How To Handle A Very Studly 6 Month Old
So one of the foals at work is a GORGEOUS 6 month old colt, who is already well aware that he's a boy. He will bite, rear, kick, and run you over when he feels like it, and will try and act studly around certain mares. My question is how to train him to behave better now, so that I'll be able to have a good handle on him when he's older and bigger. My boss didn't geld the last two colts until they were over 2 yrs old so I know that I'm going to have to deal with him like this for a long time and I want to nip it in the bud while he's small!
He is extremely smart and will be easy to train (judging on how easy it was to teach him to square up, lead, stand for the farrier, etc) but I just need to know the techniques in order to implement them
So I know he's a stud, but don't ACT like he is.
EDIT: Just read the last part of your post over. He knows how to square up and stand for the farrier but he bites and runs you over? Yeah he needs extra work on respect before anything else.
I always take studs into consideration, they can be intimidating and hard to train sometimes. But honestly, gelded or not, I expect them to behave as a gelding. DO NOT write off any of his behavior as "oh he's a stud" (not that you would, just saying).
What would you do with a filly? Do that with a stud colt. There should really be no fundamental difference in training, except for maybe being especially picky with a colt's behavior, I'm hard on them.
Biting, kicking, rearing, running you over, he has no respect. There are a ton of ways to earn that respect. Especially with studs, you're right, its nothing to mess around with. By the time he's 2, he'll be a handful and a half if it's not corrected right now.
Basics: Don't let him bite, kick, rear, or run you over without a serious consequence. Whether it be a swift "kick in the butt", or a send off, or circle, something to highly discourage the behavior. I would start there. Then teach him all his basics: leading, tying, bathing, clipping, standing for farrier, haltering, basic lunging, picking up feet, having his ears touched, sack him out, etc.
Above all, whatever you teach him, make sure he learns all of it respectfully. And work on the biting and other bad behavior FIRST.
Don't treat him like a stud like the above post said. There is no reason to treat a 6 month old like one. Treat him like a foal that is pushin buttons to see what he can get away with. You said he learned how to square up etc.. Then he can learn ground manners too. Ya just have to make him. Show him YOUR the boss & prove it. :) I don't think he's acting that way cuz he still has his parts, I think he's just acting like that bc thats how he wants to act. If you let him get away with it now, he always will- years fron now even, whether he's a "stud" or not. Just bc they have their parts doesn't mean they can act different, until it comes time to mount- they need to have the same expectations as EVERY other horse.
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I love "Be Nice" Halters for young stud muffins who don't know their place. I have a young'un who's actually a yearling and because of an injury last year (mine) he didn't get handled from birth the way he should have. Add to that as a yearling he's almost 16 hands and you've got a lot of 'Tude floating around that has to get channeled. I tried to use a regular halter with a chain and he decided UP was a good idea. The 'Be Nice' has solved that little dilemma and he now pretty much keeps both feet on the ground. He is the MOUTHIEST little varmint I've ever had to deal with, that's an ongoing issue. He doesn't actually bite so I can't justify totally kicking his A%% but it's always lip this, lip that, nibble the pockets on your jeans......yah yah yah. We're working on 'keeping out of my space' which will solve that problem but he's a persistant little brat, LOL! If he gets scared he will try to run and if it's right over you, OOPS, so again training on space issues. He's actually pretty good for the farrier, so there's hope for him yet, but honestly young colts are a PIA. And the bigger they get, the bigger pains they become. I'll still take them over young fillies though, I find colts MUCH easier to train than fillies once you get them onto your wave length. LOVE LOVE LOVE mares but fillies in that first 2 - 3 years........not so much!
Heres a link to the 'Be Nice', I have one in every size. 'Be Nice' Halter (Equine - Supplies Tack - Halters Leads - Halters)
Timing is critical with these halters because of the extra points at the poll. Once the horse gives in you have to let off very fast so they get the release they need to tell them they've been good. Otherwise, you can create more problems than you fix if you never give them that release and of course, praise.
I also have the world's mouthiest yearling (gelding). If I pony him he tries to bite me and or/the pony horse. Chews my tack. It's horrible. Right now I have been using a stud chain under his jaw, which I snap if he bites, but I do own a Be Nice Halter which I'm sure would fit him (I originally bought it for my Arabian).
So what are the advantages of the Be Nice over the stud chain?
Some folks on this forum got all over me for using a stud chain on him, but it's the only thing that gives him pause when he goes to bite. A regular rope halter does nothing to correct his biting unfortunately. :evil:
So if I switch to the Be Nice, how should I use it to correct the nipping?
I don't know that the Be Nice is the answer to the nipping/biting but it could be effective if you have a heavy enough lead rope (like one of Pat Parellis) with a heavy brass snap. I'd snap him hard with that snap by shanking side to side if he bit. You could actually use a 'captive' stud chain rather than an 'active' one and accomplish the same thing. Rather than putting the chain over or under the nose and having it pinch when you pull on the lead, you take the chain through the 2 cheek holes in the halter and then pull the middle down and hook the lead line over the one section and through the 2 holes at the ends of the stud chain. That way it makes a kind of V under the chin and doesn't punish the horse at all unless he acts up in some way and you shank hard sideways, then the chain pops him under his jaw.
And for people who don't want you (me) to use a stud chain to school an unruly horse, then they are welcome to come buy that horse and let him go home with them an they never have to use a stud chain. They are appropriate in some instances and when used correctly are no more 'cruel' than a pop with a crop or lunge whip.
Haha yeah, that's why I like my job. We get to focus on only a handful of foals and really put some time and effort into them.
Sounds like he'll be good then. Lost of time and effort and some respect training and he will be a good horse, whether he is stallion or a gelding.
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