What age is it safe to start leading a foal like an older horse? My filly leads very well but you have to keep your hand on her chest to prevent her from running off. I am afraid to pull on her neck if she does take off because I don't want to hurt her but she needs to learn not to do that and sometimes she takes off so quickly I have to let her go so I don't pull on her neck. At what age is it safe to pull on her head and neck without doing damage? Any advice will be greatly appreciated.
Jan Owen Senior Stallion or Mare Username: 1frosty1
Post Number: 2793 Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Thursday, March 31, 2011 - 06:53 pm:
I would say right now....You won't hurt her neck and is she figures out that if she takes off you are going to let her go that is what she will learn..pull hard enough and you are free! I always kept my mare on a lead rope and the baby letting baby free first only if they are standing nicely..then the mare keeps her behaving better, remember only reward what you want repeated...if she pulls you can move her in a circle let her feet move but don't let her go...I also always made my babies get their halter on before turn out and have a nice walk to the arena, stand nice and then turned loose...set the ground manners for the future...Good luck
Thank you. My filly will be 3 weeks old tomorrow. So if I start pulling on her head and neck at this age it shouldn't hurt her. I want to get this issue taken care of asap because she is starting to get too big. When she takes off she goes from walking to a full out run so by the time you realize that she has taken off it is too late to turn her in a circle so the only thing I can think of to pull her back which it would cause her head to be spun back around. She is really good about everything except for this little issue and I really want to get it taken care of.
Please be very carefull how hard you pull on her at this early age. I have seen many foals at our clinic that were pulled on that were so sore they couldn't even hold their head up to nurse. Give her a little more time before using very much force.
I like to keep them in a pen when i first work with them. They can only run so far that way. I start with my hand on the lead, the other over their whithers to the opposite side. If they start to move forward, you can use your body to turn them in a circle to slow them down. As soon as they comply, even a tiny bit, let them go straight again.
If they back up, go with them, but try to keep them from rearing and going over backward.It takes a little "feel," to get the hang of it.
I don't snap their heads for correction. If they do run forward, I follow, get control and bring them back to where we started. They do figure it out, somehow, even though it may seem at first that they got away with something.
My vet advocates tying them from about a week old. I have done that, but I stay right there and make sure mama is there too. One foal never had a problem, another continued to fight it. Once she got big enough that I was afraid she would break the lead rope, I quit. Didn't want her to learn that trick!
Always keep you mare where she can see the baby and vice versa, at this young age. The mare can be a great help. Have someone lead her if you have to, and you lead the foal, but don't get ahead of the foal when you do that, or between the foal and mare. That is my take on it anyway.
You are right about the foal getting too big to handle quickly. They grow so fast. I invested in a trainer after mine were two weeks old, as I'd done all I could with them, without teaching bad habits. She was well worth the money! I was able to work with them too. She'd train me as well as them. Fantastic. Didn't know anything with my first. I enjoyed my last two so much more as a result.
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