Sample Our Newsletter From "Leading Stubborn Horses," Issue 30, part 1 of our FREE monthly newsletter
Re: Foal Rearing
Learn: A quick fix for getting a horse moving again if he freezes up when being led.
How many times have you begun to lead your horse through a gate, only to have him freeze up a few steps before it? Or maybe he stalls out while you're leading him, plants his front feet and refuses to take one more step? Does he do these things? Uh-oh. In the words of John Lyons, "You ride the horse you lead," so stubbornness and attitude in situations like this suggests that you have bigger problems than you might think. Let's fix these things - but let's also begin seeing them for what they are: Warning signs.
If your horse doesn't walk with you smoothly and willingly, if he drags on that lead rope or otherwise thumbs his nose at you, you need to deal with it right then and there. (This goes for young and old, green or experienced.) If you're leading your horse out to the arena, trail or what-have-you to ride - and your horse balks - and you ignore it - then not only have you missed an opportunity to improve your relationship with your horse, you've ignored potential danger. Your horse has just told you "I'll go along with you only so far." Worse, he's told you he's ready to rebel to get his way. It doesn't take a genius to see that such rebellions (whether in the horse's mind or acted out in the real world) can lead to some major doctor bills.
Now, don't get me wrong, balking is part of horse ownership for a variety of reasons and is to be expected. A few examples: Leaving a horse out in the pasture for any length of time is going to dull his manners. Young horses are going to test you repeatedly in new and unfamiliar situations (a new trail course, his first show, etc.). Experienced lesson horses are going to test inexperienced novice riders and so on. Even the well-trained show horse of the most accomplished equestrian is going to test the boundaries occasionally. It's natural in the same way that we drive 36 in a 35 mph zone, (until we see the officer holding the speed gun, of course). Horses, like human teens, will test you daily. What matters is not that they do this; what matters is how you handle the incident and with what consistency.
When horses behave poorly, it's for one of two pretty obvious reasons: They're doing it because such poor manners have worked in the past (to get them out of something) or the opposite is true and "it just came to them." This then leads to one pretty obvious conclusion: Horse owners need to deal with "new bad" behavior as soon as it occurs, before it becomes repeated and practiced. This is not to say that we need to wig out and beat or otherwise scare our horse's into cardiac arrest when he pulls a stunt (such as refusing to enter the gate), but rather the opposite. Dealing with issues immediately, in a consistent and calm manner, will accomplish two things: 1) We tell the horse "Nice try, but that'll get you nowhere" and 2) We prevent the situation from being "bigger" the next time. That is, if you make it a big deal this time, you've guaranteed it to be an even bigger (and perhaps more dangerous) situation the next time. Beat Ol' Dobber today for being afraid - and tomorrow he'll have good reason to be scared.
First a warning: No matter what, do not stand in front of your horse (the horse that won't move) in such a way that he could run into you (or over you), should he lurch forward. Keep to the side, at the horse's shoulder. Also, be careful to place your weight so that you can jump away, should he come at you unexpectedly. Finally, when I work near a horse I don't trust, I keep one hand on the horse, (against his shoulder, for instance) not to stop him, but because it tells my brain faster "the horse has moved."
Okay, so making an issue out of something with your horse now only makes it harder on both of you later. The horse looks at the gate and imagines something bad is going to happen should he walk through it. He balks. You lose your temper and chase him screaming and flailing for twenty minutes. The horse then has proof, "I was right. Bad things do happen at that gate." Your molehill has just become a mountain.
Whether you own a horse that's a proven pill to lead - or you're working with a youngster, begin to see yourself as
Do you have a foal on the way? Maybe you've got a weanling who's growing like a weed - but in need of training and possibly getting dangerous? Do you know what training is essential for baby horses, how to approach the work - and how much is too much?
You have years till you can ride your colt or filly - but there's a lot of training that needs to be done in the meantime. They need to cooperate for the farrier, to stand near you politely, to be lead around the barn, to respect your space - they need to become a cheerful member of your family. This downloadable book is your step-by-step guide and it shows you exactly what to do, what to look for and in what order.
