Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Isselburg, Germany
• Horses: 0
Problems handling and leading new weanlings??
2 weeks ago I bought 2 friesian girls -6 and 7 months old - they are my first horses and I'm so excited and pleased with them - but I have some problems I don't know how best to progress with......
We built them 2 stalls, each 3x4m, in a large airy barn - but it does not have direct access to the field - they have to go round the house, through the garden - a bit of a ramble, and one of the issues.....
The first one, Vicky, is used to being handled, and led - although she stops and refuses to move frequently on the way to the field .... I am still trying to figure the best encouragement past this problem - snack only help a little...
The second, (we call her Shergar!), arrived doped, which was a shock to us. Her halter was a little small, and she was not handled.......we didn't realise she had never been handled or led......
The first time we tried to lead them out to the field was a nightmare....Vicky would lead, but Shergar just freaked, panicing Vicky too.....we finally got them both there safely, but we were Lucky. Bringing them in, and for the next few days out, we let Shergar just follow.....but Vicky continues to refuse, and Shergar wanders about, then panics at something and runs - so we have stopped that too, as it is not safe - there is not a secure 'run' to the field.
Shergar would not be touched when she arrived. After spending time and giving treats, she now allows petting and brushing over the door - she still panics if you go in with her. After a few days I was able to take off her halter, but could only get it back on whilst feeding her treats. Then started bitting/nipping, so I have stopped feeding treats, and am unable to get her halter back on yet!!
I asked the breeder's advice - she told me to hit her in the face with my hand if she bit, or tried to bite! And that to lead her, I just have to 'show her who is boss' !! I do not want this kind of relationship with my horses - they are babies at the moment - there must be a better way?
Unfortunately, I cannot let them out to run until I get past these first issues......
The barn is right in front of the house, and I go out to see them every hour or 2, petting, brushing, topping up hay and water, the doors are open for fresh air. They both call as soon as they hear anyone approaching, and Shergar seems to really enjoy being brushed - in fact she walks past, then backs up to me - does this signify anything other than she likes her butt being brushed?
My inclination is to take the time to let her settle and accept having a halter put on, before moving on to a lead....but they cannot go outside and run until she gets there - and I desperately want to do it 'right' for them both. I assume putting just Vicky out each day would create even more problems for both?
I live in Germany, but don't speak German, so local help is difficult. I have a trainer (recommended) coming tomorrow, but he doesn't speak English - so although he should help (I hope) practically, he won't be ably to explain much!! Any help or advice right now would be appreciated. It seems such a stupid situation to have gotten into, but I really had no idea the 2nd baby had never been led.