Sport Horse Spotlight

Carinjo Jumping 1

Real Estate Spotlight

467 Charles_1

Sale Spotlight

COTH_without Subscribe
  • Welcome to the Chronicle Forums.
    Please complete your profile. The forums and the rest of has single sign-in, so your log in information for one will automatically work for the other. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are the views of the individual and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of The Chronicle of the Horse.



Forum rules and no-advertising policy

As a participant on this forum, it is your responsibility to know and follow our rules. Please read this message in its entirety.

Board Rules

1. You�re responsible for what you say.
As outlined in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, The Chronicle of the Horse and its affiliates, as well Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd., the developers of vBulletin, are not legally responsible for statements made in the Forums.

This is a public forum viewed by a wide spectrum of people, so please be mindful of what you say and who might be reading it�details of personal disputes may be better handled privately. While posters are legally responsible for their statements, the moderators may in their discretion remove or edit posts, though are not legally obligated to do so, regardless of content.

Users have the ability to modify or delete their own messages after posting. Moderators generally will not delete posts, threads or accounts unless they have been alerted and have determined that a post, thread or user has violated the Forums� policies. Moderators do not regularly independently monitor the Forums for such violations.

Profanity, outright vulgarity, blatant personal insults or otherwise inappropriate statements will not be tolerated and will be dealt with at the discretion of the moderators.

Users may provide their positive or negative experiences with or opinions of companies, products, individuals, etc.; however, accounts involving allegations of criminal behavior against named individuals or companies MUST be first-hand accounts and may NOT be made anonymously.

If a situation has been reported upon by a reputable news source or addressed by law enforcement or the legal system it is open for discussion, but if an individual wants to make their own claims of criminal behavior against a named party in the course of that discussion, they too must identify themselves by first and last name and the account must be first-person.

Criminal allegations that do not satisfy these requirements, when brought to our attention, may be removed pending satisfaction of these criteria, and we reserve the right to err on the side of caution when making these determinations.

Credible threats of suicide will be reported to the police along with identifying user information at our disposal, in addition to referring the user to suicide helpline resources such as 1-800-SUICIDE or 1-800-273-TALK.

2. Conversations in horse-related forums should be horse-related.
The forums are a wonderful source of information and support for members of the horse community. While it�s understandably tempting to share information or search for input on other topics upon which members might have a similar level of knowledge, members must maintain the focus on horses.

3. Keep conversations productive, on topic and civil.
Discussion and disagreement are inevitable and encouraged; personal insults, diatribes and sniping comments are unproductive and unacceptable. Whether a subject is light-hearted or serious, keep posts focused on the current topic and of general interest to other participants of that thread. Utilize the private message feature or personal email where appropriate to address side topics or personal issues not related to the topic at large.

4. No advertising in the discussion forums.
Posts in the discussion forums directly or indirectly advertising horses, jobs, items or services for sale or wanted will be removed at the discretion of the moderators. Use of the private messaging feature or email addresses obtained through users� profiles for unsolicited advertising is not permitted.

Company representatives may participate in discussions and answer questions about their products or services, or suggest their products on recent threads if they fulfill the criteria of a query. False "testimonials" provided by company affiliates posing as general consumers are not appropriate, and self-promotion of sales, ad campaigns, etc. through the discussion forums is not allowed.

Paid advertising is available on our classifieds site and through the purchase of banner ads. The tightly monitored Giveaways forum permits free listings of genuinely free horses and items available or wanted (on a limited basis). Items offered for trade are not allowed.

Advertising Policy Specifics
When in doubt of whether something you want to post constitutes advertising, please contact a moderator privately in advance for further clarification. Refer to the following points for general guidelines:

Horses � Only general discussion about the buying, leasing, selling and pricing of horses is permitted. If the post contains, or links to, the type of specific information typically found in a sales or wanted ad, and it�s related to a horse for sale, regardless of who�s selling it, it doesn�t belong in the discussion forums.

Stallions � Board members may ask for suggestions on breeding stallion recommendations. Stallion owners may reply to such queries by suggesting their own stallions, only if their horse fits the specific criteria of the original poster. Excessive promotion of a stallion by its owner or related parties is not permitted and will be addressed at the discretion of the moderators.

