Dealing with foals, ill try anything
 
 

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Dealing with foals, ill try anything

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  • How to deal with a foal
  • Dealing with foals

 
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    10-29-2009, 03:27 PM
  #1
Weanling
Dealing with foals, ill try anything

Well the foals have been here 6 days now and they are starting to show their real colours, bailey is fine once there is no bucket involved, but as soon as it is feed time he shows his nasty sside and will only let the bucket in the door while the other one just starts freaking out completly, they get really protective of the bucket and I wouldnt be surprised if I didnt get a kick soon off one of them. Hay they are fine around but archie the little and least handled one is really skittish, and only comes to me when im on the far side of the door.
How can I control these two I have actually only managed to muck out one part of their stable tonight as they were freaked out by something, even though the routine is the same.
Im getting scared of them and don't really know what to do, they were both handled roughly by their previuos owner and I don't want them to assiciate me with fear but I do want their respect and my own space, any help and tips really appreciated, I need to muck out that stable!!!!
     
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    10-29-2009, 04:39 PM
  #2
Foal
First off, I would say that there's a difference between rough handling and giving a horse a firm wack if they refuse to get out of your space or won't let you enter a stall door. That is*your* bucket, you're the lead horse, you decide when they eat, and that's that.

As for helping gentle them, I'd say spend a ton of time with them/around them and be patient. What may seem like a tiny change for you can be a huge breakthrough for them. When I got Ziggy, I had to spend the first month just sitting in his pen for 3-4 hours everyday. Mucking out their stall is a great way for them to get used to you, so long as they have an out - they can go to one corner while you clean another. But the most important thing is safety. If it's too small for you and two horses to be safe, try to find a place to temporarily put them.

So it's not the best advice, but it sounds like the two of them are going to take a lot of time. I worry a bit about the fact that you said you're scared of them. I don't know how it works in Ireland, but you might look into getting a trainer who can help them and help you work with them until they settle down. There's no shame in it. Even the most experienced horseperson needs help from an outside source now and then. :)
     
    10-29-2009, 07:07 PM
  #3
Weanling
Ha, I would jump a trainer if there were any around. They have an escape route in the stable so they should be fine, I try to feed in one side and muck out the other and then swap over, this usually works for me and I barge in with the food and I do push him away but today he just got angry as hell, I was tired, getting dark, no light, and getting frustrated so I just dropped the bucket and waited outside. I see every tiny change as a giant miracle, rubbed archie for a few mins today and he didnt spaz out, which is huge as he would usually hide in the corner but then when I go in he freaks out again.

I am a very nervous person anyway and have had lots of horse accidents and am a bit scared of what they can do so I try and keep safe nd try again in a few mins. I don't usually give up but today just took the biscuit.
     
    10-29-2009, 07:27 PM
  #4
Yearling
You need to work with that bucket...my 2 year old was the same way for awhile, now every time I grain her, I make her back up a good 10-14 steps away from me and the bucket before even HINTING that what's in it is for her! I don't care if you have a shire or a shetland...NO horse should be challenging you for food because if push comes to shove and you're not prepared, they're going to win. You need to nip that in the bud NOW.

Are you able to seperate them? They've had a week to settle into the new barn, get used to you, and the new smells...time to seperate them and do some desensatizing. Sounds like you need to get a little more confidant and you really do have to teach them what's acceptable. By dropping the bucket and walking out, you made him challenging you an OK thing to do. Next time you take grain in there, make him BACK UP. Even if it's just one step, he NEEDS to respect your space.

May I ask why you bought 2 foals with no experience and nobody around to help you? I'm not trying to bash you, just saying it's easier with one or the other, preferably both! In any case, I think they should be seperated ASAP. Teach bossy some respect, and the shy one some trust. A round pen is going to be your best friend for the next 3-4 years if you're keeping these foals.
     
    10-29-2009, 07:35 PM
  #5
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by EveningShadows    
You need to work with that bucket...my 2 year old was the same way for awhile, now every time I grain her, I make her back up a good 10-14 steps away from me and the bucket before even HINTING that what's in it is for her! I don't care if you have a shire or a shetland...NO horse should be challenging you for food because if push comes to shove and you're not prepared, they're going to win. You need to nip that in the bud NOW.

Are you able to seperate them? They've had a week to settle into the new barn, get used to you, and the new smells...time to seperate them and do some desensatizing. Sounds like you need to get a little more confidant and you really do have to teach them what's acceptable. By dropping the bucket and walking out, you made him challenging you an OK thing to do. Next time you take grain in there, make him BACK UP. Even if it's just one step, he NEEDS to respect your space.

May I ask why you bought 2 foals with no experience and nobody around to help you? I'm not trying to bash you, just saying it's easier with one or the other, preferably both! In any case, I think they should be seperated ASAP. Teach bossy some respect, and the shy one some trust. A round pen is going to be your best friend for the next 3-4 years if you're keeping these foals.

