My colt is my first baby and has been nothing but a pleasure to deal with. He is super smart, friendly, brave, and over all behaves better then my crazy TB that I have had for years (seriously!)
I have had a summer of fun w handling youngsters and I am confident that the routine I have him in is just fine, but I was wondering what everyone else has done with/taught their weanlings.
He stands to get his daily grooming (which he absoultely loves) and doesn't fuss about getting his muzzle clipped and we are now working on his ears.
I have to be honest- I am very weary as to teaching him how to cross tie. I have researched it immensely and have sought help from online, the young, and the old and experienced. But other then that he gets handled like a older horse.
I am not trying to rush anything what so ever, and if he is not ready... well, hes not ready, but at what age (or more so when they say they are ready) do you start introducing them to be more "grown up"...
ie; bridling and all that good stuff!
I wouldn't worry about cross tying yet. Not until he really understands pressure and release from his halter. I usually just thread a longish lead rope through a tie ring and go about brushing him etc whilst holding the end of it. I can avoid a massive panic that way but most of the time he just assumes he's tied.
I wouldn't put a bit in his mouth for a while yet - a yearling at least. Sometimes I tie a roller or something similar around his girth for a bit of practice but I don't lunge or long rein until they are much older.
How much I do with the weanlings depends on the horse. I have one just turned yearling colt that stands quietly to be washed, body clipped, plaited, etc as well as trots up, loads and travels like a pro. Another colt of mine can barely stand to have his feet picked let alone all the rest! This is one I need to do more work on...!
Does sound like you've got a good start. We like to teach them as many ground manners as possible when they are small enough that a temper tantrum is easier to control They are bathed, muzzles clipped, blanketed, feet handled, trailered, learn to lead, and most important learn to keep out of our space, all before weaning. We don't worry about cross ties for quite a while, until they have a very good understanding of giving to pressure. Bits start very gradually as long yearlings. Use a halter and clip the bit on one side and then swing it into their mouth and clip it on the other side.
Our filly leads, stands for the farrier & shots, is easy to work around...other than that - she eats, plays with her yearling buddies, grows and sleeps. We have no plans (currently) to show her in 2012, so there is not much of a reason to do more than let her grow until the plan changes. If it does change, the trailer will come out and a few practice sessions of jogging the triangle & practicing patience will be added. But in all seriousness - that's not likely...I'd rather spend entry $$$ on the riding horses than a yearling. Or go get a lesson on one of the up and coming FEI horses with my favorite BNT. So if you were to ask 'what's she done/doing?' my answer is 'not much!' I guess.
My program with the youngsters is similar to Tasker. I basically let the young horses be young horses! Right now I have a long weanling and a long yearling who live outdoors together 24/7. I bring them into the barn once or twice a week to be groomed. They both tie, pick up feet, wear blankets, lead, but that's about it. I just started cross tying the yearling this week. I don't worry about clipping or trailering at this stage (although they both have been on the trailer with their mommas as foals). When I had my first foal, I had a lot more time and I was doing all sorts of stuff, clipping, trailering, in hand shows. Now that I have 5 horses and a full time job, my time and money is pretty precious so I tend to concentrate on my riding horse. Ironically, I don't find that the foals was handled extensively was any easier to break or handled the stress of shows as adult horses any better than the ones that were left more to their own devices. That said, I don't advocate letting young horses go feral. They definitely need to catch, lead, stand for vet and farrier, but I don't think you need to go overboard. Of course, if you've got the time and you enjoy working with your weanling, why not?
Also wanted to add, I usually introduce the bit and a saddle or surcingle when they are two. I just put them on a couple of times, just to get them used to the idea and then put it away until they are 3 and ready to be broke.
Sounds like you're doing a great job. One caution, tho - you CAN overhandle them. They need to be horses, not people, and they need to understand the difference. I'd rather train an untouched 3 year old than a mollycoddled one (not saying you're doing that, just cautioning).
I have to be honest- I am very weary as to teaching him how to cross tie.
Leery = cautious. Weary = tired.
I bought a weanling colt last year. He had very little handling when I brought him home, so the first priorities were haltering, leading and handling and trimming feet. Grooming was a part of those activities.
