Colt has attitude, normal or a problem???
   

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Colt has attitude, normal or a problem???

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  • Colt puts he's ears back at me
  • What tdo when 10 month colt pins ears and trys to bite

 
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    10-18-2010, 09:19 PM
  #1
Green Broke
Unhappy Colt has attitude, normal or a problem???

Hi guys,

I have a question for all of you. My colt is now 3 months old and he can do the following things fairly well: lead, pony, tie, pick up his feet, stand for grooming, deworms, etc. So I should be doing pretty good, right?

The problem I have lately however is he has a lot of "attitude" with me, especially when I practice leading him. He was trying to nip and bite until I started to elbow him when he would nip. Now he tries to nip less often, but will still try it now and then. He frequently has a scowl on is face (ears back, lips pursed) when I lead him and sometimes he will get frisky and try to rear.

I have been trying to nip the rearing in the bud by pulling him off balance, "blowing up" on him and making him back away from me. Basically doing everything I can to make an impression and try to discourage him from doing it again. The rearing has gotten a bit better as well, but I wouldn't put it past him to try it again sometime.

I have noticed that he is much better behaved if he gets exercise before I do his groundwork sessions. For instance if I pony him and let him run in a meadow near my house, or if I ride his mom and let him follow running loose. If I do that, he is more docile. Frequently while ponying he will also try to bite the pony horse or chew my tack. I try to speed up a little faster than a walk when he does that, because I figure if he is moving his feet more, he won't have time to chew. So we do that a few steps and then try again a nice peaceful walk. Why can't he just be good, lol?

So is this normal or a sign of bad things to come? Should I work with him after he runs around some and is calmer, or try to meet the challenge head on? He is basically a good colt and does everything I ask, he just gives me attitude while doing it. What do you think?
     
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    10-18-2010, 09:37 PM
  #2
Foal
I think he may be just curious.
     
    10-18-2010, 09:53 PM
  #3
Green Broke
Its very normal. You need to remember he is a baby and has a short attention span. The nipping I would continue to discourage this however neccessary and the rearing can be his way of saying he's had enough. Becareful not to do too much with him at once or he mAy become sour towards you. I think what you have done so far with him is enough. Short rides with mom are fine but then let him rest. 10 mins per lesson is enough. Always end your lessons on a positive note. Make sure you break up your time with him And just love on him some. Everything you do to him or with him is training. Good luck
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    10-18-2010, 09:53 PM
  #4
Weanling
Different horses have different personalities. He just needs to be disciplined and learn his ground manners. I would say, keep working with him. Establish a clear dominance above him and be strict. Don't hurt him or anything (I doubt you would) but don't let him get away with a bunch of stuff. Reward good behavior though, so he doesn't learn to resent you. This is my imput, however I don't have a lot of experience with foals so I may not be accurate...
     
    10-18-2010, 09:59 PM
  #5
Showing
Rafe when through a stage very similar to that but straightened right up when I put Dobe out there with him cause he got an 1100 pound reality check LOL. Just keep going, don't get mad, and stand firm. I wish I could loan you Dobe for a few weeks this winter, he's good at training youngsters .
     
    10-18-2010, 10:06 PM
  #6
dee
Started
This is why I didn't want to do any breeding. Even without meaning to, foals can be dangerous. He's just being a normal bratty baby and you will just have to work at teaching him some manners.

Rain is pretty laid back for a three month old, but she has her moments. I think we are fortunate that her momma is pretty no nonsense, and her Auntie Mystie doesn't put up with much, either. I think that being in a "herd" situation, even though it's a very tiny herd, really helps...
     
    10-18-2010, 10:10 PM
  #7
Showing
. Just from my limited experience, I also believe that foals benefit greatly from having a very strong alpha in their herd as well, one that won't put up with shenanigans.
     
    10-18-2010, 10:20 PM
  #8
Trained
Typical behavior from a colt, or even a young filly...just keep doing groundwork with him, especially concerning him staying out of your space...if he is not in your personal bubble, he can't nip you...if his feet are moving he can't nip, and will have a harder time rearing, etc...