Thank you for your comment evening shadows,

I cannot seperate them I only have the one stable, and I have never seen or heard of a round pen in ireland. Since I got them I would back them up so I could get in and wait until I had moved away from the bucket but recently they have been ganging up on me. Ill try with the pushing back again and make my presence more pronounced and show him who is boss, it just sorta freaked me out today.
I got foals as I have been looking for a horse for a long time but I cannot find a safe one so I decided it would be better if I could let them grow up with me, then send them away to be broken. I will be keeping these foals and I will be working with them every day and making them respect me I just needed some advice on how to deal with the bucket situation, so thank you
     
    10-29-2009, 08:20 PM
  #6
Weanling
First - a round pen is a circular enclosure about 51ft (that's what I found on one website) in diameter to work with horses (its a fantastic tool to help train, helps you to keep them moving without takeing off, and no corners to hide or get 'stuck' in. Ect.)
Are they good at respecting your space when food is not involved? If they don't, work on that a lot. If they do great - next step.
Only go into the pen with the bucket when they are calm - make them back away from the gate so you can get in (but that should be part of the respecting personal space issue). If they get too pushy try to back them off by pushing (but then I think this might just end up in a pushing match and you won't win...lol).
One thing I have seen (on Jay Ojay's website) is to pretend that you are flicking water at their eyes (this shouldn't make them headshy if you back off when they do) I would checkout the website to get the idea. Successful horse training - DVDs, how to videos, advice, and tack
Another thing I have seen is to use a whip or a long stick and use it like a blind man would to 'see' things infront of him. Just go back and forthin front of you, you'll end up tapping their legs but this should back them off. Now just so noone freaks out - I'm not saying to beat the horse to back off - just useing it like an extension of your arm.

Good luck
Don't give up
And think confident, assertive, believe you are the boss. Your body language will give away how you feel, no matter how hard you try not to.
Keep us updated
     
    10-29-2009, 08:56 PM
  #7
Yearling
Bubblegum is there a way that you can split the stall in half. You have got to separate them. You are endangering yourself. I don't mean to be harsh but do you not have anyone there that can help you? If you are scared of them now just wait until they are 2. Is anyone of the foals gelded yet? Can you build yourself another stall onto the existing barn? The one that I would work with first is Archie. With him being a little skittish once he trusts you then you should be able to do anything with him. Bailey is going to need a strong hand to handle him. By what I mean about strong is not to hurt bailey but to be firm with him and the instructions that you give him need to be very clear. I also have 2 foals but they are in different stalls and I am the one working with them.
     
    10-29-2009, 09:20 PM
  #8
Banned
What happens when they get bigger? They can't share a stall forever.
     
    10-30-2009, 02:07 AM
  #9
Yearling
I'm sure this bucket issue seems to be your only problem now but after reading your post about headcollars I have decided you are in a terribly dangerous situation and are in serious danger of hurting yourself, your foals, or both. I think you're wonderful for giving them a home and wanting to do right by them but you're not doing that by not knowing how to raise them.

You are afraid of them, there is no way you're going to make them trust and respect you. Horses minds don't work like humans. I know the closest riding center is 50 miles away, well, you owe it to these guys to hire yourself some help. 50 miles is nothing when you realise that the outcome could be having to euthanize or sell a ruined horse. I'm not trying to be harsh at all, because I do respect that your intentions are nothing but good but as you have no experience, you have no business trying to raise these guys properly. I think you can do it but you need a lot of help on site, with you, not on the internet.
     
    10-30-2009, 02:20 AM
  #10
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by tealamutt    
I'm sure this bucket issue seems to be your only problem now but after reading your post about headcollars I have decided you are in a terribly dangerous situation and are in serious danger of hurting yourself, your foals, or both. I think you're wonderful for giving them a home and wanting to do right by them but you're not doing that by not knowing how to raise them.

You are afraid of them, there is no way you're going to make them trust and respect you. Horses minds don't work like humans. I know the closest riding center is 50 miles away, well, you owe it to these guys to hire yourself some help. 50 miles is nothing when you realise that the outcome could be having to euthanize or sell a ruined horse. I'm not trying to be harsh at all, because I do respect that your intentions are nothing but good but as you have no experience, you have no business trying to raise these guys properly. I think you can do it but you need a lot of help on site, with you, not on the internet.
I have to say, after reading the halter thread, and responding to it, and now reading this one, I have to agree with this post whole heartedly.

I also agree with the need for some kind of separate working area; if you can, divide your barn; you don't need to build a separate barn for the other horse, just figure out a way to separate them; this WILL help you emmensely as far as working with them. When they are constantly with each other, they will feed off of the other's attitude and 'emotions'. And seeing as you have two horses with two very different personalities, you need the ability to be able to spend true one on one time working with them.
     

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