6 Month Old Foal Rears, Kicks, and Bites - The Horse Forum
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  • 1 Post By JCnGrace
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post #1 of 6 Old 11-30-2018, 12:06 AM Thread Starter
Foal
 
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Angry 6 Month Old Foal Rears, Kicks, and Bites

Please no negative comments, this isn't my horse.


Long story short I came into the life of a mare and 6 month old filly. The owner knows nothing about horses, so I offered to lend my help educating him and teaching the filly and mare ground manners. The mare is great, a bit pushy but it's no big deal.. However, the filly is a much bigger issue. Before you say "Hire a trainer", you should know the owner would likely hire a charro trainer or completely cut me off from being able to help them.

Her negative behaviors:
  • She bites playfully and aggressively
  • she kicks, specifically double barrels
  • she rears and tries to kick you
  • she won't lead or respond to pressure
  • She is VERY protective and attached to mom.
I have lots of experience with horses, but I honestly cannot say I know how to best handle this. She has no respect because she has never been taught it, and has basically been unhandled until now. She is EXTREMELY attached to mama.She will turn to kick if I try to get in-between them, and with how big she is it isn't really an option for me to constantly take kicks.

I would love any advice, thank you.
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post #2 of 6 Old 11-30-2018, 12:55 AM
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Time to wean and get her unattached from mama. Best set up would have another weanling or at the very least a young horse who would be willing to play with her and an older mare or gelding that would instill some manners in her as company for her during the process. Usually the weaning alone gives them an attitude adjustment but if it doesn't then it's time to set boundaries with her and use as much uncomfortable pressure as needed to get the message across to her that her behavior is unacceptable.
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post #3 of 6 Old 11-30-2018, 03:02 AM
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Somehow you will need to get a leather halter on her that you can leave on her. Then hopefully you can catch her and get a rope halter on her for training ( I would put it over the leather halter for now).

Rope halter, 15 foot rope, and a long whip. You should be able to handle the rope and whip well. That takes practice. Keep her away from you with the whip, get her attention with the halter...pull her around at an angle such that she realizes you may be able to pull her off her feet. You will have to be good at getting yourself into proper position for this, and not be too close to her so she can't kick you. You can't out-pull her, so you have to have a good angle on her to pull her off balance. A big pull to move her feet then release and see what she does. If she keeps fighting, get an angle and pull again etc. The whip is for self defense only. When she behaves (just standing facing you for now), she gets relief from all pressure. That's all I would ask of her at first. Get a little respect then let her go and do another session later in the day.

Getting her moving off pressure is for another day once you have her consistently under control.

I would not try this without a rope halter.

Please wear a helmet and protective vest and boots. Gloves are a good idea too as long as you have good grip. And be careful! All horse training is done at your own risk.

Good luck.

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post #4 of 6 Old 11-30-2018, 08:41 AM
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Training a foal is not like training an adult horse, even a young adult. For one thing, they have about a 15 min. attention span. You need to set down a list of things you want to accomplish with her and then figure out how to go about getting it done. For instance, say #1 is never been haltered. You need to figure out how to get a rope halter on her and put it on and take it off several times a day until it becomes no big deal, just part of the daily routine. NEVER put a halter on a horse and leave it on. It's way too dangerous. Is there a stall or small corral you can use for teaching her to accept the halter (and incidentally wean her from her mother)? There are so many steps to teaching a foal, if you've never done it, it's best left to someone who has experience. Especially since this 6 month old has already developed some dangerous bad habits.

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post #5 of 6 Old 11-30-2018, 12:29 PM
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I would wean her ASAP and put her in with a quiet well trained 'nanny' horse that won't tolerate bad attitude but won't do anything seriously harmful to reprimand the youngster.


You'll find it easier to get near her when she's away from her mother but you need a small safe area to work in.


I have no concerns whatsoever about giving a foal like this a good hard smack when it does something aggressive towards a human - better done now than when its older and bigger and can kill you.
The punishment has to be immediate and it has to be hard enough to intimidate. You do it in a controlled way and not in a temper.
A good mare will soon punish her foal if it pushes the limits and the foal still goes back to her because the rest of the time she treats the foal kindly

Just winging it is not a plan
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post #6 of 6 Old 11-30-2018, 01:01 PM
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I agree with weaning. Best if she has others to be with but if not that can work in your favor. Another option is to wait and work with her some before pulling that security blanket away. Carry a whip and drive her off mom and then shower mom with attention keeping an eye on baby. When she knows you mean business and gets curious and moves in asking for attention in a soft way then switch to a stout stick like a walking stick that isn't going to break easily and long enough you have a good distance it can be applied then drive her her away just so she knows you still mean business but when she comes in if she is displaying no aggression reward her with touch. Any play with teeth or hoof gets a swift correction. Go from there and start haltering her. You can lead mom with her following so she gets the idea and reward both when you stop with more scratches and pets.
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