Walking My Yearling Colt - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 07-03-2012, 12:50 PM Thread Starter
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Exclamation Walking My Yearling Colt

Hi all,

Soo im going through a funny stage with my yearling colt.

hes the most lovaeble little fella in the field but on occasions he is a bit stroppy on our walks. i only take him up and down the track once a weekd maximum and to my friends yard about 10 mins away but thursday just gone i took him on awalk and there were alot of horses on our way he kept trying to call to a very angry large stallion in a stallion pen and i had a job moving him on anyway once we got away he was fine and went to my friends stables he happily stole their hay and stood for abour 5 mins but went then started calling etc so i took him into her school to keep him occupied wandering around letting him smell things.. he then spooked ( never done this before) and flew up in the air knocked me flying but once he calmed down came and stood next to me.

Basilally im just wondering is there anything i can do to settle him while im out, is this because hes a baby and also perhaps becuase hes still entire or all of the above?

Thanks in advance x
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post #2 of 17 Old 07-03-2012, 01:09 PM
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First off with him being a yearling and learning hand grazing and letting him go as he pleases is NOT a good thing to teach him. hand grazing a yearling or babies teaches them to tug away from you always dodging for grass and what ever. You need to teach him manners and respect while on a lead rope. Hes to stay in his space and respect yours hes not to wonder away from you or to lag behind you. Your not walking a dog kinda deal. as a yearling he needs constant work not once a week or when ever you have time. everyday he should be handled. teach him to stand patiently teach him to pick up feet stand on cross ties backing him up side stepping to your pressure not his. Yearlings are at a stage where manners need to be established before you can move on to anything else. Without manners you have a beast that can and will hurt you.
You have a colt and from what you stated above are very inexperienced at handling young horses. This is also NOT a good combo he needs to be gelded asap. again once a week handling is not enough.

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post #3 of 17 Old 07-03-2012, 01:30 PM
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1. Dont ever let him sound to other horses- Make him lunge everytime or give him a good whack!- Its a bad habit that once its sets in, it'll never leave.
2. Yearlings can spook- Just remind him that he isnt suppost to with a quick lunge-
3. When there is resistance- Make him work- Dont just pull him till he goes =)
Work Work Work- Is all a yearling should be thinking about- Not yummy grass or his herd mates.
I say keep his mind moving and you wont have a problem

The Truth Harsher Than One Would Think
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post #4 of 17 Old 07-03-2012, 10:57 PM
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I disagree with the previous poster. I do not believe in lunging horses or working horses before 3 (sometimes 2 depending if it is a fast growing breed but even then I don't recommend it). The strain that lunging puts on their legs is way too much for a young horse who is still growing.

Also, a yearly is going to call out to other horses. Remember it was only a few months ago he was weaned and went from being a herd animal to solitary. I don;t think punishing a young horse for doing what he would naturally do is a a good idea. I would not walk him places with lots of distractions. Don't walk him around tons of other horses. The best thing you can do at this age is just be around him, get him desensitized to things like brushing, halters, leading short distances, moving off of pressure, picking up his feet and working around his head, etc.
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post #5 of 17 Old 07-04-2012, 04:20 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies guys.

firstly he is not allowed to wonder off and do as he pleases on walks he is allowed to graze when i say so not when he chooses and he is very aware of that his nose doesnt touch the ground until the lead rope does and i say 'ok'
when he can go. he is only a baby and although hes a large one his mind set i s still very young.

he already know's all of those things u stated about tying patience etc in his own yard iwas trying to get him out and about to experience new things young so as an adult its not such a shock ( this colt ha been hadled since 2 weeks old and i've owned him since birth his i cared for his mom thoroughout her pregnancy etc so i've always been around) as for leading walking backing up etc he already knows that the horse is completely at ease with all that i do. everyone has commented on how well be haved he is for instance if i ask him to back he up does it 1 finge on his shoulder trotting as soon as i start to jog hes by my side we are very bonded and i have him under control in our yard its just outside i need a little help on how to make him feel secure and safe he doesnt try and bolt he just get s scared.

p.s the reason its only twice a week is because i work and he is at a yard being cared for 5 days a week plus being so young i think everyday is to much and he needs herd time to be a baby and grow up.

Thanks for your comments all appreicated x
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post #6 of 17 Old 07-04-2012, 03:26 PM
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Yearlings are testing the waters as I am sure you know. Its been a while since I had a yearling so I might be out of step. My first thought is that if you are not planning on breeding him geld him. Him calling to a local stallion is a bit disturbing and he might soon figure out he has the muscle on you. If you had trouble getting him away from an "angry stallion" now imagine how hard it would be in 6 months. It sounds like he was positioning himself to fight and a stallion fight is not what you want ever. I would either put him into stallion management now or geld him.

