help 4 month old filly "wild child"
we just got a 4 month old filly that was imprinted at birth but nothing since. we first tried the "old" methods wrassling her and "making" her let us touch her as she bucks, kicks ect. that seemed to make her worse about wanting us near. now i am trying to ignore her and she is coming up again but does not want me to reach out or be too close ect. if i look at her she either charges or turns her butt to me. i try not to movve out of her way when she charges but when she turns around of course i move!! i know i shouldn't but man i can only imagine how bad that woudl hurt. :cry: :twisted: what can i do to let her know that we want to love on her not hurt her? she out weighs me by far!!! and it is hard for me to even be in there with her because the first thing she does is turn her butt!! and either kick or stomp at least!!
As a trainer, this is a concern for me for several reasons. At this age, your foal is in a very impressionable stage. She will either learn to accept being handled with a confident and knowledgeable handler, or she will learn to evade, kick, turn her butt, etc if you continue to ignore her and not work with her through this phase.
My other concern is for you to be working with her by yourself. I do NOT recommend this. Not only because you stated she is getting too big, but because the assistance of another person when teaching a foal to halter and handle makes all the difference in the world. From your post, I did not get the feeling that you would be able to successfully accomplish your goal alone.
First what I recommend that you do is contact someone who is experienced in working with foals. Then, the two of you together should start by working with her in a small area such as a safe stall. Remove any objects in the stall for those sessions, such as water buckets, feed tubs, toys, etc. and anything that she may crash into when you work with her.
You and your other handler will have to go in confidently and slowly approach her together, working towards putting her in a corner to finally capture her. You must first decide between the two of you who will be holding her, and who will be doing the hands on work. One of you will be holding her from in front of her chest to behind her rear, and the other person will need to be from about the shoulder area to her head area in order to contral her front end.
I will honest with you, be prepared to be knocked in the teeth or nose, possibly kicked a couple times, reared up on, etc. You many even clash a few times into your handler (and have a good laugh about it later on). If there is any way for a third person to come into the picture, you can try that as well.
Keep in mind that you are NOT to chase the foal around the stall, there is no point to that. If you are chasing the foal, then the both of you are out of position and not working to "corner" her properly. If she is running around, simply park yourselves still for awhile and let her run herself down.
I specialize in behavioral reformation, and i'm often called upon to come out to a barn with a foal who no one else can work with. I go in very prepared with another handler- and a plan. Yes I may get kicked, stomped on, bruised, etc, but I get amazing results from approaching the situation head on and not backing down. It is the intial fear and insecurities of the foal to try to flee, that is natural. Some foals have learned to many tricks that they are quite the challenge and can be dangerous, nontheless, they need the lessen just as much.
You may have good days and bad days with this foal. She may do well one day,then surprise you the next. I would make a schedule with your second handler to come and assist you on a daily basis for about two weeks to get this baby handled, halter broke, and getting her accustomed to things like basic grooming, etc. Then, work with her alone and have your handler show up every so often to reassist you and make sure your foal has been respecting her lessons....I hope this helps, let me know how things go...:)
thanks so much for your advice!!! and you are right!! it takes 3 people to handle her. i cant do it by myself but all of my friends are terrified of her with good reason. even pros are learry of her. man she is wild!! i bought a whip which i have never touched her with it but i crake it a little and give a sound to let her know that i dont want to see that butt and she is better with that and i had stopped looking at her when she would come up to me so the charging has all but stopped thank goodness!! but if i make a move for her even really slow off she goes either turns her butt to me and i correct her or bobbs her head and pins those ears back ect which i also correct. i wish i had someone to help every day for a while that would be great!! but the people that dont work wont go near her. we still love her all the same and hope she will some around soon. she seems pretty smart the little booger!! thanks again and maybe i can bribe someone to help me and yes i dont like working with her by myself either. that makes me nervous. if she does hurt me and i cant get out,, i haven't caught her in a week or so and she is doing better now that i'm not catching her every day. i wondered if i was doing too much at one time. touching her all over. it takes her about 30 min to calm down. she will still pull away and try to move away a little of course after that time but i leave on a happy note every time. if i try to catch her i make sure i have the time to do so and make sure she is calm and not pulling ect when i let her go on her way and man she runs!! anyway i'll keep you updated . thanks again
In response to Desert Rats post, I DO NOT recommend that you stop feeding this horse for two days as a form of either forceful communication or as punishment.