Services � Members may use the forums to ask for general recommendations of trainers, barns, shippers, farriers, etc., and other members may answer those requests by suggesting themselves or their company, if their services fulfill the specific criteria of the original post. Members may not solicit other members for business if it is not in response to a direct, genuine query.

Products � While members may ask for general opinions and suggestions on equipment, trailers, trucks, etc., they may not list the specific attributes for which they are in the market, as such posts serve as wanted ads.

Event Announcements � Members may post one notification of an upcoming event that may be of interest to fellow members, if the original poster does not benefit financially from the event. Such threads may not be �bumped� excessively. Premium members may post their own notices in the Event Announcements forum.

Charities/Rescues � Announcements for charitable or fundraising events can only be made for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations. Special exceptions may be made, at the moderators� discretion and direction, for board-related events or fundraising activities in extraordinary circumstances.

Occasional posts regarding horses available for adoption through IRS-registered horse rescue or placement programs are permitted in the appropriate forums, but these threads may be limited at the discretion of the moderators. Individuals may not advertise or make announcements for horses in need of rescue, placement or adoption unless the horse is available through a recognized rescue or placement agency or government-run entity or the thread fits the criteria for and is located in the Giveaways forum.

5. Do not post copyrighted photographs unless you have purchased that photo and have permission to do so.

6. Respect other members.
As members are often passionate about their beliefs and intentions can easily be misinterpreted in this type of environment, try to explore or resolve the inevitable disagreements that arise in the course of threads calmly and rationally.

If you see a post that you feel violates the rules of the board, please click the �alert� button (exclamation point inside of a triangle) in the bottom left corner of the post, which will alert ONLY the moderators to the post in question. They will then take whatever action, or no action, as deemed appropriate for the situation at their discretion. Do not air grievances regarding other posters or the moderators in the discussion forums.

Please be advised that adding another user to your �Ignore� list via your User Control Panel can be a useful tactic, which blocks posts and private messages by members whose commentary you�d rather avoid reading.

7. We have the right to reproduce statements made in the forums.
The Chronicle of the Horse may copy, quote, link to or otherwise reproduce posts, or portions of posts, in print or online for advertising or editorial purposes, if attributed to their original authors, and by posting in this forum, you hereby grant to The Chronicle of the Horse a perpetual, non-exclusive license under copyright and other rights, to do so.

8. We reserve the right to enforce and amend the rules.
The moderators may delete, edit, move or close any post or thread at any time, or refrain from doing any of the foregoing, in their discretion, and may suspend or revoke a user�s membership privileges at any time to maintain adherence to the rules and the general spirit of the forum. These rules may be amended at any time to address the current needs of the board.

Please see our full Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for more information.

Thanks for being a part of the COTH forums!

(Revised 5/9/18)
See more
See less

Raising a colt - Difficulty level?

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Raising a colt - Difficulty level?

    Hello- I am a very experienced horse person but have never owned a horse under 5. I now have my own place and in about 5 years or so my trail mare will retire. I am really considering raising my own trail horse. However I have so many questions, like is it worth it? I do have a playful Arabian who is 6 and would love a baby! But what do I need to know? How hard is this going to be and what kind of facility to I need? I have seen some unregistered colts for sale with 6 or 9 months that look like they need a little rescue, but maybe at this stage I would be looking for one that has been handled since birth so I don't setup for failure. Or at this age are they still OK to work with? I do everything- I am the farrier and the trainer. Also I have good trainers by me and a friend who has raised some that will probably help. Any advice appreciated.

  • #2
    I don't know if this is still in print, but I used it for the first 2 yr old colt I raised and trained and it was very helpful. The title is, Starting Colts: Catching/Sacking Out/Driving/First Ride/First 30 Days/Loading, by Mike Kevil with Pat Close, published by Western Horseman Inc, 3850 North Nevada Ave, Box 7980, Colorado Springs, CO 80933-7980. My copy was published in 1990. The person who purchased the colt/stallion after I was finished him and after he had sired 5 horses and was then gelded, was very happy with the training he had received and trained and showed him in dressage and Intro level Eventing. If I were to do this over again, I would keep the book handy.

