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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all,
First of all I would like to say I am very new to horse forum and just joined. I have just recently purchased my first foal ever. I bought myself a little quarter horse filly. Now I have worked with horses almost my whole life, but never have I ever owned a foal before. So I was wondering if I could get some hints and tips. I notice when I am leading her on the lead rope she is very much so into my space. I often give her a shove and let her know that my space is exactly that, MY SPACE. However, she pushes herself into me right back. Also she needs a little work with walking beside me. I know she is probably just being stubborn, but as I said. It would be wonderful to get some help with this and see if I can break her stubbornness sooner than later.

Thank you :) ,
BreezeMyQuarterLovely
 

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Do you have a trainer helping you with this horse? If you do I would work this out with your trainer. But it sounds like you are on your own. So do you know any trainers that could help you with this?

If you are going to fix this yourself I would say you need help and a little more then you can get here on the forum, there are many trainers out there with good videos.
All that being said, one reason your filly is pushing into you is she is pushing you to see what the boundaries are. If you correction is not changing the behavior then I would say your not getting your point across. I would do a little more the just push her back. You need to make her move her feet and raise her fear level. I never physically push a horse with is issue. Clinton Anderson does a good job of using his lead rope to encourage the horse to move its feet away from you. You need to show your horse you are the boss and soon, its much easier to be the boss the to take the position of boss back from your horse.
 

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I definitely agree with CowboyBob for sure. Look into getting yourself a reputable trainer that can help you with a young horse. Every horse is different and it's hard to determine the best method to deal with a problem based on the information given via the internet.

That being said, I have a 1.5 year old filly and have dealt with space issues in the past. In my opinion, the best way that you can deal with a horse that is pushy, is not to be pushy back. What happens when you push or shove the horse away is negative physical contact that could be easily avoided. The way I tackled the problem was to use my body language. Make yourself big, and make some noise. Use your energy to avoid making contact with her, but making it very clear that she is not to invade your space. Move her away from you without invading HER space just as she has invaded yours. It's a little counter-intuitive to invade her space in order to scold her for invading yours.

If you find that that isn't necessarily working, try moving her backwards (or sideways ect.) using the lead rope. Again, avoid making harsh physical contact when solving this problem. Make use of the lead rope as much as possible, because when you control their head, you also control the direction in which they walk, and the positioning of their feet, which helps in controlling their distance from you.
 

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how old is the filly? got any pics?

i have heard that when a horse is crowding your space, you can throw an elbow -- you're not going to hurt it, a herd mate would be much much rougher

i have a 22 month old filly, and i see her crowding the space of my other horses often -- they pin their ears for about 2 seconds, and then bite her -- she moves off quickly, and if she doesn't, they will spin and kick at her


other than that, BlueSpark gave me some excellent advice a while back that you might appreciate


I suggest writing out some reasonable goals for the next year, and seeing how long it takes to reach them. take your time with each step, and do them thoroughly. this part of the training is the foundation, and essential to do well. so many people get excited to start riding and skip steps. as any home renovator knows, its much easier to set the correct foundation in the first place, than it is to try and back track and fill holes later, when the house is falling apart. it is the same with your horse. If the foundation is poor, it will eventually show up down the road, and those holes will be much more difficult to fill, and the problems they caused will be hard to fix. example of some goals:

basic ground work:
-leading very well
-loads in a trailer
-yields hind and fore quarters, drops head when asked, side passes from the ground, backs well
-stands tied quietly
-leads over obstacles, away from the barn and other horses alone.
-ponies from another horse

saddle/bridle work:
- stands for bridling.
- thoroughly desensitized to ropes, the saddle pad and then the saddle(including flapping stirrups, etc)
- stands to be saddled
- flexes when pressure is applied to the reins(from the ground) from side to side, familiar with "whoa" when you apply bit pressure and ask for a stop.
- ponied and done groundwork when saddled
- Ground drives well, where ever you choose to drive her, down the road, around the field, etc.

make a list something like the one above, and spend the next year perfecting it. At three, if she is mentally and physically ready, move on to some VERY light under saddle work.
i don't have a trailer - so i skipped that step -- she leads well, but not perfect, so i am working on that and yielding hind-quarters, fore-quarters, and dropping her head when i ask her
 

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You have to keep in mind that young horses will stay close to the mom for protection. The mom will keep the foal close and the foal will be somewhat pushy into the mom to stay close. That's what the mom teaches it to do so she can watch for danger. The foal will go off to explore but go back to the mom. As they get older, they have to be taught to not be so close and pushy.

