basic groundwork for yearlings?
looking for a general idea of basic groundwork to do with a 17-month old QH filly
trying to establish a base relationship with her and get her looking to me for leadership
also -- looking at short sessions -- 30-minutes to an hour, 3-4 times a week, hopefully keeping things at a walk
maybe i should start by saying what i have been doing
1. walking on a lead back and forth across the pasture
2. walking circles around me on a lunge line (we have clockwise down -- working on counterclockwise)
3. trying to teach her "whoa"
-- walking across the pasture - i say "whoa" and pull back a little on the lead - release pressure when she stops -- walk around the front from her left side to her right side (or vice versa) -- if she remains still i make the kissing sound and we keep walking --- if she steps forward -- i push back on the lead (because by then i am in front of her) and say "whoa" and repeat the process
Grooming, picking up feet, having every inch of her body touched/handled, get her used to baths, fly spray, being tied up, basic obstacles (walking over them - like ground poles, piece of plywood, low bridge, etc.), desensitizing her to various "scary" things (tarps, etc.), teach her to yield front and hind quarters, back up, etc.
IMO an hour is too long to work with a yearling on a regular basis due to their short attention span. I would keep sessions to 30 mins or less, though you can do multiple sessions per day. Also limit lunging as it is hard on the joints (a few minutes to learn the practice is ok, but 30 mins of lunging is too much).
Once a horse is halter broke, I feel they are ready to start learning ground manners. Leading, yielding their front and rear end, standing, having their hooves handled, and being able to touch them all over. Having them walk around you to learn how to lunge is not bad but the sessions should only be for a few minutes.
Once they have the ground manners down, they can be left alone until they are ready to be saddle broke. Occasional refresher sessions are ok.
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i walk her back and forth for about 10-15 minutes --- walk her in circles around me (no trotting/running) for 5-10 minutes --- walk back and forth for 15-20 minutes working on "whoa"
i like the idea of desensitizing her to scary stuff -- thank you
These are all great tips. I just brought my 4 month old qh colt home on sunday. I have been going to see him and working with him since he was 2 weeks old. He already leads well on the halter and follows me around his pasture when im out there. I can also pick up his front feet, but im letting him settle before i start the back. He also learned how to back up already.
They learn very quickly when youre patient and consistent :) Best of luck!
I don't think it would hurt to start putting light things on his back to get him used to the sensation. For example towel or something that won't blow off but it light weight and soft or a light saddle pad, maybe a small English pad. Just to get used to the sensation of having things up there and walking with them. Just start of introducing them slowly.
thanks guys and gals --- good advice -- i appreciate it
i think i made some progress today --- she is stomping at me instead of spinning and kicking --- mostly she tries to ignore me and keep on grazing
she did at one point pick her head up and try to walk through me -- so instead of stepping back away from her - i stepped forward into her until she backed up --- she pinned her ears and stomped her back foot -- so i put my hand on the top of her nose and made her keep backing up a few steps
is there a different message they are trying to send when they stomp their front feet as opposed to their back feet?
something just clicked -- when i got the horse the guy told me that he did a lot of rough-housing with the filly after she was weened --- basically playing with her as if she were a dog
so ... i think i need to find a way to "soften" her ... research time
kids had fun yesterday -- i was showing them how to get the older/calmer mare to yield her hind quarters without touching her
they laughed and giggled -- said it was like using the force
but i noticed that the filly is now more willing to follow me than the mare -- time to work with the mare to make her less stubborn
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