Training the "babies"...

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Training the "babies"...

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  • Training a horse after weaning

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    08-12-2011, 12:48 AM
Training the "babies"...

For those of you who have/did have weanlings and yearlings.

Upon weaning what did you expect from your foal already?

From the time they were weaned what did you work on with them?

At the point they became a yearling what did you expect of them without question, what was still in progress, and what was just beginning?

The foal I just bought will be weaned and coming home in October. The breeders have told me he will be taught to lead and load by then which is fine by me. However the people who had previously been interested in this same colt backed out upon hearing this as they felt a 4 month Weanling should know exceptionally more than this which is what brought about my above questions. Your thoughts/experiences/opinions?
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    08-12-2011, 12:53 AM
Truthfully? The only thing I expect them to really know well is how to lead. It's a huge plus if they are willing to load in a trailer and have been taught to hold their feet for the farrier but I'm realistic about it too. I would much rather a foal not know a whole lot and had a general lack of handling than one who had been fawned over from day 1 and was spoiled and disrespectful. Lots of people have a hard time distinguishing between trained and spoiled with colts that young.
    08-12-2011, 12:59 AM
Smrobs - so I'm not a moron here lol! I was very confused on what it was these other people expected from a 4 month old. Leading/loading is fine by me. Anything additional may be gravy but is surely not expected. I am aware the foal was not imprinted but if I cannot do that myself then I prefer it not be done. Better no habits than bad habits.
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    08-12-2011, 01:05 AM
Originally Posted by Poco1220    
Better no habits than bad habits.
Nope, definitely not a moron, those people just missed out. ^^That is exactly how I feel about it too, that's why I like training my own and prefer them a bit skittish of people to start with. It's much easier to get a cautious horse comfortable around people than it is to re-establish respect in a spoiled monster.
    08-12-2011, 10:33 AM

What about the rest of you? At weaning and at yearling stages what are you working on with your foals and what do you expect of them?
    08-12-2011, 11:06 AM
I think leading, grooming, handling feet is all that is necessary. Anything else is just icing on the cake.

My 3 month old colt leads well & sets up square, stands for the farrier, has been bathed & introduced to the clippers, behaves for dewormer, loads easily, and will be learning to tie in the next couple weeks.

My yearling filly, all of the above but has been clipped, lunges, works in hand through & over all of my trail class obstacles, has been sacked out, has had the very light pony saddle on her back a few times, rope work especially on legs, and we've played doctoring - wrapping legs, etc. so it won't be something new should she get hurt and need actual care.

Not enough is a bad thing and too much can be just as much if not more of a bad thing. If it's done right the extras aren't a bad thing, but if not done the right way they can be spoiled monsters! Unhandled weanlings doesn't bother me much, but by the time they are yearlings they should have basic handling & ground manners.
    08-12-2011, 11:24 AM
I just brought home my weaned foal. She didnt know anything when I pick her up. In 2 days she halters, leads, and allows me to groom her and handle her front feet. I am happy to do all the work myself.

By this fall I would like to be able to halter, handle all 4 feet, load, lead, stand tied. I may introduce her to bathing as well. Depends on the weather.
    08-12-2011, 11:25 AM
I expect a lot from my foals when its time to wean. They should have manners! I start brushing, combing mail and tail after the 1st week the foal is born. I start picking up feet 2 weeks. I handle them everyday and what I do to one side, I do to the other. I rotate leading from side to side.

Also, if mom is good about loading a trailer and getting a bath, then i'll introduce both to the foal before it is weaned. When mom gets a bath, i'll slowly hose baby, and eventually give it a bath (this includings towel training). They tend to enjoy the jelly scrubbers. I also introduce them to clippers (just the face) and pulling manes. They more you do with them when before they are weaned, the easier and calmer they are about everything they come across.

I will even start getting them used to blankets. I use a towel to begin this training and will get the foal used to the idea of someone unfolding and shaking out a blanket. I will start out slow when putting the towel on the baby's back, but I will take it off by sliding the towel down its back and over its tail. After a few times of does it gently, I start to transition to "throwing" or "tossing" the towel on the baby (as many of us do when putting on a blanket). Come winter after the foal is weaned, I have no problems putting a blanket on the baby.

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