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Thread: What are your youngsters doing this winter?

  1. #21
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    River's a big girl now, but by Scout's age she was used to having the same daily routine as Salsa, i.e. coming in to have her feet picked out, rugs checked and changed, grooming and I did a bit of ground work with her a few times a week.

    Personally, I wouldn't add anything new over winter and just keep to his routine if you don't want to turn away. Not all horses need that break over the winter months, but in my experience with my two, even Salsa finds it beneficial to have a few months to just be a horse, coming in for his feed and a good check over, and a bit of a groom when the weather is halfway decent. This routine works for all three of us, as it gives me less to do when my joints are much more painful from the cold and the horses get their "holiday" for a couple of months and come the spring, they have been much more enthusiastic about doing more work again than they were when I was trying to keep them busy all winter.

    It sounds like everything you're doing is going well, so just keep doing what you're doing.
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  2. #22
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    Sep 2009
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    Monty was 2 in July. He is out with my section a.
    He has his feet checked daily whilst wearing a headcollar and being tied.
    The rest of the time he is playing or eating or tipping the wheelbarrow over or nicking the pop scoop or empty water carriers.

  3. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Red View Post
    Does he have ponies/horses/other youngsters out with him that instigate play? If not, any chance of moving him to an environment where he can play and learn boundaries in the field? They learn an incredible amount through play with other horses! I know this isn't ideal, but I've had some extremely clever horses and ponies who never got bored doing nothing as babies because they played with others more than they slept!
    He lives with all youngsters, apart from Cleo, and I've never seen them playing but at the moment they are all more interested in eating. And no there is no chance of him being moved anywhere else He knows his boundaries very well thanks to Cleo mainly

  4. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cinnabar View Post
    I don't understand why you asked and then turned so defensive? If it was mine it would be turned away in a very big field in a herd to learn to be a horse. This is because I own a horse that didn't do so and he has no concept of how to behave in company and is a bit of a thug.

    I would then start 'playing' over the summer and go from there, but each to their own and so long as the horse doesn't come to harm and is happy it's irrelevant IMO
    I'm not trying to sound defensive, I just want to get my point across that although I am doing a lot with him it's not causing him any problems

    And, like I said he is with other horses 99% of the time, but I want him to learn that there is more to life than standing in a field

  5. #25
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    I want to try and do as much with him so he's been there and done it all for when he starts breaking in 2-3 years time.
    I want him to learn that there is more to life than standing in a field
    But does he need to learn that ^^ when he's still a baby? You don't have to answer, but think about it. At 1 1/2 years old, does he really need to understand that he will have to "work" in 3 years' time? Most of the 3-year-olds my boss buys to break & sell have been on 24/7 herd turnout their entire lives, and come to her barely handled - but this is never a problem when it comes to backing time, because it doesn't make a big difference whether they do the groundwork stuff at 18 months or 36 months, if it is done correctly and in a way that suits the horse then their age is fairly irrelevant. None of the horses she's backed at 3 have suffered from "not doing anything" at a younger age.
    ,
    Having done what you've done with Scout, he will be much more "prepared" when it eventually comes to starting his working life, but you could just as easily do that preparation when he's 3 and still not have any problems. TBH the stuff I have done with Mouse has really been more for me, in a "yay I'm doing stuff with my pony and look how good he is" sort of way - I am doing the groundwork stuff now because I enjoy it, but although he seems to enjoy it too, he would probably be absolutely fine without it! But this is one of the things about having a youngster - anticipation - we look forward to them growing up and becoming riding horses, so it is nice for us to do stuff with them and we like to feel like we're being productive.

    Sorry, I don't know if I'm getting my point across or not! I don't mean to say you "have done too much" or that you "shouldn't do xyz" or that you're "doing it wrong" etc. - what I mean is that you don't have to worry that he won't be ready for work at 4 if you don't start preparing him "early enough". And that's the impression I get, that you are worried you aren't doing a good enough job?

  6. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by joosie View Post
    And that's the impression I get, that you are worried you aren't doing a good enough job?
    A lot of people told me I'd never be able to look after or train a yearling, and when Scout went through his 'playful' (chasing me up the field, kicking, biting, not letting me catch him, mounting me) phase I agreed totally. I guess now he's settled down I want to do more with him so he doesn't go back to being like that

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by WonderBolt View Post
    A lot of people told me I'd never be able to look after or train a yearling, and when Scout went through his 'playful' (chasing me up the field, kicking, biting, not letting me catch him, mounting me) phase I agreed totally. I guess now he's settled down I want to do more with him so he doesn't go back to being like that
    But he hadn't been handled much had he - I seem to remember he and Daisy were both a bit, not "wild" as such but very "raw"? Also given his age I'm guessing he hadn't long been castrated, maybe he still had a bit of stallion-like bolshiness in him at the time. Still being with his mum probably didn't help either, I wonder if he'd had many other horses to socialise with. These days he's more settled and confident, he's used to being around and being handled by humans, his basic manners have been well-established, and he knows & trusts you much more - and of course he has good old Cleo to keep him in line! - so IMO the chance of him going back to that behaviour again is pretty small. Obviously youngsters do go through phases where their behaviour / mentality is very different, but now that you've put the foundations in place and he knows what behaviour is appropriate, I don't see him "forgetting" this just because he's not being kept busy. I just think you should have a little more confidence in yourself (and him!) and stop worrying that you won't be good enough, and don't anticipate problems that haven't happened yet

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cinnabar View Post
    I don't understand why you asked and then turned so defensive? If it was mine it would be turned away in a very big field in a herd to learn to be a horse. This is because I own a horse that didn't do so and he has no concept of how to behave in company and is a bit of a thug.

    I would then start 'playing' over the summer and go from there, but each to their own and so long as the horse doesn't come to harm and is happy it's irrelevant IMO

    this ^

    when i got grace i had all sorts of plans i was going to do with her before i backed her properly!!..... all change - shes now out with a few horses and is in heaven!.... learning to be a horse... she has been kicked and battered along the way but its tough!

    so yes i agree - the best lesson until they are 3/4 is those taught by the same species - we can never replicate this no matter how much handling!!!

  9. #29

    Default What are your youngsters doing this winter?

    Just because someone handles their youngster it doesn't mean they aren't in a herd environment
    Mine was in a herd every day and learnt the exact same lessons any horse 'turned away' would.
    I personally wouldn't want to just turn a horse completely away until three as I like to get them out showing, walking in hand etc but each to their own. I certainly don't think my horse missed out on herd politics because I chose to take him out the field for 20 every few days and decided to show him.

  10. #30

    Default What are your youngsters doing this winter?

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