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Discuss I need help with a six month old colt. at the Horse Training forum - Horse Forums.

6 month old colt we bought as a weanling. When we bought him he had ...
  1. #1
    Senior Member+ mistysangel0's Avatar
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    I need help with a six month old colt.

    6 month old colt we bought as a weanling. When we bought him he had never been touched by people before so we spent the first two months we had him letting him get use to and trust people.

    Now he has had two leading lessons and he will plant his feet and not move. He is stronger than me so there is not much I can do about it.
    How can I teach him how to lead???

  2. #2
    Senior Member+ StarfireArizona's Avatar
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    It is so much easier to start them leading when they are very little. I started working with my colt when he was just a couple days old. At 6 months he is surely going to outweigh you

    The best method to get him to want to move forward is to pressure him from behind.....and a butt rope is probably the best way. I am sure you know what that is, but just in case you're not familiar with it, you take a long lead & attach it to the halter (a rope halter works best) & then take the rest of it & drape it around his rump so it falls around his upper leg....holding both ends. Lightly pull the halter end of the lead, and if he doesn't move, then pull on the butt rope end. Just be very careful for if he has never felt this before he could bolt forward....and with his size he could hurt you. Be sure to stand behind his shoulder near his ribcage.

    Try ASKING him by lightly pulling on the halter end, and then TELL him by pulling on the butt part. Do this a few times and he will figure out if he moves forward when asked that discomfort around his rump will go away.

    Another very good thing to work on is getting him to yield his hindquarters & forequarters. Get him to the point where if you even walk toward his hind end he will move it away. If at any time he balks at moving forward, all you need do is take a couple steps toward his hindquarters & once he has unlocked his knees & steps slightly to the side, you can easily get him to move forward.
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    Senior Member+ Mare's Avatar
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    It really helps if you put a butt rope on them. Pressure on the lead rope and butt rope as soon as a step is taken relase pressure on the ropes. It works like a dream. You can use a lead rope to use as a butt rope.

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    You will not win a pulling match with him, so don't even start. He will learn to ignore pressure on his head.

    Turn him sideways. If you start pulling too hard, take the end of your long lead rope and start swinging it towards his butt. As SOON as his butt at least moves over, reward him. Leading, as with almost EVERYTHING that goes "wrong", is about getting the butt moving.

    Then, when he at least gets his butt moving, don't let go of his head until he also does something with his front feet (staying on the ground of course ). Progress until you get forward movement, and build from there.
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    My friend has a 6 month old and she told me she used a butt rope to get her filly to move forward, after a couple hours of fighting with her, she said she moved forward but could not lead her. A couple days later when I was there I took the horse/ lead shank and used about 3 lbs of pressure till the horse moved forward, and when she did I awarded her with a scratch and then we tried it again and again. Within 10 minutes that horse was leading right at my side. As soon as you see a "try" award your horse with a quick pet and continue.

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    First question, have you allowed the horse to drag the rope yet?

    I'm big on doing this because it teaches problem solving, not afraid of the rope around the feet, AND when pressure occurs, it is nothing to be afraid of. If you move, pressure releases without it associating anything bad with you. I do this a few days before I do any leading lessons.

    Then my lessons include a pressure on the lead, pressure on the butt rope, one step TOTAL release. Before the end of the hour, they are leading without me pulling on them.

    If she can't get him to move with a butt rope, first question, does she know what she is doing?

    I STRONGLY Suggest getting a professional to help. BAD lead training can lead to a TON of bad problems that are hard to fix.
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    Senior Member MyhorseAnnie's Avatar
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    if you take the lead rope,when your leading him, and start like...grab it with one hand and pull,then as soon as you get to the end (only start a little ways away from you) put your other and and do same thing,keep doing that,it will make him get off balenced if you do it right,ive done it before,it really works. =]

  8. #8
    Senior Member+ mistysangel0's Avatar
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    Thanks for your help everyone.
    When I trained my filly to lo lead she was only only a couple days old and I didn't have this probelm. I used a but rope and she was little like less than 100lbs.
    I thought it was worthless to use a butt rope on a large foal but I guess I was wrong.

    Again thanks so much for your help

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    Set the horse up to do well. By that I mean you aren't going to win by just pulling forward, and thus the horse will be doing the incorrect thing. You have set yourself and the horse up to fail. Instead, without looking at the horse, pull the horse sideways. At first he'll just give you his head, release the pressure on this a few times and praise. This will off-balance him and he'll have to take a step to the side to balance himself. This will be his success. As soon as he does this, praise him like he just won the triple crown. Keep pulling him to the side and he'll keep taking little steps. Zig zag from side to side. Don't look at him when you're moving forward. If you're still having a hard time getting him to move, swing the back of your rope or use a whip to tap his butt to get it unstuck. At first you can't expect any kind of forward movement, you're just wanting any movement he'll offer. The biggest reward you can offer at this stage is release of pressure. He may not understand praise and pets mean good things, but he'll figure that out pretty quick.

    Somebody already suggested it, but letting them wear a lead rope for awhile helps tons when it comes to learning to give to pressure.
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    First gain trust second teach how to lead. A youngster will test you many times but you can't teach anything until he accepts you.

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