There isn't much difference in teaching a foal compared to a full grown horse. Be consistent. Be fair. Be firm when needed. The difference is that you need to keep things simple and sessions short. Don't expect them to be perfect but take small improvements as you get them.

I was holding a 9 month old filly yesterday while waiting for the farrier. I asked her to back up. She just stood there. I just held the pressure until she just shifted her weight backwards. Good enough. I let her be for a few seconds and tried again. This time she took a step back. Good enough. I tried working on something different but the same way. Each thing was kept short but ended on a good note and progress. Not perfect by any means but each time will get better.

I've found that teaching to lead, it is easier if you walk around like you're looking for something on the ground. Keep changing directions, which keeps them from balking. This also helps teach them to keep their attention on you to see where you are going next.

If the do start to crowd, back them up or send them away a little. Or let your arm have a seizure and flap like a wing. A couple pops and they will stay out of range.
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You have to keep in mind that young horses will stay close to the mom for protection. The mom will keep the foal close and the foal will be somewhat pushy into the mom to stay close. That's what the mom teaches it to do so she can watch for danger. The foal will go off to explore but go back to the mom. As they get older, they have to be taught to not be so close and pushy.

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I was thinking the same thing, along with if this horse is not to long from being with she mare. In wild horses and young horses they will not move away from pressure they will move into pressure. I was working with a mustang right out of the wild once and he was really really good at moving into pressure, if I would get after him he would drop his head licking and crewing an move closer to me, it was really hard for him to learn move away. Because the harder I would work to drive him away the closer he wanted to get to me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks all for the much needed advice. I have definitely taken all that has been said into consideration and I think that goal setting is something I will do. And to answer some questions, my filly is almost 7 months old. I talked to my boarder and she has said similar things like not "over doing it." Also putting pressure on her and releasing the pressure when she does what I want her to as a reward.Another thing I would like to adress is her fear of doors and entry ways. I know all of this will come in time just want to know if there is anything I can do to help her overcome her fear?
 

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I have never owned a young colt or filly, but if I bought one THIS YEAR, I would:
1) geld the stud colt before arrival--I don't want another mare, or my mare to have another foal 'O'
2) turn out the foal with my finished mare and let HER discipline him every day so he knows how to behave
3) do ALL foal training with my mare in the training area, as an example, so the foal would know that I'm not dangerous The US Cavalry teamed green with seasoned horses and this makes the quickest training progress.
If you don't have this, agreed with above and Clinton Anderson has an excellent foal training set of DVD's, WELL WORTH your money.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I have never owned a young colt or filly, but if I bought one THIS YEAR, I would:
1) geld the stud colt before arrival--I don't want another mare, or my mare to have another foal 'O'
2) turn out the foal with my finished mare and let HER discipline him every day so he knows how to behave
3) do ALL foal training with my mare in the training area, as an example, so the foal would know that I'm not dangerous The US Cavalry teamed green with seasoned horses and this makes the quickest training progress.
If you don't have this, agreed with above and Clinton Anderson has an excellent foal training set of DVD's, WELL WORTH your money.


I have heard from several people that Clinton Anderson is the way to go and I'm really thinking about buying his training dvds. Thanks :)
 

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Another thing I would like to adress is her fear of doors and entry ways. I know all of this will come in time just want to know if there is anything I can do to help her overcome her fear?
Practice, practice, practice. Stay calm and relaxed. Don't get nervous or excited.
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