Weanling Advice

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Weanling Advice

This is a discussion on Weanling Advice within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • Bringing a weanling home
  • Things to expose weanlings to

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    06-03-2011, 12:45 AM
Weanling Advice

Alright, I wasn't quite sure of anywhere else to put this, so, I figured I'd just put it on this board...

In September I will be bringing home a 6 month old Quarter Horse filly. She'll have work with halters/lead ropes and getting into a trailer.

I've been around horses ranging from age of 3 months to 35 years, but I've never actually had the opportunity to own one this young. So, I'm looking to gather any advice on them. That could be care wise, or training wise. Both is greatly appreciated.

Also, my plans is to make her a barrel racer. She comes from cutting stock, and that was her sire's co-owner's intentions if she had not been sold. What things can I do to help her do well in barrels?

Your help is greatly appreciated =]
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    06-03-2011, 01:26 AM
After you get her settled in, build her trust in you. Lead her all over, expose her to new things. When I had 8 or 9 babies every year, I led them through different parts of the trail courses I had set up. Mud puddles, cars, tractors, road graders, kids, dogs, blowing tarps (on the ground and on fences), anything you can think of that she would encounter, get her desensitized to it now. Get her to be a willing partner.

I prefer pasture raised horses, especially pastures that are not just flat stretches of grass. If they have hills and creeks and other things you might encounter on trail rides, that's even better. And fresh grass is great for growing babies, but get it tested if you can so that you can provide the nutrients she needs but that the grass lacks. Also, regular hoof care is very important for all horses, no matter their age.

These are the tips I can give you right now, but I'm tired and off to bed. Do you have any pictures of her?
    06-03-2011, 02:03 AM
I've got a few pictures of Sparrow in my horses part =]

And she's going to be a pasture horse, she's a pasture baby anyhow. And the place I am moving her to has everything that you stated, it's not all flat, has a creek, has trees, etc.

In regards to getting the grass tested, I don't know of any place that might be able to do that. But, I do plan on watching her on how she does on hay (seeing as we'll be getting snow anywhere from that month to two months from then), and getting grain to add in if she requires it. I've gone to school for horses for a few months (decided in the end that the money wasn't worth it) so I know how to effectively make their food as nutritional as possible.

Thanks for your quick tips.
    06-03-2011, 06:59 AM
Green Broke
6 months old. Just pulled from mom? Be careful and really watch her stress level. If she gets diarreah, get yourself some probiotics to help her gut. Its always a good thing to have on hand anyway. Go slow with her. And as the above poster said, build a trusting bond with her. But remember, don't let her get away with anything. Just because she is a baby, she's new, and you want her to like you, doesn't mean she will be allowed to be naughty. As hard as that will be, remember, she will learn from Everything you do with her. Good or bad.

Do you have another seasoned horse?
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    06-03-2011, 07:46 AM
I believe she will be off her mom for a while before I am taking her home, she generally weans them by putting them in a different pasture for awhile, which is what I'm assuming she will be doing with Sparrow.

I will be planning on building the bond with her, it's a big reason I did choose a younger horse, but not the biggest reason. And I won't let her get away with anything just because she's a baby. I know that that's when they almost always learn their bad habits. I'm almost always the one that is getting after the horse for things people generally thing are "cute".

And no, I don't have another seasoned horse. But she will be out to pasture with 2 other horses.
    06-03-2011, 08:01 AM
Green Broke
The reason I asked if you had a seasoned horse is ponying her is always a good thing too. Gets her to build some confidence. But do what you have to to expose her to everything. Flags, balloons, and plastic. Whatever you may come across out on the trail or just riding down the road. Whatever you do, be patient and have fun.
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    06-03-2011, 08:21 AM
At 6 months of age your filly's mind will be way to immature to handle any specific pre-barrel racing training. She will need daily handling and lots of interaction with you, mainly in the beginning just hanging out with her in a non-stressful way. It's not until she is at least a yearling that you could start doing the desensitizing training with walking over tarps or setting down pylons for leading her through the pattern, etc.
    06-03-2011, 08:47 AM
Green Broke
I have to disagree with you candandy. I believe that from the day they are born you should work with them. Sensitizing and desensitizing them. Then leave them to mom. The older they get the stronger they get. If you are trying to get her real good at walking and leading, you come across something scary, ex. A tarp, what do you do if they spook? Just let them and don't help them to understand that things in their world won't hurt them? Its better to show them things that are scary to them, won't kill them. It also helps them to realize that you won't lead them to danger. They start to trust you better.

I realize everyone has their own methods and some people let babies be babies and don't do much with them until they are older. But in my experience and in my opinion, when you work with them at an early age and put them away for awhile to grow up, they seem to be easier to handle later.
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    06-03-2011, 09:24 AM
Oh doggone it, I left a mistaken impression of my experience with weanlings and new borns. Here is my Candy's second born filly:

We were present at each of my Candy's foalings and yes, they each were imprinted and handled at birth. That is my husband with the filly baby at feeding time. The wheel barrow has hay in it.

Mbender, I'm sorry to have been misleading in my previous reply.
    06-03-2011, 09:37 AM
Green Broke
That's ok. I am not saying one way is right and one way is wrong. Not at all. Just saying what I find is easier. You know? Beautiful baby.
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