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Thread: Getting a youngster - what to expect?!

  1. #1

    Default Getting a youngster - what to expect?!

    I'm getting a young Clydesdale x Cob at the beginning of November and though I'm excited I'm also extremely nervous. I've had Bailey, my wonderful 12 year old ISH x Gypsy Cob, for 3 years and we have the most amazing relationship and understanding of each other but it took a while to get that.
    I'm not sure what to expect from a youngster at each of their stages. Id love to hear other people's experiences and hints and tips. I always wanted a Clydesdale foal but when I saw Thor (wee guys name) I got a tingly feeling and wanted to know more so I'm telling myself I'm getting as close to a clydesdale as I can just now.
    Id also love to maybe try show him at a very local low level just for fun and experience as it's something I've always been to nervous to do with Bailey so Id love opinions on that too
    Sorry for the rambling :P


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  2. #2
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    Will be easier to know what class to put him into next year but there are part bred clydie classes if you fish about a bit Thor is a cracking wee chap, I have always ended up buying youngsters as I find them easier to bond with and no one has ever really upset them. I love the feeling of being a youngsters world

    Their beauty captures every eye, a gift from God for all mankind, they lend us wings so we may fly, to ride a horse is to ride the sky

    Touchstone Floinn - Purebred graded ID stallion available for stud.

    Rest In Peace Minstrel. 08.03.1998 - 31.01.2013 I will love you forever my own black beauty.
    Rest in Peace Stranduff Nichol 08.05.2014 - 19.11.2015 Goodnight little man.

  3. #3

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    Youngsters are the best (the younger the better) as noone has 'spoiled' them! I've had ones from various ages and the best ones are always the ones who have had as little handling as possible - they haven't learned bad habits. My Sec D I have had from 3 weeks and he is now 6 and still has his boy bits - he's really polite. My 'mongrel' mare I have had from 18 months and she was unhandled when I got her so once I had gained her trust she has been a dream. After that all seem to have been spoiled in some way or other. 3yo mare - rude as she'd been friendly and cute as a foal, dangerous and bargy as a 3yo. 18m colt - terrified of people due to rough handling but came round. 14m old colt - again terrified of people due to rough handling but also came round. Rising 3 colt - distrustful of people. Not terrified as he has learned he can double barrel you in the head to get the scary person away - absolute nightmare to deal with and is taking the longest to come round.

    I've found the key is to be firm but fair. Have plenty of turnout (and by plenty I mean 24/7) to allow them to mature normally mentally and as tempting as it is don't overhandle them. Coming in a couple of times a week for leading practice, a groom and a fuss is plenty for the first couple of years. As far as company goes give them friends - other youngsters to play with will build their confidence. If you put them in with adult horses the chances are they will be bullied if they try and play, but than also you do need an older horse (mare can be better) to keep them in check if they get too much.

    Enjoy it - it is wonderful and reqarding!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by RoughRider View Post
    Youngsters are the best (the younger the better) as noone has 'spoiled' them! I've had ones from various ages and the best ones are always the ones who have had as little handling as possible - they haven't learned bad habits. My Sec D I have had from 3 weeks and he is now 6 and still has his boy bits - he's really polite. My 'mongrel' mare I have had from 18 months and she was unhandled when I got her so once I had gained her trust she has been a dream. After that all seem to have been spoiled in some way or other. 3yo mare - rude as she'd been friendly and cute as a foal, dangerous and bargy as a 3yo. 18m colt - terrified of people due to rough handling but came round. 14m old colt - again terrified of people due to rough handling but also came round. Rising 3 colt - distrustful of people. Not terrified as he has learned he can double barrel you in the head to get the scary person away - absolute nightmare to deal with and is taking the longest to come round.

    I've found the key is to be firm but fair. Have plenty of turnout (and by plenty I mean 24/7) to allow them to mature normally mentally and as tempting as it is don't overhandle them. Coming in a couple of times a week for leading practice, a groom and a fuss is plenty for the first couple of years. As far as company goes give them friends - other youngsters to play with will build their confidence. If you put them in with adult horses the chances are they will be bullied if they try and play, but than also you do need an older horse (mare can be better) to keep them in check if they get too much.

    Enjoy it - it is wonderful and reqarding!
    I have to say I disagree with one thing you have put, I don't think you can overhandle a youngster... From 5 months old I have handled my ID colt every day to bring him in for his dinner and put him out again... Have had no problems with him whatsoever. And I was the same with all of mine I bought young...

    Their beauty captures every eye, a gift from God for all mankind, they lend us wings so we may fly, to ride a horse is to ride the sky

    Touchstone Floinn - Purebred graded ID stallion available for stud.

