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Personal Space/Weanling Colt?

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  • Personal Space/Weanling Colt?

    Hello, yes here I am again asking more questions!

    I took Ace up north last week to be weaned. He is doing quite well and has a TB mare that he is being turned out with at night.

    My question is, he is pretty naughty when you go to clean his stall. I usually just wait until he goes to turnout to clean his stall because he gives me no personal space. He gets pushy and if you shoo him away he only comes back for more. Yes, where he was before is actually where he got that bad habit and is one reason why he is now where he is.

    I would like to someday be able to clean his stall while he is in there without him mugging me and trying to knock me down!!

    Any suggestions?

    just a thought, he is 4.5 months old and is a big strong colt, he has to be at least 550 pounds and 13.2 already, so I would like to stop this behaviour before it gets worse!

  • #2
    Be quick with the elbow now, to prevent possibly serious injury (to you) later. I know it seems mean, but they MUST stay out of your personal space.

    There are two ways I know how to work on it.

    One, go in there and pay attention to him. When he finally reaches around to "groom" you back with his teeth - push him back firmly and tell him no. Go back to grooming. When he comes at you again, tell him no, etc.

    Another way. Ignore him, clean the stall or whatever. When he comes over to molest you, jab him with your elbow in the neck or nose so that he knows he is too close. Look at him and make a noise (growl) so he knows to keep back a bit.
    * Sunny * Ella (2006 filly) * Tank (2008 colt)*

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      oh, see the elbow thing doesn't work. He just bowls you over. He doesn't bite or attack, he just body slams!

      The elbow doesn't faze him at all.

      When he was at my friends, it unfortunatly became a game. She would let him mug her and now he thinks it is a funny game.

      I am all for being harsh because I know this situation warrants it, but he just is a little smarter then your average foal.

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        I am just not sure what to do to get the reaction I want!

        Last time he really got too close I smacked him good on the nose. He jumped back and ran to the end of the stall, and then you could see his little brain thinking of what to do next. What did he do?

        Well, he took a running start and lept over the whole wheelbarrel out of the stall into the barn and just stood there looking at me, like "Ha, see, now you can't get me!"

        Little stinker, its starting to frustrate me that I can't out think him!

        Comment


        • #5
          LOL! That is a bummer the elbow doesn't work.

          I'm not a huge fan of smacking on the nose, but I know some people who use it sparingly, with good effect.

          I've been pretty lucky, most of my babies have been pocket ponies. But I do have a big strapping colt this year myself (clue: barn name is "Tank") and I wonder if he'll be nippy.

          What do other people do?
          * Sunny * Ella (2006 filly) * Tank (2008 colt)*

          Comment


          • #6
            Muck him while he's eating. Otherwise I think it's asking a lot of a weanling. We do stalls with our weaners in them in the winter--we muck them while they eat breakfast, than they go out. They learn pretty quick that way. They also generally tie pretty well by the time they're 6 months or so, so if they have to they can be tied in the stall (with twine at the end of the stall chain.) That way they're not escaping.

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              I did used to tie him before we weaned while I cleaned his stall. That worked fine.

              Now I don't clean his stall unless he is out. He would rather bug me then eat anyway

              If it is something he will grow out of then I can just give him time, I was just wondering if there is a way to fix this, or it is just something they do.

              Comment


              • #8
                My colt - a yearling - was getting really pushing at feeding time. He is 16.2hh - so yes a big boy for a yearling.

                I used a dressage whip to lay down the law - not hard but enough that he would respect it and me.

                If you are bad the whip comes back - one week of that and he now knows that he stands at the side of his stall until the feed is in the bowl and he doesn't try to leave the stall or push me.

                It was the best thing I could have done - he just wasn't being respectful before that but now is really good - I was never mean about it but respect has to be there and he was getting a bit full of himself - this was just about the time that all the mares came into heat. He is not scared of the whip - but he respects it. If he gets pushy it comes back and he knows it. I rarely need to bring it out now.

                You have to be the boss with a colt imo.

                Comment


                • #9
                  He won't grow out of it unless you make him.

                  I agree with Promodus. Lay down the law a few times, hard, and you'll be much happier. It's far better to make a few decisive corrections than to constantly nag him with little taps.

                  He's not too young to learn manners -- that should start as soon as they're steady on their legs.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Lead him with a wire brush attached to your right forearm. When he crowds you he self corrects. Tie him in the stall. If he pushed against you he feels the brush. No harm done just an irritation. It is safer to always tie a horse when grooming anyway, and not to trust a colt/stallion.
                    http://TouchstoneAcres.com
                    Touchstone Acres Lipizzans, Standing N. Samira VI (Gray), N. XXIX-18(Black), more in 2014

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      The joys of using a plastic pitchfork. A light poke or two may help him to learn to keep his distance.

