Originally Posted by Elizabeth Bowers
My sister in law's filly is once again giving us trouble. We did finally get her over her jealousy fits, and we're now into the I will not lead in a halter fits. She is now about 18 months old. And she can be the sweetest little filly you'd ever want to meet, until you halter her. Then she rears, kicks, shoulders into you, paws and tries to run away until she jerks her head around because you still have the rope. We worked with her everyday to get her over her jealousy, but now since the whole herd has been moved into a new pasture its like she forgot all of her training. She is so herd bound its not funny, and it seems to be nearly impossible to break her of it. She's already ran through the fence because her mother was taken out for some light work (i caught her about 15min later in my yard). I'm at my wits end here now. I'm seriously considering selling her to someone who is more experienced and willing to work with her. I really don't want to risk mine or my SIL life fighting with her. Even though we've had her since she was born here on our farm. I just don't know what to do anymore.
She used to be such a perfect little angel, you could lead her anywhere, and now I don't know what happened.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Words of wisdom are nice too..
In my opinion, yearlings are a pain in the butt. They remind me of teenagers in the human world. They test test test the boundaries. They have a lot of energy and a lot of spunk, and they don't yet know all of the things a more mature horse does.
That's why when they are foals, I try to prepare them for this stage of life, because the more you prepare for the yearling stage, the less of a pain in the butt they are.
So I will ask you this. What is your experience with yearlings? Ever trained on before? How confident are you that you can get her back to where she needs to be? What has already been done with this filly?
And btw, not to sound harsh, but just because she is sweet some of the time means nothing. If she feels like being sweet, she will be, but when she decides she's done being sweet, she becomes a monster. Just because she's putting up with you does not mean she is trained. Looks can be deceiving. A well trained horse does not do things as you described, they behave all (if not a vast majority) of the time, whether they want to or not.
In my humble opinion, yearlings are the hardest stage to train. They are the most time consuming, have shorter attention spans, have a lot of energy, and take a lot of steps forward, mixed with a lot of steps backwards. However, this age can be the most rewarding come the 2 or 3 year old years, when the training truly pays off as they are introduced to saddle.
Honestly this all depends on what you believe you can handle. She is going to need consistent, straight to the point, no bull crap handling. And expect to spend a lot of time with her on a single issue. Once you start with her, you need to end on a good note, getting your point across no matter how long it takes. At this stage in her life, it is vital that she learn good things. She needs to be taught RIGHT NOW that this behavior is unacceptable, as she is only going to get bigger and stronger with age.