Help with a 9 month old colt

This topic contains 8 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  StellaR 2 years, 4 months ago.

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  • lindsey_hames Original Poster
    Topics Started: 7Replies Posted: 11

    Very recently I purchased a nine month old quarter horse colt. The same day we brought him home is also the day that he was separated from his mother for the first time(which I am not a fan of…) Anyways, I am having difficulty getting a halter on him for the first time. This baby has had the bare minimum attention from humans for the beginning of his life. That being said, he is doing very well with letting me rub him with my hands and even the halter… I just cant quite get that halter on him. Any advise on the best way to go about this without totally terrifying him. I have only had him three days and he is doing well maybe this is just a waiting game for trust?

    Joe-Joe Joe-Joe
    Topics Started: 17Replies Posted: 1205

    I cannot find any nice words for the previous owners! This is going to take some time, as he will need to learn that you are his new mom. While working on that, instead of a halter, drape a lead rope around his neck, and entice him to follow you (can also be done without the rope). Once he begins to follow you reliably, then start petting his face, resting a rope on it, and eventually (hopefully not too long) he will accept it and then proceed to the halter. Also, while he is young, you can also drape towels on his back, expose him to brushes, start working on picking up his feet, etc. Make it all fun for him, and don’t overload him with too many new things at once. We’ve always started bonding foals with a person as close to the time of birth as possible, so they just take it all for granted. So much easier.

    It is never the horse's fault

    G & S
    Topics Started: 16Replies Posted: 253

    As usual, Joe-Joe & I are in agreement. Instead of trying to get the halter actually on him, work on draping various things, including the halter across his head , starting low down and slowly, over days moving higher, with lots of verbal rewards when he allows you to touch any part of his head. Treats as rewards are also useful, but concentrate on verbal rewards. As he grows older, and you start riding him, you will need him to respond to verbal praise and rewards – – treat rewards can be awkward to give when you on his back. Work on him allowing you to touch the rest of his body as well, always keeping in mind that he has to see you as head horse of his “herd”, so you also need to use verbal reprimands when he is not cooperating. Once he accepts you as head horse, everything gets easier, and he will be safer to work with.

    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 15

    Three days – give the baby some room. Baby is pretty much wild and you’re asking a lot. First up – – remember it takes a horse normally 6 – 8 months to adjust to a new place. That’s been made far more drastic for this baby as he’s just been taken from his mom.

    Since you can touch him and run the halter over him I’d say, slowly continue that. But I would say mostly. Just spend time with the baby. If he’s in a pasture. Try to make sure you transfer him into a slightly smaller place where you can control him better. Sit down on a chair and just hang out. Bring a book, a newspaper or something. Just spend time in his presence. Talk to him and let him become used to you. If he’s isolated he will soon seek you out. He craves company. Right now he just needs to find you as the company he’ll crave.

    As soon as you can, start brushing him with a medium brush. He’ll enjoy grooming and will look forward to it.

    May I recommend you buy a few books on how to handle a baby. “From Birth To Backing” is one you can start with. There are tons of stuff for you to do with a baby and this is a book which will give you some guidance.

    If this is your first baby, I have to stress that you need guidance. There will be tons of eager “trainers” willing to help. But mind you, most of them have no idea what you’re facing. Get a few books and do some reading. There’s lots to do, but you need to do it in steps and at appropriate times.

    Personally I didn’t face raising a baby until I’d been working & owning horses for about 20 years. It’s a wonderful experience, but it requires patience and knowledge. He’s pretty much wild and needs a lot of help getting past the next few years and so do you.

    Read a book or two on the subject…..


    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 4

    “Foal to 5 years” is a book I found very useful when I bought a youngster, who was further along than yours. Patience, with firmness is paramount. 18 years later I am still dealing with the mistakes of my one horse’s initial owner who thought it was “cute” for him to chew on them. He only tries maybe once a year, but I can never trust he won’t, so I still have to tell anyone new around him that he may try. Good luck with your baby, and remember to get him to allow his feet to be handled ASAP. You said “colt,” if you are inexperienced you may want to get him gelded, will make your life easier if you are not used to handling stallions. He will be starting to get the testosterone thing gong on soon.

    lindsey_hames Original Poster
    Topics Started: 7Replies Posted: 11

    Yes, I was planning on getting him gelded as soon as the cold started coming down to Florida. And I will be sure to check out the book!

    lindsey_hames Original Poster
    Topics Started: 7Replies Posted: 11

    Update: I have the halter on the baby! Thank you for everyone’s imput, it was very helpful! I am trying to not be too eager with teaching him new things, but he is very smart and handled the haltering like a champ!

    Jill in Kentucky
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 1

    I have had horses for a long time (including babies) and have worked with weanlings and yearlings on several thoroughbred breeding farms (I live in Kentucky), This is going to be a process and if it doesn’t start out right lots of frustration for you, fear and lack of confidence for the baby. My best advice to you is to check out Pat Parelli. go to his website to get information. There is so much there as far as education, videos, etc. to get you and the horse started correctly. PLEASE check this out. I have been using these methods for years and I can tell you that if I knew in the past what I know now, many of my horses would have been happier and more confident (not to mention safer) and there would have been fewer tears on my part. As far as having the colt gelded that is just a must if you want him for a riding horse. You will need to check with your vet on this as you need to wait until both testicles have descended. Hope all works out for you.

    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 6

    Congratulations!!! YOU did it!!
    So your little champ is quite confident around humans!!!

    Please Post a picture of him! he must be very cute!

    If he knows how to walk in the halter before gelding him
    might be helpful.. as they do need to walk after the operation
    so it does not swell…

    I rubbed my foal all over all the time! and today she accepts
    everything! 8<) she is a golden palomino but with a LOT of character!
    She pricks her ears as soon as she hers my voice! and inspects me..
    if she doesn’t find a treat! she puts back her ears kkkk makes mention
    to bite.. but she never bit me! if you start rubbing her face even in her
    naughtiness.. she can lean on you and love the affection!
    being used to be rubbed around helped a LOT when the time came to break her in.

    Take care!

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 4 months ago by  StellaR.
    • This reply was modified 2 years, 4 months ago by  StellaR.
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