Next he learned to stand tied. I've had him in the cross ties only for short periods, but I do not leave him unattended. It's too easy for horses to do stupid stuff in cross-ties, and this one is always looking for new and different ways to try to kill himself.
Last summer he learned to get a bath, and then to have multiple wounds doctored and bandaged without being tied (he ripped open his face so I couldn't put a halter on him).
In the meantime, he got very short and infrequent groundwork sessions to learn walk, trot and whoa on the lead rope (from both sides), back up, yield hindquarters, yield forehand. Respect my space, do not bite, do not paw (the pawing thing is a work in progress).
I would like to show him in hand this summer, so with that in mind, I'm working with him more on trotting in hand and stopping and slowing down when I raise my outside hand (the one not holding the rope). I suppose he'll need to start wearing a bit soon -- not looking forward to that process.
A lot of people will say just to leave babies alone. I do not agree, because I want a head start on training.
This guy is 17 months old now and 16 hands tall. I darn sure am not waiting until he's three to get the ground manners perfect. He gets plenty of play time but is always looking for stuff to do and is always eager for his little training sessions.
Oh, forgot to add trailer loading. I didn't really have to do anything. I just open the door and he goes in without me even asking.
Working on clipping...sorta, when I am in the mood.
Mainly she hangs around her BFF the round bale and looks ugly right now.
Mine too! Must be a weanling thing.
I do feel sort of sorry for "only weanlings" especially if they belong to new owners -- they are always wanting to do something with them.
Mine leads very well -- is super light in the hand -- and is starting to "get" the idea of giving to pressure when she's tied. I don't have cross-ties, never use them, so we don't go there.
She stands for the farrier (has been doing that since she was 3 wks old), loads easily (she had to go to inspection, so I had to teach her that)...what else does a weanling need to do?
Bits? Bridles? Saddles? Holy smoke, the horse is only 6-8 mos old! Considering it takes about 2 20 minute sessions to get a horse used to a bit, I don't even bother till the horse is ready to be ridden -- about age 3.
Basically they just need to grow up, eat, shed, poo....the usual horse activities. And, for yearlings & weanlings, the looking ugly part takes up alot of time as well...
I'm very careful about tying any youngster, and never tie the weanlings, always have someone help hold them. I believe a lot of undiagnosed neck injuries occur from tie-related mishaps. I take the gradual approach. Asking them to stand with someone holding is the safest when they are merely infants. As they mature and become really solid citizens with the whole standing, halter, give to pressure business, and also have more mature skeletons, I will use one of those "Tie-Blocker" things that allow the lead to slip with some drag on the line. Once I started using those, I bought several and will never use anything else. They really help to almost eliminate problems of pulling back and reduce the chance of injury. They can be used for cross-ties, but I don't put babies into cross-ties anyway. Ours learn to tie in a stall when they are big enough and are never left unattended. I consider cross-ties a more advanced training step for horses ready to go under saddle.
Wary = marked by keen caution, cunning, and watchfulness especially in detecting and escaping danger
Would also fit.
My babies, I like them to lead, be handled all over, allow feet cleaning, stay out of my space, give to pressure to move over and back up out if the way. Also be wormed nicely, and the one I missed out on with my first babies, get all visitors to handle the weanlings and pick up their feet, so they don't freak out when new people want to handle them later.
They will also load and lead through some scary obstacles.
Usually I'll do quite a bit in their first couple of weeks, then let them be until weaning, they get refreshers at weaning, then left again. Some more work again as yearlings, then off to be youngsters again. Rinse and repeat until they really start lessons as 4 year olds
I'm not sure if I grew out of stupid or ran out of brave.
Practicing Member of the Not too Klassy for Boxed Wine Clique
Thank you everyone!
Leery/wary... it was wayyy past my bedtime haha
I just got my blocker tie ring in the mail the other day- hense this thread.
He's super smart, and is extremely sensible as well, gives into pressure and doesnt like to fight too much.
