we brought our mini foal colt home and need advise on training techniques

Discussion in 'Miniature Horse Forum' started by charliebrown, Sep 12, 2018.

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  1. Sep 12, 2018 #1

    charliebrown

    charliebrown

    charliebrown

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    Hi All, I'm new to the forum. Our mini foal colt has been with us since 8/17.  He's now 5 months old.He's had to adjust to two different stalls. We got him for our 12 year old daughter who, eventually would like to drive him.

    He is very sweet, but lately, is beginning to buck and I'm worried for my daughter.  Any advise would be helpful please, and thanks!
     
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  2. Sep 12, 2018 #2

    Ryan Johnson

    Ryan Johnson

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    Welcome to the forum :)

    Is he bucking whilst being led around by your daughter ? 
     
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  3. Sep 13, 2018 #3

    charliebrown

    charliebrown

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    Yes, he started to buck when she put him on the lead. He went around a little, then he didn't want to listen and put his ears back and bucked.
     
  4. Sep 13, 2018 #4

    charliebrown

    charliebrown

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    She hasn't used a long line yet. Would that help?
     
  5. Sep 13, 2018 #5

    Debby - LB

    Debby - LB

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    Good topic. Sounds like now is the time to nip some bad behavior in the bud. I'm assuming that maybe he was weaned early and you purchased only him and not his dam?
    Was it obvious he'd been handled and was he fine and quiet with halter and lead when you got him? If moms not in the picture are there any other horses he's bonding with? 

    At his age, it's time to get basic ground manners down pat. He should be learning to consistently walk willingly, to pay attention to you (not any other horses) and to respect your space, to whoa, back up and eventually trot on a lead. You should already be able to easily handle his feet and ears and he should quietly stand tied for grooming, bath or while you work close by -not out of eyesight.

    The attention span at his age is only about 10 minutes so keep your sessions short and when you get a good response (even if you've just begun) end the session.
    ..always end on a good note. The main thing now is being consistent. He has to learn what is appropriate and to respect his handler. He may be small but he can hurt you, that little buck will lead to kicking out or rearing. I'm glad you are reaching out now before bad behavior progresses. Horses will do what they can get away with.

    If your daughter can't keep him close and in check maybe you could work with him? For me, I'd keep him on a lead rope until he learns some manners.
    I think at this point a long line would just give him the freedom to get out of your daughter's control and lead to him circling, running and bucking. If she's getting him out of a stall he has built up energy so this would be expected, he's not doing anything out of the ordinary.  It all goes back to basic ground manners. It's time to put cute to work LOL.

    I would also suggest thinking about having him gelded.

    p.s. don't leave a halter on.
     
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  6. Sep 13, 2018 #6

    charliebrown

    charliebrown

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    Thank you, Debby-LB!  He was born April 6 and we got him on August 19. He was already halter trained. He seemed fine on the lead,but sometimes had a lot of energy.

    He is territorial with his food. We only give him a small amount of grain, as he's on pasture for most of the day. Because she's been staying late at school, she hasn't been able to handle him on a daily basis. Could this be the reason? We are in the process of building a barn for him. He is currently in a calf hut to keep him in overnight. Before he came to our hut, we had him in a nice sized stall for two weeks, as we were in the process of moving  She was grooming him in the stall, but couldn't do his hooves.  One time during his first week with us, he was eating in the big stall and my daughter nudged him to move over a bit and he bucked, hitting her leg, which hurt, quite a bit! Currently, we cannot tie him up anywhere to groom.

    We intend on getting a doeling goat as his companion.  For now, he is alone. He was used to so many others before we got him. She eventually would like to train him to drive.  Are there any tutorials on beginning steps?  Thanks again!  
     
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  7. Sep 13, 2018 #7

    Ryan Johnson

    Ryan Johnson

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    Perfectly said Debby. I would also suggest having him gelded and honestly I would do it sooner rather than later. It will make training him so much easier. As Debby has said , his attention span is very minimal being so young and keeping him as a colt is only going to make the training process harder. 

    To me it sounds like he had a halter put on him before you got him, but had not been taught to "lead" very well. A horse that has been taught to lead correctly , should respect your space, halt when told to and be able to move forward on cue.

    I would honestly get him gelded, it will be so much safer& easier  for your daughter to work with him. 

    As he is only a baby, you have all the time in the world. He will continue to develop physically over the next couple of years, but very important you get his manners on the right path from the start. 

