Teen Forum Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: South East Texas
You're not being rude at all. I am glad you want to learn and are willing to take advice. Many newcomers are not.
In my opinion (and this varies from person to person) ground work isn't a huge deal right now, but he DOES need to know how to follow you when on a lead rope, and now is a great time to get him used to you messing with every inch of his body, including rubbing his ears, picking up his feet, messing with his tail, etc., He should also know how to be tied up under supervision for a few minutes at a time very soon. Other than that, just let him be a baby.
Pushing into you, forcing you to scratch him (and by that I mean shoving his butt at you or using you as a scratching post for his head), and walking in front of you through a gate are definitely no noes with horses. Remember, he is going to end up weighing at least twice what a normal Labrador Retriever dog would weigh, and those dogs get big. Do you want an animal like that trying to drag you out of a gate or rubbing its head on you? Nope! He should wait for you to open the gate, step through, then follow you out and turn to face you while you latch the gate. My two horses ( 1 year old Thoroughbred and a 5 year old mini) can actually be 'sent' through a gate with just a point of my finger and will turn and stand to wait for me without trying to graze or walk off, and that is your end goal down the road. Your horse should ALWAYS be respectful of your space which means walking behind or even with you, at least one foot away (preferably 2), not having to be drug along, keeping pace with you. He should be willing to move in any direction you ask him to at any time without question, and he should always be attentive to you.
I will try to find some videos for you but honestly a trainer is going to be the best bet as you go along. It is very hard for a beginner to learn from someone off of youtube because each horse and each person is different.
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