advice on older colt

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advice on older colt

Postby cypressfarms » Wed May 01, 2013 9:03 pm

I have had a regimented training routine with every foal born on my farm. I put my hands on them from birth, visit them every day, and spend a lot of time with them while they are still very young.

Unfortunately, I had a mare foal last September - a really nice colt - but I wasn't able to spend time with him at all. I just moved his mom out to wean him and start working with him, but he's being stubborn. He's 7 month's old now and has some size to him (an Arabian); He'll come when called and eat feed while I sit on a bucket beside him; but I can't break the "touch" barrier. I figured moving moma out, and him being all alone, would give him incentive to bond with me, but it hasn't worked so far (2 weeks). I've never been a believer of "breaking" horses, and always prefer the word "training". I spend a lot of time with foals in the round pen and in 10 years have not had one even try to buck. However, I take things slow, and in stages... So it's ground work first with voice commands for several weeks, ground work with a blanket for a couple more, ground work with a saddle for a couple more... you get the picture - slow and easy gaining the horses trust.

With this colt though, he doesn't "trust" me at all. I'm considering roping him and "roughing" him, but I'd much rather take the more gentle approach.....

Anyone have any suggestions?
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Re: advice on older colt

Postby M5farm » Wed May 01, 2013 9:19 pm

If your method ain't working and you don't want to undo everything. Reduce the pen/stall to where he has no where to go. I have always got the first touch on a horse on the nose. Get him eating out of your hand if you can get your hand to be just above his nostril his warm breath radiating back on his muzzle will calm him down. He will want to smell you. If that doesn't work pm me.
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Re: advice on older colt

Postby Alan » Wed May 01, 2013 9:27 pm

Hey cypress, 7 months is not that old to deal with. I see you have a round pen, do you have a stall for him. Such as a 12x12 stall? Is he still a stud? I would keep him in a stall, turn out in a round pen. In other words a small space where he has to learn to trust and depend on you. As you know, always keep you between him and the door. He has to learn you intend to have hands on. I don't want to sound like an expert but I raise horses the same as you do, I start them not break them. It's about trust not fear. So with a couple of answers I may be able to give you more of my opinion, for what good that will do. :lol:

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Re: advice on older colt

Postby Alan » Wed May 01, 2013 9:52 pm

M5farm wrote:If your method ain't working and you don't want to undo everything. Reduce the pen/stall to where he has no where to go. I have always got the first touch on a horse on the nose. Get him eating out of your hand if you can get your hand to be just above his nostril his warm breath radiating back on his muzzle will calm him down. He will want to smell you. If that doesn't work pm me.


I'm not trying to sound like an azz, but I have to disagree with you on a couple of things, although we agree on small quarters to get hands on. If the colt is not use to touch or hands on, the nose is the last place to touch. Simply because he can't see his nose, it's a blind spot for horses, yes he can smell you. but it sounds like he's not use to human touch, so a touch on the nose on a very green horse it's a blind spot and will spook him. If he is a stud always keep track and control of his mouth and touch him on his neck, don't pat him just rub him ...... No animal likes getting hit, even if it's a pat.

Also if he is green and especially still a stud NEVER feed by hand. Trust first and then respect that comes with feeding out of the hand. I have a 5 yr old quarter horse stud, imprinted at birth by me, that I still never feed by hand and alway control where his mouth is ..... With luck.

So approach to the neck and rub not pat in a small area, build trust. A lot easier when you can get a halter on.

:2cents: Alan
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Re: advice on older colt

Postby cross_7 » Wed May 01, 2013 10:56 pm

Turn him out till he's a five year old, then get a camera, saddle and mount up.
Post pictures here, well have someone post them since you probably won't be able to after the landing :lol:

When you have him in a small pen and just lean on the fence or set on a bucket for awhile without putting any pressure on him. Does he not get curious and come to you ?
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Re: advice on older colt

Postby cypressfarms » Thu May 02, 2013 6:00 am

Alan wrote:Hey cypress, 7 months is not that old to deal with. I see you have a round pen, do you have a stall for him. Such as a 12x12 stall? Is he still a stud? I would keep him in a stall, turn out in a round pen. In other words a small space where he has to learn to trust and depend on you. As you know, always keep you between him and the door. He has to learn you intend to have hands on. I don't want to sound like an expert but I raise horses the same as you do, I start them not break them. It's about trust not fear. So with a couple of answers I may be able to give you more of my opinion, for what good that will do. :lol:

Alan



Hey Alan,

We're normally talking cattle aren't we?

He is still intact, a stud. I usually imprint from birth, so by 7 months I usually can walk up to any foal halter them up and do whatever I need to. My quarter horse buddies (Arabians are not seen much here - most people around me, with a couple of exceptions, have quarter horses) are dying to rope him with a couple of horses and show him how to act. I prefer the trust approach. He will follow me anywhere I go, which is a very good start. I may well bring him into the round pen and work him enough to where he's uncomfortable (sweating and not wanting to trot around in circles) and he begins to realize how things are supposed to work. I may get lucky and have him walk to me in the center after a few workouts.....
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Re: advice on older colt

Postby cypressfarms » Thu May 02, 2013 6:05 am

cross_7 wrote:When you have him in a small pen and just lean on the fence or set on a bucket for awhile without putting any pressure on him. Does he not get curious and come to you ?


