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Welcome to the Forum...


I can't offer the depth of advice and help you need but can tell you there are many here who can and will share their knowledge with you...
When you have questions ask, but ask on your own threads so they are not lost or sidetracking to other members concerns they write about...that is what I was told/asked to do when I joined this forum so passing along that advice given to me...
The "training" stuff...watch for comments to come soon.

You'll like it here when the members get a chance to work with you, learn what your experiences are...:smile:
 

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Welcome to the forum!

I'm no expert but when I halter broke mine I put him int he round pen with a nylon halter and a long thick lead rope and just left him (supervised) for a few hours a day for about a week. He walked around dragging that lead rope and stepping on it. He learned give and release by himself. I did make sure the rope was thick enough that it wouldn't wrap around his legs and get tangled or cause a rope burn and like I Said - I did monitor her while he was in the pen. I would just put him there while I was cleaning stalls or doing yard work. When I started hadn't walking him, he already knew not to pull away from the pressure but to move toward it. It was pretty easy....
 

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Ah, the new thread!

I strongly advise you to find a trainer to work with, or at very least, an experienced friend to give you lessons, because while we can give you lots of bits & pieces here, if you're a newbie to horses AND you don't know(assuming from what you asked) you are also not knowledgeable about training AND you have baby horses, that's a HUGE learning curve & heaps to go wrong if you just 'go it alone'.

As far as halter breaking, youngster's 'green' bones & joints are very easily damaged & while I do suggest the exercise Farmpony described, I'd hesitate to do this with a yearling, because if they step on the rope & panic, they could hurt themselves severely. So I'd wait until they were around 2yo before doing that personally. And for same reason, I wouldn't tie firm, or do anything 'high impact' with them at that age either.
 

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What I always did was to first turn them around. Facing their rear pull them around until they have done an 180 degree turn. Do this from each side. They cannot resist as hard in a turn. Always keep your eyes where you want to go instead of looking at the horse but be aware of what it is up to. Once you've made your two about faces then get in front of the horse, your eyes looking forward and put some tension in the lead rope. Try to keep that same tension at all times even if they start going backwards until you get the least amount of forward movement. This may only be a slight lean of their body towards you without their feet moving. You should be able to feel it through the lead rope. Release pressure, praise and give them a rub. Tension again on the lead asking for forward movement and don't let up until you get a foot to move. Just one foot is good enough. Immediate release, praise and a rub. You can stop there for the day but no more than 1 more time because youngsters have very short attention spans.

Next day do the same thing with the turns but when you get to the forward movement no release and praise until they take a step. Next all 4 feet have to move before release and praise. Again you can stop there or one more time depending on how long you've been working. For yearlings I'm going to do 15 or 20 minute sessions.

I usually trained for leading when they were at least weanlings and oldest horse I got that wasn't trained to lead was a 2 year old. I only had one weanling filly that was still resistant by day 3. She was a stubborn one and was still resisting occasionally, if she wasn't in a cooperative mood, when she was a 2 year old. We finally had to have it out for her to learn she didn't get to dictate when and where she was going while the halter was on. That part is just so you know that a particular method may not work on every horse. I had success with other methods too over the years but the one I described just seemed to work the fastest and easiest for me.
 

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I am a first time horse owner too wanting to know how to halter break 2 yearlings. I am learning as i go but would love any advice I can get.

Hello OP. Some more information would be helpful.



Am I understanding you correctly that you purchased two unbroke yearlings for your first horse(s)?


What prior horse experience do you have? Riding? Training?


This might give us a better idea on how to guide you. However, it is always a good idea, no matter how experienced or inexperienced you are, is to take hands-on lessons with a reputable training. In person lessons are invaluable.
 

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When you say "halter break", do you mean that these yearlings have never been haltered? Or that you want to start doing ground work with them (in other words, they can be haltered, they just don't know how to be led)? What is the background on these horses? Normally horses get used to wearing a halter from a very young age. Were they just left out in a pasture for a year?

I would also suggest getting a professional trainer involved as it is too easy to make a mistake that will be costly down the road. Young horses are so easy to shape, and if you create the wrong type of association, you can quickly end up with unwanted behaviors that will be much more difficult to overcome later. Not to mention that it can become dangerous very quickly. Think of it as a great opportunity to learn about horse training! You can ask to watch and help so you can learn.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
i can get close enough to themn that i can rub there heads and some on the neck but as soon as i pick up the halter and go to themn they run to the other side of the pen wont come near me theyve never had halters and hadnt been touched or fooled with just left out in pasture i have no training exsperience at all just learning as i go with themn one is a female one is a male i know not to walk behind themn and always talk to themn when i approach themn they do follow me around
 

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Please, for your safety, enlist in the help of an experienced trainer.

