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Tigerstripes 06-10-2009 08:54 AM

Baby QH
 
Hi I am new here and could do with the benefit of your experience.

I have always had adult horses, albeit ex-racers (thoroughbred) and recently purchased a long weanling Qh filly, I decided to do this as my last horse was ill alot and was PTS. So I wanted to start from scratch and with a breed I have always wanted.

The foal is great, very personable and great to handle all over but jumps at her own shadow. we live on a working farm and she sees lots of big scary things, tractors, plastic, animals and all these dont seem to pose problems but she "thinks" she sees things behind her when i lead her and she jumps a mile! I always turn her about and show her there is nothing there to be frightened of and she gets all head in the air nostrils flared going sideways! I was hoping she would grow up with my daughter who is 6 and very good around horses, confident etc but is unable to lead with me or walk by us at the moment as it is just too dangerous.

Any tips on how to reassure her would be welcome, she barges into me when she spooks, I am putting this down to her age and recent move from the breeders and I am hoping in time she will settle in time, anyone experienced similar and how long did it take for them to settle properly?

EveningShadows 06-10-2009 11:11 AM

How long have you had her now? And how often do you work with her? Other than leading, is she a spooky filly?

If one of my foals did that, I'd just circle them around me and carry on the way we were originally headed. Work on short distances, don't worry about leading outside her paddock yet, and incorporate MANY whoa, stand, and back ups into your routine. I personally would keep lessons with her and leading short as she sounds very young and they have very short attention spans.

As for growing up with your daughter, I hear what you're saying and it sounds adorable...but not realistic. Your daughter is 6 you said? Personally, that's way too young to be trying to teach a foal...grooming and stuff may be ok, but you want this filly to learn how to be led and NOT run over the human. If the human is only 3' tall, makes it way easier to bowl her over. I don't want your daughter getting hurt and I don't want your filly learning that if she bolts fast and hard enough, the kid flies. Again, not saying she can't be INVOLVED in the growing up process, but even once your filly is 2 or 3, your daughter will only be...8 or 9. Horses are unpredictable animals as is, nevermind being a greenbroke youngster. I personally think she's just a bit too young...don't want to shatter her confidance when she's 9 because your youngster got spooked by the horse-eating-water-trough. Yousters find the silliest things to spook at...

Anyway, I think if your filly is busy being scared about the nothing behind her, she's not focussed on you enough. Try integrating whoa, stand, back up, and over into her leading lesson and keep them short. If you get 3-5 solid whoas when you ask for them, praise alot and call it a day. The positive reinforcement will stick with her until next lesson and she should catch on faster. But only if you're working with her every day or every other day...can't work with a foal once a week and expect them to retain everything since that gives them 6 days in between to wonder how butterflies fly! Hope everything works out well, good luck!

MN Tigerstripes 06-10-2009 11:28 AM

Does she have any herdmates where she is kept? If she is alone right now she could just be on high alert constantly, esp if she is young. My QH can be pretty spooky too. In the past I've done a lot of groundwork in a safe area to get him to pay attn to me when I'm on the ground with him. Then I ponied him off of my older mare to show him the sights. He got exercise but was reassured because he had his herd with in addition to me being there.

Qtswede 06-10-2009 11:44 AM

it may depend too, on how she was handled before you got her - was she imprinted properly, or was she never handled until now? When you got her, was she already weaned, or did they wean her when they gave her to you (i.e. - weaning day happened when you loaded her up)
If she wasn't imprinted properly, she will be more jumpy for a while as she learns people are good, same goes if they weaned her when they sent her away. It sounds like she just needs to work on manners now more than anything. 1st while you are just grooming her, and handling her, then when you are leading her. She needs to learn to trust you. She should behave on line, and it sounds like you've got some time ahead of you.
I agree with some of the sentiments above - no way should a 6 year old be involved in the training of any horse. I have a 6 year old (nearly 7 now)myself, he's been raised around horses, we have a 2 and 3 year old now, that were born here. There is no way in hades I'd let those 2 worlds mix. He was not even allowed in the barn when they were babies & loose. Never. The babies just don't know enough to trust them with a kid. If you want your daughter to learn about horses, get her a old OLD bombproof pony for her to learn on while you focus on the QH. Even after that yearling is trained, it will be a good couple of years before I would ever consider trusting it with my child. Good luck!

mls 06-10-2009 12:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Qtswede (Post 324887)
If she wasn't imprinted properly, she will be more jumpy for a while

Exactly what is proper imprinting?

