Just got a yearling colt.
I am new to the forum type thing but here it goes. (Wasnt sure where to post this)
I was given a beautiful arabian yearling as a present from my extended family as I had been through alot in the last year they thought it would be good as I loves horses so much.
I looked after my friends arab for 4 years and loved the experience(hence why the family brought an arab trying thinking it was the only horse or something) but anyway. I had lessons on her and all in that 4 years. Was a great experience and everything.
I fell in love with this little guy and I know that I am probably inexperienced for him but I cant sell him. So what I was wondering is any ideas on what I should teach him as a yearling(and equipment I might need at this stage) and when I should break him and any info would be great (books only tell you so much)
Also any info on yearlings in general...food etc would be good :)
Thats alot an sorry for asking so much i just want to do my best with him and hope you guys can help me do that. Thanks :)
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As for training, we just concentrate on the types of things you would do in a showmanship class, i.e the foundation ground manners/handling, and so you can 'doctor' him without a fight, e.g. being tied, groomed, trailer loading, and working on the feet. All you need is a halter, a lead, and a place to work. That's plenty to keep you busy the first couple years and still let him be a baby.
Boy, thrown in at the deep end, huh??:D
As for training, you can teach him virtually everything he'll need to know, aside from weightbearing, hard tying(can do serious damage to young growing bodies to pull back or fight against strong force) & high impact exercise. But of course, depends on what he knows now, how much time & experience you have for training, etc. Everything starts with the basics and they to me boil down to respecting your space, yielding to pressure & allowing your touch wherever & with whatever. Develop those things & everything else is pretty much built out of them.
Don't forget hoof care too - he will still need his feet attended every 4-6 weeks on average, but if he's not good for the farrier, it's not their task to teach the horse. I'd concentrate on getting him good about picking up his feet before finding a good farrier also good with training & explain the situation.
As for feed, grass &/or hay is the major need for horses. They need around 2-3%bwt daily in forage & free access or little & often feeding. Low starch/grain/sugar diets are best for providing what else may be needed, such as well balanced nutrition, which is particularly important for a young growing body.
I also feel it's very important to bring a horse up in a relatively natural environment, living & socialising with other horses. Lots of exercise is also beneficial, so if the environment doesn't motivate/allow that, then I would be exercising the horse as much as possible, getting out & about for walks, etc. That also has the benefit of allowing them to experience & be accustomed to a lot of stuff long before 'real' training begins too.
If you don't know much about yearlings, I would leave it to someone who does. Yearlings are very inexperienced and can be dangerous if you don't know what you are doing. I work with yearlings and I know some that are very sweet, calm, and laidback. But, I have also known some that are "You better know what the heck you're doing because if you don't, you're screwed" yearlings. Please hire a trainer if you can and watch him and let him teach you. This is the most safe way.
If you really want to try yourself (I do NOT recommend this), then please, please, please do your homework! Don't be one of those girls that think "Oh, he's just a baby, he can't do much." Though they are smaller, it is still possible (though not likely) for yearlings to kill people or seriously injure.
I work with yearlings and train them, if you have any questions, feel free to ask me through email. I just want you to be safe!
You can do a lot of things with a yearling. How handled is he? halter breaking, teaching him to lead, tie. Teaching him to pick his feet up, showing him outdoor/indoor arena, traffic. Exposing him to sprays, clippers, trailers. Its all about handling.
Welcome! Everyone has given great advice. I recommend finding a trainer to work with too, even if they only come by once a month, they can still help get you on track. Arabs are lovely - so intelligent, but they are also very sensitive and sharp, imo.
Start as you mean to go on: be firm but fair, and consistent! Always follow through to the end of whatever you start with him. EG if you are picking out his feet and he gets fussy don't give in. Just calmly finish picking them out and reward him afterwards with a good scratch of the withers or by rubbing his ears. And always wear a hard hat and gloves around him. If he spooks or acts out, you will be safer and better able to manage him.
I also recommend Lungeing and Long Reining by Jenny Loriston-Clarke. It is a book on handling and training young horses, from foals up.
Thanks guys :) he knows how to lead tie and pick his feet up...he is a smart little guy. I am in contact with a girl the worked where he was weaned and such...she says he was such a laid back guy and so intelligent. She is going to come help me with him over the next few years :-)
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My first suggestion would be either finding a trainer or selling/giving him to someone with experience. If you love this colt, then let him go. He is going to do best in the hands of someone experienced with training young horses. The first couple years of a horses life are, IMHO and experience, the most important. Mess up now and it will stick with him forever. He may be really docile and easy to work with now, but trust me they hit a "terrible twos" stage that if not handled properly can end in disaster.
That being said:
I highly suggest looking into Clinton Anderson's Foal Starting DVD kit. You may be able to find it used for cheap.
It will do you wonders if you are unsure of where to begin with your yearling.
Welcome to the forum! And congratulations on your little guy. You know we will require pics, right? Lol.
As far as training him goes, everyone has different opinions on what you should be teaching them and how at this age. I am glad to see you've got someone helping you wit this! That can mean a lot when you are new at something. I would keep their number close and call them if you have any questions at all. Mostly at this age they need a lt of handling. Picking up their feet and taking them on walks are great ways to handle them and build a relationship with them. Also always remember safety first. Never ever tie the rope to you, no matter how small or gentle he is. Also never wrap your hand in the rope where you can't let it go in an emergency. Have some common sense and you should be alright. Let us know if you need any help! Must of us are more than willing!
I would get outside help with an experienced trainer.handling is a must ,also teach personal space.its good he knows how to lead,and pick up feet,continue to work on that foundation.if you have access to a trailer teaching to load and unload is also good,you never know when an emergency will pop up and youll need a calm horse who liads easy.
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