Training a young horse
 
Quote · 2639 days ago · 0 people like this ·
 

I just purchased a weanling colt, and was wondering what the proper age is for training a young horse, and is this something I can do or would it be best to have a professional train her? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks everyone!!

Quote · 2639 days ago · 0 people like this ·
 

IMHO (in my humble opinion, and I am by *NO* means an expert), it depends on what you mean by "training". One of the best things that *I* feel you can do with a very young horse is to spend time with them, be gentle with a lot of "hands on". Take your time, and make sure that the distractions are kept to a minimum.

 

Once you can get them used to a halter, and standing for you, you can get them used to grooming. Horses, especially when young, are extremely curious, so let them inspect the brushes and other implements. Most horses like to smell anything new, and will feel more comfortable if they are allowed to see what is being used on them first. Talk to them in calm reassuring tones. I have found it helpful to talk gently and move slowly, explaining what I am going to do before I even touch them, and then continue explaining as I work.

 

One of the reasons that I think working on grooming early is important is that once they begin to actually ENJOY grooming, you can begin introducing the saddle blanket into the mix (an important part of saddle breaking). Start small with a small piece of cloth (such as a washcloth, rubbing gently during or after grooming), and once they get used to that, begin to move up to larger pieces (hand towels, small bath towels, etc.) over time, you can move up to the saddle pad itself without terrifying the foal. Note that this can take days or weeks though.

 

The biggest point that I'm trying to make is that you can make the training experience a pleasant experience for them, and they come to enjoy the training instead of being terrified of it.

 

(again, these are just my own opinions.)

 

-Jason

Quote · 2636 days ago · 0 people like this ·
 

I am no expert either, but I agree with Draxxon.  This is the same approach with young horses that I use.  One thing I would add to young training is the importance of reaching the point that his feet can be picked up and picked out while remaining relaxed.  This is important for farrier work and in case of an emergency injury to the leg or foot.   To help your young colt learn to have his feet worked on you would begin where he is most comfortable; his body.

Once you can touch you baby all over, start touching him down his legs.  Begin on the front legs.  Start by touching and rubbing the colt on his body where he has already become comfortable.  Begin moving your hand down his leg.  As soon as your colt shows discomfort, (don't take your hand away), just move your hand back up to the comfort zone and continue rubbing.  When the colt relaxes again slide your hand down the leg again (a little at a time).  Keep repeating until the colt becomes comfortable with each new area.  Then continue moving lower (using the same approach and withdraw method), working your way down to his foot.  Once you can pick up the foot just a little, gently set it back down.  Note: When ever your colt shows the slightest sign of trying, release the pressure either by moving your hand back to the comfort zone when rubbing, or by setting the foot back down after picking it up.

There are some books that might help you.  One is called "Bringing Up Baby" by John Lyons.  There are also some excellent books by Clinton Anderson.  You can find these and lots of other books on this subject in the WikiHorseWorld "General Store".

Good luck and let us all know how your baby is doing.

Quote · 2563 days ago · 1 people like this ·
 

I agree with the other two people. However I think maybe this will answer your question. I usually will start getting on my young horse by the age of two years, if there is no problem with the knees). However I spend alot of time doing ground work before I get on the horse's back. This is so the horse will know how to stop and turn for me, from me teaching the horse this from the ground. If you are not experienced in breaking a horse, than I would suggest that you find a trainer to do this. Or better yet find a trainer that is willing to help you break your horse. In other words the trainer is there telling you what to do, and the reason why. But you are doing the work. This way if you run into any problems the trainer is there to help correct the problem. Also you never end any session you have with your horse in a bad note. Always make sure that you end your sessions on a good note. You can contact me if you'd like.

Quote · 2553 days ago · 0 people like this ·
 

Hey sandii6:

Good advise!  Great additional comments on the subject!

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