7 month old foal, need any help I can get! - Page 2

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7 month old foal, need any help I can get!

This is a discussion on 7 month old foal, need any help I can get! within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

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    04-22-2012, 12:55 AM
Kitty3301, you are right to question your youngster playing with you like that. I have a 14 month old who has good manners after gelding and being put out in a herd. He became very testy around 10-11 months to the point that it was a huge job just to get through routines like grooming with him. A couple of weeks ago we had a tornado touch down within a couple of miles from his pasture. A few hours later I pulled him out for feeding and then put him back out. He was a little fiesty but I suppose it was the storms. I walked way back to the back of the pasture to check the water trough and turned to find him running up on me. I shooed him off and then he returned and began rearing up on me. Unfortunately I didn't have my stick with me but had a rope so I hit it on the ground and yelled at him. He ran off, bucking. So, goes to show that one can't become complacent with young horses. He is half his mature weight and could very easily hurt someone.
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    04-23-2012, 10:10 PM
Smrobs makes a great point about choosing one companion to start with. Two ganging up is hard and frightening, but if you choose the lower ranking horse, they'll likely build a friendship that carries through when you add the more aggressive horse and keeps the baby safe (with new friend bond).

On the behavior toward you, it's common for orphans (if she was weaned very early, she could be exhibiting similar behavior) to lack social skills and push the limits with humans. The added lack of socialization (as others have pointed out, a herd will step in to provide this schooling, but if the horse is alone, obviously this doesn't happen) can create a monster. It's not fair for anyone to place the responsibility on you to correct this behavior given your lack of experience, but if it's something you're determined to take on, I'd suggest spending a few days visiting good breeding farms and watching how they handle foals acting out inappropriately. You'd be amazing at how much you can learn from simply seeing how seasoned horsemen handle challenge with young horses.
    05-07-2012, 01:05 PM
Thanks for all the advice! I will use it and update soon! :)
    05-07-2012, 01:31 PM
Ah young horses, the "games" they play. First you need to establish ground rules. At 7 months she's ready to start groun training at the lead. When interacting with her you need to establish yourself as the dominant party. It would also help to wear a helmet while she's learning ground manners as rearing is a very natural thing to a young horse. I wear a helmet on the ground always, but hey that's my opinion.

Second and before I get into the steps to help you, are you sure your qualified to work with a young horse? Young horses are not a walk in the park, and you can NEVER treat them as your "babies." because they don't understand the human/horse relationship you have to be FIRM with them. If you "play" around with a young horse you're going to get hurt. Not "if" but "when."

Your father should know this if he has experience with horses like you say, and forgive me for implying such a thing, but how can he put his ldaughter into a possibly dangerous situation if she's uncomfortable and doesn't have the ability to establish the confidence and assertiveness it takes to train a youngster?

Honestly my beat advice would be to call in a trainer, someone who has experience rearing babies. Remember young horses mature faster than people, so she'll only continue to get bigger and more dangerous the older she gets, and if you can't establish ground manners than you'll end up dealing with a powerful and dangerous horse soon.

To help yourself now, turn this horse out with your geldings. Let them do some of the work by establishing a pecking order. She may get bitten or kicked at but remember babies bounce back easy and it actually takes a lot of force to hurt them. I speak from experience 5x over, lol.

Personally I don't mix mares and geldings but In your situation it will do more help than not. Second when leading her use a firm hand and confident posture to establish yourself as the dominate party, then when leading her practice yeilding from you body. Be prepared for her to rear in your face. They all do this because they don't understand and have short attention spans. When she does (because she will) you need to stay in it safe zone at her shoulder, reprimand swiftly and immediately during or 1-2 seconds after. You can do anything, from smacking her with the lead, to kicking her under her carriage (my personal fave) to slapping or punching her hard at the shoulder. Do not however snap the lead shank at this moment in time, as doing so is considered the "nice way" of asking a horse to refocus on you and should not be made into a crutch.

Since your horse is so young training sessions must be shorter. Young horses cannot focus long and training takes a lot out of them. If you see her yawn during a lesson then finish up your last yield and put her back with the other horses. I would suggest 10 minutes at most for each session, and believe me 10 minutes a day for 4-5 days a week, is more than enough time for a young horse. Remember, you don't want to overwhelm her either.

Training babies takes an experienced hand, if I may say, you don't sound like you have the confidence or ability. I would save myself some trips to the hospital and call in a professional. No one here on horse forum wants to see you get hurt. :(
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