START THE GENTLING PROCESS EARLY Handle the foal frequently, build his confidence, and he will lose his fear.
You may want to halter-break him when he is only a couple of weeks old.
He is easier to handle at this age.
Many horsemen do not start the training process until weaning age, but training should start before he is many months old.
In these early weeks and months he gradually accustoms himself to handling.
These daily training sessions should be short lessons, repeated often.
Young foals, like young children, have a limited capacity to absorb new things.
They learn by repetition, and in step-by step order.
A half hour lesson every day is ample. 3.
YIELDING HIS FEET After several lessons on haltering and leading, start working with his feet.
After the colt is leading, then start handling his legs.
Work with him quietly, picking up the front feet first.
Do it many times and, if he resists, put the foot down, pat him, quiet him down, and do it all over again.
First lift up one foot, then the other foot.
Next train him to yield his hind leg as if he were going to have his foot trimmed and shod.
Patience and time are necessary.
If he starts struggling, let the foot down and pet him.
In a few minutes pick up the foot again, repeat this process until he no longer objects to yielding his feet.
Some colts learn in two or three lessons, while other colts require many lessons. 2.
THE FIRST LESSON – HALTERING The best classroom for the foal is a small pen away from other disturbances.
There should be no outside distraction.
He should be handled gently but firmly.
Frequent brushing with a soft brush or hand rubbing tells him there is nothing to fear during the lessons.
When he has learned to eat grain use a little to help gain his confidence.
The very first halter lesson can be done by two people crowding the foal into a corner where he is haltered.
After haltering he is pulled gently and slowly to one side.
As soon as he takes a step or two steps the pull 4.
TEACHING VOICE COMMANDS The lessons as a foal or weanling were on leading, handling the feet, and gaining confidence.
As a yearling he is ready for the next grade.
Many ranchers and breeders of a large number of colts do no further training until he is two and one-half years old, but in training your own colt the yearling age is an ideal time to work him on a 25-30 ft.
Line in a circle (longeing) where you teach voice commands of walk, trot, canter and whoa.
It combines muscle building exercises with learning.
Start the foal slowly in a quiet confined area. TRAINING YOUR HORSE Page 46 Carry a whip that he can see and begin by making the circles very short.
Gradually he will work to a larger circle as you play out the line.
Make him go in both a clockwise and counter-clockwise direction.
Teach him to stop at the end of the line and reverse his direction.
These lessons in the beginning should be for no more than ten minutes, and can gradually be lengthened to 20-30 minutes as he advances in his training. you can put a hand against the surcingle and pull the colt toward you and thus keep his movements in a short circle which prevents much jumping. SADDLING AND RIDING 1.
SADDLING The young horse is ready to be taught the feel of a saddle.
First, review his previous lessons.
He should be quiet and gentle and understand that no harm will befall him.
Slide the blanket on and off several times until he is used to it.
Then slip on the saddle, cinching it only moderately tight with a single cinch.
Lead him around the corral at a walk while he gets accustomed to the feel of the saddle on the back.
During this leading session, lead him close to you and turn him either way.
As the lessons progress, gradually tighten the cinch and continue to lead him.
It would be well to saddle and unsaddle him several times to get him accustomed to the saddle before you ever try to ride.
Some trainers, after leading the colt with an empty saddle, like to tie up the bridle reins and turn the yearling or 2 yr.
Old loose to trot and canter until accustomed to the feel and squeak of the saddle and the swinging of the stirrups.
If he should happen to buck, which is rarely, then catch the colt and lead him at a walk before you turn him loose again with the reins tied up.
At this point, some trainers teach the horse to drive so he will learn responses to the bit.
Cotton rope lines (0.3 inch diameter and 20 feet long) are attached to the bit and passed through the saddle stirrups for driving lessons.
In the first lesson the line on the near side is left out of the stirrup.
Then if the horse turns and looks at the trainer, this near line can be used as a lead to straighten the horse out.
After the horse is accustomed to driving, the near line can also be passed through the stirrup.
This training teaches responses to the bit and lets the horse become accustomed to having ropes touch his hind legs.
Initial schooling in backing can also be given at this time. 5.
PREPARATION FOR SADDLING As the colt approaches two years of age he should be getting ready for saddling.
If you have worked patiently and frequently with him he should not fear movement about him but to help him conquer any remaining fear tie him up and rub him with a soft sack.
Then flip the sack over and about his body and legs.
The same thing can be done with a soft cotton rope by drawing the rope back and forth across his body.
In this series of lessons, the next step is to use the saddle blanket.
Lead him for awhile until he is completely quiet: then let him smell the blanket which is then slipped over his neck and withers.
Then push back to its proper place.
This is continued until the young horse accepts the blanket without moving.
After he becomes thoroughly used to the feel of the blanket, a surcingle can be slipped on and tied moderately tight.
Then lead him around a few times.
This is repeated until he no longer flinches.
The surcingle can then be fastened snugly around his chest.
If, in the beginning he should jump and start to fuss — Lead strap: A strap or rope attached to the halter for leading.
Light horse: Any horse used primarily for riding or driving: all breeds except draft breeds.
Longe: A strap, rein, or rope about 30 feet long, attached to halter or cavesson, used in breaking and training.
Mare: A mature female horse.
Martingale: A strap running from the girth between front legs to the bridle.
The standing martingale is attached to the bit.
The running martingale has rings through which the reins pass.
Maverick: An unbranded stray.
