Nowhere is the course for a horse's future laid more than in the training of young horses. To promote the "young wild ones" from the beginning in their sense is a special focus in equestrian sport and requires a knowing, skilful hand.
From rearing to training, it is desirable to support the youngsters in accordance with their natural disposition.
If solid foundations are laid for the horses in training, the later cooperation from handling to breaking in to later sport will be a pleasure for both.
With our tips we provide you with a small guideline that shows how a young horse can be well supported in its future life.
An important guiding principle is: Always work with the horses - not against them!
After all, the goal is a happy, performance-ready and long-lasting horse and an equally happy, satisfied rider. What do you think of that? Right thinking, isn't it?
Tip 1: Good conditions are important
A horse's life begins with careful breeding. Here, above all, a great deal of value should be placed on naturalness.
From birth, in the presence of the mother, on the yearling paddock until the sale, the keeping conditions as well as feeding and handling have a strong influence on the health and character of the animal.
If you want to buy a young horse, get an idea of the prevailing conditions.
As far as health is concerned, it makes a lot of sense to have the growing horse checked physically to see if it is ready for young horse training. The physical and psychological development is not the same for every young horse and can even vary from breed to breed. So late developers must also be given the time they need.
Horses in training should also be fed appropriately. From an early age, it is important to make sure that their body really gets what it needs to grow. Adding a supplementary feed to support the musculoskeletal system can be beneficial for them. A knowledgeable vet or nutritionist will certainly be able to help with what exactly yours needs.
In the herd, a youngster is also being raised. This character training is completely free, not time-consuming and extremely effective. Thanks to natural social behaviour, the behaviour towards humans will be much better. And body and health additionally benefit from this species-appropriate rearing.
Tip 2: The ABC of foaling
Early practice makes perfect - this is indeed also true for our horses. One of the first steps is to get the little one used to voice and touch in a gentle way.
If the little horse can already be touched everywhere, it is easy to continue teaching it things like haltering and grooming, giving hooves or leading. It learns that touch is pleasant and that "its human" means it no harm. If you work in a confirming way with a lot of praise and without pressure, the young animal will quickly master these basic things.
The ABC of foaling also includes getting used to the stick or whip. Through horsemanship you can show the horse that it has nothing to fear from you and your equipment by repeatedly moving the groundwork stick rhythmically to and fro. Similar to your stroking hand, you finally guide the crop or stick to the horse. The "friendly game" is finished.
Tip 3: Give time
A "child horse" is allowed to take its time. Whether it's the foal's ABC, lunging, the farrier's or the vet's - always be patient and give your young horse the time it needs.
If you give it this time often and gladly, it will quickly trust you in return.
Tip 4: Short reprises
Your horse learns best in small, short steps. As with children, the concentration span of a young horse is minimal.
It's better to do a little bit several times a day than to work on something for a long time! After all, you have all the time in the world. Even later with ground work with the horse or the age-appropriate horsemanship exercises - a few minutes is always enough for the beginning!
Tip 5: Really acknowledge the positive!
Sure, if your sweetheart does something right, you praise him. Pass!
Another level is, if something is done well in a short exercise session, to praise him and immediately release him from the work completely. Give him his free time with other dogs and food and rolling around etc... again.
This is also part of fair horsemanship between equine and human. The little fellow remembers this approach. Let's call it young horse training with a feel-good effect. It works.
Tip 6: Do not neglect preparatory "work" for horses in training!
For this, horsemanship (e.g. the 7 games according to Parelli) and/or ground work with the horse is good, which on the one hand gymnastics the animal and on the other hand continues to build trust (e.g. composure training, walking with a companion horse, hand horse riding). It is ideal if you have an expert at hand who can look over your shoulder and encourage you.
They can also tell you what type of character your hoofed animal belongs to. Introverted and cautious or perhaps extroverted, playful and curious?
There are dos and don`ts for each type, which a Parelli instructor can explain to you. Misunderstandings between horses and owners can be minimised considerably with this knowledge.
Tip 7: Self-assessment - be honest with yourself
Riding and being able to train are two different things. Do you have constant contact with a trainer? Do you have riding lessons several times a week? Do you prefer to ride horses of different ages and abilities and practise ground work with the horse? If so, you have the right qualifications to be able to break in your horse yourself, preferably with guidance.
However, are you unsure about some things?
Perhaps you don't yet have a lot of knowledge in ground work with the horse and don't feel saddle-firm enough in some situations?
Then you should take heart and put your young friend into training.
If you find a friendly, conscientious and supportive rider, this will not affect the training of your young horse. The young animal can be properly encouraged and challenged. Ideally, with you as the owner at his side.
Because: Good training always includes the horse owner/rider!
Conclusion: Training young horses
Whether in the foal ABC, in ground work with the horse or in breaking in and in training - the main focus should always be on fair handling and the natural needs of the animal.
This is young horse training and in addition genuine horsemanship, which all horses will understand well.