I am going to start to tie him in his stall by using the blocker tie ring and a lead rope because that will get him use to the pull and the giving to the pressure. And if anything happens he will then be in his stall.
really makes me happy to hear that I am on the right track and i know us foal-owners love to rant and rave about our little ones
Good age to start ground tying at too. short sessions, nothing major.. and obviously in an enclosed area (arena, etc).. but I usually started with that around this time. Also started (for the boys) on getting them used to having their sheath handled. So many don't like it being cleaned.. i'd rather teach them as a baby than when they are like 4 and 1200 lbs lol.
"Sadly, some people's greatest skill, is being an idiot". (facebook profile pic I saw).
I don't do a lot, especially through the winter. I have the same routine with them up until they turn three.
Currently? They are sitting in the field looking like yaks. Their hooves get picked once a week. I halter them, and toss the rope over their back and they stand. They stand for trims, vaccines, and are good for deworming. Typically by this time of year the weanlings are expected to tie. My current one is just an angel and he understand the whole tying concept before I even picked him up. They are all expected to get on the trailer and stand quietly. Once a month or so I pull them in and give them a good brushing, maybe practice some in hand stuff.
During show season they are handled more obviously. I honestly try not to over handle them though. I do what I need to. I've tossed a saddle on my coming 3yo a few times, just for the heck of it. She's worn a bridle as she had to begin showing in one this last show season. I see no reason to handle them daily really. So far this has worked very well for me
As for weanlings -- each year I seem to do less and less with them, and they end up fine! This year's was the most difficult baby I've ever had; she still doesn't like to be haltered, though it can be done. She leads nicely and stands for the farrier passably. She definitely needs more work! But once she's up to speed on the catching and the farrier work, she won't be asked for much more for a while. They are always expected to be mannerly -- no running into or over the humans, and no airs above the ground!
Arrange whatever pieces come your way. - Virginia Woolf
Did you know that if you say the word "GULLIBLE" really softly, it sounds like "ORANGES"?
My foals all lead well, ride in a trailer (Moms get rebred at a clinic when the foals are about a month old), stand well for the farrier and vet, have been bathed, have maybe had a clipper buzz off the worst of their fetlock hair, been touched anywhere and everywhere by the time they are weaned. After that I leave them alone for the most part, with the exception of brief refreshers in all the above on a very occasional basis.
As yearlings I teach them to cross tie. I start by putting on a halter with a 6 foot cotton lead and leave them in a stall with the lead dangling while keeping a close eye on what happens. Eventually they will step on the lead and feel it not give when they raise their head. That will lead to them learning not to worry about the feeling and to just picking up their foot to release the restraint. Although one exceptionally smart filly figured out to hold the leadline in her mouth to keep it from getting stepped on.
Next, (on a different day, not in the same session) I tie them in a stall, tying high and using something that stretches a little for securing the quick release. I do that in my smaller stalls where they will back into a wall before really pulling back. I never leave them unattended. I wait until they have hit the end of the line repeatedly and become a bit impatient, then a bit bored, and finally resigned to the stupidity of the whole thing.
After that lesson has sunk in well, I will start tying them with one cross tie and holding a leadline on the other side of the halter while grooming them on my barn aisle. That way, they can start to feel the way two lines feel and I can quickly fix anything before it gets dangerous. Because they have already experienced giving calmly to pressure in the first two lessons, this part is usually a non-event.
After my filly was weaned (6months) and before a year I would do some lessons in the round pen.....teaching moving off pressure, slowing, stopping to pressure.....turn and face me at 12 oclock...this one is great for when turned out in the pasture as it allows me to catch my horses easily. These sessions were never more than 10 minutes and no more than once or twice a week for a couple of months.....just long enough to know the lesson was well understood. Would also teach them to lead from all four legs with the lead rope or lariat.....its a great way to de senstive the legs and teach them to give to the pressure.
Mine is 7 months old. He showed on the line once as a foal and will be showing as a yearling. He's already trailered, and he was body clipped as a baby because it was 95+ degrees here the week he was foaled. He walks, trots, and stands reliably in hand and is getting used to his bit and bridle. He will step over a ground pole and has had a look at all our jumps. We've been picking up feet and grooming since day one. He's doing well standing tied in the stall but doesn't cross tie yet. He goes out with a nanny pony and has plenty of "boring" time to himself, too!