How do you desensitize your yearlings?!? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 04-04-2011, 09:53 AM Thread Starter
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How do you desensitize your yearlings?!?

I would like to know everyones techniques for desensitizing a yearling also what do you think about clinton andersons techniques?

We just bought a 2 yr old and can tell he hasn't been messed with a whole lot except being haltered and having his hooves done. So any suggestions would helps thanks.
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post #2 of 5 Old 04-04-2011, 03:25 PM
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When I got mine, he was a coming two year oldand was in the same position as yours, but mine was still a stud colt. He even looked feral and had matted belly hair from lack of grooming.

My advice is for the first couple of weeks, depending on the horse, LOTS of grooming wherever he's comfortable, lots of taking his halter on and off, lots of leading him around. Touch him everywhere. Work on his legs and picking up his feet and patting them. pick them if you can.

I can't speak for clinton anderson's practices, though.
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post #3 of 5 Old 04-04-2011, 03:40 PM
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Another thing you can do is to get a good rope and rub it all over their body and legs. Then you can loop it around the legs and apply gentle pressure until they lift their feet. You can also work on teaching them to lead with their legs after they lead from the halter. That works really well.

I only ever saw Clinton Anderson in the Road to the Horse colt start competition and I was not impressed. I think he is too harsh.
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post #4 of 5 Old 04-04-2011, 03:53 PM
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I do similar things to what SEAmom is describing, along with setting up some obstacles (trot poles, tarp, bridge) to keep things interesting once they're farther along. I also establish boundaries from the get go, such as respecting space, not pulling while leading etc. Try to keep the sessions low key and relaxed.
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post #5 of 5 Old 04-04-2011, 05:14 PM
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Well, CAs techniques are NOT harsh when he isn't trying to cram 30 to 60 days of training into 3 hours -- especially when he is trying it on the poorest selection he could have chosen at RTTH. He picked the most obnoxious and reactive horse he could have chosen.

Under ordinary conditions, his gentleing process is just great. When we run into someone that does not know where to start, we recommend his DVDs because they are so complete and concise and show what to do when the horse has not watched them first. They are just great.

I use a little different approach.

1) I teach a horse to tie solidly first.

2) Then, while the horse is tied, I take a second lead-rope and hold it snug enough that a horse cannot turn his butt to me while I rub and brush its body all over. I leave the head, feet and legs alone at this point. I do not want to start something that I or the horse is not ready to finish right -- so I do not ask. When the horse is comfortable with body rubbing and brushing I advance to step 3.

3) I take a 25 foot soft cotton rope. I tie one end around the horse's neck up against his shoulders. I then flip, flop and let the rope get him used to having his legs touched, his rump, his hocks and lower legs, his belly and anything else the rope can be flopped on or around. If he throws a fit, I just outlast him until he is accepting and quiet. Then, I back off and release all pressure.

I go back and do this several times until he is not reactive any more about it.

4) I pick up each hind foot by letting the horse step over the rope with one foot and then bringing it around and tighten it behind the pastern. I then pull the foot forward off of the ground. I pick it up the first few times with the soft cotton rope before I pick it up by hand. I do not want to get kicked and I do not want to have to let a foot go because it teaches the horse that he CAN pull it away. So, by picking it up with the rope, I do not screw it up. The fewer mistakes one makes with a green horse, the better off you and horse are.

5) I use the rope to teach a horse to move over. I pull the rope around the horse's rump (just above its hocks) and smooch to ask it to move over. Again, I do not get rough. I just outlast the horse. The horse will eventually move away from the pressure and immediately, I release it and back off.

I get these things done while a horse is tied solidly before I go to other ground work that I do in the open or in a round pen. Those things have been discussed hundreds of times here before. I am just very picky and I want the above things done right before I go on to anything else. I want a horse to tie perfectly and permit all the above before I want to do anything else.
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