Yearling Problems HELP?! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 3 Old 12-09-2011, 10:47 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Tennessee
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Yearling Problems HELP?!

So I got a yearling that has never been away from her mother (who I also purchased), and is not halter trained. I've rubbed the halter on her, in an attempt to desensitize her, which she's okay with it being on her body. She sniffs it when I put it on the ground and when I hold it. She follows me when I let her sniff it, then back away.. BUT when I try to get it on her, she backs away. I don't want to make her scared, so I back up at that point and she follows me and the process is repeated. :/ Not only that but i can't exactly separate her from her mom, until she's halter broken. Any tips would be VERY appreciated!
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post #2 of 3 Old 12-10-2011, 07:41 AM
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Location: Oklahoma
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If you back away when she does the wrong thing, then that is what you have taught her to do. That is when you take the pressure off.

Easiest way is to let the yearling follow the mother into a trap and then, with the mother on the outside of the trap you take one of the portable panels and fasten it to a corner and trap the colt in between that panel and the fence. Then, it is real simple to halter it.

If I have to catch one out in the open, I start with a bucket of feed and a rope in my hand. I stand in one spot with my right shoulder toward the horse. I let the horse eat out of the bucket but only when I am touching their neck.

The next time I have a rope in my right hand and only let them eat when I put my right hand over their neck.

By the third time, I can usually slip the rope across the horses neck and snap the snap around the rope. I have a knot tied in the rope so that it cannot choke the colt.

If you don't pull too hard, you can get a horse to face you with just the rope and can get it haltered a short time later.

You are not going to 'scare' a horse by putting pressure on it at the right time. Your problems always come from 'backing off' at the wrong time. You just never want to back away from one when they do the wrong thing.
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post #3 of 3 Old 12-10-2011, 12:45 PM
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Gentle mommas are also good to use as a surrogate panel. Since she is new, just be careful. She may take offense and try to protect her baby.

Baby horses suck up every lesson you teach them, and every tme you handle them it is a lesson. Are you teaching good things or bad things? You are setting the foundation for this baby's entire life. You want good manners, a willing attitude, obedience and respect. Attitude can be influenced by breeding, but most of it comes from you. Ask yourself: do I know enough to teach? It is okay to say no. You find someone to teach you (hands on is best) and you learn.

What you are teaching is that if this baby backs away, the scary new thing goes away. The opposite of what you want. If it is not blind panic going away from you, just sliw backing, then that is okay, right now. Not what you want, but we have established the problem.

You said she follows and you can toich her with the halter. Can you touch her all over? Can you stand at her shoulder and scratch both sides of her nexk at once, or lay your arm over her? If not, this is what i would work on. You need to be able to move around her head, behind her ears, the bridlepath area, her face, her nose, her shoulder, her neck, her back.... so on and so forth. If she is comfortable with you there, move on with the halter and same thing. I don' start from the front to halter, I start from the side. Down and work my way up.

Caution. Baby horses are wild and dangerous. They are quicker, more flexible, and generally more reactive than older horses. Everything is new and scary, and they need a very knowledgeable hand to teach them. If you do not know enouh, there is no shame in getting hands on help. And that doesn't mean you won't be doing the work. BOY are babies a lot if work. Be careful. Go easy. Keep your lessons short(Their attention spans are only as big as they are). Do NOT get into fights with them. Be careful. Have fun.

And be careful.
LadyDreamer is offline  

halter training , weaning , yearlings

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