    Rest In Peace Minstrel. 08.03.1998 - 31.01.2013 I will love you forever my own black beauty.
    Rest in Peace Stranduff Nichol 08.05.2014 - 19.11.2015 Goodnight little man.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Minstrel View Post
    From 5 months old I have handled my ID colt every day to bring him in for his dinner and put him out again... Have had no problems with him whatsoever. And I was the same with all of mine I bought young...
    I wouldn't call that overhandling though - that is just basic handling. I have seen people with youngsters who will spend hours each day doing 'training' with them and it seems to end up with horses that are either bolshy, have had their brains blown, or become desensitised to everything to the point of becoming robotic. I like youngsters to be just youngsters - as long as they have seen traffic, walked over poles, had bin bags thrown at them etc a couple of times they will be fine - it's making this sort of thing into a training programme for a youngster that isn't even a yearling that ends up with problems.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by RoughRider View Post
    I wouldn't call that overhandling though - that is just basic handling. I have seen people with youngsters who will spend hours each day doing 'training' with them and it seems to end up with horses that are either bolshy, have had their brains blown, or become desensitised to everything to the point of becoming robotic. I like youngsters to be just youngsters - as long as they have seen traffic, walked over poles, had bin bags thrown at them etc a couple of times they will be fine - it's making this sort of thing into a training programme for a youngster that isn't even a yearling that ends up with problems.
    I agree with you, but I went by what you said above about handling a few times a week above... I think the more basic handling whether its for feed or just for a groom the better!! I have shown my youngsters quite a lot of things to prep them for shows etc to limit their stress and they are all well behaved and well rounded horses

    Their beauty captures every eye, a gift from God for all mankind, they lend us wings so we may fly, to ride a horse is to ride the sky

    Touchstone Floinn - Purebred graded ID stallion available for stud.

    Rest In Peace Minstrel. 08.03.1998 - 31.01.2013 I will love you forever my own black beauty.
    Rest in Peace Stranduff Nichol 08.05.2014 - 19.11.2015 Goodnight little man.

  7. #7

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    I'm looking forward to making a strong bond like I have with Bailey and hopefully getting on well with this new little man all a HUGE learning curve but I'm looking forward to the experience


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  8. #8
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    Expect.......everything! I got bobby at 17 months :-) straight from his breeder. He hasn't worn a head collar a lot. Had traveled once and never been near mares. He had an hour and half journey to me which he did like a pro. He swapped head collars in the middle of the car park!!!! Then lead like a donkey to the field. The following day he was bitted which he took to like a duck to water. Bobby and I have always had a strong bond. The only time he has been out of my care was when he went to RVC to have his testicles removed (one was retained) and since that day I've had nothing but issues. It took me 6 weeks to be able to get a headcollar on and off him like a normal horse and to this day I still cannot get a bridle anywhere near his face :-( hes petrified f it. I really do not know what they did to him but he remembers it! Going to do some join up with him tomorrow and this week to see if I can build his that in me (although he follows me like a dog. Canters to gate as soon as he sees me and neighs at me he has not trust with the bit)

    I'm looking forward to showing him in October (hopefully) and December then this time next year looking at backing him slowly and gently. Ive had some nasty accidents resulting is some nasty fractures inc spine from my old horse. I'm hoping I can would bobby to be everything I want in a horse! Good luck with your baby :-)

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  9. #9

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    I've had lots of youngsters (and bred a fair few foals myself). I tend to 'specialise' in untouched/wild babies coming from Ireland, Wales or the New Forest etc.

    The one thing you need is patience. Do not let anyone pressure you or tell you that your horse should be doing xyz by a certain age etc - take everything at a pace you are both comfortable with. I completely agree with the "do not over handle" comment - this is very important! Let them be babies. It is one thing to get them used to being brushed, having their feet trimmed etc, but they really do not need to learn about having a saddle on/bit in their mouth/long rein from an early age. Horses are not stupid, they learn these things easily enough later on, and often are more mentally prepared for it at 3/4 than as a foal or yearling.

    That said, I do bit youngsters, purely to get them out to a few shows - I do no major 'practice' for this or make a big deal of it (so many people over analyse things, use bit butter or syrup or all sorts of weird and wonderful concoctions) I will just slip a bit into their mouths for a few minutes, let them pick at grass or hay or whatever, and then take it out. I've not yet had one with a problem.

    I do a bit of loading practice as a youngster - again, this means taking your time and doing everything quietly. No shouting, pulling, pushing etc - just let them wander onto the lorry/trailer in their own time, have something to eat, and wander off. This means they never associate the lorry/trailer with unpleasant things. Far too many people lose their patience and try to bully horses into stables/onto lorries and then wonder why they have issues!

    My biggest pet hate with youngsters is seeing them rugged. Youngsters (of any breed) do not need it! They are perfectly able to grow a thick coat to protect them. They learn how to eat to maintain body temperature, or run about to warm up... If you visit any stud in Newmarket, you will not see a single rug on foals/yearlings/youngsters - full TB very valuable babies can go rugless! I have a horse who was overugged as a baby (he is now 21!) and he is hopeless at regulating his body temperature because of it; needs HW rugs in the summer if it so much as drizzles!

    As I've already said, patience really is the key. Ideally a baby will be happy to have their feet picked out/trimmed, be led about politely, used to being brushed and walking in/out the stable or on/off the lorry. Other than that there is not a lot more they need to do until they are 3yo IMO.

  10. #10

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    I'm planning on just pottering about with him and getting to know him. I've just had my first(and only!) baby less than 2 weeks ago so I'm working the horses around his demands Bailey will happily stand in a field most of the week and come out for a wee go round the school or a little jack but I wanted to make sure the time constraints wouldn't put me at a huge disadvantage with Tjor. As long as I know he's having fun and getting to know me slowly as the lady who comes with treats and for pets who he can trust to do the big scary things with eventually.
    I've done a bit of research into colts (as I've only had real experience with mares) and spoke to people with far more experience than me and so far everything says to leave him with his bits and bobs till he's about 2 years old. Have many people done this?
    Id love as many personal experiences as possible.
    Also what would people suggest getting him? (Headcollar, lead rope etc.)


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