Training Plans Need Work for Yearling

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Training Plans Need Work for Yearling

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    04-24-2011, 12:01 AM
Training Plans Need Work for Yearling

I'll start off by mentioning that I'm new to this site, but it looked like a good place to ask this of you: Can you give me ideas, tips, and advice on how to train my new yearling?

So far, my friend (who I'm buying the yearling from) and I are coming up with a simple and very basic plan. Since she's very skittish and shy for a one year old, we're going to start by putting her on a halter and walking her. As I imagine, she'll have separation anxiety since she was never removed from her mother's side. The plan for this problem is to move her across the driveway where mother is still in sight, and simply walk her so she can become comfortable with human contact and figure out what "walking on lead' is all about. After we've gotten her settled, we're going to work on desensitizing her so she won't be skittish at all. And, last but not at all least, we'll place a blanket and untied saddle onto her back. We're not sure if we want to start with a small English saddle, or with his lightweight nylon saddle (western). I'm leaning toward the nylon, since she'll be a pleasure/trail horse.

Her name is April, and I can tell she'll be a very sweet horse. While she is shy, she doesn't really take off unless you walk to her quickly or try to touch her. Today was the first day I went out to visit her. I got a couple sniffs and was watched, but she did graze with me standing only a few feet away. She also just turned 1 (4/18/2011).

So, any ideas, tips, or advice that might help out on our already forming plans would be wonderful. I'm not looking for the quickest way, but rather the smoothest way. I'm giving myself a year to get her set up. Hopefully by then she'll be big enough to start breaking in.
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    04-26-2011, 06:09 PM
Help still needed, especially since I now have to move to a new location in 2.5 months!
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    04-27-2011, 10:28 PM
It sounds like you have a great plan. Maybe taking a few walks with mom near her could work as a transition too. If she hasn't been handled much then you might want to start with that. Make sure you can groom her and touch her all over. First near mom, then farther away. It might be easier to train her more when they are separated...just a guess, I will be in the same boat next year.

Just a few ideas. Hope this works out well for you.
    04-27-2011, 11:49 PM
Thank you for your input! I might with mom on the other side of the fence. But then again, if Rain foals before I'm able to halter and hold her, April will have to learn everything without her mother's comfort.
    04-28-2011, 09:36 AM
Here what I've done with my babies.. go in the pen with them and just be there.. a large stall is preferred. If they get really upset, look at the ground not at them and stay still... they will realize that you aren't going to hurt them.
If you do that and they are still running about scared, then by all means leave the pen. Stand on the outside of the pen and see if they calm down, talk to them, a little bit of feed never hurts.. you want them to associate you with good things..(feed is a good thing).. slowly you can advance to touching. I"ve even sat feed on an overturn bucket and sat next to it( once they are ok with me being in the pen with them) with foals remember if you are "smaller" than them they will be more likely to approach you. Soo if you crouch down a bit that may help. Just be aware even though they are little they are still pretty powerful and a good kick or paw will hurt you.
    04-28-2011, 09:50 AM
I am working with my yearling. One thing I would say if you can put her in a stall and leave her for about 3 days in a stall. One it will help with the weaning. She is very late on that. I would go into her stall these 3 days and feed her and stand. If she approaches put your hand out palm down though and allow her to sniff your hand. Pet her and brush her in there.

Has she had a halter on at all in her first year of life? One thing I do right now is I work her by walking her around. I will be ponying her off of my other mare in the next couple of weeks.

Just spend time with her and she will come around.
    04-28-2011, 09:53 AM
Well I just noticed(my brain is not working this am) that this is a yearling,not a foal so scratch what I said. You need to halter break her. Put her in a small pen. And let her get used to you for a bit. You need to be able to touch (atleast) her neck,face, head all over. Then be able to touch her with a rope on those places, then put the halter on , 1st touching her with it on the mentioned places. It sounds like from what you've written that you have the basic idea.
    04-28-2011, 11:40 PM
She's in a small pasture by herself. I think I have found my method without placing her in an unnecessarily small space. Today I started by making noises at her every time she raced by me. I calles her name loudly and chased her around, then gave her a break. When I came back, I followes her around for about two hours. I ended up being able to walk next to her as long as I didn't try touching her. I'm going to let her come to me at her pace. She followed me around a little bit. I'm excited... She is a smart yearling, but hasn't really been messed with. We'll have her halter broke in no time. I just have to get past the "don't touch me" attitude.
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    04-30-2011, 09:46 PM
You might want to try this next time she is in a pasture. ( I had a similar mare that did that same thing). Walk in the pasture slowly with your halter(save it for later), if she freaks and starts to run around let her that's fine. But once she quiets down and begins to eat grass or just stand quietly with here head low. Crouch down to the ground act like your messing with the grass(act like your not paying attention to her). She will eventually walk up to you (itll take sometime time but just wait quietly). Once she comes up to you hold out you hand slowly shell smell it or something. Take the halter you have in the other hand and letter her smell it and look at it.. I would then rub it on her face so she knows it wont hurt her. Now After you have done this a couple time you will be able to put the halter on.

Some horses are sensitive and skiddish around there ears. I would before you put the halter on fully, I would take you hand a rub right on the bridal path and over her ears.. It makes it a lot easier to put the halter on a skiddish horse when she comfortable have you had by her ears.

Hope this helps...

training, yearling

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