Hi there cross,

Yes he does get curious, but he's afraid of me touching him. Any attempt I make at touch, he backs away, turns away from me and his body language says he's nervous. I haven't put much pressure on him yet; I'm trying to figure out a way for his first experience to be positive.
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Re: advice on older colt

Postby pdfangus » Thu May 02, 2013 6:24 am

Well If I am gleaning thru this thread correctly....

this is a seven month old stud colt who has not been handled or even had much direct human contact....

taking his mama away and replacing with a human is not going to result in an instant bond.....

this is a trust building process....most of my horses are pmu babies that I got from Foal Quest a PMU rescue...I had three of them....all took time to establish the bond....time as in lots of time spent with them....they have to learn about who and what you are....they have to learn to repect your space without learning to fear you.....There is a wide range of reponse mechanisms between individual animals.....there are a wide range of paths to get to the desired result.....You have a chosen path.... but you deviated from it.... not the colt....so you have to make up that time to build the trust.....Plus there is the wild card that Arabs can be flighty and hyper sensitive. translation...even more time....you can find ways to push it...but you will be doing just that...pushing it.
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Re: advice on older colt

Postby M5farm » Thu May 02, 2013 6:35 am

Alan wrote:
M5farm wrote:If your method ain't working and you don't want to undo everything. Reduce the pen/stall to where he has no where to go. I have always got the first touch on a horse on the nose. Get him eating out of your hand if you can get your hand to be just above his nostril his warm breath radiating back on his muzzle will calm him down. He will want to smell you. If that doesn't work pm me.


I'm not trying to sound like an azz, but I have to disagree with you on a couple of things, although we agree on small quarters to get hands on. If the colt is not use to touch or hands on, the nose is the last place to touch. Simply because he can't see his nose, it's a blind spot for horses, yes he can smell you. but it sounds like he's not use to human touch, so a touch on the nose on a very green horse it's a blind spot and will spook him. If he is a stud always keep track and control of his mouth and touch him on his neck, don't pat him just rub him ...... No animal likes getting hit, even if it's a pat.

Also if he is green and especially still a stud NEVER feed by hand. Trust first and then respect that comes with feeding out of the hand. I have a 5 yr old quarter horse stud, imprinted at birth by me, that I still never feed by hand and alway control where his mouth is ..... With luck.

So approach to the neck and rub not pat in a small area, build trust. A lot easier when you can get a halter on.

:2cents: Alan
alan, while your method is a prescribed method and no one on here or anywhere will agree as to the best method. I have caught and halter broke as few as 10 and as many as100 a year. You use what works. While I do find that the ones like op describes to be curious and skittish the one thing in common these animals a different approach is necessary. I could have told him to grab him by his balls and twist until he got halter on him.
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Re: advice on older colt

Postby chippie » Thu May 02, 2013 6:54 am

Two weeks may be little too soon to expect him to trust you. We have had a couple of young horses (weanling & yearling) that came without knowing people. One was a weanling out of a rodeo stock friends bucking stock and the other was a mustang that our daughter had a mustang yearling for Mission 007.

If you can, keep him in a stall. Don't try to touch him, just feed, water and pick the stall clean. You need to get his curiosity up about you. Start standing near his feed tub and stand next to him while he is eating. Then when he is calm about you standing there, start touching him on his shoulder. When he gets used to that, start brushing him. Do not try to touch his face. That is very scary and threatening to a young horse. If he won't let you get close enough to touch, you can start getting him used to being touched with a sorting stick. This is an album about the mustang. It shows Dot gentling and training the filly. She had a timeline to get the filly gentle and broke to show in hand at the Makeover. It was the first year for the Youth Yearling Edition. The album was done as part of the Makeover. It was pretty cool. Sonnet had a lot of followers. I remember sitting at the stalls during the Makeover. People were walking in the barns looking at the horses and when they reached Sonnet's stall, they would say, "Here's Sonnet!!!" She had a fan club. It was a really good experience for Dot.
I hope the album helps.

http://smu.gs/10uoXQD
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Re: advice on older colt

Postby Alan » Thu May 02, 2013 8:24 am

cypressfarms wrote:
Alan wrote:Hey cypress, 7 months is not that old to deal with. I see you have a round pen, do you have a stall for him. Such as a 12x12 stall? Is he still a stud? I would keep him in a stall, turn out in a round pen. In other words a small space where he has to learn to trust and depend on you. As you know, always keep you between him and the door. He has to learn you intend to have hands on. I don't want to sound like an expert but I raise horses the same as you do, I start them not break them. It's about trust not fear. So with a couple of answers I may be able to give you more of my opinion, for what good that will do. :lol:

Alan



Hey Alan,

We're normally talking cattle aren't we?

