Yearling Manners - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 23 Old 12-04-2019, 06:12 PM Thread Starter
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Yearling Manners

I'm raising my first foal and she will be 2 years old in March. She stands tied, lunges, picks up all 4 feet, loads, etc. She has come very far in leading; when we first started training she would rear and pull back, not to mention walk so fast she'd almost drag you.

I'm hoping to start her EXTREMELY LIGHTLY under saddle in the summer, so I've been doing prep work with her. We've been focusing on ponying on trails, however we've hit a snag. When she gets rowdy or upset, she hits the end of the lead, thrashes, bucks, etc. During our last ride I was almost kicked. Friends recommended I take her back to the basics with leading, and oh my lanta what a brat!

She leads well, as long as you go where she wants. If you try to get her to do something else, she takes off bucking and rearing, hits the end of the lead and throws a tantrum. I'm taking her on walks a few days a week and my goal is to get her hiking trails, getting her listening to me on trails and not just the other horse during ponying. Normally once I wait out her tantrums (they normally only happen once per session, and last 30 seconds - 1 minute) she's an absolute angel, yields hind quarters and forequarters, supples, lunges, leads without pulling, etc. It just seems to take that one show that I'm serious.

All this being said; she's an Arab/draft cross who is 15 hands and 1,000 ish pounds. I have 2 kids under 5 years old and I'm terrified I'll get hurt during one of her immature tirades. My husband thinks she's a demon and wants me to sell her.

Is this a stage she will outgrow? Did anyone have a rowdy yearling that turned into a well behaved, quiet horse? What were the exercises you used to get through such tantrums? We're working on getting to hiking and ponying, I'm just at a loss for her bucking and carrying on.

She's my first foal I've raised and I'm learning as I go, please be kind.
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post #2 of 23 Old 12-04-2019, 06:44 PM
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At this point with her age and size you need eyes and hands on the ground with you. Experienced eyes and hands. And that is being kind. She needs to go back to Basics 101 in all things. Considering the fits she throws it would also be a good idea to her evaluated by a body worker because I'd bet she's thrown something out of whack. She needs a firm, fair hand and a no nonsense attitude. Typically this is the behavior of a spoiled brat. In your case it sounds unintentional. Raising babies isn't easy. Cues missed can quickly become learned behaviors. I would not consider backing her at 2. She's not ready and mentally no matter how much she looks ready or you think she is big enough she still has growing to do she still has a ways to go emotionally. Some horses are like that. I swear palominos are the worst as in my experience they seem to mentally mature much later. Two, I didn't start until they were coming on 6 because they were still babies at 4. Hard to have people ask why they weren't ridden when they were both such big, stout beasties. They just weren't ready.


My son rides the same cross and he didn't really settle until he was in his teens. Still has have a job. A regular job. Time off doesn't do anyone any favors as he'll be full of himself.
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post #3 of 23 Old 12-04-2019, 07:06 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QtrBel View Post
At this point with her age and size you need eyes and hands on the ground with you. Experienced eyes and hands. And that is being kind. She needs to go back to Basics 101 in all things. Considering the fits she throws it would also be a good idea to her evaluated by a body worker because I'd bet she's thrown something out of whack. She needs a firm, fair hand and a no nonsense attitude. Typically this is the behavior of a spoiled brat. In your case it sounds unintentional. Raising babies isn't easy. Cues missed can quickly become learned behaviors. I would not consider backing her at 2. She's not ready and mentally no matter how much she looks ready or you think she is big enough she still has growing to do she still has a ways to go emotionally. Some horses are like that. I swear palominos are the worst as in my experience they seem to mentally mature much later. Two, I didn't start until they were coming on 6 because they were still babies at 4. Hard to have people ask why they weren't ridden when they were both such big, stout beasties. They just weren't ready.


My son rides the same cross and he didn't really settle until he was in his teens. Still has have a job. A regular job. Time off doesn't do anyone any favors as he'll be full of himself.
Thanks so much for the input! Ironically she is a palomino!

I have a trainer who is going to start helping me after Christmas. The biggest problem, I think, is that I just don't have enough time to work with her because of my kids. I adore her and the thought of selling her makes me physically ill, but I also don't know when I'll ever have the time/skill to really bring her where she needs to be. I am also not huge on getting myself killed.

When you say basics 101, what kind of exercises are you referring to? If she was yours, at this point, what would you do?
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post #4 of 23 Old 12-04-2019, 07:18 PM
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I'd treat her like I had no clue that she was handled in any way, shape or form and start completely over. Personally I feel that there are times when if you can just put the horse out and let them be a horse for a while it helps them tremendously. Especially if they are in a herd with a clear lead mare. Having kids puts you in a different place. If you have someone you trust that you have confidence in and know they have the experience to restart her then it is well worth the investment. That said if you don't have the time for her now - if you do have her trained will you have the time to keep it up? Not asking to be mean or for a public answer but that is something to give thought to. If she has good conformation and enjoys working then there is a market for crosses and this can be a really good one. But it is one that takes time. They tend to inherit the Arabian brain and don't realize the weight they have to throw around. Smart as whips and just as sharp. I'd love to see pictures.
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post #5 of 23 Old 12-04-2019, 09:43 PM
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I don't know much about training babies, so this is not about that. My thoughts for you to consider is that you are feeling needlessly rushed, and perhaps that is coming out in your interactions with this baby. Your children are yet small. You have a lot of time to get this horse ready. A lot. There is no point is worrying. Keep your focus on your little children, and the filly will naturally outgrow this stage , while you aren't looking. That's my thought.
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post #6 of 23 Old 12-04-2019, 10:03 PM
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I had an Arab/percheron cross gelding. Very big and strong horse, and one of the most flexible horses I have ever ridden!

