Training a Yearling

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JewelsOK

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Our new little gelding seems to be pretty much settled in to his new home and being new to minis and youngsters (we've only had full size, mature horses) what should we be working on?

I'm guessing ground manners and such. How to we teach him not to crowd when leading - with at full size horse we just kind of give a bit of a bump with our elbow if they start to crowd, but what do you do for a mini? Another thing I'd like to correct is him diving down for grass when leading. Our biggies were trained not to do that unless we were stopped and had loosened the lead (but they came trained like that, we didn't have to do it - just reinforce it).

What are some age/size appropriate things to teach this sweet little guy? He has such a sweet disposition and I want to keep that.
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I'm looking into finding someone to give my daughter lessons (she's 9 and tiny - in my avatar) and is kind of tentative in handling him (lets him do the leading, etc.) and I don't want her to "train" him to have bad manners or allow him to be her leader.

I have a book on order, but in the mean time all advice is welcome.

Julie & Crosswinds Irish Hawks Image or just "Image"
 

Charlotte

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I don't know where in OK you are but you would be welcome to come here for a few lessons, or just emails or phone conversations if you are far away. We enjoy working with youngsters (2 and 4 footed). We are in the OkC area.

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this is a yearling filly with a 5 year old who had never led a horse before. (note the sandals on the child...not recommended
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It sounds like you are headed in the right direction and ground manners are EVERYTHING! When the little guy swings into you usually you have a horse that is fearful...not always, but at his age and in a new enviornment that is probably the cause. An adult needs to quietly work on his 'walk & whoa' and get that down pretty well so the horse has confidence in himself before a novice child takes over.

For a 'grass grabber'.....Assuming you have on tennies, give a bump with the toe of your shoe to the nose of the horse. Don't get into a tug of war with him. You can try a sharp jerk on the lead and if that doesn't bring the head up try the nose bump. But the best solution is to be ahead of him and never let him get his nose down in the first place. When walking with a bit (tiny bit) of slack in the lead, as soon as his nose makes a move to go down give a sharp jerk on the lead.

Your ultimate goal is to have a horse that moves quietly beside you at whatever speed you are moving ON A LOOSE LEAD.

Congratulations on your new family member!

Charlotte

p.s. I love the picture in your avatar!
 
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Keri

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Yep, teach them manners just like you would a big horse. Minis get a bad rap becuase they are unruly, but not really. People think they are just so cute that they can't be reprimanded.

If you want to show him, you can start teaching him in-hand obstacle stuff. Side pass (both ways), back through and around things, pivot (front and rear), ground tie (leave them on a tarp and walk around or away from them and they have to stand), and also walking over anything (tarps, bridges, etc.). You can also teach him halter stuff. Squaring up and standing. Teach him to stretch his neck or to stand still while you move around the horse for showmanship.
 

Marty

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Hey if I were you I'd go to Charlottes house. Nothing like following a leader
 

Sue S

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Boy Charlotte I wish you were in Wisconsin, I have a silver buckskin that is a little over a year old and he does not like the lead rope, he will wear it in the pasture but to be lead wih it its a no no.
 

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