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Hi all, new here :)
I just inherited a yearling QH filly, and although I have 15+ years experience with horses, I've never really paid much attention to how to "start" a young, unhandled horse...

So if anyone has any hints and tips for where to start, what to do and what not to do that would be much appreciated!

I know all the general, teach them how to load, tie up, etc just not sure what else I should/could be doing, also what I should be feeding (if anything)

Thank you :)
 

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When I am working with a yearling, I like to keep in mind how I want them to behave when they get older. I keep things short and simple for them, but I am very careful not to let them get the idea that they can get out of what we are working on at that moment. Early handling gives you the opportunity to shape some of how they will take later training in life.

I have my two doing lots of in hand "precision leading" and facing obstacles like poles and tarps. I do some lounging and the one I have had since she was weaned is walking and trotting on the driving lines doing figure 8's and a step here and there of lateral work. I have begun bitting her, though at this point she is just carrying the bit under their halter during the lesson. The cutest thing has been borrowing a synthetic pony saddle from a friend of mine and started putting that on her.

The best advice to keep in mind is to make it fun. Try not to get in her face to much or give her any reasons to worry about being handled or about working with you. Also be mindful of her developing mind and body. Keep circles to a minimum to allow her knees to develop and keep lessons interactive.

Some things are pretty basic like all training: set her up to win; end on a good note; pay attention to what she tells you with her body language.

As for feeding, I have my guys on a 14% protein with a high fat content that comes from rice bran instead of a lot of corn and good clean grass hay. The hay is fed free choice, but I will stop that spring of their two year old year.
 

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great wisdom ms,the only thing i disagree on is the feed.a weanling or yearling needs fat but very little protein.too much protein tooearly can cause club footed babies.feet cant catch up,so a foot starts to stand straight up.
 

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great wisdom ms,the only thing i disagree on is the feed.a weanling or yearling needs fat but very little protein.too much protein tooearly can cause club footed babies.feet cant catch up,so a foot starts to stand straight up.
I disagree that they need very little protein, though, yes, too much is a bad thing. Honestly, I would prefer a 12% but I cannot find one that has a high enough fat content. The source of said protein can be a big factor but that is a rather large education to try to and impart in a small post. Also, I feel that the higher protein can offset by careful feeding and the free choice hay.
 

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i agree with you cause one of the yearlings that i know of was getting a high protein alfalfa hay once a day
 

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i agree with you cause one of the yearlings that i know of was getting a high protein alfalfa hay once a day
Ah, I am not a fan of feeding Alfalfa to any horse without a VERY good reason. Very few horses do well on it and most of those are adult horses, in very heavy work and it is fed with a grass hay.
 

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i feed all my show horses alfalfa hay and a well balanced feed twice a day.no grass hay.alfalfa is easier to digest and it makes them look better.
 
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I've seen too many qh babies fed rich feeds, grow too fast and develop hoof and joint problems by 5. I like the old fashioned way of letting them eat what is natural to horses, grass and hay and let them grow and their own speed. Anyway, google Agility for Horses. It's very popular in Britain for non-riding. It takes groundwork to a whole other level and works on developing a mannerly horse. They do show some of the obstacles they use and many can be altered or jerry-rigged to suit one's own purposes.
 

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I just play with my babies the first year. We get petted and feet trimmed, loaded and brushed. I will pony them and take them for walks. I do take them to a couple small town fairs and enter them in halter. Gets them out and usually we are the only ones in the ring. They can stand by the trailer and eat hay the rest of the day.

As for feeding. My babes have a round bale to themselves. Lots of feed and they can nibble whenever they want. I also feed them Masterfeeds frisky foal pellets till they are a year and then Masterfeeds development till they are three. Also free choice mineral and salt block.
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