In truth - I really do not like that train of thought. Buzz words IMHO. We do not do the clipper/tarp/trailer etc etc etc until they are at least a year old.

We handle our foals as they need to be handled prior to weaning. They are halter broke and we can pick up and file hooves, touch them where ever and brush them. Period.

At weaning - they are turned out with my old gelding. He teaches them herd manners and does a great job.

The foals that come in for weaning are handled to be halter broke, have their feet handled - basic manners. Again - no over exposure. They are then sold or go back to the breeders where they are turned out with like age companions.

tigerstripes - Please remember the attention span is very short. I am not sure how long you are handling your weanling but they can and do get bored and invent ways to get back to simply being a horse. I recommend 10 minute sessions 2-3 times a day.

EveningShadows 06-10-2009 03:49 PM

People use TARPS for imprinting?! :shock:

We used basic grooming tools...brushed them all over, touched everywhere, picked up feet and picked them out, halter broke to lead and tie for a minute or two and that was all we expected of them as weanlings.

The barn I just left had their own version though...which I won't get too much into, but it was enough to make me pack my things and leave within the week. The lady REQUIRED the foal to be laying down so she'd get it in a headlock and get her assistant to kick it's legs out from underneath it and bodyslam it to the floor...then for some reason she needed a blow dryer for the already past 24 hour old foal?

Everyone has their own methods, some of which I don't agree...but it would be worth looking into to see how the breeder imprints their foals, just so you know what she's been through until this point. And I never thought of the weaning, if she was only weaned the day you took her home, that makes a huge difference. All good things to know.

Qtswede 06-10-2009 10:03 PM

[quote=mls;324893]

In truth - I really do not like that train of thought. Buzz words IMHO. We do not do the clipper/tarp/trailer etc etc etc until they are at least a year old.

We handle our foals as they need to be handled prior to weaning. They are halter broke and we can pick up and file hooves, touch them where ever and brush them. Period.

At weaning - they are turned out with my old gelding. He teaches them herd manners and does a great job.

The foals that come in for weaning are handled to be halter broke, have their feet handled - basic manners. Again - no over exposure. They are then sold or go back to the breeders where they are turned out with like age companions.
[quote]

wow, mls. I don't know who told you what about imprinting, but whoever told you that tarps, trailers, and clippers were part of imprinting was full of it.
when I say properly imprinted, I'm referring to the method described by Dr. Robert Miller DVM. He has written several books on it. Basically, it's making sure that a foal knows that people are good for them - Handling them as youngsters pretty much is limited to them tolerating being touched everywhere, which would cover basic grooming, farrier & vet work, and preferrably, getting them used to being led using at least a figure 8 rope, and I like mine to be halter broke within the first few weeks. My foals wear a halter for at least leading between barn & paddock from the first few days. Thats it. If you handle them daily consistently and gently, you get one pretty calm horse in the long run. When I said imprinted improperly, I meant more in the lines of they touch the baby on day 1, then kick them in the field and dont vet or farrier them until they're a year old. I have dealt with foals like that, and if they don't have the human contact from a very early age, they take longer to understand the role people play in their lives. It is not a 'buzz word'. It's a proven method of early training. And for the record, my foals learn to tie when they're yearlings, they load whenever it is needed be it first year or later, clippers don't even enter the pic until they're saddle broke at 3, and same goes with tarps. My foals go into the herd of mares when they're around 2 weeks old. Only 1 mare at a time has a foal, that way, I have plenty of time to train 1 horse, every year.

Piper182 06-22-2009 11:34 AM

Is she truly afraid or is she trying to play? My barn breeds and trains QHs so we have had tons of babies. Some are quiet as a 30 year old, some are mean, some are spooky and some are jumpily playful. I would definately try putting her out with another horse.

We had a stud colt and when you led him he would get really close to you, almost stepping on your feet, and then randomly jump up like he was afraid. We put him out with my pony who is a total lead mare, within ten minutes he was keeping his space and following her around with his head down. He hasn't tried to step on us since.

As far as imprinting goes, some babies are harder to imprint because of their mommas. if the mom won't let you near the baby, it makes things that much harder. I definately don't agree with wrestling the baby (that just seems very silly and i can't believe the momma let her do that). I've always done lots of touching and "showing them the sites" by leading the mom and having the baby follow.


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