Mecate: a hackamore lead rope.
Mellow hide: Soft, pliable, and easy to handle.
Mule: A cross between a jack and a mare.
Near side: The left side of a horse.
Neat’s-foot: An oil made from suet, feet, and bones of cattle, used for softening leather.
Off side: The right side.
Open behind: Hocks far apart, feet close together.
Orloff: A breed of Russian trotting horses.
Outfit: The equipment of rancher or horseman.
Outlaw: A horse that cannot be broken.
Palatable: Agreeable and pleasing to the taste.
Passenger: One who rides a horse without control, letting the horse go as he wishes.
Pathological: A diseased condition.
Paunchy: Too much belly.
Pony: A horse under 14.2 hands.
Pointing: Standing with front leg extended more than normal – a sign of lameness.
Poll: The top of a horse’s head just back of the ears.
Polochain: A chin chain of flat, large links.
Port: The part of the mouthpiece of a bit curving up over the tongue.
Posting: The rising and descending of a rider with the rhythm of the trot.
Pounding: Striking the ground hard in the stride. December 1989 GLOSSARY Page 55 Pudgy: Short and thickset.
Pull leather: Holding to the saddle with hands while riding a bucking horse.
Pulled tail: Hairs of tail thinned by pulling.
Quality: Fineness of texture; freedom from coarseness.
Ray: A black line along the spine.
Also called dorsal stripe.
Reata: Spanish for lasso.
Registration: Recording an animal from registered parents in the breed registry association.
Remuda: A collection of saddle horses at a roundup from which are chosen those used for the day.
A relay of mounts.
Ridgling: A male horse that has retained one or both testicles in his body cavity.
Roached back: Thin, sharp, arched back.
Roached mane: Mane cut off so part is left standing upright.
Rolling: Side motion of the forehand.
Rowels: The toothed wheels on spurs.
Rubberneck: A horse with a very flexible neck, hard to rein.
Running walk: A four-beat gait faster than a walk, often over 6 miles per hour.
Sacking: To slap a horse with a sack, saddle blanket, or tarpaulin as a part of gentling and training.
Shank: that portion of the cheek of the bit from the mouthpiece down.
Sickle-hocked: With a curved, crooked hock.
Side-wheeler: A pacer that rolls the body sidewise as he paces.
Single-foot: A term formerly used to designate the rack.
Sire: the male parent of a horse.
Slab sided: flat ribbed.
Snaffle-key bit: A snaffle with small metal pieces dangling from center used in training colts to the bit.
Sound: Free from any abnormal deviation in structure or function which interferes with the usefulness of the individual. Spread: To stretch or pose.
Stallion: An unaltered male horse.
Stargazer: A horse that holds his head too high and his nose out.
Stud: A place where stallions are kept for breeding.
Stylish: Having a pleasing, graceful, alert, general appearance.
Sunfisher: A bucking horse that twists his body in the air.
Surcingle: A broad strap about the girth, to hold the blanket in place.
Symmetrical: Proper balance or relationship of all parts.
Tack up: To put on bridle and saddle.
Tapadera: Stirrup cover.
Three-gaited: a saddle horse trained to perform at the walk trot, and canter.
Thrifty condition: Healthy, active, vigorous.
Traverse or side step: Lateral movement without forward or backward movement.
Tree: The wooden or metal frame of a saddle.
Tucked up: Thin and cut up in the flank like a greyhound.
Undershot: protruding under jaw.
Utility: the use to which a horse is designated.
Veterinarian: One who is trained and skilled in the treating of diseases and injuries of domestic animals.
Vice: An acquired habit that is annoying, or may interfere with the horse’s usefulness, such as cribbing.
Walk-trot horse: A three-gaited horse: walk, trot, and canter.
Walleyed: Iris of the eye of a light color.
War bridle: An emergency bridle made of rope.
Weanling: a weaned foal.
Wrangling: Rounding up: saddling range horses.
Yeld mare: a mare that did not produce a foal during the current season. December 1989 GLOSSARY Page 56 Additional Horse Terms The mark of a knowing horseman is the terms and “horse-talk” which he uses frequently and correctly.
Learn these terms and use them correctly.
AGE Suckling Weaning Yearling 2-year old Mature Breeding Animals Mature Non-Breeding Animals Colt Colt Yearling Colt 2 year Old Colt Horse or Stallion Gelding MALE Filly Filly Yearling Filly 2 year Old Filly Mare Spayed Mare FEMALE MIXED GROUP Foals Foals Yearling Foals or Foals of Last Year Foals of such and such a year Horses Horses A mare is carrying a foal, or in foal, or with foal.
Mare with foal at side or nursing a foal (to be more specific, use colt or filly).
A mare will foal, or is with foal, to (name of stallion).
The sons and daughters of a mare are her produce.
A foal is by its sire.
A foal is out of its dam.
When a stallion stands for service, he is offered to the public for breeding purposes.
Stallion owners usually present one of the following terms to the mare owner when he offers his stallion for stud: Stud Fee: That charge for breeding services rendered by a stallion.
Stud Fee Each Service: The mare is not guaranteed to be with foal and a stud fee is charged for each service.
Guarantee Foal to stand and suck: Guarantees a live foal.
Return privilege in season: You may bring your mare back until she is with foal for that breeding season only.
A second fee will be charged after that current season if the mare is returned. December 1989
Read more about Weanling : TEACHING VOICE COMMANDS The lessons as a foal or weanling….: