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4 Exercises to Help Calm a Hot Horse

If there is anyone that can talk about hot horses on a hack, it is me.  My horse Shandy was a complete nightmare on hacks.  He would attem...

Tuesday, 8 June 2021

How to avoid raising a Bad Mannered Horse

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Teaching At A Young Age

In an ideal world, training a foal begins as a newborn.  Either the day of or the day after your foal is born, start training him to lead.  

We started training my yard owner's first foal the same day he was born.  

It is very easy with a newborn to use a scarf and your free arm.  To do this, loosely wrap the scarf around the foal's neck.  This will help you control the foal's movement.  When your ready to go, hold the scarf with one hand and wrap your free arm around his hind end.  This hand will add pressure to help move the foal forward.  


  Adding A Headcollar

After a few weeks of using the scarf, you can start introducing a headcollar.  This can be more problematic than you may think.  Most foals won't let you put the headcollar on so we need to train them.  

I like to wait until the foal is old enough to want hard feed or treats.  I can then encourage the foal to put his head through the headcollar to get the food.  Repeat until he is comfortable.  

It's a good idea to leave the headcollar on (as long as it's a *safety one*) for a few hours each day so the foal will get used to the feeling.  

Pressure And Release

It is super important that your foal learns the same respect and boundaries as any other horse.  So, I first start with teaching some pressure and release.  It is pretty easy with some treats to bribe with.  

To ask a foal to move towards you, apply a tiny amount of pressure onto the lead rope.  Then, slowly add more pressure until the foal takes a step.   The most important part of this exercise is the release.  The second your foal takes a step you need to release the pressure.  Then release until he responds with a small amount of pressure.  

Once you've taught this exercise you can start teaching other things such as back up, moving the hindquarters, move sideways and moving the forehand.  


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