Foal/ weanling handling

Discussion in 'Horse Training' started by tlwidener, Jun 19, 2018.

  1. tlwidener

    tlwidener Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2008
    Messages:
    16,056
    Likes Received:
    14,637
    Skipper is driving me crazy.

    She throws little temper tantrums and rears like hi ho Silver in the air. She tries to jump on me :mad: She does this when she's not getting her way.

    As an example, yesterday my daughter worked Skipper's dam, Lucy. I had Skipper on a halter while Lucy got ridden. I wasn't asking Skipper to do much, just walk with me and then stand there and watch Lucy work. I did ask her to yield her hindquarters a few times, and we worked on backing. I messed with her feet a bit.

    Lucy got ridden for all of twenty minutes. It wasn't a really long time for Skipper to just be with me I don't think, and I wasn't pressuring her or asking her to do something the entire time. I mostly just wanted her to stand there. She kept getting antsy and would rear and then try to jump on me or bump me with her shoulder. It isn't a playful thing, it is a sassy thing.

    I guess I'm not sure what the "right" way is to deal with it? Obviously 20 minutes was probably too long a time for a baby to "pay attention," and I will adjust that.

    I didn't want to just turn Skipper loose because I didn't want Lucy to be an idiot. I didn't want to have Skipper ponied either because Lucy needs worked... not just walking and trotting in straight lines.

    What do you do with your weanlings? What do you expect of them?

    Right now I expect her to give to pressure (obviously still a work in progress.) I expect her to let us mess with her feet. I expect her to stand for fly spray and worming. I expect her to allow me to touch her everywhere (she's pretty good with this; she likes being brushed.) I don't expect her to do SMS or lunge or stand tied for hours. I just want her to not jump on me :willynilly:

    How would you deal with it?
     
  2. Lopinslow

    Lopinslow Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2008
    Messages:
    17,985
    Likes Received:
    22,151
    yes, IMPO 20 minutes was too long. If they are doing what i'm asking, their "lessons" are usually very short. If I am having trouble with one, i'll quit as soon as I get even a little improvement.

    any disrespectful / dangerous behavior gets them a spanking in most cases.. just as another horse would give them.
     
    tlwidener likes this.
  3. endurgirl

    endurgirl Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2004
    Messages:
    16,048
    Likes Received:
    15,173
    I'd let her "run into " my elbow a few times. Not my fault she wasn't paying attention !!
     
  4. Kristal H

    Kristal H Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2016
    Messages:
    2,442
    Likes Received:
    4,104
    It is a foals Natural Instinct to follow his mother, and any separation is going to cause stress. Is this also the foal with the Moon Blindness? If so this foal has an increased security need to stay next to mom. To a certain degree you are stressing the foal which is causing the fight/flight behavior. When my mares foal that is their only job. If the mare can’t be ridden quietly with their foal at their side then I personally wouldn’t do it.


    With that said any foal that tries to climb on top of me gets smacked on the chest with one of those big red plastic kids bats once or twice while the attempt the behavior and that usually stops it.
     
    meljean, tlwidener and ginster like this.
  5. endurgirl

    endurgirl Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2004
    Messages:
    16,048
    Likes Received:
    15,173
    Mia's mom didn't discipline her at all, so it was up to me to teach her about space and right from wrong. Little hellion. :rofl:
     
    Puddincup and tlwidener like this.
  6. tlwidener

    tlwidener Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2008
    Messages:
    16,056
    Likes Received:
    14,637
    She has night blindness. She can see normally in the daytime.

    I guess the best course of action is just wait to ride Lucy until Skipper is weaned. Or let Skipper tag along (which makes the ride totally unproductive.)

    She leads fairly well; I think I stressed her out keeping her with me... she wanted to be with mom. We were very close to where her mom was working. I didn't think it was a big deal. I'll adjust my expectations.
     
  7. equinitis

    equinitis Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2011
    Messages:
    4,139
    Likes Received:
    9,435
    I don't think it is bad to stay with the foal while the mare is working. They could see each other and the mare apparently did not mind. It is not asking too much, IMO, for the foal to be well behaved.

    I would also let her run into my elbow when she tries to push. Elbow, knee, closed fist (let her run into it, not hitting her). The "mom" look works well on foals too, narrowed eyes, imagine your ears are laid back, serious eye contact until she looks away, etc.

    Maybe, once you run through her lessons, handle her feet etc. you could lead her around rather than ask her to stand still for an extended time. Stay in sight of the mare but let her see some stuff outside of the are's work area.
     
    secuono, ginster, JStorry and 3 others like this.
  8. greenpaintpony

    greenpaintpony Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2010
    Messages:
    2,831
    Likes Received:
    2,156
    How old is Skipper?

    When Hero turned two months old I started riding Marvel again. Honestly, after having the end of pregnancy off work and then delivering the foal, I thought it made sense to bring her back into work pretty slowly, which made it a great opportunity to use it as training time for Hero too.

    I started by (when she was quite young), leading Hero away from mom for a minute or two at a time so that being alone/with me was no problem. I kept them in sight of each other until both were totally unfazed/unworried by the couple minutes of alone time (helps that Marvel was extremely chill about the whole thing, and Hero took her cues from mom). Then I'd leave Hero in the stall by herself while I groomed Marvel tied right outside where they could touch noses, then outside where Hero could still see her, and gradually out of her sight. The other broodmare and her foal were stabled next to Hero, so she was never completely alone. The arena shares a fence line with what was Hero and Marvel's stall and run, so when I did start riding, Hero could watch us the whole time. She got pretty bored of it quickly and would hang out calmly eating or napping by herself while I rode (even when we eventually went on longer, out of site rides).

    I also started with very short rides (5-10 minutes) until I was sure neither of them would be upset by the whole process. I then ponied Hero occasionally with mom, but really it wasn't an issue since we'd taken so much time prepping for it.

    I really think teaching Hero to be comfortably independent by herself before taking her mom away helped (like, I started by leading Hero away from her dam and working with her out of site of mom, rather than taking her dam away from her).

    I do agree that anything dangerous like she was trying is grounds for discipline (one growl at Hero was generally enough for her after being smacked once), but also that 20 minutes was too big of an ask at first.
     
  9. Alsosusieq2

    Alsosusieq2 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2016
    Messages:
    14,593
    Likes Received:
    10,737
    Calm repetition, but not twenty minutes. Ten minutes. Or less.
     
  10. tlwidener

    tlwidener Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2008
    Messages:
    16,056
    Likes Received:
    14,637
    She is almost three months old. Born March 23rd.
     

Share This Page