I would be more worried about the fact that as I understand it he knocked you over. I think that shows a lack of respect for you and your space. It's a great way to get hurt. I would go back to leading 101. He should match your stride and pace no matter what that stride and pace is. If you stop, he should stop no tugging on the lead necessary. If he was my horse and he stepped into me once I would make sure it was the last time he did that. Nothing in the world should be more terrifying then me when my space is invaded. I know some will be upset by that idea; however, in my opinion its a safety thing. He is going to be big and strong and you don't need him knocking you over whenever he feels like it. He should not know that if he does not want to do something he can knock you over. I don't mean you have to beat him, but make him work. Make that a negative experience it by having him work circles or making him move his feet.

You knew him as a baby but he is not a baby anymore. He is a nearly adult horse. I know a lot of people who handled their horse from the time it was a day old and they did it poorly. I have heard of people who thought it was cute when their stud colt at day two charged and reared at them. They did not reprimand that behavior. It was not so cute when the horse was a 2 year old and would charge them in the pasture or bite them in play. I am not saying that you or your yearling are in this boat. I am just saying that who a horse is at a day old is very different then who they are as a yearling. The rules may have changed and you have to change with them or change them again.

Again, its been a few years since I handled a yearling and so my advice may not be worth a hill of beans. I wish you luck with your yearling.
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post #7 of 17 Old 07-04-2012, 04:02 PM
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Why are you walking him like he is a dog?

There is no need to do this.

And eventually, will cause more problems, especially if horse gets away from you, and injures itself, you, other people, or animals, or property.

Leave horse to be a horse, and get a dog.

Horses make me a better person.
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post #8 of 17 Old 07-04-2012, 04:30 PM
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Lol. Good luck ever getting a horse to completely stop calling to other horses. You may as well try asking them to hold their breath.

I used to take my little one for walks all the time. We didn't do a whole lot of work and I would avoid lunging and any extensive trot work or rough terrain, but a relatively flat mile walk every once in a while shouldn't be a problem. I tried to let her set the pace, don't pick a fight because he starts off boldly and curious. Just walk with him. Don't let him pull away or walk in front, but don't try to slow him down too much. I liked to incorporate circles around things [mailboxes, bushes, anything] and circles in general [towards me and mostly away from me] to keep my little one yielding. Throw in some halts and backing if he stops paying attention.

As far as calling to other horses, I never just let her call home, I'd usually immediately push her into a circle away from me to get her to refocus on me, and I don't think she's done much calling lately [she's 4 now]. Babies will call, they are still insecure, but all you can do is redirect their attention to you and continue impressing upon them that you are the leader and they don't need to look to other horses for guidance. I do NOT recommend hitting your horse when he calls.

Just keep up with some "yield to me" exercises on your walks [as I said, circles, halts, backing up, even zig-zagging down the trail]. He just needs to know that you are alpha and that in itself will assure him. Good luck!

ETA: I spent a long time writing this, I was also cooking, talking to people, etc, so I did not see the post above me.

There is NOTHING wrong with taking a young horse on a walk. It is NOT like "walking a dog." It gets them out and desensitized to all sorts of things, it counts as groundwork, and is more exciting for both of you than 10 minute sessions every day in the arena. Just because some people do not do things like this doesn't mean it is wrong. We aren't talking about taking a full grown, trained horse for a walk, we are talking about taking a yearling out. Big difference.

"Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds."

Last edited by riccil0ve; 07-04-2012 at 04:33 PM.
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post #9 of 17 Old 07-11-2012, 07:16 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you to Ricc0love your post make a lot of sense i have been working on a lot with him over the past wk as i had a few days off i also did a bit of join up with him and worked on him staying at my sholder back to basics etc as for his walks i have decided until he has been castrated its unsafe for me to walk him out incase he gets to a mare etc people are right in saying i now need to take note that he isnt a baby any more its just difficult to let his baby time go ha!

also to the person who said he is not a dog i am fully aware what he is and i walk him so he gets used to the outside world when he knocked me he wasnt pushing me he spooked the opposite direction and went up in the air he settles staight away and it was one of his first times away from home! hes is generally very well behaved its just an odd occasion that he doesnt something out of character peopleneed to remeber he is still young!
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post #10 of 17 Old 07-11-2012, 07:39 AM
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You are making excuses for him behavior. At 1 year old, hes not a baby. His testosterone is kicking in and horomores are starting to rage.

You say he knocked you over...okay. but then it wasnt his fault because he spooked.

You say he is pulling you around...okay. but he is just a baby.

You say that he is calling to other horses...okay. but he is just a baby.

No, no, and no.

Hes not a baby, hes a 500+ pound horse that needs manners while walking around. Best way to do it, is to expose him to it frequently. No, that doesnt mean once a week, that means multiple times a week, 4-6 times a week.

When he isnt listening to you, back him up. Turn him in circles. Make his mind come back to you. If a horse is circling, they are less likely to bolt. Dont get frustrated with him, just make him work. But lunging is a VERY bad idea. He'll spook, bolt and then drag you. And then youll have a horse running down the road. Not smart or safe.
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