    ETA I would also use a feed that is designed for colts and doesn't make him high as a kite so he can actually hear you and process what you are asking for so he can learn. At the time I did this, I had to take him off of Blue Seal Trotter and put him on Triple Crown Sr, as he was high as a kite and the weight was falling off of him (which was why I ended up with him in the first place). With the feed change I had an entirely different horse who was a joy, loved to be with people again, and was a joy to train and handle. Good luck!
    "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits." Albert Einstein


    • #3
      Young horses do well with room to move around, a herd situation to teach them social skills, and short bursts of human interaction like maybe ten minutes of halter training at one go, since they don't have a lot of focus yet.

      They don't do so well in stalls or small paddocks, because moving around lets them develop feet and legs and balance.

      I would say you are better off with a basically unhandled 6 month old colt, versus one that has been spoiled (like an orphan colt that has no boundaries) or one that has been roughly treated and has fear issues.

      If you have land and one extra mouth actually doesn't cost you much, it's a great idea. If each additional horse needs full board in an expensive barn, then keeping a colt that you can't ride for 4 more years is not very cost effective.


      • #4
        It is recommended to keep young stallions with horses the same age - playing and fighting for rank can cause bad injuries if one is way smaller than the others. Foals need space - pasture, pasture, pasture.


        • Original Poster

          Originally posted by Scribbler View Post
          Young horses do well with room to move around, a herd situation to teach them social skills, and short bursts of human interaction like maybe ten minutes of halter training at one go, since they don't have a lot of focus yet.

          They don't do so well in stalls or small paddocks, because moving around lets them develop feet and legs and balance.

          I would say you are better off with a basically unhandled 6 month old colt, versus one that has been spoiled (like an orphan colt that has no boundaries) or one that has been roughly treated and has fear issues.

          If you have land and one extra mouth actually doesn't cost you much, it's a great idea. If each additional horse needs full board in an expensive barn, then keeping a colt that you can't ride for 4 more years is not very cost effective.
          Thank you! I have a giant arena/paddock area so plenty of room, but it is fenced with chain link and I am a little worried about that. I also have an older mare, young gelding and a mini. So there should be plenty of herd interaction. My stalls are pipe fencing. It wouldn't cost me much of anything to keep one around and wait. I think looking at these they are pretty much unhandled at 6/9 months and I was hoping to geld ASAP. That would be another new one for me!


          • #6
            My 3 have been easy.
            But when you say colt, do you mean an actual colt or just any gendered weanling? Stallion will be more work, what with testosterone raging & all as it grows up.
            I treated them the same as other horses, let them be horses 24/7 & pull to work with them & back out.
            I had to teach my younger gelding to lunge early on because he suddenly got a surge of testosterone before 1yr. Got him gelded at about 14mo, no special care needed.
            Any work was super short & tiny baby steps. Like, 5min may or may not be too long, so have fun with that one!


            • #7
              I have raised most of my horses and I prefer it.

              I have also done it with minimal land. A few were raised when I was at a boarding stable and we had arenas for turnout but the mare/ foal lived in a 12X24 stall paddock area.

              I just made sure they had plenty of arena time and I took the foal along when riding the mare. Later after weaning I started to pony them with my gelding.

              Under normal at home living my babies were out on a couple of acres with all my other horses and I just handled them daily.

              Be gentle but firm and give lots of love and praise . Remember that youngsters have no problem getting the upper hand .


              • #8
                I raised my gelding from birth and I previously had a well handled filly I got at weaning age. I preferred the experience of raising my boy from birth far more


                • #9
                  years ago I got a QH weanling filly - six months but limited handling. It was a great experience bringing her along. I was lucky -she was at a very small barn, other 4-5 horses were County Police, and they had all kinds of cool stuff to desensitize, also they shot some guns, so my girl was exposed to a lot even while out in her pasture.
                  She was driving and riding lightly at 4.


                  • #10
                    Depends on the individual you end up purchasing, some are naturally "dead easy", some are "psycho" and not easy. I like Scribbler's advice here. It's a learning experience, for both you and the horse at the same time, if you haven't raised one before, which is always risky for both, and not often "recommended". But everyone has their "first" one. Research what advice you can find, and choose what advice you feel you want to follow. You may or may not do the same the next time, the theories you endorse may change over time and with experience. I've had a great many youngsters over the decades, both home bred and purchased as weanlings (I used to go to the PMU sales each year and buy a couple of likely looking prospects to raise, train and sell). The PMUs were untouched, other than being haltered and wormed in a chute before the sale. Most were my friend and happy to see me within a week or so.

