Foal training - What do you do? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 09-28-2012, 04:03 AM Thread Starter
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Smile Foal training - What do you do?

So I'm interested to know people's methods and what they expect from foals and when they expect it. I am expecting my first foal in November and I am loving how much some people on here can do with their babies.
I have read and have spoken to trainers and so on so forth, but what do YOU expect from your foals?

I am her eyes, she is my wings. I am her voice, she is my spirit. I am her human, she is my horse.

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post #2 of 15 Old 09-28-2012, 04:20 AM
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All sorts of things, babies are quite fun so long as you put the emphasis on manners. Feel free to follow my blog if you want to see my filly's progress.

I was away a lot at school this year, so I probably only got in about 4 weeks of solid "training" in her first 5 months (no longer than 5-10 minutes a session). Here are some videos of the things I worked on. Granted, you could probably make a lot more progress if you were able to work with your horse every single day, but balancing training with letting them grow up is good to have.

Giving to pressure at about 3 months old:

Working on some more natural horsemanship and advanced pressure and release at 4 months old:

And just some messing around. No use getting upset if they don't remember something or mess up.

With only four weeks of training, you can see the amount of progress you can make. Just remember it's important to set them up for the basics in life - leading, giving to pressure, mini join-up, hip disengagements, grooming, good behavior, and much, much more. I will certainly be able to make much more progress once I can get my hands on her consistently - and consistency is very good for babies with small attention spans.

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post #3 of 15 Old 09-28-2012, 06:35 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks so much :o) looks really interesting! Beautiful horse btw!

I am her eyes, she is my wings. I am her voice, she is my spirit. I am her human, she is my horse.

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post #4 of 15 Old 09-28-2012, 06:44 AM Thread Starter
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Just watched them all. Brilliant. You guys have a lovely connection! It's beautiful!

I am her eyes, she is my wings. I am her voice, she is my spirit. I am her human, she is my horse.

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post #5 of 15 Old 09-28-2012, 08:12 AM
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Personally my preference is to leave them to their mother and not have anything to do with them before I wean them. I like to do this just so that the babies learn to be horses from their mum and other horses around them. The day I wean a horse is the day their training starts and I like to get started on them as soon as their mother is heading out into the paddock to see the stallion. Having said that, if people get good results with training foals, go for it, if you know what you are doing; just not something I do personally.
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post #6 of 15 Old 09-28-2012, 09:05 AM
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I guess I'd fall somewhere in between. I want the foals halter broke well before they are weaned in case for any reason they need medical attention. They quickly get to large to cradle. Our babies learn the basics of pressure in regular handling like while leading the mare to and from pasture. They are typically halter broke and leading (following mom) by one month. We practice picking up feet, discover the joys of grooming but for the most part babies are babies until weaning time. As a weanling I introduce leading more seriously. We pony the weanlings and yearlings down the trail, work with the trailer and loading, very cautiously learn to stand tied, now would be the time I would introduce clippers, fly spray and bathing but the babies have watched mom/attended most of this already... anything else a well mannered young horse would need to know is taught then. Foals are a lot of fun! Just remember to keep your sessions very short and to the point. The thing most important for foals to learn is respect. That starts from day one. Just because something is cute then doesn't mean it will be cute when you have a 1,000 pound horse doing the same things :)
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post #7 of 15 Old 09-28-2012, 09:42 AM
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I'd say that I agree with a bit of both. Starting with the halter and a bit of leading with the mom as well as some grooming so they are used to it. I wouldn't do too much right away cause it may be a lit for them to take in. Short sessions and good manners from the beginning will go a long way. Just a thought I hope it can help :)
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post #8 of 15 Old 09-28-2012, 12:43 PM
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I think you could teach a young horse just about everything a grown horse would need to know, minus the riding of course. They are a precocial species. Like someone else pointed out, it just requires some awareness of a foal's shorter attention span. Personally I'd want to have them broke enough to lead and handle, trim their feet, but other than that I'd leave them outside with a lot of room to move and other horses for company. Education from the herd rather than too much from humans is what a foal could really benefit from. Not to mention, space to live outdoors and run as nature intended. That will go so far to making him strong and well-adjusted as an older horse.

Got a bit into imagining having a foal myself, there. sounds exciting!
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post #9 of 15 Old 09-28-2012, 12:57 PM
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post #10 of 15 Old 09-28-2012, 08:58 PM Thread Starter
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I don't have a 'herd' as such. I have my mare and a mini gelding. Sometimes we have another mini gelding staying with us and sometimes an old QH. So technically, the 'herd' for this foal will be his mummy and his grumpy little 'uncle'! Oh and a few cows and sheep.
I wasn't intending on doing much so soon but upon doing some research and asking my mare's breeder how she trains her foals I am looking forward to this adventure. The foal clearly isn't on the ground yet but I love learning and you guys have some really cool ideas and a lot of insight. Thanks :o)

I am her eyes, she is my wings. I am her voice, she is my spirit. I am her human, she is my horse.

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