I took my time starting him, but we did have a CTJ moment the first time I lunged him.

The thing is, the breeder was intimidated by him, and mostly let him get his way.

Even though I started him very slowly, he was so flexible and bouncy, that even a minor sideways jump was 15 feet or more. Fabulous suspension!

Anyway, my point is, the first time he did the famous spook-n-buck, I went flying far and high. Had a lot of time to think over things while in the air...landed in a roll and had my helmet on, so fortunately nothing broken. Walking was hard for about a week, but other than that I survived.

Someone mentioned an Arab brain in a draft body, yeah, that was quite true. He was kind, and we had a great partnership, but he needed gentle and calm handling. Just not a horse for beginners , ever.

This filly of your sounds similar, but having a bucking fit EVERY session is too much, way too much. It might just be habit by now, but it needs to stop.

I think it might be best to let her just be a horse for the winter, and then send her to your trainer as a three year old.

I wouldn't start her at 2 yrs old. The cross of the light and heavier boned parents can cause delays in skeletal development.

I bought my gelding at 3.5 yrs and started training right away, but didn't ride him until he was nearly 4. He was 14H as a three year old, and reached his full height of 16H as a six year old
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post #7 of 23 Old 12-04-2019, 10:09 PM
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I'm apparently on a roll :)

Get her butt in a roundpen and work her until she is sweaty and tired every day.

Horses get this way because they have your number. They have learned that if they are tired, lazy and rude they can get you to back down.

Your horse is displaying all the bad side of a cold blooded horse. Lazy, gives you the left hand salute when you ask her to do something, disrespect, a little aggression to get you to leave her alone.

As I said above, the best cure for this is to get her working, hard. When that horse can hardly shuffle her feet, she's had enough. If you coddle a horse that is acting out, you can count on it getting worse. You would be amazed at how quiet and nice the hottest/coldest crankiest horse is when you get their respect by working them hard. In fact that horse will thank you for it.
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post #8 of 23 Old 12-04-2019, 10:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jgnmoose View Post
I'm apparently on a roll :)

Get her butt in a roundpen and work her until she is sweaty and tired every day.

Horses get this way because they have your number. They have learned that if they are tired, lazy and rude they can get you to back down.

Your horse is displaying all the bad side of a cold blooded horse. Lazy, gives you the left hand salute when you ask her to do something, disrespect, a little aggression to get you to leave her alone.

As I said above, the best cure for this is to get her working, hard. When that horse can hardly shuffle her feet, she's had enough. If you coddle a horse that is acting out, you can count on it getting worse. You would be amazed at how quiet and nice the hottest/coldest crankiest horse is when you get their respect by working them hard. In fact that horse will thank you for it.
I would dearly love to rebut this.

Will have to leave my comment at that so the moderators don't need to step in...
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post #9 of 23 Old 12-04-2019, 10:30 PM
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You do you.

If this horse was in my program she'd be worked twice a day and a kid could ride her after a few months.
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post #10 of 23 Old 12-05-2019, 03:01 AM Thread Starter
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I've gotten a lot of good feedback! I'm not going to try to reply individually but I'll try to address everything.

No offense, but working her to death definitely isn't something I'm going to do. I feel it would be way too hard on her development right now, and at any rate it's not something I could ever keep up. Certainly not something I'd want to rely on.

And some background I should have mentioned: this filly was born in my barn, she was imprinted with everything from day one; halter, touch, feet lifting, blanket on back, etc. She really is nice to handle. I believe her tantrums stem from being buddy sour. The one time she threw a tantrum and nearly kicked me while ponying was during her first ponying trot; the kick didn't seem to be vicious, but she got frisky and bucked like she would in the pasture. I did correct it and she hasn't done it since.

When she has tantrums while being led it's when I take her for walks. Here's why: she and her mother are the only horses I own. They are the only two on the property. They have been separated before - sometimes for months at a time - but they are still buddy sour as can be with each other. The filly normally does decent, until we get completely out of eye shot and her mama starts screaming like a moron. That's when she has a come apart, and if I stick through that then she's always amazing and compliant the rest of the lesson, even if mama is screaming.

I hadn't planned to start her until she was 4 or 5, however this past year she has had uveitis in her left eye twice. It was treated both times, and the second time it was not nearly as severe as the first, but obviously I am very scared she has ERU. My vet is still hoping it was a fluke and isn't chronic. However, I'm a "plan for the worst, hope for the best" kind of girl. I've spoken to folks with horses that have lost partial vision and they all recommended exposing her to as much as possible now, while her vision is still healthy. Hopefully it was a fluke and none of this is necessary, but I'm still trying to prep her as much as I'm able.

I've started using a rope halter on her (instead of her flat one) and that's helped quite a bit. I also think lunging her before attempting to do any work would be quite helpful, to encourage her to get the sillies out before I ask her to focus.

I am still holding out hope that she'll be a good horse! She's a brat at times, but she's also incredibly sweet and eager to be my girl. I am able to work with her a few times a week right now. I know that's not much, but I'm hoping it'll be enough to start correcting this and teaching her to ignore her mama.

Tips for breaking the buddy sourness?

*Attached two pics, they're not great but they're the most recent ones. She has very long hair and right now she's rocking a man-bun to keep her forelock out of her eye
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