Buying a Weanling/Colt
I'm not sure where to post this so I figured I'd start here!
I've been riding since I was 8 years old, so I have 13 years in a saddle. 2 years ago I bought my first horse, a 7 year old OTTB. He was incredibly green (used as a babysitter for the foals/young horses she had and was barely ridden.) He's been a bit difficult, but overall perfect thus far. I work with several different kinds of horses, young and old, as well as volunteer at a therapeutic riding centre. I'm also in school for Equine Studies and will be completing that soon as well.
Now, what I'm really here for is your opinions! I'm looking into buying an Appaloosa weanling in a few months time. Would this be a good idea for someone of my experience level? I have highly experienced coaches, veterinarians, friends etc that have all worked with weanlings/colts previously. I've heard some pretty terrible stories so I want to hear some other opinions as well.
Please don't take this as 'if you have to ask then you shouldn't do it,' I just want to hear what you have to say and about your experiences.
Thanks in advance!
If you have a support system with experience, why not? What are your plans for the colt?
I love working with them when they're that young. It really makes it easier to get things like handling feet trained into them without anyone getting hurt.
I'd say, if it's something you want to do, then go for it. You know what responsibilities are involved and have experienced people to help. But I demand pictures when you get him, if you do it!
I have enjoyed raising several babies. I did end up sending my last one to a professional trainer, but I did all the halter breaking and training to stand tied, picking up feet, etc. You will avoid a lot of headaches if you go ahead and geld him young so that you won't have to fight studdy behavior. He may also grow taller if he is gelded young. I was so glad that I gelded the last colt that I raised when he was six months old.
I think with your experience level, you'd do perfectly fine with a weanling.
Geld him early, as soon as both testicles have dropped. Makes life easier on you and the colt.
And it's important not to baby him. Treat him as if you would a big horse. You should have the same expectations as when dealing with a grown horse. Just be patient and consistent and you'll do just fine.
The biggest thing with the babies is patience. When you are used to trained (even green) horses, you realize all the things you take for granted everyday.
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Sounds like you have the help you need, so I would say, yes, perfect time to learn!
Thankyou everyone! This is really helpful, I'll post some pictures as soon as I can! (:
Yes to what everyone else said, go for it if you have support. I took on a 5 month old colt a couple of years ago and he has turned out great. It is time consuming, though to work with the basics, but so worth it. Let me try to post a pic here from last week...
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