If one of the horses is a male do you know if he is gelded? If he is a stallion he needs to be gelded very soon so as to not have any unwanted breeding/babies happening.

Are there any riding schools or lesson barns in your area? They may be able to help you or at least point you in the right direction.
 

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I am going to give you the straight bad news. From what I can tell, here are two basic options here.

1. hire a very good professional to take these horses and see if they can be made useful. It will be expensive. This is, frankly, only worth it if the horses are good quality. They are years away from being able to be ridden, so their training now will consist of what are called "ground manners" -- being haltered, led, groomed, getting used to all the things they must accept quietly throughout their lives, and also the preparatory training for riding to come.

2. hire a professional to get these horses loaded up and taken to an auction where they will be sold for slaughter. It will still cost you money. The horses will suffer -- a lot -- because of US laws prohibiting horse slaughter for meat. They will be loaded on to a stock trailer and shipped either to Canada (luckier) or Mexico (not so lucky).

If you are a true humanitarian, you could have a vet euthanize them and then you will have to arrange for disposal of the bodies.

You stepped into a truly unworkable and dangerous situation. Now you have to figure out how to get out of it. Whatever you decide, don't let it be "I can do this myself". Unless you have training chops, you really cannot, and a yearling horse can hurt you really badly, without any intention to do so, they are already big enough.
 

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So @Anya suggested that you send them to a trainer. I see that you are in the VA area. I actually sent mine to a trainer as a yearling just for "basic training" because I work full time and I was worried that I would not have the time to do the little stuff that matters. I only sent him for 30 days but in that time she had him tying, clipping, bathing, had a tarp over him and had even put a light weight saddle on him (he just stood with it girthed - no work done). I feel like that was one of the best things I could have done for him.


It would be worth it for you to talk to some trainers about that. Just a month of basics and that would not cost you a huge amount of money.
 

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So @Anya suggested that you send them to a trainer. I see that you are in the VA area. I actually sent mine to a trainer as a yearling just for "basic training" because I work full time and I was worried that I would not have the time to do the little stuff that matters. I only sent him for 30 days but in that time she had him tying, clipping, bathing, had a tarp over him and had even put a light weight saddle on him (he just stood with it girthed - no work done). I feel like that was one of the best things I could have done for him.


It would be worth it for you to talk to some trainers about that. Just a month of basics and that would not cost you a huge amount of money.
This is good advice, except that after a month what she would have is a couple of yearlings with the rudiments of ground manners and still, no experience handling horses. She has to decide what her end goals are here.
 

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Ergh I, too, think this is a colossal train wreck waiting to happen. I have seen so many new horse owners buy something they're not ready for and either get injured or get their horses injured. I'm not judging you, OP, this sort of thing happens all the time and there really IS a very steep learning curve. But I see the potential for serious injury if this continues, and the truly sad thing is you'll be potentially ruining good horses or potentially ruining what could be a very rewarding hobby for you.

Not every horse is cut out to be "beginner safe". This goes triple for babies. You MIGHT have stumbled onto a pair of real gems who will be perfect horses for you - but I doubt it. The odds are against it. If you want to keep these yearlings, do right by them and turn them into respectable citizens, you'll be spending some serious dough. You'll not only need years of training for the babies, but years of training for yourself, so that you know how to handle them properly and so they are trained to an acceptable level that won't get you killed. This is, in all likelihood, going to cost FAR more than these two horses are worth.

I would cut my losses, OP - sell these two babies to someone who can break them properly, and spend your money on a well-broke beginner mount that will take care of you and give you a good introduction to the horse world. If you keep them and send them off to be trained, don't forget to send yourself off to be trained as well, or you've just wasted all the time and money. If you decide to keep them and go it alone, I hope your insurance policy is up to date.

-- Kai
 

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With the further info, of you having zilch experience with horses, and these youngsters having zilch experience, I'm afraid I agree thoroughly with others. **Not judging you for finding yourself in this situation BTW. Unfortunately it sounds like someone has either in ignorance themselves, given you what they couldn't handle themselves, or has picked you for a sucker & offloaded their unwanteds on you, to save their own disposal costs.

