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18 month old colt needs a job

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  • 18 month old colt needs a job

    Okay, I tried putting this post on the dressage forum and didn't the kind of feedback I was really looking for. Let's see what you breeders have to say!

    A few months ago I brought home a lovely Section D Welsh Cob gelding. He is very smart, very high energy and very mouthy (can't wait for that phase to pass)!

    We've been working on the basics, free longing, standing, cross-ties, picking up feet, lead at walk and trot, etc. Still he seems he would benefit from something more substantial to occupy his youngster brain. I think it's probably too early to start free-jumping. We've worked a little bit on some tricks like putting his feet up on a box. He's a quick study so I feel like I am running out of things to do! Any suggestions?

    The feedback on the dressage forum was let him enjoy being a horse and he does get as much daily turnout as possible, albeit not with other youngsters. Unfortunately there's only one younger horse, a six-year old and they do enjoy neck wrestling all day in the pasture. But he gets into a LOT of mischief and I am hoping a job (not a ton, just a few hours a week) will help him keep his mind occupied a little!

    Any thoughts, suggestions, things that have worked for you? I otherwise love the barn I'm at so moving him someplace with more babies is not an option.

  • #2
    Well what exactly are you asking? People on the dressage board are right. I have a filly that will be 2 in April. She runs and plays all day with my 6yo. In a few weeks she will be back out 24/7. Only in at night due to the constant mud. But mostly what I do with her is "forget" about her. She is a baby and will continue being a baby. She starts competition age at 4 if physically and mentally ready.

    Is this the only horse you have? It helps that I have 4 others so I don't obsess on what she should be doing. She should be doing nothing but growing up. She's mannerly, does what I need, and keeps my fattie active during the day. No my situation isn't ideal but I will never let any of mine leave again. Tried so I wouldn't be one of "those people". Trust me I'm ok being one of "those people". But she is very well adjusted, gets plenty of exercise and play. She's good. What behavoirs are you worried about? Your guy shouldn't really need a job at 18 months.

    Terri
    COTH, keeping popcorn growers in business for years.

    "I need your grace to remind me to find my own." Snow Patrol-Chasing Cars. This line reminds me why I have horses.

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    • #3
      Have you tried ground driving. Once he gets the idea you could ground drive him all over the place, and next year start him with a light cart.

      Christa

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      • #4
        More tricks is always good for the brain. Going for walks- just leading him on a trail or somewhere new will give him lots to look at. You can make sure he walks and trots nicely in-hand, and does side-steps or turns on the forehand when you ask him to move away from pressure. Walk him over poles or make an obstacle course where you have to go through a pattern that includes plenty of changes (in both speed and direction).
        Is he good with clippers, self-loading into the trailer, and all the other things horses need to do in life? Now is the time to practice!
        I firmly believe that mental stimulation is neccesary for those extra smart ones- turnout just isn't enough sometimes! Good luck.
        www.trinitysporthorses.com

        Follow us on Facebook!

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Christa P View Post
          Have you tried ground driving. Once he gets the idea you could ground drive him all over the place, and next year start him with a light cart.

          Christa
          This!

          And can you pony him alongside another and go on trails?
          Cornerstone Equestrian
          Home of Amazing (Balou du Rouet/Voltaire) 2005 KWPN Stallion
          RPSI, KWPN reg B, and IHF nominated
          www.cornerstonefarmpa.com

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          • #6
            Ground driving is great as long as you can do it properly. Otherwise you will have more issues than a baby that needs a job. Wow didn't realise I was the only one in the camp of let them be babies. And me from a racehorse background.

            I'm going to get flamed here but sometimes too much messing, fussing, and obsessing over youngsters brings it's own problems. Every time we see the just and I mean just yearlings going by my place in the sulkies I give Cupcake a pat and say aren't you the lucky girl.

            Terri
            COTH, keeping popcorn growers in business for years.

            "I need your grace to remind me to find my own." Snow Patrol-Chasing Cars. This line reminds me why I have horses.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Equilibrium View Post
              Well what exactly are you asking? People on the dressage board are right. I have a filly that will be 2 in April. She runs and plays all day with my 6yo. In a few weeks she will be back out 24/7. Only in at night due to the constant mud. But mostly what I do with her is "forget" about her. She is a baby and will continue being a baby. She starts competition age at 4 if physically and mentally ready.

              She should be doing nothing but growing up [...] What behavoirs are you worried about? Your guy shouldn't really need a job at 18 months.

              Terri
              Sigh - you are so down to the point ... We grow them all in the manner "Mostly I forget about her" and the all have become very decent riding horses with no problems at all.

              I love your sentance about forgetting for describing bringing up of a horse.
              I am not responsible for spelling misstacks - just my PC
              www.hannoveranerzuechter.de
              2017: March: Filly by Lissaro - SPS Don Frederico - SPS Prince Thatch
              May: Finnigan - Sandro Hit - SPS Rouletto

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Equilibrium View Post
                Ground driving is great as long as you can do it properly. Otherwise you will have more issues than a baby that needs a job. Wow didn't realise I was the only one in the camp of let them be babies. And me from a racehorse background.

