My gelding-Tejas- will be home next Saturday. Unfortunately his previous owner didn't do much with him other than halter break him. He is 5 yrs old and huge. I'm wanting to groom him, and give him some TLC. I'd rather start out building a bond with him before I just start bossing him around. I'm worried that he might be a little pushy about standing still for brushing, picking his hooves, etc.
Would you feed him during?- after?
Should I tie him or let him graze and enjoy the grooming sessions?
How would you teach this guy respect during something as simple as grooming?
What are your experiences with big uneducated babies?
I can make cross ties. I do not have stocks.
Its great that you want to build a bond with your horse, but let me tell you right now, he is going to test you to see who is on top or bottom. Make sure you end up on top, or you really will have a problem. In other words, you can spoil him, pet him, love on him but don't let him invade your space, nip, throw his head, etc without correction. I promise it wont ruin your bonding, and in fact may help strengthen the bond as he learns to respect you and your space.
Personally, I do NOT feed my horse when I groom her. She can eat later, and it usually just becomes a distraction. Same goes for grazing. When I groom my horse, she needs to pay attention to me. Especially since you got a "big baby
" on your hands, he needs to pay attention to you so he doesn't step on you, etc.
If he knows how to tie, you can tie him. Make sure to tie him using a safety knot, and practice releasing the knot just in case of freak outs, or have someone hold him. He'll learn that grooming is a time when he needs to pay attention to you, but he will learn to enjoy these times :)
Remember, whenever you are around your horse, he is learning about you and you are teaching him something. Therefore, when grooming him, make him be respectful no matter what you do. Big uneducated horses should be treated no different than small uneducated horses. They need to be taught to be respectful of humans, that way no one gets hurt.
Sorry for the novel, hope it answered your questions. Good luck