Weanling ideas - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 12-13-2012, 03:25 PM Thread Starter
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Weanling ideas

Some background first.

I have some understanding of training based on watching clinics and shows. I have been around horses and am comfortable with them. I currently do not own any horses and haven't rode much in the last ten years. Currently I volunteer at a horse rescue.

The rescue has a colt that I would be in the 7-10 month old range. When resued he had a pretty sever cut to his left front leg. That has healed, but is still seollen and scared, though it seems to not bother him at all. When rescued he wasn't halter broke. Now he is halter broke, but does at times get stubborn. When this happens I apply pressure with the lead rope until he gves, then reward him. He does at times seem rather pushy (I am working on that) and does not seem to understand when I want him to move off in either direction. He also seems to toss his head when you try to direct hinm with the halter and lead rope. He was somewhat difficult to catch, though he was full of energy and playing more than anything else I think.

My question is what excercises or training would you recommend for him. My ubderstanding is that it need to be in small inrements due to his age and attention spans. Last time I worked with him I would work for about 5-15 minutes floowed by grooming and taking him out to graze on some fresh grass. Any advice is appreciated.
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post #2 of 7 Old 12-13-2012, 03:49 PM
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Like you said just work in short sessions. Focus on teaching one thing at a time. When they master something then the next time move on to something new. Some things to teach him are maintaining a respectful distance, backing up, yeilding forequarters and hindquarters, picking up all four feet. When they do those things pretty well I like to start putting saddle pads, plastic sacks, tarps, etc then rub them with them ans let them wear the saddle pads while leading. Some people like to take them over little I obstacles. I like to take mine and pony them around at showdeos and let them see the sights and sounds. Makes sure you don't work him every day some days just take the colt out and groom him. You can also teach your horse to join up. I'll post a video of me doing join up with my colts. Make sure even when he crowds you to always assert your space. He may be crowding you because he's a lil disrespectful but I find that most of the time with young horses they crowd out of fear so make sure you don't stare him directly in the eye much. Let me know if you have any questions.

The way I do my join up is I angle my body and point my shoulder at thier face/nose make sure you only look indirectly at the colt. I have my arm outward but lowered with a neutral hand. And I use my body position to draw them in. When I lose their attention I just ask again. You will see in the video I lost the Dunskin colts focus and so I disengaged his hindquarters get him to turn and look me then I redraw his focus on me. This is a great way to bond and also makes it easy to catch your horse later even if they don't want you to. . You will hear me snap my fingers some that's to get thier focus again or move thier body. Remember colts have short attention spans so I often have to ask for thier attention again. Now this takes a lot of practice to get the language down so don't get discouraged.
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post #3 of 7 Old 12-14-2012, 11:53 AM
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Pushy. Just baby stuff. Keep working through it like you have been. Be as forceful as he requires.
Stubborn. Baby stuff. Keep working trough it.
Any threat to bite or kick or strike. Drop the barn on him, then go about what you were trying to do calmly as before.
Tantrums. Baby stuff. (I DON'T WANNA! I am going to fight and pull and pout and shake my head and not go forward! Ahhh!) you can either A) drop the barn on him, especially if he starts doing something dangerous like kicking or rearing; or B) safely wait until he stops and go again. Either way go again.
Any good or desired behavior. Praisepraisepraise.
Always end on a good note or a "win".
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post #4 of 7 Old 12-15-2012, 05:32 AM
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Need to see why leg is still swollen first. I think that is what you meant, and did you mean leg is scarred, or colt is scared?

And I would let him just be a horse for a while longer.
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post #5 of 7 Old 12-15-2012, 11:32 AM
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He has plenty for time being a horse after he has some good ground manners first. He will only get harder to mess with if she waits till he older. I've messed with and trained all my babies at this age then when they have great ground manners then I let up of them and let them just be out in the herd and I just go out and pet and love on them in the pasture. But still occasionally take them out for refreshers for a few minutes. It makes them better horses when my colts turn two they are easy to break to ride cause of what I did when they we younger. (And by break to ride I mean sitting on them, teaching them basic reining, and walking around my yard lol. The real work doesn't start till 3.) Plus he's at a rescue he will be more adoptable if he is a cute well trained colt.
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post #6 of 7 Old 12-15-2012, 12:33 PM
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It is instinctive for a colt to fight. It means survival to him. Rather than pull on his head try tapping his hip and quit the moment he starts to take a step. Rub his forehead then ask again. Dont hold the lead by the clip but a several feet down the lead. This way he can move without getting the idea your body is in the way.
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post #7 of 7 Old 12-16-2012, 04:26 AM
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wear gloves, babies are in a wonderful time in their lives and can just unexpectedly get "happy" - at your expense.

He has trouble understanding left or right? Or just moving off in any direction?

Tap like ^ said lightly...w your left hand to get him to go forward (in any direction), never pull. Since he is a little feller,be sure to gauge where the whip end will "tap" before you start. If you do not know what his response will be to a tap, be ready the first time (like I said, gloves are always good). Cluck each time so you can replace the tap w a cluck.
You have to be extremely patient. I often find babies can be shown something and not seem to comprehend it much, but after they "sleep on it" (i.e., a day later) you can tell it did sink in to some degree.

There is just as much horse sense as ever, but the horses have most of it.
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