Where to start on working with 8 month colt - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 01-04-2012, 03:34 PM Thread Starter
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Where to start on working with 8 month colt

My husband work all day and by the time he gets home its dark and our colt needs to be worked with so its up to me. Where do I start? I know nothing about what to do with him. He is halter trained, but thats about it. I had shoulder surgery so I havent done much with any of them since then I am still sore so dont want to get myself hurt and risk more surgery. So where do I start he needs to learn respect and giving people space how do I do this?
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post #2 of 12 Old 01-04-2012, 05:39 PM
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If your still sore from surgery it might be best to get someone into help you, even for an hour everyday for a wk or two just till the foal settles with been handled. Alot of people think aw its just a we fluffy foal but they can be just as strong as a pony and could run over you/kick you. If you are able to get some help, the easiest way to start would be to put the foal on a long rope and try leading him/her while someone is leading the mare, this way there wont be a hole tug or war in the yard trying to get the foal to move, theyl walk beside the mare and gradually start taking more of a hold, keeping them back a we bit from the mare until there walking calmy beside you. That could be a we idea to get you started. Good luck
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post #3 of 12 Old 01-04-2012, 07:36 PM
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I have never worked with a baby that young foe nr n hour at a time.

What I would do is just a bunch of handling. Petting never ruins your horse. Letting it get away with being pushy and disrespectful does. Here is the perfect time to start getting a horse to let you touch him all over. They are small, more easy to manipulate(Both physically and mentally) and are generally more eager and willing to learn.

I cannot stress feet handling enough. Your farrier will love you for it if he can trim your horse without having to hold him up too, or wrestle him, or fight to get a foot up, or do something that would potentially get the farrier hurt. There are days with my foals where I will walk out pick up all four feet, give them a little loving for being good, and leave. Yhere is five minutes right there, and if there is anything a horse needs for his entire life it is good foot manners. v

Being able to work safely around the horse is something that will follow him. You need to be able to groom him, handle his feet, his ear, his tail, his nose, his back and stomach and neck and poll. He needs to know how to stand which then(and only then) leads to tieing. He needs to stand with you attached to the lead in an area to be groomed. Once he is standing while you move around him you can start tieing him and remain attached to him with the lead.

You can lead him. A horse can never have to many leading lessons.

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Last edited by LadyDreamer; 01-04-2012 at 07:39 PM. Reason: phone not cooperating. sorry for typos
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post #4 of 12 Old 01-04-2012, 08:25 PM
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Good post LadyDreamer.. Iv never worked with a foal for an hr straight either i just meant if you were able to get someone to come and help for an hr/half hr, allowing time to catch the mare and foal, getting them settled, some leading around the yard and then abit of grooming to finish that if she got into a we routine like that for a week or2 she would see a great improvment..
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post #5 of 12 Old 01-04-2012, 08:35 PM
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hopefully it's weaned so the mare shouldn't even be around. If it isn't broke to lead I would put a rope around it's butt to urge it foward and you release pressure as it responds. Work on picking up all feet, brushing and touching all over, tieing, leading unusual places, backing up, standing square, getting sacked out with different stuff.
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post #6 of 12 Old 01-04-2012, 08:41 PM
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[QUOTE=churumbeque;1294096]hopefully it's weaned so the mare shouldn't even be around

Good point but Iv seen some people let foals stay with the mare untill their nearly 2!! So you just never know
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post #7 of 12 Old 01-04-2012, 10:30 PM Thread Starter
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Charlie has been away from his mom for 4 months or so. The mare was looking way to skinny and the foal was picking up all of her bad habits. He does lead, but is pushy.
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post #8 of 12 Old 01-04-2012, 11:41 PM
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Most bad behavior with little ones I will ignore unless it is aggressive behavior(biting kicking striking etc) or gets really bad(running over the top of you dragging you around pushibg you or manipulating you physically with his head etc).