                I'm going to get flamed here but sometimes too much messing, fussing, and obsessing over youngsters brings it's own problems. Every time we see the just and I mean just yearlings going by my place in the sulkies I give Cupcake a pat and say aren't you the lucky girl.

                Terri


                My youngsters learn to lead, load, stand for vet, farrier, grooming, etc. before they are weaned. After that they are allowed to just grow up until they are ready to go under saddle. I don't believe in giving babies any job other than that.
                Mary Lou
                http://www.homeagainfarm.com

                https://www.facebook.com/HomeAgainFarmHanoverians

                Member OMGiH I loff my mares clique

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                • #9
                  I raise breeds that go to work earlier than most sport types and find that doing all kinds of ground work with the youngsters in the form of desensitizing to spooky stuff, sensitizing to pressure points (where your legs will be later), teaching in-hand things like forehand and hindquarter turns, backing up, sidepassing, teaching cues to drop the head and open the mouth, making sure that ears can be handled. I will use a bareback pad for instance to teach that something can be on their back and around their barrel or maybe a pony saddle or synthetic to get them used to stirrups (and since mine eventually ride in a full rigged western saddle I include back cinch and breast collar as well). I teach to go away from me and through narrow spaces, make sure trailering is not an issue, get all the clipping/bathing/trimming stuff familiar. You can look at John Lyons series/book/DVD "Bringing Up Baby" for some good ideas.
                  Colored Cowhorse Ranch
                  www.coloredcowhorseranch.com
                  Northern NV

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                  • #10
                    Another vote for letting the kid grow up before you get too busy with him. It sounds more like you're the one that is bored and looking for stuff to do. Believe me, your youngster is quite happy hanging out in a field with his buddy.
                    Siegi Belz
                    www.stalleuropa.com
                    2007 KWPN-NA Breeder of the Year
                    Dutch Warmbloods Made in the U. S. A.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      My coming 2 year old gelding is the same (my filly of the same age is much more "mature"). He has all the ground basics and gets to play all day with the filly as well as 2 others. I have put a bit in his mouth, just a pony lose ring snaffle and let him get used to it, he's mouthy too so I thought he'd like it. He does and now eats with it in and ignores it, but I only leave it in 15 minutes at a time (only in his stall of course). He also gets a jolly ball on a string tied up in his stall which he likes to play with. This summer he will start wearing a saddle inside a bit, get free jumped and do more but I'm not rushing it, I really believe that can ruin them and put them off when they really do start.

                      Good luck, and enjoy him whilst he's young.
                      Fernhill Warmbloods
                      www.fernhillwarmbloods.com

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Many moons ago I got a weanling filly - about six months at the time. Aside from the basics of lead, stand, pick your feet up, cross tie, get groomed, I took her for walks in the park next to the property. Also, since the barn had a number of police horses in training, I took advantage of all their "scary stuff" in one of the pastures, and, not because of my doing, she became familiar w/ gunshots

                        At 2, she stood and watched over the fence as the cottage about 50 feet away was bulldozed to the ground When I did start riding her, she was not the least concerned about going on trails, seeing dogs or deer.

                        That said, she still spent most of her time being a baby as I could only do the above on weekends. Evenings after work were limited to grooming and things I could do while in the barn.
                        We don't get less brave; we get a bigger sense of self-preservation........

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                        • #13
                          I did a ton with my horse when she was 18 months, she is now coming 5 and so sensible and easy under saddle.

                          At 18 months we "played" with stuff. We did the western trail courses in the arena (in hand), and went on hikes!

                          Long walks off of the property were great for her. She got to see many new things, work on manners on the line, and it was good exercise for both of us. Now I have a horse that you can ride out alone on any trail.

                          Yes, let them be a baby, but I do not think there is anything wrong with lots of handling... just do not press too much, I do agree that they do not need a "job" at this age. But learning to behave, and handle new situations is good.
                          APPSOLUTE CHOCKLATE - Photo by Kathy Colman

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                          • #14
                            It doesn't sound like you're really looking for opinions on what to do...it sounds like you're just looking for people to agree with the opinion you already have! He's an 18 month old Cob...his only job right now is to be a kid, socialize, have fun, learn the fine art of equine behavior and allow him to grow up in his own time.

                            I agree with the other poster who said it sounded like you were the one that was bored and looking for something more to do.

                            We have a few Cobs and I have worked with them for over 10 years. For those on the board that are not familiar with them, unlike some of the other breeds, they tend to be late bloomers...and often stay as "kids" for longer than many other breeds...and they tend to be incredibly smart. They are not much different than warmbloods as far as how they grow and often don't fully mature until they are at least 5 or 6 years of age. I absolutely would not ground drive an 18 month old Cob. (Actually, I would never suggest ground driving anything that is 18 months old) I guess I just don't understand what is so hard about letting him be a kid and have another year and a half to just grow and play?

                            As a horse trainer, I've had way too many horses come in for re-training and behavioral issues because their amateur owner decided they needed a job when they were young. If you know equine behavior inside and out and can do it properly, it's not so bad...but done wrong, the owner likely ends up with a poorly behaved youngster later on who doesn't respect humans very much.