                    I like to keep actual "training" to a minimum, and instead focus on establishing a relationship of mutual respect, and friendship. I want their little faces to light up with joy when they see me, and I want them to want to be with me, and want to do what I want them to do for me. I want them to crave my touch, crave my attention. I don't feed treats. I like to find a spot that they like to be tickled, and my touch and my attention and the time they get to spend with me is what they crave, and that is their reward. Build that relationship, and they are easy to raise and train (usually). Keep in mind that a horse is a herd animal, and is looking for a friend, and mentor, to tell them what to do and where to go. Be that mentor for him.

                    If you buy a colt, make sure that both testicles are accessible, and geld early. Usually by 6 months, gelding is possible. The younger they are, the easier the surgery is on the horse, and the easier to recovery. If you buy a filly, you escape the cost of gelding. Cost of gelding can vary, depending on the vet you use.

                    If the foal has been skillfully handled, then yes, a previously handled one may be easier. But an unhandled one is easier than one that has been ruined already by unskilled handling. They are much like raising a human child (I hear)… they have a brain, they have a personality, and learn quickly what you teach them, whatever that may be. If you teach them the wrong thing, things may not go well, so be careful what you teach them, and it's not their fault if you teach them the wrong thing. Hitting and disciplining them is rarely needed, if you teach them right, because if you teach them right, they are trying to do the right thing for you. Notice the try.

                    Good luck, and happy shopping.


                    • #11
                      The great thing about raising up your own horses is that you have control over what they learn, how they learn it and when they learn it from Day 1.

                      The crappy thing about raising up your own horses is that you control over what they learn, how they learn it and when they learn it from Day 1...and can potentially royally screw them up.

                      I don't take starting horses lightly, but I find that otherwise good, knowledgeable horsepeople who don't have direct experience starting young horses can do so successfully with help from more experienced mentors.

                      It's easy to overhandle very young horses - I'd far prefer a basically feral colt to one that's been manhandled since it hit the ground. Overhandling babies creates dull horses later on, which unfortunately is what a lot of people prefer because dull horses are predictable and robotic. I am looking for partnership while maintaining as much of the horse's dignity as I can and still allow him to be a horse. Far easier to get that from an unhandled youngster than from one that's been constantly handled since birth.
                      Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not. Remember that what you have now was once among the many things that you only hoped for.


                      • #12
                        The key to raising a foal/weanling/yearling/two year old to be a good equine citizen is to treat them like they are a full grown adult horse. By which I mean expect them to behave the same way you expect a full grown, good equine citizen to behave. By expecting. the behavior you want you will be able to correct the undesirable behavior by asking for the desired behavior rather than vague, ill defined "Stop that!" corrections.

                        When I got my first foal I already owned a 1300lb horse (who I got as a green broke 3yr old) and my mantra was "If it ain't cute when my 1300lb horse does it, it ain't cute when my foal/weanling/etc does it."

                        Which is not to say I made no allowance for age. I specifically trained the good behavior I wanted, and set the youngster up for success. Short interaction, redirected behavior to DO the desired behavior rather than stop the bad behavior. Plenty of praise and scritches (baby horses are always itchy and love scritches far more than pats or stroking - just don't let them return the favour and scratch you; block or redirect their nose away. If you stop scritching until they move their nose away, they learn very quickly not to try scratching you back). Always knowing what I want them to DO so I can recognize and reward any movement in the right direction.

                        After that first foal reached 3yrs old I thought it had been an enjoyable and valuable experience, but I wouldn't do it again. Years later, when contemplating the loss of my 1300lb horse, I changed my mind and bought another foal. I still have both and our various care professionals often comment on how good they are about everything. I'm not sure about raising another foal - I would prefer to do so, but I'd also like to be a one horse owner for a while I think.

                        My (totally irrelevant) vote is go for it!


                        • #13
                          For the cost of buying a weanling and then caring for it and feeding it plus potential unplanned vet visits PLUS training, you’re often time much better off to find something started under saddle when the time comes....if you’re able to ride a potential new horse you will also have a good idea if it’s a good fit or your type of horse. Aka, he’s lazy, hotter type, spooky, or not. Etc