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8 month old foal care?

Discussion in 'Birthing, Weaning, and Raising Young Horses, Mules' started by HazelMandyAmberCandy, Dec 7, 2014.

  1. Dec 7, 2014
    HazelMandyAmberCandy

    HazelMandyAmberCandy Just born

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    I am considering getting an 8 month old filly to raise and train. How much and what would she need to be fed? Can she live on 4 acres of pasture with my other 2 horses? What training can I do at this age? Thank you for all of the help!
     
  2. Dec 10, 2014
    Bunnylady

    Bunnylady True BYH Addict

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    Oh, my. How to answer this without coming across as arrogant, opinionated, elitist or just plain mean?:hide

    Look, care and training of horses isn't rocket science, as they say, but it really isn't something that you can learn on the internet, either. Do you have someone locally that can mentor you in the training of this animal?

    In horses, there is an expression, "green plus green equals black and blue." Basically, it means that at minimum, either the horse or its handler needs to know what they are doing; both being inexperienced is going to result in somebody getting hurt, perhaps very badly.

    Until you have handled a horse with no training at all, you don't realize just how much they have to learn. One of the most critical first lessons is "whoa," and you'd be surprised how much work it can be just to get a horse to stand still!

    Horses are fairly straightforward animals. There are lots of people who train them, all have their methods; some are more effective than others. Most of the good trainers will tell you that the problems we have with horses are almost always caused by the humans that are handling them, and some of those problems can be really, really dangerous.

    At the barn where I work, there is a two-year-old filly that I strongly advised her owner not to buy. On a scale of 1 to 10 (1 being "are more than 2 brain cells firing at the same time?" and 10 being "way too hot for anybody but a dragonslayer to handle"), I'd rate this filly's temperament at about a 3; she was bred from stock that are extremely laid back because the breeder is an old man that just doesn't have time for horses that aren't dead calm (read, "nearly brain dead.") This filly's current owner has ridden some, but never owned a horse; she's trying to be this horse's "friend." As a result, the horse literally runs right over her. I don't know how long it will be before this horse puts somebody in the hospital, but it's coming, and it's a shame, because they are nice people and it's a nice horse. But the wrong kind of handling can spoil any horse; a professional is going to have their hands full re-training this animal eventually.

    Now, you say you have two other horses, so I know you have some experience with them. I'm not saying that it's beyond you; just that you need someone on the ground with you who can say, "this is what I'm seeing; this is how I'd handle it." Unless you have someone who can be that hands-on in assisting you with training this filly, it might be a better idea to wait until you do.
     
    Goat Whisperer likes this.
  3. Dec 10, 2014
    HazelMandyAmberCandy

    HazelMandyAmberCandy Just born

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    Thank you bunnylady for your help! I have my old trainer that I could always ask for help, and somebody who lives a few miles from me is getting ready to break the 2 yeAR old that they raised so she could help too. I planned on getting some books on training, and I have experience with training horses, just not foals. The ones that I'm looking at mare halter broke, and will let you handle their hooves, ears, and mouth.
     
  4. Dec 15, 2014
    norseofcourse

    norseofcourse Herd Master

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    What Bunnylady said! I boarded for over 20 years before I got my own place, and I've seen a wide range of horse owners - from the ones who, as in her example, get pushed around by their horse; to owners who used force/training methods/tack with no regard for the horse or whether there was a different way.

    Read all you can, watch other people work with their horses, and most importantly - think for yourself! Ask ten horse people a training question, and you'll get twenty different answers! Most methods will work for at least some horses, but that doesn't always mean they're the right method, or will work for you and your horse. Books usually won't tell you what to do if you horse doesn't respond exactly like the book says it will. Remember your horse has not read any of those books :)

    Personally, the first trainer that really helped it 'click' for me was John Lyons. I don't like everything he does, and I had to watch his groundwork a lot because he doesn't always explain what he's doing (same as many of the good trainers), but watching him work and seeing the results just amazed me. What I learned from him is consistency is key; always stay safe, for you and the horse; watch the horses's body language closely. What I don't care for is the repetitiveness he does sometimes - once my horse has learned something, I don't have to drill it over and over. The key here, though, is figuring out when your horse has truly learned something - doing it right a few times doesn't necessarily mean they know, and how to 'know when they know it' isn't something easily explained. Clear as mud, right?

    Watch different people, read different books. The more techniques you know, the easier you'll be able to find what works for a particular horse. Some trainers only know one or two methods, and if something doesn't work, they do the same thing, with more force, a harsher bit, louder, stronger. It may eventually work, but there may have been a better way (or three better ways, or ten...). Watch the horse that is being worked with - what is it trying to tell the trainer/owner?

    Where to watch? There's tons of youtube videos - watch a second time with the sound off, you may notice things you didn't before. Watch anyone interacting with horses - owner, vet, farrier, trainer, groom, etc. Ask trainers if you can watch a training session. Ask if you can watch riding lessons. Watch at the warmup area at horse shows, watch at the barns and trailers where they're grooming and tacking up. Watch not only for things that work, but things that don't.

    As far as the age of the filly you're looking at, there's plenty of things you can do with a horse before it's old enough to ride. And personally, 'old enough to ride' to me does *not* mean two years old. Dr. Deb Bennett, who has studied horses and anatomy and a lot of other things for many years, has a great article on horse skeletal maturity here:
    http://www.equinestudies.org/ranger_2008/ranger_piece_2008_pdf1.pdf
    Read it all. Read it twice. (Maybe even share it with the person getting ready to break the two-year-old, but be prepared for them to get defensive and maybe angry)
    Starting on page 14 she has a list of things you can do with a younger horse. Basic handling and groundwork give you a really good foundation for when you and the horse are ready to start riding. And a horse that can do all the things on that list would likely be a dream for a trainer, if you choose to send it out for the beginning under-saddle work.

    Good luck!

    Hope this didn't come across as arrogant, but I guess I am opinionated! :old :p :lol:
     
  5. Dec 15, 2014
    Baymule

    Baymule Herd Master Golden Herd Member

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  6. Dec 24, 2014
    HazelMandyAmberCandy

    HazelMandyAmberCandy Just born

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    Thanks everybody! I found a filly that I like, she is an APHA. 7 months old. She needs some more work on leading. I was wanting to do liberty training with her while she is young. Thanks for the help, I will look at those sites and i am going to watch my trainer work with her colt.