                            If it were me, I'd shove him out in the field with the 6 year old and let him be a kid. His ONLY job right now is to grow. Period!

                            A note to the OP: I bred warmbloods for many years, and find that the Cobs tend to mature even much later than warmbloods. Most 1-3 year old Cobs look like gangly moose for quite some time. They will be hollow in spots, awkward, uncoordinated, etc. Once they hit the age of 6 or 7 and are fully mature, they finally start packing on the pounds and looking gorgeous. Of course, not every single Cob falls into this same growth pattern...but most do.
                            www.DaventryEquestrian.com
                            Home of Oldenburg, Westphalian & RPSI approved pony stallion Goldhills Brandysnap
                            Also home to Daventry Equine Appraisals & Equine Expert Witness www.EquineAppraisers.com

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Daventry View Post
                              A note to the OP: I bred warmbloods for many years, and find that the Cobs tend to mature even much later than warmbloods. Most 1-3 year old Cobs look like gangly moose for quite some time. They will be hollow in spots, awkward, uncoordinated, etc. Once they hit the age of 6 or 7 and are fully mature, they finally start packing on the pounds and looking gorgeous. Of course, not every single Cob falls into this same growth pattern...but most do.
                              Most are probably wondering...why would you want a Cob then? The photos of our boy below is why!
                              Attached Files
                              www.DaventryEquestrian.com
                              Home of Oldenburg, Westphalian & RPSI approved pony stallion Goldhills Brandysnap
                              Also home to Daventry Equine Appraisals & Equine Expert Witness www.EquineAppraisers.com

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                              • #16
                                This is a pony brain and good cobs have pony brains. If it were a year from now I might say find a light rider and proceed but he is too young for anything but play. Find a good companion or companions...I have had young studs out with geldings with no problems. Turn him out 24/7 with the geldings and forget about him for another year. Don't train at all. Bring him in a couple times a week to groom him and look for boo boos, there will be boo boos. Slap tribiotic on the boo boo and turn him back out. If he has a gelding who beats up on him some say "good...better him than me" If your colt ends up dominant find a different bunch where there is a dominant gelding...you don't want it to be him. Don't handle him too much. Don't give treats. I wouldn't even supplement him if he has good hay. The best place has a bit of hill and is 5 acres or more. The other horses come and go to be ridden or work. Everytime you touch him he is learniing and no one can keep a PonyCob brain constructively learning at that age...there just isn't that much you can do. He will be learning and testing and screwing around. Leave him be and the horses will teach him to be a good horse and a nice playmate. PatO

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                                • #17
                                  I probably bring my guys up in a little different manner being as I am going for endurance/ trail horses. I do spend a lot of time with my babies- they all know how to load, clip, tie, ground tie, and pretty much go through anything. I do a lot of ponying with my yearlings and 2 year olds to get them out on the trail and learn to deal with different footings, balance, etc. Maybe that is something you could do with your guy?
                                  I'm good at being uncomfortable so I can't stop changing all the time -Fiona Apple, Extraordinary Machine
                                  If I were your appendages, I'd hold open your eyes so you would see- Incubus

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                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by siegi b. View Post
                                    Another vote for letting the kid grow up before you get too busy with him. It sounds more like you're the one that is bored and looking for stuff to do. Believe me, your youngster is quite happy hanging out in a field with his buddy.

                                    Gets my vote as well, if you have all he basics nailed, then playtime!
                                    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

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                                    • #19
                                      This wont be what the OP *wants* to hear but almost every young horse I have had to deal with who was handled a lot as a baby turned out to be a complete brat. They lost their "horsiness" and became pets. You need that "horsiness" to make then easier to train,IMO. So the less fussing with them when they are young, the better. For safety's sake they do need to respectfully lead, tie, be de-spooked on the ground, stand quietly when asked for farrier work and light grooming. That is ALL until they are old enough to start under saddle. . Usually it is the owner who wants to "do more" because they are impatient and bored, not the horse.
                                      Patty Stiller CNBBT,CNBF,CLS, CE
                                      Natural Balance Certified Lameness Specialist ,instructor.
                                      www.hoofcareonline.com

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                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Patty Stiller View Post
                                        This wont be what the OP *wants* to hear but almost every young horse I have had to deal with who was handled a lot as a baby turned out to be a complete brat. They lost their "horsiness" and became pets. You need that "horsiness" to make then easier to train,IMO. So the less fussing with them when they are young, the better. For safety's sake they do need to respectfully lead, tie, be de-spooked on the ground, stand quietly when asked for farrier work and light grooming. That is ALL until they are old enough to start under saddle. . Usually it is the owner who wants to "do more" because they are impatient and bored, not the horse.
                                        Well said.
                                        www.DaventryEquestrian.com
                                        Home of Oldenburg, Westphalian & RPSI approved pony stallion Goldhills Brandysnap
                                        Also home to Daventry Equine Appraisals & Equine Expert Witness www.EquineAppraisers.com

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