This 25-page downloadable book shows you the necessary steps you must take to rear your weanling, stay safe and protect your investment. Download this eDocument, print it from your computer - and be training in five minutes! (It is a big file at nearly 5mb and will take several minutes to load, even in high speed computers.)
Based on the gentle and proven methods of John Lyons, you'll train your foal to be safer and:
• to respect you and your space
• to deal with its fear
• to stand calmly
• to begin "giving to pressure," the very foundation of all training
If you were the first person to someday ride your weanling, would you feel safer if the colt did - or did not - have a proper foundation? Use the Lyons methods described in this book to build a rock solid foundation! Prepare your baby for years of safe service with the simple and proven techniques contained in this Five-Day guide.
As a special BONUS, I've included an additional chapter that shows you how to train your colt to pick up its legs for you or the farrier - and to do so when you pont! This is a freebie chapter extracted from Day Five of my eBook "Round Penning First Steps." (It's automatically included in the same file, at the end.)
Your Foal: Essential Training for the Weanling Horse is broken down into five "Days" or sessions:
• Day One: Look At Me - Build Body Control
• Day Two: Sacking Out and Desensitizing
• Day Three: Halter Training Your Foal
• Day Four: Leading a Horse: Colt Basics
• Day Five: Cleaning Horses: Bathing Your Foal
• Bonus Chapter: Pick Up Your Feet - When I Point!
I call the individual segments "days" but you'll take this work at a speed that's comfortable for both you and your foal. While you'll fly through some "days," others will necessarily require that you spend more time to really nail the material. You might want to split it up over days, weeks or months.. It's completely up to you - after all, you've got years till he's big enough to carry that saddle or pull that cart!
But, wait there's more, as they say!
An extra extra bonus...
Purchase a copy of "Your Foal Essential Training" today - and I'll throw in a free printout of a very popular article called "Teach Your Horse to Sidepass Toward You on the Ground," which normally costs $1.99. Written for the adult horse, the material can easily be adapted (factoring in a little common sense) to your foal. (You can print most of my articles for free - but I do normally charge for a handful of them, including this particular selection.)
Here's how it works:
• Click on the "Add to Cart" button (bottom of this page) to pay
• Wait 20 minutes, then check for an email containing a link to download the document(s)
• SAVE THE FILE(S) TO YOUR COMPUTER IMMEDIATELY!
• You'll learn theory and exercises necessary to build a strong foundation
• Practice and teach the material at your own pace
Each chapter gives you a plan, a goal, theory and homework. The whole thing might take you a week - and it might take you months. Every trainer's different, every foal is different. Regardless, when you arrive at the other side, you will have made significant progress in your foal's training and you'll be miles ahead when it comes time later to break him to saddle.
The document is 25 pages long (plus the bonus material) and comes in a format that every computer can read and print out called "pdf." It's in "magazine format" which means it carries ads - but that's a good thing - because it lowers the price of this course to just over a dollar a day - in the same way that advertising makes a newspaper affordable.
While this document is "just" 25 pages long, it covers a ton of material. Each of the five chapters within the document (called an "e-book" or "e-doc") are designed to get your foal safely under control and make him a pleasure to be around.
Now, get going! Pay up, download - and get training!
You will need the Adobe Reader to read this (pdf) file. You probably already have it, but if not, you can get it for free at adobe.com. Look for the yellow "Continue" button near the top, right corner. If you have a Mac, you can simply click on "Choose a different version" there near the top of the (center of) the page.
Do not buy this PDF version of this book for your iPad unless you already know how to view pdf files on your iPad. (An iPad version is available, scroll up for links to other formats.) From what I've been able to glean, I think you can view PDF files on (most, if not all) iPads, however I don't have an iPad and have no idea how they work. If it helps you, I did locate this video that apparently explains how to do this: Viewing a PDF file on an iPad. Again, this PDF will work great on a regular computer - but iPad users, buy this at your own risk.
Item: Your Foal: Essential Training [Downloadable PDF version]
Today's price: $5.99
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