from pent up energy and frustration and he will have been taught a little bit of manners and language from his herdmates and will respond better to your efforts.
    05-08-2011, 06:52 PM
Green Broke
It might not be as hard as you think. Sometimes once they are shown a little kindness they really bond to that person and trust that person which makes things really easy.

Rascal did that when I brought him home. He was an unhandled young horse about a year in age. They had to corner him in the barn to catch him so I could bring him home and he completely flipped out on the trailer. The first day or two were the only semi-difficult ones to catch him in the field and even that didn't take but a bit of time and patience. After that he would come right up to me.

As for handling the hooves, try a long soft cotton rope. Use it to pick the feet up the first few times - especially those hinds. If he kicks out you are safely out of the way but he will still get used to the feel of pressure on his leg. Also the first few times your hands are actually on his leg, don't ask for him to pick it up. Just give him a good rubbing and then go back up to his shoulder or rump. Once he is comfortable with that, then go to requesting him to actually pick it up for you.

Other than that - take walks with him in the halter. This will give you ample opportunity to get him used to leading properly, time to bond, and get him used to new things. I will take my young ones for walks around the yard, through obstacles I set up, and even into the woods down the trails as we become more confident with each other.

Good luck and keep us updated. I look forward to pictures when you get him home.
    05-08-2011, 06:53 PM
Thank you for your input. There are other horses here and I just had a word with one owner who said its fine for him to share a paddock with three of her older horses. Two of which have reared young several times. Looking forward to getting him home, but also a bit scared of what a major challenge this will be! It been a while since my last horse passed away and I never thought I would get another. I was too heart broken. God works in mysterious ways eh? Im sure I've just got nerves. Its been a while.

advice, training, yearling

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