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What to do with my 6 month old filly

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  • What to do with my 6 month old filly

    Remy is my first foal so I'm playing it one day at a time. I have been taking her for short walks around the farm, some days are better than others. I groom her each night in her stall and have been working on picking out her feet. Is there anything else I could be doing with her? I plan to start loading her on the trailer and maybe take her for a ride once I fell she is really halter broke. We are almost there.

    What exercises or play time do you do with your foals. I only have two horses her and my older horse. She is laid back enough that I can ride my other horse off the property, out of site and she will just continue to eat hay and not get panicky. I plan to pony her in the spring just to get her off the property. I would like to take her to some breed shows next year as a yearling. Unfortuntely I'm always doing this by myself so I have to be extra careful.

  • #2
    When picking out her feet tap the pick handle on her hoof mimicking a farrier. Hold the hooves up for longer periods if possible.
    Introduce her to all kinds of things - drape things off her, noise, etc.
    Stand her up, teach her to move off pressure, teach her to lower her head when asked, stretchy carrot stretches, set up little obstacle courses to walk her through and over. Lead her out to get the mail and stand there as traffic goes by.
    Bridal Sweet 05/28/1983 to 01/23/2008


    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by dps View Post
      have been working on picking out her feet.
      Forgive me for making some assumptions about this, but have you had her feet trimmed? "working" on picking out her feet makes me think she's still learning to pick them up and have them handled.

      As for what to do, this site should give you some good ideas
      http://www.jcandalusians.com/JC/mainpages/why.html

      As always, take things slowly, never force, always reward for desired behavior, etc
      ______________________________
      The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        That is some good ideas, I normally take her out on the driveway for walks and we go into the ring to walk over ground poles and plastic tarp. She is really good about me putting stuff on her and dragging it across her back and rump.
        Her feet have been trimmed but she still likes to pull her feet away she is not mean just pulls them away than picks them back up again.
        How much trotting in hand should I be doing, when I do it now she likes to try and take off and leap etc. I can get her back but don't want her getting the wrong idea when we work the trot.
        Keep the ideas coming

        Comment


        • #5
          My weanling is 8 months old. You can check his Blog to see what sort of activities we do. Mostly he is just turned out. I only do "enriching activities " once or twice a week for 10 or 20 minutes. They have a short attention span and they are just babies.
          Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by dps View Post
            That is some good ideas, I normally take her out on the driveway for walks and we go into the ring to walk over ground poles and plastic tarp. She is really good about me putting stuff on her and dragging it across her back and rump.
            Great! Now do some of those things backwards and sideways Walking over a pole backwards is a lot harder for them to grasp than it sounds

            Then you can work to backing through a pattern of cones - short setup, not a lot of work, just getting the concept.

            Also, teaching her to yield her hiney, and her shoulders, separately at first, then at the same time for sideways movement, is something very, very useful

            You can buy a relatively cheap exercise ball (which will be plenty big for her small size) and play with that.

            Her feet have been trimmed but she still likes to pull her feet away she is not mean just pulls them away than picks them back up again.
            Gotcha, good

            How much trotting in hand should I be doing, when I do it now she likes to try and take off and leap etc. I can get her back but don't want her getting the wrong idea when we work the trot.
            Keep the ideas coming
            Trotting IH for now isn't for exercise, really, it's for the training, so to that end, especially given what she's doing, I'd work on it every day. Set the distance shorter, and aim for the corner of a fence - you won't trot for many steps, and you'll have the visual barrier to help you help her.

