Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Washington, USA.
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 05:33 PM.