It is NOT wise to stop feeding a horse for these reasons, and is not good advice to offer a person who is learning about young horses. Not only that, it is not the kind of horsemanship one should be practicing.
I certainly hope she follows the advice that I offered in my earlier post and resists the kind of advice that you have offered.
Sure the horse might come to her more willingly after two days of being starved of needed nutrition, but that is NO guarantee that this horse will do any better than before!
It is HANDS ON TRAINING that this horse needs
Mist I don't know how long you have called yourself a trainer but in 60+ years I have saved many horses and mules from the dog food can from people with your way of thinking. If you want that colt outlawd at a young age your method will surly do it quick. You gotta get their trust and cofidence. You don't do this by a bunch of predators pushing it into a corner and bull doging it.
I have been a Quarter Horse trainer since 1987 and specialize in not only behavioral reformation, but young horses from foal to finished show horse. I see that you do not work with young horses and you also prefer to persuade horses to get near you by waiting until they are hungry enough to dare to get close (I am referring to your "advice" from your own post), yet you claim that my method of working with a young horse as soon as possible to help educate them with handling is wrong? Hmmm, this may not be your approach nor your opinion, so I will refrain from any further comment about this subject with you as I am not interested in a battle- or a waste of my time discussing it.
Mist - I train too. Every fall I work 2-3 weanlings at a time from the herd of a cutting/reining horse breeder. Previous to coming to me, they are not handled. I have never pushed them into kicking me. I will sit in the stall and allow them to come to me. The most agressive thing I do is leave a catch rope on if they simply do not want to be caught. When they return to the breeder they halter, lead, pick up their feet and can be touched anywhere on their body.
Desert rat - as far as the feed trick - I may stand near the feeder so they understand I brought them the feed and they learn to appreciate me. But I would never with hold feed!
Thank You Mis for having a more sensible response to my posts : )
I have also worked with cutting horses and reining horses for several years in both Georgia and Florida. Those particular lines of horses are the most well behaved, aren't they?? **smiling** they are naturally level headed and easily trained.
In this string of posts, my advice to the original poster was in response to how she described as a very unruly youngster who is not responding to the kind simplicity of just being near her as the cure to the foals behavior. The poster clearly stated other difficulties she was having with this foal.
My advice to her was geared towards the situation when a foal has gotten to the point of being difficult and playing tricks when she is in need of some handling on him. She apparently has not been able to work with this foal just from being in the stall alone, and she even stated that her other friends who wanted to help where having some trouble around her as well.
The advice I gave her was geared towards a foal on a different level because of the problems she stated.
If you are an experienced trainer, then you know there are some very very smart foals that can out manipulate the owners. There is a point where a foal may *become* dangerous in the hands of someone who is not as experienced. Hence the reason I posted some training methods to do WITH other experienced people, NOT by herself. Out of all the babies that get handled for the first time with no fuss, no problems, no stress, etc, and are a breeze to halter break, there is one foal that eventually comes along that is not very accepting of his first time handling. Then there are the foals that were improperly handled from the start and even worse, mistreated.
Anyway, I appreciate your input and only wanted to let the original poster know that learning to stop feeding the babies (or any horse for that matter) for any length of time to coax them into handling is not advisable from my own personal standards as a successful, considerate, and gentle trainer.
Hmm - level headed and easy? I wouldn't say that. Smart yes. Hot yes. Reactive yes.
Not all horses can be trained the same way. A person has to take in all of the advice and work with the horse to see what fits. There ARE horses that need more assertive handling. There are some you cannot raise your voice without causing a melt down.
Also to the OP - weanlings have very short attention spans. You need to be quick (not jerky) but accomplish something and then leave the filly alone. Does she have a herd buddy to play with? To act out her 'horse' behavior?
Mist I believe there was a misunderstanding here. Maby it was me but she said she got this colt when it was already 4 mos old. Being no older then that it has not had its mothers disaplin or confidence installed. Handleing and imprinting at birth is great if it's done right. But it must be done immediatly after birth to be efective. As to working horses and mules I prefer mules but at the present I have some of the best blood line 1/4 horses in the country in training. Skipper W Three bars, Poco, and Hancock. Sorry if I ofended you but I would rather have a colt come to me of his own free will and bonding, knowing I have something like feed that he will learn to trust me for theto give in by fear. The old days are gone when we used to crawl on them yank the blindfold and let em buck.
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