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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So this is my first colt that I've raised, and now its time for him to start being a horse

He's a coming two year old, and i've happily found the time to start doing more with him. He does things he should, i can rub all over (including his sheath and testicles.) I can pull his mane and tail, wiggle my fingers in his ears and pull his ears softly. I can play with his mouth and nose and cover his eyes. He accepts a saddle blanket and a surscingle, picks up his feet and lets me clean them. He stands tied and i can bathe him, still minor issues.

He's been lunged only a couple of times, but i'm looking for advice toward lunging and ground manners. what do you guys do and how?

He leads off of me, and backs when I step into him. If I smooch and look as his rear he is STARTING to yield it, but he doesn't whoa during lunging so i haven't done too much lunging yet.

He's a very calm and soft minded colt. Please ask questions because i know i haven't been as thorough as I should have been. Any advice, tips, and questions are welcome!
 

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Even though he is sane and nice, I would geld him now.
I always had my colts gelded in the spring of their yearling year, unless they were intended as stud prospects.
Geldings will grow taller, than if left intact, as testosterone will cause those growth plates to close sooner
You also want to avoid secondary stallion like characteristics, as a heavy jowel and a cresty neck
Nice that he accepts being handled all over, including his testicles, but I would work on more important basics, such as accepting standing tied solid for periods of time
You could get his used to clippers, even if just for a bridle path
How is he on holding up his feet, esp in the farrier position?
Whoa, is first taught while leading, and every horse needs to learn to whoa and not move, until told to do so. This transfers over to under saddle work, and even lunging
I don't use lunging much, esp on a young horse,except maybe as part of under saddle training, bitting that horse up gradually over time
Whoa, can be expanded to ground tying, as when grooming and saddling a horse
Far as lunging. I first lunge ahorse with a saddle and a snaffle bridle, over the halter. Reins are just tied back loosely, and horse is lunged off of the halter.
I use voice commands for the different gaits. Whoa, is first asked for by voice,and if horse does not respond, gets a reprimand with a jerk from the lunge line. (my horses know what whoa means at this point)
Over time, I tie those reins back a little more, until the horse can keep frame at all gaits. At this point he is ready to be lunged off of the inside ring of the snaffle, then maybe ground driven once or so, and then ready for first ride. He already knows how to give to abit, and so I only need to add legs for true collection and drive and in conjunction with verbal cues for the various gaits, until he understands those leg aids, thus no longer needs verbal cues
 

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This isn't what you're looking for, but I'm just throwing my opinion out there.

First of all, I'm thrown off by your comment.. "now it's time for him to start being a horse." He needs to be put in training to be a horse? I think many people are starting to see "being a horse" as an animal that respects you on his back, and has a halter on, and is in a pen. No. A 'horse' is an animal. He eats grass, drinks water, roams freely, and plays and picks dominance fights with other animals like him. A horse is a horse no matter what. Whether he is broke to ride, halter, broke, or wild. But I can't stand when people say things about teaching a horse to be a horse. The first day I got to my current barn, the second I put him in his new a stall, a lady said "You need to start keeping his halter to on. It'll teach him to be a horse." I obeyed because it was the norm for everyone to keep their halters on in case of a fire, but to this day I still wonder how she thinks teaching a horse to have a halter on 24/7 teaches him to be a horse? Anyway, not trying to say your wrong because you most likely know more about horses than me, but I just wanted to put my opinion out there.

Also, he's only two. He's muscles and bones are still growing. Don't rush into lunging, as it strains even fully developed horse's legs.
 

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I think gelding him sooner is better than later. At two years old he may not know he has equipment yet or rather its still on the factory settings. When he figures out that he is a stud and decides to figure out what a stud does it could be a mess and result in bad behaviors.

How is he around other horses? Can he focus? He is young, I would not do as much lunging as I would ground driving. Ground driving would let you work in lines and curves rather than tight small circles. How does he back up? What about yielding fronts and hinds? How is he about "weird stuff" tarps, different surfaces to walk on etc. Standing tied is good. I think you are making the right steps. Do you want to teach him to ground tie? What about hobble training? I would focus more on making him a good equine citizen on the ground than I would on saddle work. When do you plan to back him?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Even though he is sane and nice, I would geld him now.
I always had my colts gelded in the spring of their yearling year, unless they were intended as stud prospects.
Geldings will grow taller, than if left intact, as testosterone will cause those growth plates to close sooner
You also want to avoid secondary stallion like characteristics, as a heavy jowel and a cresty neck
Nice that he accepts being handled all over, including his testicles, but I would work on more important basics, such as accepting standing tied solid for periods of time
You could get his used to clippers, even if just for a bridle path
How is he on holding up his feet, esp in the farrier position?
Whoa, is first taught while leading, and every horse needs to learn to whoa and not move, until told to do so. This transfers over to under saddle work, and even lunging
I don't use lunging much, esp on a young horse,except maybe as part of under saddle training, bitting that horse up gradually over time
Whoa, can be expanded to ground tying, as when grooming and saddling a horse
Far as lunging. I first lunge ahorse with a saddle and a snaffle bridle, over the halter. Reins are just tied back loosely, and horse is lunged off of the halter.
I use voice commands for the different gaits. Whoa, is first asked for by voice,and if horse does not respond, gets a reprimand with a jerk from the lunge line. (my horses know what whoa means at this point)
Over time, I tie those reins back a little more, until the horse can keep frame at all gaits. At this point he is ready to be lunged off of the inside ring of the snaffle, then maybe ground driven once or so, and then ready for first ride. He already knows how to give to abit, and so I only need to add legs for true collection and drive and in conjunction with verbal cues for the various gaits, until he understands those leg aids, thus no longer needs verbal cues
Thank you for your response.

He whoa's any time except lunging, it seems he just gets carried away in the trotting and loping! As for growing taller, he's almost two and 14.3hh. I am not ready to saddle him yet, i feel he is still to young to do so. Especially with a 30+ pound saddle
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I think gelding him sooner is better than later. At two years old he may not know he has equipment yet or rather its still on the factory settings. When he figures out that he is a stud and decides to figure out what a stud does it could be a mess and result in bad behaviors.

How is he around other horses? Can he focus? He is young, I would not do as much lunging as I would ground driving. Ground driving would let you work in lines and curves rather than tight small circles. How does he back up? What about yielding fronts and hinds? How is he about "weird stuff" tarps, different surfaces to walk on etc. Standing tied is good. I think you are making the right steps. Do you want to teach him to ground tie? What about hobble training? I would focus more on making him a good equine citizen on the ground than I would on saddle work. When do you plan to back him?
He actually has some attitude changes as a stud colt. The other day a loose mare (she escaped her fence down the road) came to ours. He acted studly towards her, so I haltered him and simply set her in the middle of my round pen. I walked him all around her, interfering any time studly behavior arose. After 15 minutes or so he was completely uninterested in her. She was kept in my round pen until her owners came and got her that night.
He is doing better to back up when i step into him and say back. Pressure on the halter and he backs pretty well. He yields his hind pretty well, his front we are working on.
I have no access to tarps right now, so i've really just been using lunge whips, blankets and soon plastic bags.
I don't hobble my horses, mostly i have never needed it but i also do not know how to do it.
I will not back him until he is closer to three.
 
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