I would be working on getting him to do "more" in regard to moving his feet; start doing hip and shoulder yielding, backing, sending him both directions (think over objects, or between you and a fence, not in a circle), you can even teach him side passing, using a fenceline...different stuff that will keep him moving his feet, and using his brain constructively
     
    10-18-2010, 10:37 PM
  #9
Green Broke
Thank you guys!

Yes, I worry about souring him towards me. I know I HAVE to be alpha, but I don't want him to dread working with me either. I will try to spend some time grooming him each day, because he really loves being brushed.

He's my first foal, so I think I may be too soft on him (according to a friend who has started many colts) so she showed me more how to work with him on the ground. So I think we are having some dominance issues because I wasn't clearly dominant before. So now I am trying to enforce some rules and he resents it. Although he has always had "attitude" when leading.

Besides his mom, who does nothing to enforce any rules (other than don't bite my udder, lol) the only other horse I can put him in with is my 17 yr old Mustang. Whom I *thought* would discipline the foal, but has turned into more of a playmate. He's the one that gets bit when I pony the foal, and when I turn them loose together, the foal will rear and climb on the Mustang and bite his legs until finally John (the Mustang) can't take it anymore and chases him. But that is what baby wants, he thinks it's a big game. John IS dominant when food is involved, because I tried that as an experiment, to put hay in with the two of them (when mom was outside the pen) and see what happened, and John ate hay and baby hung back. But any other time, for now at least, John is Zane's playmate.

When I wean, however, I will keep John and Zane together, and hopefully John will set him straight when he is older. I almost think now John sees him as a baby and tolerates his antics. Hopefully when he is bigger he will not.

Will gelding the colt help with his attitude? Or is what I am seeing now just baby stuff that he would do anyway? I am ready to geld him ASAP but my vet prefers to wait until they are 5-6 months old. If the weather is good in December I want to get it done then.

Sigh! I want to be strict enough that he respects me, but not so domineering that he dreads working with me either. I am a softy by nature, so this dominance stuff is hard for me to do.
     
    10-18-2010, 10:54 PM
  #10
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by mom2pride    
Typical behavior from a colt, or even a young filly...just keep doing groundwork with him, especially concerning him staying out of your space...if he is not in your personal bubble, he can't nip you...if his feet are moving he can't nip, and will have a harder time rearing, etc...

I would be working on getting him to do "more" in regard to moving his feet; start doing hip and shoulder yielding, backing, sending him both directions (think over objects, or between you and a fence, not in a circle), you can even teach him side passing, using a fenceline...different stuff that will keep him moving his feet, and using his brain constructively
When he was born, I missed the birth itself, but did many of the imprinting exercises with him, so I had him moving off of finger pressure and backing up, moving sideways, etc. right from the get-go. But I didn't do anything to make him respect my space.

So now my friend who helps me with him has me backing him away from me, disengaging the hindquarters, *trying* to lead him calmly from both sides, elbow him when he puts his head in my space or tries to nip when leading, etc. So I am trying to do some things like that.

But with my first training exercises I was just using my fingers to press him to get him to move over (and he actually does a decent sidepass and backs up that way) but now I am using a dressage whip to teach him to back up, keep up at my shoulder, etc. and trying to make him get out of my space without me actually having to touch him. So I kind of switched to a different method that the one I started with, and one I am not that familiar with myself. I also use a "kiss" as a cue that I want him to move his feet, and now when I kiss (like if he is lagging and I want him to step forward more) he actually pins his ears. It's like he does it, but he hates it, and the kiss is a cue for him to get mad at me.

So I don't know. I want to keep things positive for him, but I kind of don't know how. I want to quit on a good note, but when he's acting obnoxious I don't want to stop until he does good. But then the sessions end up taking longer than they should. It's kind of like "please be good so we can quit before things get worse." I start out thinking positive when I work with him, then get very discouraged by the end of the lesson. I don't want to burn him out, but I don't want him to walk all over me either. I don't want him doing these things when he is 1000 lbs. I really hope gelding him helps. Or maybe at some point his mind will mature.
     

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