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I bought my first yearling about 3 weeks ago. I let him sit and get used to his new home and have just been grooming and picking his feet and working on basic manners. My previous riding instructor told me to try trotting him on a lead to check for lameness so I attempted it. He's great at walking and stopping on a lead but he flat out refuses to trot. About two days ago, I finally got him to trot beside me a little, but he got waaaay too excited and ran ahead and bucked. He ended up kicking me in the hip while he bolted by, and now i have a decent sized hematoma. I never expected him to react like that. He has never tried to push me around in any way, he always respects my space in the pasture, he rarely gets spooked, lets me touch his behind and pick up his back feet. He's a little mouthy and tries to chew on my shoes but i correct him and he has never tried to actually bite me in anger or frustration. He's really sweet and this just took me by surprise. I'm not sure that I handled it right afterwards. When I got up, I felt that it had been too long and the opportunity to correct him passed so I just walked him around and put him back in the pasture. I tried to get him to walk on a lunge but when i ask him for a simple walk, he starts galloping around me and bucking and kicking in air. I have no idea what to do. Some people told me not to lunge him at all, and others have told me to lunge him at a walk so that he gets the idea before he gets too big. I have no idea what to do and honestly, I'm scared to even attempt to lunge him again. Should I just wait until he's around 3 years old? Is he trying to hurt me on purpose or is it him just being playful and rough? I don't want to cause any future behavioral issues.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I should probably also mention that he is not gelded yet but he is scheduled to be gelded once the other testicle drops. But I don't think him not being gelded is the case because he is extremely laid back and chill and has not any showed signs of any hormonal changes yet.
 

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I should probably also mention that he is not gelded yet but he is scheduled to be gelded once the other testicle drops. But I don't think him not being gelded is the case because he is extremely laid back and chill and has not any showed signs of any hormonal changes yet.
I think he might be just super excited about being in a new surrounding. Maybe he is lame and knows that trotting will hurt him, or maybe he has not been trotted much before. Do you know much about where he came from? I think you should continue to lunge him at a walk and sometimes dedicate a lesson to getting him to trot. If he doesn't trot straight away or tries bucking, don't give up and call the end of the lesson, always finish the lesson on a good note. What cues do you give him to trot?
Also, if he tries to buck and gallop around you, speak to him in a firm voice and let him know that he is boss. Him not being gelded yet could possibly have a slight affect because he thinks he can be the boss of you and get away with bucking and galloping. He might also be bucking and galloping because he hasn't known you for long and thinks that he can claim the spot of being boss.

I hope this helps!
 

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He's a baby. This is what babies do. He doesn't know how to lunge or how to be led at the trot yet, so he gets rambunctious.

Do you have a round pen available? I agree that lunging shouldn't be done that much with a yearling (not good for his growing legs) but at least in a round pen you can get him moving forward to see how he moves and he can get the silliness out without dragging you around.

He didn't kick you on purpose. He was just being a young horse and got full of himself. If his antics scare you and you're unsure of how to handle him when he's like this, it's definitely time to get a professional on board for some help.
 

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He's a baby and it sounds like you need experienced help working with you both. This isn't uncommon behavior but will escalate.
Exactly. This!
Training young horses is not easy and not for the inexperienced the first time out. What happened is you basically told him what to do with 0 explanation of what you expected. Babies will always think either 0 or 1000 in terms of speed in my experience. Because I show them in hand all mine start trotting up at 5-6 months and it's a bit easier to manage.
Have someone strong and experienced work with him who can sit back and try and correct the explosive behavior the moment it happens. Repetition in small doses works best. You also can't expect immediate results. They're babies, they have to think and understand before they master. Good luck!
 

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What your colt did was normal. Totally normal. He's like the others have said, he's a baby. You wanted him to move, he took it as an opportunity to play.
You will have to remember, he's not going to be "best behavior" all the time because he's just a yearling! They only have an attention span of a short time. Are there other horses where he's at? Or is he by himself?
I am not a big fan of a gyp rope, especially for a youngster. it's too hard on joints. While you may want to teach that to him, please do not rely on it to take some energy off.