            IMVO, if she starts getting all fruity on you, set her down hard, then praise her once she's standing there. Make sure she's not testing you just even walking around - if she is, as in, not paying 100% attention to you, or pushing her shoulder into you, or swinging her haunches out, etc, then it's going to escalate at the more exciting trot
            ______________________________
            The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

            Comment


            • #7
              Some of the things I also like them to do is

              1. Bath
              2. Body Clip
              3. Face and Ears clip
              4. Float / Truck
              5. Rug
              6. Lead properly - which you are doing
              7. Feet pick up properly - which you are doing

              Comment


              • #8
                Honestly, I'm a little amazed at how much you guys do with your babies.... What ever happened to letting them grow up a little as long as they lead and are good for the farrier and vet?
                Siegi Belz
                www.stalleuropa.com
                2007 KWPN-NA Breeder of the Year
                Dutch Warmbloods Made in the U. S. A.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I agree with Siegi. My babies all do the basics - lead, stand for farrier and vet, baths and clipping, etc. But we teach most things in the course of bringing them in / turning them out and grooming them daily.

                  I would be very wary of some of these training exercises. For example, if you plan to show your horse in hand, make sure your in-hand trot training is not inconsistent with what the horse will be expected to do in the show ring. And, personally I would be very concerned about the possibility of torquing a weanling's neck and doing permanent damage with all this in-hand trot training at that age, but if you insist at least avoid torquing the kid.

                  One thing you might do is introduce your baby to some kind of treat that can hide medicine in the event (God forbid) your youngster ever gets sick and requires icky tasting oral meds. Babies frequently will not eat a treat unless they are familiar with it and they are even less likely to try something new when feeling punky and their appetite is suppressed. Speaking from experience here. Believe me, it helps a lot if your horse can get excited about a little applesauce, vanilla yogurt, or molasses.
                  Roseknoll Sporthorses
                  www.roseknoll.net

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Each to his own I guess nothing is more fun then bathing and clipping a three year old for the first time

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Once they are 6 to 8 months once or twice a week I like to take them into the round pen for about 10 minutes......teach them one thing at a time and when they have it we move on to something else....the go forward cue, whoa, turns inside and out......how to move their hip over, shoulder over, turn and face me allowing me to approach with out moving so they can receive scratches ....this is a good lesson for teaching horses to be caught in bigger areas....also teach them to wear a blanket, fly mask......I've even draped them with tarps............teach them to load into a trailer.......there a tons of things you can do....but you need to be careful not to overwhelm.......take it slow and keep it fun and relaxed.

                      Dalemma

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by lolita1 View Post
                        Each to his own I guess nothing is more fun then bathing and clipping a three year old for the first time
                        Just to clarify, where did I *ever* suggest that one should not teach a baby to bathe or clip? In fact, I expressly stated that my babies do just that. And they manage to stand perfectly for the farrier, vet, baths, clipping, etc and are very well behaved without ever laying eyes on a tarp or a traffic cone. In fact I have owned Nations Cup winning grand prix horses that probably have never laid eyes on a traffic cone.

                        There are REAL risks of permanently injuring a young horse's neck with improper handling or inadvertent torquing (for example when baby gets fresh, etc). So before people cavalierly embark on the COTHer nursery school program, it is advisable to at least be aware of things to avoid. Also, I think it is fairly indisputable that the only thing worse than an unhandled youngster is a poorly handled or overhandled one. I personally advocate correct, consistent, and age-appropriate handling of the horses and believe that patience is not just a virtue, but a required trait when raising youngsters. But as you said, to each her own.

                        Edited to add: Regarding round pens - I would not work a 6-monther in one any more than I would longe a baby because I think it puts too much strain on their developing legs (unless perhaps you have an unusually large round pen).
                        Roseknoll Sporthorses
                        www.roseknoll.net

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Lead her out to get the mail and stand there as traffic goes by.
                          With a weanling?
                          Roseknoll Sporthorses
                          www.roseknoll.net

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by YankeeLawyer View Post
                            Just to clarify, where did I *ever* suggest that one should not teach a baby to bathe or clip?
                            I took her post to be more related to siegi's about just being good for the vet and farrier, and leading. She posted at the same time as you in response to Siegi's post
                            ______________________________
                            The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I like lotita1's list of things they should learn to do.