                      That said, if he is really just learning to be weaned, I would avoid cleaning when he is in until he is totally settled.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by prodomus View Post
                        My colt - a yearling - was getting really pushing at feeding time. He is 16.2hh - so yes a big boy for a yearling.

                        I used a dressage whip to lay down the law - not hard but enough that he would respect it and me.

                        If you are bad the whip comes back - one week of that and he now knows that he stands at the side of his stall until the feed is in the bowl and he doesn't try to leave the stall or push me.

                        It was the best thing I could have done - he just wasn't being respectful before that but now is really good - I was never mean about it but respect has to be there and he was getting a bit full of himself - this was just about the time that all the mares came into heat. He is not scared of the whip - but he respects it. If he gets pushy it comes back and he knows it. I rarely need to bring it out now.

                        You have to be the boss with a colt imo.
                        This method works beautifully. I used a crop (not that it really matters.) Also works great for horses that are pushy while being led. If they invade your space, they get a pop.

                        I figure pop with a whip is a less painful reprimand then what he would receive if he was pushy around another horse...
                        We are all inclined to judge ourselves by our ideals; others, by their acts. ~Harold Nicolson

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          The crop worked wonders when we started leading him. He is great to lead now, if he get pushy, I just raise the end of the lead rope and he backs off.

                          I suppose I can try the crop in the stall, although I might need a longer one.

                          I will give him some time to settle in his new surroundings, I don't want to fry the little guy.

                          Pitch fork didn't work. That is when he proceeded to jump over the wheel barrel and stand in the aisle smurking at me. (while his mother went crazy and tried to run me down)

                          Nothing seems to scare him, which is why I could be having the problems I am having. He is extremly bold about everything. When he was little he got his hoof stuck on the wheelbarrel and it flipped over on him. He just layed there and waited for me to lift it off and then he just sat up and looked at me like, that was interesting, then popped up and ran to mom!

                          I tell ya, these foals are a riot! (when they are not body slamming you!)

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Well, then that little buggar would get tied up.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              What works well with a lot of stallions is to use those plastic kids bats. Just the strange look of them gets their attention, but the sound is an added bonus if needed. I could also try my son's Star Wars light sabers, but I bet he would make me pay to replace them if damaged.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Samotis View Post
                                I did used to tie him before we weaned while I cleaned his stall. That worked fine.

                                Now I don't clean his stall unless he is out. He would rather bug me then eat anyway

                                If it is something he will grow out of then I can just give him time, I was just wondering if there is a way to fix this, or it is just something they do.
                                Fix it NOW, while he is young, not TOO big, and impressionable. They don't out grow it, they just get worse. Make the corrections mean something, don't just pick at him. It is FINE if he is a little afraid of you for awhile. He'll get over it once he learns the lesson. These babies aren't lap dogs and they can/will hurt you if you don't draw the boundaries early and clearly.
                                Laurie

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Would you all consider these corrections (I am thinking dressage whip) to be effective and proper for a one week old colt? Mine was born bucking and kicking.....pretty much as soon as he was up he walloped at me and has now started coming at me and trying to rear. It is playful moves at this point, but he can really get some air time with those back feet and I rather like my brains unscrambled.
                                  Things Take Time

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I would never use a whip on a foal. Babies kick in defence. As soon as they begin to trust you, they quit kicking. Whipping them will not create trust. Use a metal trash can lid so when they kick, it makes noise. If they come at you to play, just push them away, or don't work with them without putting a halter and lead on, so you can control what they do witout resorting to punishment. Never let them play with you.

                                    Comment

                                    • Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      I think if you stop them when they are young, you will have less of a problem.

                                      my problem didn't start until he was at least 3 months. It was because the BO would go in there and let him push her around and now he thinks it is a game. He has never kicked at me and he certainly isn't afraid of me!

                                      At a week old, maybe what fairview said about putting a halter on them would help. Just walk him around with you while you clean the stall and make him stand. It will teach him a little patience and how to lead a little better!

                                      Good luck.

                                      I am just learning all this too, and everyone is right, they aren't play toys, they are big strong animals and it is best to stop any bad behavior, even if it is just playing!

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        When I go into the stall I do give scratches on neck and shoulders. If (when) he gets pushy I stop and leave him alone or push him away from me. When he turns to kick out, I try to stay out of the way and yell NO at him. I have had the halter on him almost every day since birth, but no lead rope at this point. I'll start that tonight when I go to clean the stall.
                                        Things Take Time

                                        Comment

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