    Keep us posted on his progress if you have time and ask away any questions you like , everyone's friendly here and willing to help :)
     
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  8. Sep 13, 2018 #8

    Debby - LB

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    charliebrown yes not having time to spend with him could account for the reason. All it takes is a little time and then he'll be fine, just try to set aside some time each day to handle him though or he will continue to get worse.  Here is a link I've had bookmarked for years, not specific to minis but still good solid information on ground manners and training. Click here.

    It'll be quite a while before you'll start training him for driving but when you do Mindy Schroader has a wonderful book it's called Step by Step Guide to Training a Miniature Horse to drive. Here's her Website
    Also, we have a wonderful driving forum right here with people to help you with any questions about that when you are ready. In the meantime if you have any concerns ask away!

    Welcome to the forum!
     
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  9. Sep 13, 2018 #9

    chandab

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    At 5 months, he's too young for lunging, the circles are too hard on the immature joints.    Your daughter is going to need to try to make a point of spending 10-15 minutes once or twice a day doing basic handling with him, all on lead for now; just basic starts, stops, walking, and teaching him to respect space.   I try to leave my horses alone while they are eating (at least their hard feed), as that is their time; but at the same time, they must respect me, and if I need to clean stalls or whatever while they are eating, I expect them to tolerate it, and not get pushy.   As he's only 5 months, he needs good nutrition to grow well, so should be on a growth formula feed til 18-24 months old; if he's a really easy keeper, than a ration balancer might be a better option for him; this is of course in addition to his forage (hay or pasture).  [If he's not had hard feed before, it might take a little bit for him to readily eat it, they are suspicious of new things.]
     
  10. Sep 25, 2018 #10

    charliebrown

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    Hi and thank you!! When we got him he was already eating feed. We only give him 3oz, in the am and again in the pm. We let him graze during the day, do no hay at night. We feel he's getting do big g do fast!

    Trying to clean his hooves has been a challenge, an advice? Please 
     
  11. Sep 25, 2018 #11

    chandab

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    He likely needs more than 3oz of feed twice a day, unless it's a ration balancer which is designed to be fed in small amount, and even then that might be low for a growing baby.  Babies need good nutrition to grow properly.  I know I have bigger minis than many, but my weanlings get around a quart of feed daily, that's over a pound daily (and it's a low feed amount by some people's standard, even for a mini).   How big is your mini?  What feed are you giving?  What are the directions on the feed?   Forage should be available at all times; never skimp on quality forage for a baby.  Babies grow rather fast, attaining about 90% of their height in their first year
     
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  12. Sep 25, 2018 #12

    Cayuse

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    About the feet, try handling his legs a lot.  Run you hands up and down his  legs and get him used to having them handled. Do this in short lessons so he doesn't get frustrated or bored.   At some point, he will pick up his foot on his own and when he does praise him a lot.  Rinse and repeat.  Eventually it will be no big deal for him to have his feet handled. Once he is used to having them handled and picks them up, then introduce the hoof picking part.   Don't expect to get the entire foot done all at once, maybe you will get just one swipe with the pick, but when you do,  give him loads of praise.   That is how I have taught mine, others may will have different methods.

    Also, once he is used to having his legs touched and accepts it, there is a spot right above the fetlock joint at the back of the leg that if you put slight pressure on encourages them to lift the foot.  If you have a farrier, I bet he can show you the exact spot.
     
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  13. Sep 26, 2018 #13

    Miniv

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    Good advice from Cayuse about the legs. We also use the command "Foot" or "Hoof" when praising. And then pat the bottom of the hoof. It's a gradual process. Once he is okay with patting, do a swipe with the hoof pick.
     
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  14. Sep 28, 2018 #14

    MajorClementine

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    Think of it like getting a big puppy. You have to teach a puppy everything. Sometimes we expect horses to come with good behaviors. They don't know anything that we don't teach them. I agree with the comments to have him gelded. Also to work with him on a daily basis. Short positive sessions works best for us. We had a surprise baby (bought a mare we didn't know was bred) this year so we had to do training from the ground up as well. It's too bad that the people you bought him from didn't do more work with him. Some of these things, like getting them use to having their feet picked up, are so much easier to teach them from day 1. We handled Perry and touched and poked and pulled and lifted all his baby parts from the very beginning. But one as young as yours should learn quickly. The first thing is to establish a relationship. Treats are your friend but NEVER from your hands. This is where you get fingers nipped. As others have stated, make sure you nip bad behaviors now with fair but firm correction. 

    Pictures when you can! And stop by the "Driving" chat to get to know the driving community here at LB. You'll have that guy broke to pull by the time he's old enough to handle a load (2 to 3 years old).
     

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