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Teaching foals to lead

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  • Teaching foals to lead

    Have you ever had a foal that just led perfect from the first time they were asked. Last year our colt by Amazing did just that. He never second guessed, never fought or planted his feet(hooves) and refused to go forward. All my foals have learned to lead quickly but all had their "moments" along the way, so he was a welcomed breath of fresh air.
    Then this year we had our first pony foal. None of my halters fit him, even on the smallest hole, and adding holes still had it too big. So for safety sakes, we just let him follow him dam in and out to their pasture. So when I finally got him a small enough one at over 2 weeks old, I though we were going to be in for it. But surprisingly, he takes after his uncle Audi. Never argues, is happy to walk and go anywhere you ask, even away from mom. Yesterday, our son asked if he could lead D out. He was perfect! He leads better than some of the yearlings and two year olds that come to our program. I have to admit I am loving the pony size foals too!
    How many have foals that just seem to know what to do or want to please so much, that they just go with the flow? I know we have all had our fair share of ones on the opposite side of the spectrum

    Here is a video of his very first time wearing and leading in his halter and the pics below a week later being led by our 9 year old son.

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  • #2
    Very cute!! I have been fortunate enough to have had 2 foals like that! (The others were never "bad" just took a few sessions to "get it") You keep thinking, ok they are going to protest or explode at any time...but they never did!!
    Elegant Expressions Farm

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    • #3
      Cute baby! I've never had any issue with this - some just take a couple lessons to get the hang of it. I find they learn almost immediately especially if you start young (within first month).
      Westbrook Farm


      • #4
        I just want to say that your video is absolutely adorable!


        • #5
          My foal 10 years ago was like that. He is a pleaser and wanted to do everything right so he lead great never pulled back when it was time to learn to tie...transitioned to cross tying like a champ and just never caused a fuss.

          My filly this year is good about it about 50 % of the time, but getting better with every session. It did take several session to convince her I was going to touch her legs and she was going to deal with it!


          • #6
            My current 3 yo gelding learned to lead and tie like a champ. To lead, as soon as he pulled back and I released pressure, he immediately got the idea. Teaching him to tie later on was also a complete non-issue; to date he has never pulled back while tied. (knock on wood I hopefully didn't just jinx myself) As soon as he hits the end of the rope, whether being led or tied, he immediately takes a step back forward. I love it when they're this easy and smart!


            • #7
              How they accept their first leading lesson can often tell you a bit about their personality. I've those that "got it" immediately, those who took a little longer to "get it" -- and two that decided that the best defense is a good offense. Stood their hind legs and came at me boxing like a kangaroo.

              Both out of the same mare, btw. They were immediate fighters, but when they lost the battle quickly (first lesson), they were completely compliant and real troopers.

              They were both the same way with everything as they were introduced to new things like trailer loading, being crosstied, clipping. But while they'd put up an explosive fight it was always brief -- then it was over. They were a lot of bluster and they trusted me once they figured out what I was teaching them wasn't going to kill them. My mare "Indy" always produced little ones who would fight anything new, but they were smart and got over it fast.

              Interesting how differently they can be hardwired, even as weeny ones.
              www.littlebullrun@aol.com See Little Bull Run's stallions at:
              "Argosy" - YouTube and "Boleem" - YouTube
              Boleem @ 1993 National Dressage Symposium - YouTube


              • #8
                i too have learned that how they learn to lead is the key to their personalities later.

                One we had last year was halter/lead trained at two days old. We thought it was great.. but then... He was also the one that at one month old was already trying to pull the latch up from the gate to get out of the pasture and dunking his hay along with mom. Very brave, but aggessive, smart dude... but did challenge us a bit later.

                The ones that took a little longer and were shy remained that way. Always respectful of our space. I kind of liked that.
                Imported from Germany, Assembled in Michigan
                Rare damline of 7 direct generations of Elite/States Premium Mares.


                • #9
                  I enjoyed your video. I admire the way you handle your foals/youngsters, keeping their attention, making them feel loved and secure. The results are wonderful. Hats off.
                  Sunny Days Hanoverians


                  • #10
                    Your foal is cute as a button and so well behaved. Congrats!


                    • #11
                      I just love the "peanut gallery" across the road watching...
                      www.littlebullrun@aol.com See Little Bull Run's stallions at:
                      "Argosy" - YouTube and "Boleem" - YouTube
                      Boleem @ 1993 National Dressage Symposium - YouTube