In the meantime, short work times, longer play times, just let him be a horse.
 

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I bought my first yearling about 3 weeks ago. I let him sit and get used to his new home and have just been grooming and picking his feet and working on basic manners. My previous riding instructor told me to try trotting him on a lead to check for lameness so I attempted it. He's great at walking and stopping on a lead but he flat out refuses to trot. About two days ago, I finally got him to trot beside me a little, but he got waaaay too excited and ran ahead and bucked. He ended up kicking me in the hip while he bolted by, and now i have a decent sized hematoma. I never expected him to react like that. He has never tried to push me around in any way, he always respects my space in the pasture, he rarely gets spooked, lets me touch his behind and pick up his back feet. He's a little mouthy and tries to chew on my shoes but i correct him and he has never tried to actually bite me in anger or frustration. He's really sweet and this just took me by surprise. I'm not sure that I handled it right afterwards. When I got up, I felt that it had been too long and the opportunity to correct him passed so I just walked him around and put him back in the pasture. I tried to get him to walk on a lunge but when i ask him for a simple walk, he starts galloping around me and bucking and kicking in air. I have no idea what to do. Some people told me not to lunge him at all, and others have told me to lunge him at a walk so that he gets the idea before he gets too big. I have no idea what to do and honestly, I'm scared to even attempt to lunge him again. Should I just wait until he's around 3 years old? Is he trying to hurt me on purpose or is it him just being playful and rough? I don't want to cause any future behavioral issues.
I would suggest lots of lunging before working with him and very often to let him run and get his energy out :) a young one i worked with needed it almost daily to be rideable and to work with her when she was younger.
 

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My horse is now 4 and did the same thing. In fact now at four, when he gets turned out, he will run past me and buck in his excitement, staying well clear of me but showing off. When about two, he would run towards me and rear up in front of me trying to impress. At 6 months I set up a 40 diameter round pen using 5 foot high Nobel panels that are very safe. I would work with him in the round pen. Lunging never worked out too well as he would get caught up in the line. However loose in the round pen he was great. There are a lot of youtube vids on round penning and how the horse will connect and join up with you. Get some help if you get over your head. I was kicked a few times and I know many horse peeps that indicated they did not feel comfortable with a young horse. Maybe even wear a helment when training.
 

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He got excited and did what yearlings do.

He isn't trained enough to understand what trotting beside you means so you'll have to start with the basics. I am assuming he doesn't even know how to lunge yet? If you aren't getting actual personal help form your trainer as in she/he is not physically there to guide you then the next best thing for you to do is find videos and books to help teach yourself (assuming you are not a new horse person).

There are a lot of online trainers that are really good and worth looking at. Don't look at local folks doing their own videos until you feel confident you can weed through the nonsense and bad advice.

Right now I would work on tying, leading, and a little lunging. With a yearling you only need about 15 minutes of good work....
 

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that is one reason that the very young horses are lead on a pretty short line; to disallow them to wheel around and double barrel the handler. The young horse does not yet really have the built in response to a pull on the halter. He doesn't know how to respond softly to a soft pull, and when it gets firmer, he just explodes. An experienced trainer might work on ponying him from another horse to build in a better release to pressure on his halter, at all gaits.
 

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He needs to be taught manners now, while he is a young horse. I would put him in the round pen and ask for him to lunge at a walk or trot. First without a rope on him, then on the lunge. Then work on leading walk, whoa, back, and yield hindquarters.
 

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I would suggest lots of lunging before working with him and very often to let him run and get his energy out :) a young one i worked with needed it almost daily to be rideable and to work with her when she was younger.
Lunging is not for babies. Lunging in circles is very detrimental to growing joints.

Short learning sessions is what a young horse needs, so that the energy that turns into leaping and kicking is instead energy that turns the wheels of the brain.

If OP does not have the experience to deal with what young horses do, OP should get a trainer that does. The worst thing for a young horse is to be with a person scared of said horse, because that is when cute young horse turns into the adult horse that is a monster.
 
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