Along with all the other training you would LIKE to do, you first need to consider their physical wellbeing. It's detrimental to their physical & mental health to be cooped up without lots of exercise, so they need to at least be well trained enough to catch & halter/lead, as immediately as possible, so you can get them out of the pen & into a paddock - or at least, if no alternative to a pen, you will need to get them out for in hand walks *multiple* times daily, if they are to have much hope of growing up healthy & strong. As they've been left unhandled until now, any deformities or body probs that may cause ongoing soundness are now difficult/impossible to fix & will need to be addressed very soon if there's any hope. The horses have obviously never had their feet attended, so their hooves are likely in terrible shape & detrimental to their ongoing soundness unless good, regular farriery is started very soon - which means you first have to have the horses trained well to have their feet handled - that's not the farrier's job. They have probably never been wormed(unless with a pour-on), def never had their teeth done, let alone being properly checked over by a vet. That also takes training, to get them to the point they can be dealt with. Those are utmost training priorities - you need to get them trained to that standard, ASAP, so you can begin taking care of their physical health.

Your options, as I see it are...

1.
Planning to just 'learn as you go' is not only like... someone who knows nothing, can't read or do maths, deciding they're going to be a school teacher without any training whatsoever, but is also very dangerous, when you're dealing with very large, reactive 'kids'. If you take this route, you WILL get hurt, hopefully not too badly. The horses are likely also to get hurt at times, from your mistakes, hopefully not too badly. You WILL make many mistakes, some at least that will be detrimental to your future enjoyment with the horses, and to their future with anyone else, should you realise down the track you need to part with them. Hopefully that 'hurt' & mistakes aren't bad enough to seriously damage you or the horses so they have little hope of anyone else being able to make reasonable horses out of them later, but it happens all the time, that it's easy to stuff up a good horse to the point where they're dangerous & virtually untrainable by all but the best 'rehab' trainers. Of which it will be costly to send them to, to 'fix' their bad training enough at least for an experienced horseperson to have a hope with.

2.
You can send them to a trainer, or employ one at your place, to teach them the basics - they will not be up to being trained to ride for a couple more years - but if they're totally unhandled, there are a LOT of 'basics' they need, so you're probably looking at at least a month's training fees per horse, for the very basics. *YOU* also need lessons, as you need to learn how to understand & communicate with them, how to handle them safely & effectively. You'd have lessons with well trained horses to begin with at least, then you could move on to lesser trained, to learn how to teach them. I also strongly suggest you start now, learning theory - study equine behaviour, bodylanguage & psychology, and study behavioural training principles. I'm guessing you also need to study just how to care for horses too. So... given the huge learning curve you need to undertake, I'd personally suggest sending them away rather than keeping them at home, so you can gain at least some rudimentary knowledge before you get them back in your care.

3.
Offer them now to someone who HAS got the experience to deal with them. If you're lucky, you might even get some money for them, which you can put towards some lessons &/or a well trained horse.

4. Agree with Avna, that *humane*(I'd never ship them off) putting them down is unfortunately a realistic option, IF you cannot find someone experienced who wants them, or you cannot afford to get in/send them to a pro trainer, and take lessons yourself. I would not just take them to auction or sell them to just anyone either, as it's likely they would be either shipped to slaughter or otherwise put in a bad situation. It's not humane to just keep them without being able to provide at least basic care to ensure they're healthy & happy, so if that's the only option, then I'd consider humane euth to be the kinder option.
 

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Sell them now. Period.

Investing in training two unhandled yearlings will require a lot of money, and still there are no guarantees they will become good horses. Unhandled means they've also not had their hooves done, have probably not received vaccines, and the "male" is probably not gelded (though hopefully he is). Yearlings can mate. You do not need a third unhandled foal in the mix. They surely haven't been dewormed, or even properly examined by a vet. By now, they should have had a lot of training to become solid horses.

This is a recipe for disaster. The person who gave them to you just handed you a ticking time bomb.

Maybe you're thinking we're all wrong and that you can do this. Maybe you've watched some shows about taming wild horses and figure hey, it can't be that hard. I love animals, I don't want these poof horses to die so I'll just love them enough that they love me back, and we'll all learn together as we go. That only works in the movies.

As @loosie said, if you had zero training in math, would you put yourself out there as a math teacher? Riding and handling horses is a steep learning curve for those of us who did not grow up with someone who could teach us everything. Actually training a completely unhandled horse is way beyond that. There are just so, so many ways this can go wrong. Youngsters need hours of training each day by a professional who knows exactly which buttons to push, and which ones to leave alone. I'm afraid you are in way over your head and need to enlist the help of a professional or let these horses go to someone who can provide them with what they need.
 
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