Ingrid Klimke on starting work with foals
In the past, coaches often took horses into training, starting with the foal. While the foal grew and developed, he was taught the basic rules, which subsequently greatly facilitated the start of work under the saddle. Nowadays, most prefer to buy three and four year old already hackneyed horses. At the same time, the buyer often has no idea what happened to this horse before the purchase, as she worked at a young age before the ride. Taking care of a young horse, you will learn not only how to feed and care for her, but also how to approach her training in the future.
A three-year-old horse raised among people trusts his entourage. Therefore, it will be easier to train when she becomes older – she will be more social than a horse who grew up “in the field.” However, despite this initial “advantage”, experience shows that horses who spent more time “in the wild” are as well trained in the long run as those who were raised “in the family”. The “wild” people are at first afraid, and they need more attention, but as soon as they get used to trusting people, they become very reliable.
It is extremely difficult to win the trust of a young horse with which you have been mistreated or mistreated. With them, of course, it is not easy during basic training – you will have to gradually and with caution find out what problems they have to overcome them. At the same time, we should not forget that if you, by gaining the trust of a horse, you treat it too softly, you also run the risk of facing problems. Of course, the method of handling a horse is a personal matter for each rider, but you cannot try to humanize a horse.
Training begins with the foal age
A good breeder lays the foundation of trust, properly growing and interacting properly with young horses. And it prepares them for the subsequent work under the rider.
Training begins with the foal age. The first days and weeks establish the basis for the further development of a trusting working partnership between a man and a horse. And here it is not the hours of aimless play with the foal that are important, but the winning of his trust. It begins with the training of foals to life in a stable. The foals are naturally inquisitive and will try to get in touch with a person after some time. This process can be accelerated by adding a foal of courage. Drop down to be the same height as him, and wait until the foal comes to you. Contact will develop. First you need to stay with the foal of one “height” and stroke it. Then try to hold the foal in place (place your left hand under his neck, and hug your right around the croup). So the foal learns that freedom can be limited. His innate desire for freedom must be slowly but surely yielded to control.
As soon as the foal begins to allow you to hold it for a short time, it will be possible to familiarize it with a halter (it should not be too large), which is fastened around the neck. The advantage is that you don’t have to touch the sensitive area of the ears. Wearing a halter, praise the foal. This is enough for the first lesson. When the foal is confident to take a halter, you can try to guide him.
To start, try to just go along with the foal – let him go himself, do not pull him. This can be done in the stable. The next step is to bring a mare from the stable to the nearest levada for a tombour. The foal must be in a halter. The first exit can excite a young mare, so you may need helpers. These short walks should be fun for the foal, and besides, strengthen his self-confidence.
Therefore, in these first days, when you drive it, caution is especially important. Do not pull it on tombour. If the foal stops, the person leading the mare must go forward without stopping. The further the mare leaves the foal, the more incentive he has to follow her. A person who leads a foal should not turn around and look at him. He should stop and wait for the foal to follow the mother.
As soon as the foal’s confidence is won and he goes, the baby will need to be praised immediately. A short word will suffice. Excessive stroking and caress at this age are dangerous, because they cause the foal to want to play, and this may cause him to start biting you, which is undesirable.
The colts are curious. They want to feel everything and try for a tooth – a halter, tshombur, and sometimes the mane and tail of the mother. Even your hand will be interesting to him. If you allow the foal to play with you, you will most likely find you have a few bruises. You must distinguish inquisitive tingling from a vicious or dominant bite.