Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Perth, Western Australia
• Horses: 0
Don't do the "creeping and moving slowly" thing any more. Think about a horse's instincts - in the wild, predators creep and move slowly and crouch. That is not going to help. As Sky said, moving normally and just "being" is the best way to go.
When you work specifically with him, tie Mum up. Don't give her anything interesting to eat - maybe some hay if she won't stand quietly, but ideally nothing at all. You only want to work with the foal for 10 minutes tops, so she should be ok to stand.
Find a treat that he really likes. At this stage, don't worry about if it is nutritionally sound, just that he loves it that much that he really will do anything for it. Start off by testing them in Mum's feed - what is he trying to steal first? Then start feeding it to Mum by hand, making a big deal about offering it to her, and really lavishing the treat on her. Soon, he will need it, and will start creeping to your hand for it. Let him nibble, then offer some more. He will soon learn that you can't touch him if he stretches out for it and stands far away, so once he starts doing it like that, bring your hand closer to your body. Don't try to touch him at this point, let him start to think that you are just a food dispenser. Eventually you should be able to have your hand by your side and he will reach for it. At this point, I would start using a bucket with the treat in it - putting his head in is a big deal because he won't be able to see what you are doing. Still don't try to touch him - let his trust develop.
Once he is coming to you, looking for a treat, putting his head into the bucket without worrying that you are going to touch him, you can start trying to touch him with the hand not offering food. DON'T try while he has his head in a bucket, he needs to see your hand otherwise he will freak. Just casually touch his shoulder - if you position your food hand correctly you should be able to get him to stand across the front of you. Just give him a little scratch, then give him more food. Don't push it - if he moves away, don't chase him - but don't give him more food after he moves back. At this point, you should only let him have the treat if he will stand for scratches.
Continuing in this fashion has worked for me in the past.