Untouched yearling Filly - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 03-16-2011, 08:56 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
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Untouched yearling Filly

I received my filly 2 months ago as an 8 month old. I am having trouble finding research on how to make the first step. She is untouched, never even been petted by a human. they ran her into a chute to get her in the trailer. I am able to get her in a round pen with a cattle dog and myself, and my sister in law.

What would be the first step in trying to gain her trust? We don't have an enclosure, so we're out in the rain and mud so I don't know how well sitting in a round pen for hours will work right now... .although I will do that if that's the first step. she is not on my property so I do not feed and water her.. .she is also in a field with 3 other colts her age. When I can get her halter broke and trust to travel in the trailer, I will bring her home.

I have done the training after halter breaking, but never did the beginning part.

Any suggestions or books you think would help? I can do the groundwork and saddle breaking when the time comes, then plan on bringing her to a trainer (if I can ever find one) for finishing.

Thank you!
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post #2 of 19 Old 03-16-2011, 09:16 PM
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Good to see you back! Do you have pics of your new poneh?
It is going to be really tough without some sort of arena or enclosure, especially a round pen. That is a very helpful tool. Is there any way to move her to a facility with a round pen for a few months while you work with her and get her mostly people-broke?

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post #3 of 19 Old 03-16-2011, 09:36 PM
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I worked for a women in Illinois who had 25 yearlings (thats where I got Salem) and MOST of them were like that when I started. You said they trailered her,why didnt you have them bring her to your place? Would have made this easier I would think.Are the colts she is with friendly? You could gain some advantage by interracting with them and letting her see that it isnt a bad thing.I did spend a considerable amount of time sitting on buckets with pockets full of grain,starting by leaving some for them a ways away from me and slowly making them come closer and closer to get the food.Not looking straight at her might help,as well as breathing deeply and evenly through your nose.Keep yourself turned slightly away from her when standing still and spend time just walking around her but not going to her.See if you can get her to follow you,even if its only a short distance and set out a reward.The pointe is to get her feeling like you are a leader who she must go to,that you will not go to her and that you are safe.Hope this helps.It was a few years ago that I worked there and the details of how we got them all going are blurry (we had to take different approaches with each one) but if I recall some other tips Ill post um up. Good luck!
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post #4 of 19 Old 03-16-2011, 09:37 PM
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WooHoo, glad to see you back around here .

Whether it's a foal or a 3 year old, I have always had better luck getting them into a decent sized pen and roping them (especially when time is a factor). That way I can control their motion but I still have the option to let them get away from me if they absolutely need to. I use the rope around their neck to just apply pressure and teach them to face up (the same way you would with a halter). Work your way up the rope toward them and whenever they go to run away, have them face up and just wait for a minute. Once you get within an arm's reach of them just stand there for a while, let them smell you if they will, and let them relax. Then you can slowly start moving your hand up to their shoulder. Once you get your hand on their shoulder, don't pet or scratch at first, just stand there calmly with your hand on them.

Just keep moving a little more and a little more until you can touch around their shoulders/neck/head on both sides without them freaking out. Then slowly put a halter on them and go from there. For me, this generally takes no more than 2 hours from start to finish. Less if the horse is inquisitive and curious. After I get them haltered, I will generally spend some time every day just petting and scratching and just hanging out with them. It doesn't generally take them long to warm up to you once you find a spot they like having scratched.

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Last edited by smrobs; 03-16-2011 at 09:40 PM.
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post #5 of 19 Old 03-16-2011, 09:41 PM
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try a stall, then you can pet and gentle her, give her grain daily and rub her head with a halter when eating grain, she will let you put it on eventually. it may take weeks but keep rubbing her.
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post #6 of 19 Old 03-16-2011, 09:43 PM
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I had a similar case as you with a 2 year old filly and a 13 year old gelding, they were abused by the people I first got so they were really terrified of humans.

First the filly was a bit more easier from not being interacted with for to long of her life, for her all I did was put grain in a bucket and stood beside it and waited for her to come eat, gradually I was able to touch her and she gained trust easily. The gelding on the other hand was a whole different story. You stepped one foot closer and he was gone.

I learned with him, patience. I would put his food down and stand a ways away, after letting him eat a few mouth fulls I would step closer. Of course he would run off but his hunger beat him and he would come back. Repeating this process may be a bit time consuming but once you start something you GOT to finish it. I would do this again and again, staying out there for more then an hour. Wait until I was just inches from his grain and then I would let him be. Soon he actually grew to trust my presence and it didnt' take a long to near him. After you can walk right up to him trust in petting and such is way easier.

Also for halter breaking its a bit more difficult, though you may be able to do that the first time you can get close enough to her. Take a lead rope with you or have it closer to her food bucket so its easy to reach. If you can grab hold of her mane do so and don't let go until you get the lead around her neck, there fore she can't go anywhere. Then, if you want to be harsh about the halter breaking just throw the thing on her face, that is kind of what I did to my foal a few years back, but he was only a month old and a lot easier to hold.

Last edited by Ladybug2001; 03-16-2011 at 09:47 PM.
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post #7 of 19 Old 03-17-2011, 05:21 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you everyone for the advice, that was extremely helpful. I knew I could count on the old hf for advice :).

Alli hi again!! I do have a round pen and I can get her ran into it no problem, its after that I didn't know what to do...and I didn't want to do it wrong so before I start something I want it to be right.

Jen thank you for the great advice as well. I wish I knew how to use a roPe, I'm afraid I wouldn't be able to get it off it got too tight. I saw it done that way on some videos online. Thanks again!

Mystik thanks for that tip, ill have to try it! She's very headstrong, confident, independant, and intelligent. The colts she is with 2 out of the 3 have been slightly handled. So I'm hoping that will help.

I haven't taken her home yet because I don't have all the proper fencing up yet. I just moved to 20 acres and still need some things set up. We have one stall my fiance built for Thunder and the turnout fenced off with the tape (which Thunder respects) however, a yearling filly will not haha. So now just need to get her halter broke so we can trailer her this summer to my place. And I only live 15 mins away from her so no big deal.

Thank you all again for the advice. If there's any other tips ill listen! Will start A new thread introducing her soon.
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post #8 of 19 Old 03-17-2011, 10:02 AM
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Have you ever done join-up? It might really help in that first step to just touch her.
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post #9 of 19 Old 03-17-2011, 10:06 AM
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Originally Posted by myhorses10 View Post
try a stall, then you can pet and gentle her, give her grain daily and rub her head with a halter when eating grain, she will let you put it on eventually. it may take weeks but keep rubbing her.
I worry about a stall - it is such a closed space that Lacey runs a real risk of injury to herself or the mare.
You know for as much as I don't like Mr Roberts, I find join-up VERY useful.
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post #10 of 19 Old 03-17-2011, 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by JustDressageIt View Post
I worry about a stall - it is such a closed space that Lacey runs a real risk of injury to herself or the mare.
We've always used the stall method for the few first days. Basically feed, water and clean. Slow and easy. This allows the youngster to understand the human brings me what I need and doesn't hurt me.

As the youngster settles, you can spend more time simply standing and let her approach you. Stay near the door in case she has a moment of panic and you need to quickly (and quietly exit to let her calm down.
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