Baby tantrums go away. First time mistakes are forgivable unless you let them become a habit. For example. I took my now-yearling into the crosstie area the first time where we were just standing and I started a little grooming. After about a minute he decides to walk out. I didn't do anything but follow and stop him gently. I then asked him to come back in the cross tie area again. We stood for a bit more and we went home. That was very forgivable. Yes it was wrong. He should not have walked out on me, vut fixable. It won't become a habit and babies are a walking mistake. Rare is the colt that knows all the right answers and makes no mistakes.

There are lots of things you can do in a very short time frame.

If you are working with him at all off the line out in the paddock or pasture or pen or whatever, if he wants to be with you that is great. If he wants to be with you and wants to be a jerk about it, send him away. Chase him off a ways to where you feel safe. When he is being polite invite him back in. You want him to want to be with you so make yourself that person. Exploit itchy spots as much as possible but don't let him be a jerk.

Babies learn real quick how to read your body language. You just need to learn how to control it. Emulate the energy you see in a dominant horse over a young belligerant horse. When horse B is being polite amd respectful, horse A is relaxed lazy and calm. Equivlent to us leaning on the fence havin a conversation. When horse A needs to reprimand horse B it is ears pinned hard eye tense body to the point of kickibg and squealing. Think of us shoulders back head up and glaring, chest puffed out leading up to whacking and yelling. You need to be able to turn that on and off.

They also learn real quick that we are very vocal animals and learn the tones of our voices.They know when you are happy,angry, calm, tense, or bluffing. They can read you better than anything. Learning to communicate goes both ways.

A lot of his pushyness could go away without an actual punishment with consitent and proper handling.

Rewarding good behavior in my experience has always had more effect overall than punishing bad behavior. And always remember to never punish more than the mistake.

For example. If he wants to crowd into your space while you are standing block him from it without really reacting emotionally. Tell him where he is supposed to be and reward when he does the right thing. Even though he knows how to lead, give him a job of it. Lead in a pattern and then stop and stand. If he has a baby tantrum safely ignore it until he does the correct thing. It sometimes takes stopping and asking again. They are just figuring stuff out. Right and wrong is a new concept and "that is right" is easier to teach than "that is wrong". I teach all my babies the job of a futurity baby whether or not they are shown. It gives them a sime job they can focus on and you a goal. We trot in hand down the barn or outside and stop and park out like they are supposed to. You could do this by walking from A to B, trotting from B to C and walking home. Who knows where you will lead this colt or what speed it will require. Leading lessons and games are very valuable.

. If he is crowding you while turned loose, a very dangerous thing, just drive him out of your space. Clap your hands, wave your arms, make him uncomfortable to be that close. You are the fun wonderful keeper of the almighy wither scratches. You are a good thibg that they want to be around. They need to learn that they have to be polite if they want scratches. If not they have to go away and they don't like it.

My two yearlings are funny. They beg for attention and scratches all day long but theu can get a little demanding or jealous of the other so they get sent away until they want to behave. Then I allow them back near me. They don't get to make the rules. They are rotten rats to the core but they have to behave. I have never once hurt their feelings by chasing them away and never once have they refused to come back to me or let me go to them.
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post #9 of 12 Old 01-05-2012, 10:58 AM
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I bought my yearling when he was 10months old. Had quite a bit of training on him before I got him, but was somewhat disrespectful, and you really had to work to get his feet, to get him to stand still, and to get his halter on and off.

I would start working with him with picking his feet, leading respectfully, standing, full grooming, if you have started all ready, start touching him everywhere!! Take things slow, and keep training sessions short, and he'll turn out great!

Cant believe he is 8months old already! Time sure does fly!!!
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post #10 of 12 Old 01-05-2012, 11:04 AM
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With all the foals I have worked with, We just start with ground work, like picking up his feet, learning to load, showing him the bridle and blanket, then when they turn a year we put a saddle and bridle on them and get some long lines and work from behind (from the ground) and work with turning left & right & stoppping. then when they turn 2 years get on them and do light rideing teaching them the basic getting them used to the weight and everything.
Good luck with him and hope you heal fast from your surgery! :)

When I can't ride anymore, I shall keep horses as long as I can hobble along with a bucket and wheelbarrow. When I can't hobble, I shall roll my wheelchair out by the fence of the field where my horses graze, and watch them!
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