yearling colt - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 04-10-2011, 11:16 PM Thread Starter
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yearling colt

I am going to be getting a yearling colt in a few weeks. I was wondering what all things I can work on with him at this age?? What kind of discipline should he be learning?? I know im limited as to what i can do rite now but im not sure exactly what i CAN do. Thanks for your time.
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post #2 of 13 Old 04-11-2011, 01:22 AM
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For a yearling I would say ground manners. Do lots of leading where he is being obediant to you and you are not being drug by him. Make him follow you with not to much slack in the lead but where he is not in front of you. If he begins to walk faster than you, immediatley stop and make him back up. Keep doing this until it is no struggle. When you want him to back up, don't push him with your body. Take the lead in one hand and pull twards his chest repetitivley (pull release pull release). Make sure when you pull back it isn't a constant pulling motion. That is teaching your horse to fight back at whatever you are trying to make him to. When you do it repetitivley it is annoying and they won't fight it. Usually they will do what ever it is that makes you stop. Everytime he takes a step back stop. He will learn the annoying repetitive pull stops when he backs up.
I would also get him use to being tied. Tie him and brush him. Pick up his feet, even if you aren't cleaning them just pick them up and make him stand there, this can be good for when the farrier comes out. Maybe get him use to blankets. Let him smell them and get him comfortable with you swinging it over his back. At least it will prepare him for when you begin tacking him up.
Have fun with your new baby!
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post #3 of 13 Old 04-11-2011, 01:32 AM
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AGREED!!! At this age they need to learn how to be a horse and whats expected. Don't push them too hard in their training. Practice and do the everyday things...brushing, leading, feet, clipping, ears, mouth, blankets, tying, stuff like that. But, not all in one day. Work on little things a little at a time. You have a lot of time to teach other stuff ie saddling, lunging, bitting up. Right now work on normal horsey things. and remember to discipline when they do something wrong, ie walk on top of you. the earlier you catch those type of things the easier they are to handle when they get bigger. Have fun and enjoy your new little one!!!
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post #4 of 13 Old 04-11-2011, 07:58 PM
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I agree above. You need to establish the ground manners and let him know that he can't walk all over you. Babies tend to like to be in your face, but they need to learn they need to be careful. Work on him being good about all four feet being picked and have him be a good leader. Lead him around and see if he will run with you. You can give him treats and make him a sweet horse. Just make sure if he is sensitive not to over correct him. Babies like to be in the air especially depending on the breed. Also put a saddle pad on him. Make it so it is not a scary thing to him. Blanket him and just be casual about everything you do!They need work everyday as often as possible. One thing remember make it fun for the foal. Run with him and maybe get him something to play with and use alot of treats!!! Have fun!!

"The hand should be a filter, not a plug or an open faucet."
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post #5 of 13 Old 04-11-2011, 09:40 PM
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About 15 minutes at a time is all their little brains can handle. Ideally 2-3 15 minute sessions of learning something new and remembering something already taught. Keep your expectations low but always demand respect. Some days the goal is just to walk 10 feet without them rushing ahead!
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post #6 of 13 Old 04-12-2011, 09:54 AM
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Good advice above.

Start slowly and build up.
1. Leading - horse moves forward when you do and halts when you do. Horse can be turned right or left by handler.
2. Ties. Horse stands quietly and doesn't pull back when tied.
3. Grooming. Horse can be groomed, without a fuss, all over it's body - from inside it's ears to cleaning it's hooves and sheath/udder.
4. Horse stands quietly for farrier and doesn't lean.
5. Horse stands quietly for bathing, including sheath.
6. Clipping. Horse stands quietly for having it's legs, face and ears clipped.
Now for the fun part.
7. Start teaching now leg yield (from the ground) - make certain you teach it on BOTH sides.
8. Turn on forehand, turn on haunches, Rein back
9. Lunging - NOT tight circles. nor very long (10 minutes max to start). Teach horse voice commands starting with walk on and halt. Over time add trot and eventually canter.
10. Carrott stretches - between front legs, to left and right to middle of the back (top).
11. saddle pad/ blanket - acceptance of strange thing on it's back.
12. at 1 1/2 years you can place a LIGHT saddle on their back (No girth/cinch). If they handled the saddle pad the girth shouldn't be a big deal.
13. Have someone stand on a mounting block, sit on top of a stall, etc...somewhere where the rider is ABOVE the horses head/back. (Some horses freak when they see a human "above" them.)
14. Pony the horse (ride another horse with young horse on the right side, horse you ride should be VERY quiet and controllable with one hand). Start in the pasture where if horse gets loose it shouldn't be a big deal. Make certain you can turn in BOTH directions, halt and rein back. Once you've got the walk try a trot.
15. Before you teach horse to accept bit you need to have an equine dentist (or vet) look at it's mouth. Between ages 2-5 years the horses looses it's "baby" teeth and thus a bit in the mouth can be painful IF the baby teeth (caps) are coming off or the horse has some other sort of problem. Not all vets are good at this, and neither are all dentists, so choose carefully. (Mine happens to be a vet who does ONLY equine dentistry.) Teach horse about opening mouth for bit and accepting bit (I feed with bit in the mouth a few times).
16. Now add girth of saddle and lunging in tack (saddle/bridle).
17. Ground driving - walk, turn, halt and some trot whe horse does the rest perfectly.

By this time horse is around 2-2 1/2 years of age and you might be able to start riding. Teach walk, halt and turn....go slowly. Once you've got that down perfectly add in trot. Wait to canter until you have control of the trot.

Dressage is for Trainers!
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post #7 of 13 Old 04-12-2011, 10:06 AM
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Everyone has a different opinion on how soon they should be started, but as a yearling you can do everything up to stepping in the stirrups, and throw a leg over at 2. I normally have the capable of doing an entire trail course under saddle, with no rider of course, using driving lines at a walk, trot, lope/canter.

(Even if trail will not be their discipline.)

Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe that your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires courage.
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post #8 of 13 Old 04-12-2011, 12:49 PM
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Its up to you really. I have a 2yr old colt atm i dont plan on backing him untill he is 3 then turning him away and breaking him in to ride when he is 4, but some people break there horses to ride at 2 or 3 so I suppose it goes on personal preference. I would start with ground manners(the basics), i.e grooming, picking feet out, leading etc etc. Personally I think this grows a good bond between horse and owner and also means you have a well mannered willing horse when it comes to furthering his education.
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post #9 of 13 Old 04-12-2011, 02:34 PM
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i think what valentina suggested is spectacular. i have an 11mth old colt that i've been doing anything and everything i can think of short of hopping on to get him accustomed to things that he'll deal with as he gets old.

he stands tied, is good with being touched anywhere and everywhere (even in his ears or sheath), holds his feet nicely for cleaning/trims, knows verbal commands (mostly) for walk and halt, leads well from BOTH sides, takes a bareback pad with girth with no problem, has had a pony bit in his mouth just to try it out, goes for trail walks through/over anything we can find including brush, trees, hills, water, etc., and has been ponied for more extensive rides.

i figure if we can do everything (within reason) now that i'll want him to do when he's older, we'll be good to go. ;)
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post #10 of 13 Old 04-12-2011, 11:04 PM Thread Starter
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WOW!! Thank you ALL very much for all the useful information!! I think im more excited than ever now to get him!!! haha Thanks again you guys are awesome! X-D
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