When do you start halter training your foals?

Discussion in 'Breeding Horses' started by lorradaux, Jan 12, 2014.

  1. lorradaux

    lorradaux New Member

    I have a gorgeous (yes I'm a tad biased :p ) 7 week old Welsh D x RP colt. My plan was to start getting him used to the halter when he was around 2 weeks old, but unfortunately I managed to pinch a nerve in my back when he was only 1 1/2 weeks. Thinking it can't take THAT long surely for my back to get better I've just been holding off and giving scratches and cuddles that won't hurt my back, but I know I need to get him done soon. I did teach him that he could be 'held' and not get away when he was a little tacker. He is growing like a weed though and getting stronger and bigger and has a very good flight reflex which I think he gets from his mumma being such a grouch at dinner time lol

    Any advice on whether it would be ok to leave him a while longer? or should I try and get someone in to do him for me (problem coz I live in the middle of nowhere...)? Curse the timing of my back :(
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2014
  2. We don't touch foals until we wean them off (at 3-5 months old). Never had any problems halterbreaking them:) , ours are big and strong but not flighty or silly.
    Do you have some one to give you a hand?
  3. Caroline

    Caroline Well-known Member

    Lots easier to halter break when they are little. Early ground work is a good thing. Imagine trying to handle an older foal if it is injured and not halter broken?? Vet is going to have a difficult time treating it. **)
  4. NLEC

    NLEC Well-known Member

    Prior to 7 days old :)
  5. Yorkie

    Yorkie Well-known Member

    I know that Black Orchid Stud puts a halter on her foals a day or two after being born and a very small hay bale yarn on the end.

  6. cobbie

    cobbie Gold Member

    My filly is 7 weeks old now too, I first haltered her a little under 2 weeks old, she now leads really well and can be handled all over and bathed etc, she is quite a bold and opinionated foal and if I had of waited with her I would of had some trouble I think, much easier to do it when she was little!! This is my first foal but from my experience with her, i'd get onto it sooner rather than later.
  7. wattle6180

    wattle6180 Gold Member

    At 2 weeks. They get a fair bit of handling in the first 24hrs with igG, enema (where required), etc, and then left alone with Mum until 2 weeks.
  8. celestialdancer

    celestialdancer Gold Member

    I halter trained my boy at about three weeks, and wish I'd done it sooner! E4E and I had a hell of a time getting the halter on him! (He's the coolest dude out usually!) But now he will shove his nose into any halter you're holding in the anticipation of going somewhere! :)

    I def prefer earlier, the filly foal at work has a halter and a short lead on her but still takes two of us, two fence sides and her mother to be able to catch the terror *sighs*
  9. I am not comfortable leaving halters on young babies, it is not safe. May be that's why we opt on handling them when we wean them in a stall.
    But no doubt it would be heaps easier to halterbreak when they are little.:)
  10. lorradaux

    lorradaux New Member

    Yeah i was planning on doing him young, but I pinched this nerve when he was 1 1/2 weeks old. He has been well handled and is very friendly although quite flighty at the moment. I was hoping my back would be well and truly better by now and he would be done. I'm thinking in the circumstances it might be better for all if I wait until he is yarded at weaning and do him then. He is a good eater and I may start getting him used to the halter sooner with some good old food bribes, but shall see how I go. I'm not at all comfortable leaving a halter on him out in the paddock at the moment.

    Fingers crossed my back is better sooner rather than later and I can get cracking!

    Thanks for all your input so far:)
  11. If you are worried he'd be too strong for you, wean him at 3 months old, providing he is eating hay and hard feed:)
  12. Lokenzo

    Lokenzo Gold Member

    I didn't like the idea of leaving halters on either. Larnie was about a week old when she had her first leading lesson. She is 3 1/2 months now, leads, has halter on and off no worries, has flyveil on and off, picks her feet up etc. The Dental Vet couldn't get over how well behaved she was while being held as her mum had her teeth done then got her microchip, no sedatives or twitch or anything! I won't do too much more with her between now and weaning and I have always kept sessions as short as possible.
  13. celestialdancer

    celestialdancer Gold Member

    I don't like it either, but after a half an hour mission in the 'stable' and wrenching my back, there is no way in hell I am taking that halter off until I can walk up to her for a pat confidently without her running away. There are no bubby facilities there unfortunately as it's only just being set up, and I'm not risking myself/owner/other people/foal for the sake of catching it :(

    That's why I had Whisk done so early, and now he's a confident and happy little man who loves his cuddles and excursions **)
  14. ClubIgnite

    ClubIgnite Well-known Member

    We always get one on within the first week but never leave it on, do a week or so, lead, pickup feet, then they have a bit more at 3 months( of which time it is almost re-doing it) and then again at weaning 5-6 months when they are also taught to tie up/float. I'd probably do a bit more earlier if I had the chance, but when we have a number of them this works the easiest.
  15. Thatest

    Thatest New Member

    A foals training really should begin from day one. I always had halters on my babies by the end of their first week, back when I worked on the stud farm. About 5-10 minutes a day were spent on halter training and handling each foal so that by the time they were weaned they were confident and easy to handle. One of my trimming clints has done the same with the recent addition to her farm. At 6 weeks old the filly was halter broke enough to be led quietly out of sight of her mother for a few minutes without either of them getting overly worried and she had better manners than some of my more mature subjects when it came to having her feet filed for the very first time.

    Start them early and you won't have all of the drama later on. Your horse will grow up to be a pleasure to work with.

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