                              Beyond that, I think it's about entertaining the human, honestly. I know because I had one at home from zero to 6 months and was jonesing for things to do with him.

                              The best thing I did was find him a foal pasture. Yes, he had the basics installed the way I liked 'em. But after that, I let horses his own age socialize and exercise him. The basic stuff-- come, heel, sit, stay could be dusted off when necessary.

                              Off-topic I know! Sorry for the unsolicited advice. Take what you like and leave the rest.

                              I'm surprised at the number of breeders out there who don't see the foal pasture as a necessary ingredient to baby's upbringing.
                              The armchair saddler
                              Politically Pro-Cat

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by mvp View Post

                                I'm surprised at the number of breeders out there who don't see the foal pasture as a necessary ingredient to baby's upbringing.
                                It would not even occur to me to list "foal pasture" as I could not imagine where else one would raise a foal. I am assuming you mean turnout with age-appropriate buddies? We turn our weanlings out with a babysitter gelding that is far better than any human at raising the little ones.
                                Last edited by YankeeLawyer; Dec. 4, 2009, 09:09 PM.
                                Roseknoll Sporthorses
                                www.roseknoll.net

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  My foal gets turned out 12 hours a day with my gelding. I only have two horses so they only have each other. So far they are both really good about the other one leaving thej field.
                                  So basically I should just play with her teach her to lead and be respectful. I will try bathing her in the spring. I did try to pull her mane but she wanted nothing to do with that so I eek cut it. I have not tried the clippers yet thinking I should have some help for that one?
                                  the trailering thing makes me nervous but I won't know unless I try it, I have taught many horses to self load so I will give it a go. I guess I keep waiting for her to kick or jump on me but so far I'm right on her about respecting my space and so far so good but I feel like its coming. Both her parents were 17h and she is well on her way to being just as tall and I know I need to make sure she behaves now before she gets that big, luckily my current horse is 17h so it won't be too shocking for me.
                                  Anyone work with Roddy Strang? I plan on calling him if I get in over my head.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by siegi b. View Post
                                    Honestly, I'm a little amazed at how much you guys do with your babies.... What ever happened to letting them grow up a little as long as they lead and are good for the farrier and vet?
                                    I couldn't agree more! While we do show our foals lightly at side with the dam...which means they are exposed to being clipped, bathed, trotted in hand, etc.....their #1 job is to just grow and learn to socialize with their peers!!
                                    www.DaventryEquestrian.com
                                    Home of Welsh Cob stallion Goldhills Brandysnap
                                    Also home to Daventry Equine Appraisals & Equine Expert Witness
                                    www.EquineAppraisers.com

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Roddy Strang is one of the best horse people I know! He really understands horses and does not believe in gadgets or carrot sticks...

                                      And yes, Daventry, my foals are perfect for shows/keuringen and show well because they haven't been "trained to death".

                                      dps - the more "trained" your youngster is to show on the leadline, the less "active" he'll be during a show in my experience. This is great for hunter shows, however, dressage breeding shows look for animated movement.

                                      Just my opinion....
                                      Siegi Belz
                                      www.stalleuropa.com
                                      2007 KWPN-NA Breeder of the Year
                                      Dutch Warmbloods Made in the U. S. A.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        My kids learn to lead (they come in twice a day with moms to eat), load (with mom when she goes to be re-bred), have their feet done and stand nicely for the vet very early. They get used to having any part of their body touched and having a tall person lean over them once in a while, having a few mane hairs plucked here and there from a very early age, as well. These things all come in handy when they are 16+ hands and several years old. They experience bathing and limited clipping in preparation for presentation at their inspection. They see dogs, tractors, cars, people, hear radios, trot alongside mom, etc as babies. Once they are weaned, they really have learned what they need to know until it is time to go to my trainer's.
                                        Mary Lou
                                        http://www.homeagainfarm.com

                                        https://www.facebook.com/HomeAgainFarmHanoverians

                                        Member OMGiH I loff my mares clique

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