He is still intact, a stud. I usually imprint from birth, so by 7 months I usually can walk up to any foal halter them up and do whatever I need to. My quarter horse buddies (Arabians are not seen much here - most people around me, with a couple of exceptions, have quarter horses) are dying to rope him with a couple of horses and show him how to act. I prefer the trust approach. He will follow me anywhere I go, which is a very good start. I may well bring him into the round pen and work him enough to where he's uncomfortable (sweating and not wanting to trot around in circles) and he begins to realize how things are supposed to work. I may get lucky and have him walk to me in the center after a few workouts.....


Yea, it's kind of nice talking horses again. Sound like you are doing everything the same way I would. Got your round pen work going well it sounds like. Chippie is on the same page we are also with some good advice, start with the neck or shoulder. Sounds like it's just a matter of time and patience. As you know most Arabs are a hotter horse than most QH's so being a youngster it will take time to build that trust, but sounds like you have home started well.

Alan
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Re: advice on older colt

Postby Alan » Thu May 02, 2013 8:35 am

M5farm wrote:
Alan wrote:
M5farm wrote:If your method ain't working and you don't want to undo everything. Reduce the pen/stall to where he has no where to go. I have always got the first touch on a horse on the nose. Get him eating out of your hand if you can get your hand to be just above his nostril his warm breath radiating back on his muzzle will calm him down. He will want to smell you. If that doesn't work pm me.


I'm not trying to sound like an azz, but I have to disagree with you on a couple of things, although we agree on small quarters to get hands on. If the colt is not use to touch or hands on, the nose is the last place to touch. Simply because he can't see his nose, it's a blind spot for horses, yes he can smell you. but it sounds like he's not use to human touch, so a touch on the nose on a very green horse it's a blind spot and will spook him. If he is a stud always keep track and control of his mouth and touch him on his neck, don't pat him just rub him ...... No animal likes getting hit, even if it's a pat.

Also if he is green and especially still a stud NEVER feed by hand. Trust first and then respect that comes with feeding out of the hand. I have a 5 yr old quarter horse stud, imprinted at birth by me, that I still never feed by hand and alway control where his mouth is ..... With luck.

So approach to the neck and rub not pat in a small area, build trust. A lot easier when you can get a halter on.

:2cents: Alan
alan, while your method is a prescribed method and no one on here or anywhere will agree as to the best method. I have caught and halter broke as few as 10 and as many as100 a year. You use what works. While I do find that the ones like op describes to be curious and skittish the one thing in common these animals a different approach is necessary. I could have told him to grab him by his balls and twist until he got halter on him.


Anybody that has ever imprinted a foal can tell you how nice it is when you start the horse. The trust is already there. As stated my 5 yr old QH stallion was imprinted and he gets regular rubs on his nose. I touch and rub him anywhere I want without his resistance. But whenever I rub him or brush him he is either tied or or I always have a hand on the cheek strap of his halter, I never feed by hand and I always know where his teeth are. He doesn't bite, but he is a stud. My point is it's about starting a horse not breaking a horse. And yes I can grab his balls without any resistance :D I clean his seath on a regular basis with tranqs.

I meant no offense, if your happy with your end result than it works for you.

Alan
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Re: advice on older colt

Postby Alan » Thu May 02, 2013 8:43 am

cross_7 wrote:When you have him in a small pen and just lean on the fence or set on a bucket for awhile without putting any pressure on him. Does he not get curious and come to you ?


Cross, that's a great method for gaining trust with a horse. I have done a similar thing like that for a horse that was hard to catch In a pasture. A lawn chair a book and a set of keys. Plant myself in the chair out in the pasture read the book and shake the keys every once in a while. Curiosity always gets the better of them. Pretty soon the horse is right there checking thing out. Than with slow movements I just rub the horse on the shoulder or neck. Let them know it's not about getting caught. Great way to get a bond going sitting on a bucket in the round pen and do nothing, let the horse sort things out.
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Re: advice on older colt

Postby M5farm » Thu May 02, 2013 9:04 am

Anybody that has ever imprinted a foal can tell you how nice it is when you start the horse. The trust is already there. As stated my 5 yr old QH stallion was imprinted and he gets regular rubs on his nose. I touch and rub him anywhere I want without his resistance. But whenever I rub him or brush him he is either tied or or I always have a hand on the cheek strap of his halter, I never feed by hand and I always know where his teeth are. He doesn't bite, but he is a stud. My point is it's about starting a horse not breaking a horse. And yes I can grab his balls without any resistance :D I clean his seath on a regular basis with tranqs.

I meant no offense, if your happy with your end result than it works for you.

Alan[/quote]

No offense taken, too each his own. I only offered a different approach based on my experience dealing with rank horses. I do not disagree with anything you said and I was taught at a very young age the exact principles you explained and I practice the same techniques. BUT there are times when you have to adapt and adjust.
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Re: advice on older colt

Postby chippie » Thu May 02, 2013 9:57 am

JMHO but working a 7 month old horse that is unfamiliar with people and not halter broke in a round pen is not a good idea. You have no control should he try to jump out & being an intelligent breed (Arabian) you may mess up his mind. Many people think arabians are crazy. People make them that way. Plus it would be very hard on his young joints and legs.
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