View Full Version : How young is too young
1st Feb 2002, 10:14 PM
I have an eight-month-old stud colt that is just finishing up his halter work. Is he too young to start in a round pen? Others I talk with say yes. He is still very shy around other people except me. I still need to do a sacking out with him and spook in place, should I do that first? He's just going to be a pleasure riding horse for me. If I have him cut, when should I do this? I have two other horses in close proximity, two mares, five yr old and three yr old, just across the fence. Any comments? By the way, he's a grulla....
1st Feb 2002, 11:19 PM
What do you mean by "sacking out" ?
1st Feb 2002, 11:21 PM
8 months is far too young to be doing over-rails on a line, saddling, etc. He may be old enough for bitting, though, but wait until he is at least 2 to try training him to be ridden.
1st Feb 2002, 11:41 PM
He is a cutie.
Ringlass, sacking out is when you put, like, darn this is hard to explain. Basically you take like, well, sacks, put the horses leg in them, and hook/tie whatever, them. That is a really bad explanation, maybe Spotdot could explain better when she is back on, or Outrider, he seems good at explaining stuff. I would do the sacking out and stuff before you start working in a round pen. How old he needs to be for working in a round pen really depends on how big the round pen is and what you want to do in it. If you wanna do like free lunging, and the pen isn't too large then I would wait. The stress of going around in circles is very hard on young legs. Ususally there are lunge line classes for yearlings, although I still think this is a bit too young. A lot of people do it though, and I haven't really had any experience with it, so what do I know? :( I wouldn't worry about bitting him yet. You have plenty of time to do that. You can start working on doing stuff for in-hand trail class, but it sounds like you may have already started that, as it is often included in a lot of halter training.
As for gelding, the general rule is: If you cut them earlier, they will grow taller, but leaner, and if you cut them later, they will be shorter but stockier. I would not really geld him until he is at least a yearling, but you can do it any time after he has dropped.
2nd Feb 2002, 12:00 AM
He's too young to ride, that I understand. I just wanted to know if my work with him is progressing. He was completely untouchable when I got him and now he will stand for me, I can pick up his feet, groom him, back away, turn both pulling and pushing. I just haven't started working him out on a longer rope yet, but some of that is because he is still afraid of everyone but me. Do I need someone else to help out to get used to several people?
His daddy is a beautiful black paint and his mother is a lineback dun. Even with winter hair, his back stripe is very pronounced and his tiger stripes on his legs are even showing up through all the winter hair. He has one white foot otherwise he would be perfect for what I wanted in color.
2nd Feb 2002, 12:11 AM
He is really beautiful.
Of course we didn't think that you were going to start riding him. I definately think that you should start getting him used to other people. When do you say pleasure horse do you mean, like shows in western/english pleasure, or do you just mean pleasure as in riding around the barn and on trails and stuff? Either way, I would start working on some stuff like in hand trail. Get him used to walking over a bridge and a tarp on the ground. Hang a tarp up between two high things and have him walk under it. If he doesn't load into a trailer work on that as it is so much easier when they are young. Get him used to the hose and getting bathed,when it gets warmer of course, and start getting him used to the clippers. Just expose him to as much stimuli as possible.
2nd Feb 2002, 11:22 AM
oh he is lovely..his colouring is my favourite colouring for horses..i use to ride alot of polish koniks that were that colour..and my dream icelandic would be that colour too..btu ehm beggers cant be choosers and i have decided that a specific coloured horse would just be too picky
2nd Feb 2002, 07:00 PM
People still do sacking out? I thought that was considered cruel now?
2nd Feb 2002, 07:12 PM
Plenty of people still do it. I have never heard anyone refer to it as cruel.
2nd Feb 2002, 11:51 PM
As a general rule I'm not very keen on doing too much with babies. Yes, by all means get them used to the important stuff, like being led, having their feet handled and so on. But they should be allowed to have their childhood. There's plenty of time for grown-up stuff when they're older. There seems to be a trend nowadays to do as much as you can with foals as soon as possible, lord knows why.
All babies are different, and if yours is on the nervy side then I'd be a bit careful. Things like sacking out can be quite traumatic, and to my mind there are better, quieter ways of approaching these things. A horse learns confidence through being guided to make its own decisions, not through being forced to accept things.
4th Feb 2002, 11:34 AM
i believe in introducing foals to the stuff you have to do on a regular basis like feet and leading, but i think they need to be allowed to act like foals up to the age 2 otherwise you are taking that away from them and they can become harder to train in the end!!
like letting children act like children and letting them play and have fun!!!
eeek i just notice ros said exactly the same thing, well i have just echoed your point!!!! hehehe
6th Feb 2002, 09:08 PM
I've never heard of sacking out. Why do people do it?
6th Feb 2002, 09:15 PM
mainly to get them desensitised to stuff, not spooky!!!
but it can give them a hell of a scare in the first place!!!
6th Feb 2002, 09:23 PM
That sounds cruel:(
6th Feb 2002, 09:25 PM
Sounds cruel to me too, Elfin.:(
6th Feb 2002, 09:35 PM
yeah i perfer the new style of gaining trust teaching your horse like this, and talking though your horses language!!
i have Richard Maxwells book 'from birth to backing' it's my dictionary and it's fantastic
6th Feb 2002, 09:37 PM
That sounds so much nicer, than forcing the foal/horse to get used to things :)
6th Feb 2002, 09:52 PM
I always thought sacking out was cruel too
You could sensitise a horse instead of habituating it doing it that was. I prefer the gentler methods too
6th Feb 2002, 10:08 PM
My baby is about the same age. SHe will lead very well, and is happy with a bit in her mouth. I don't apply any pressure on the bit, at the moment it's just there. And only for a few minutes at a time. She is learning to be led with the bit in her mouth, but the rope is just attached to the bridle not the bit itself.
I also can get her to lunge a little, if there is someone else nearby to walk around with her. If not she just goes crazy and rears up a lot and wants to play. As long as she is being walked with (but not led) she will walk round and is beginning to get the hang of trot.
I have no intention of asking her to do anything more complicated for a very long time, but as she seems to enjoy this, and is learning fast I'm just letting her guide me with what she's happy to do.
I have a book about teaching horses to do tricks, like counting and bowing etc, so I might start working on some of these with her. She's only going to make 12 hands or thereabouts, so she'll be a really sweet kids pony if she can do some tricks as well!
6th Feb 2002, 10:48 PM
I think there are two important aspects to all this.
First, babies can be stimulated by games as long as the games are fun and there's no serious pressure. Young horses have quite enough to think about as they learn to be a well-mannered member of their own herd, without having other stuff piled on them. So games that are fun are OK, and basic manners with humans are OK too, but that should be enough. If Ponyvet feels her foal enjoys a little bit of lungeing here and there, she (Ponyvet) obviously knows when to stop before it becomes too much like hard work: others may not be so good at judging, and for them it may be better to avoid that sort of play - would you agree, Ponyvet?
Second, if you give youngsters the idea that humans can be played with in the same way as other horses, you've got a big problem (accent on the word BIG) as they get older. So boisterous stuff you might do with your labrador puppy is definitely out! (You may laugh, but I've seen the consequences.)
15th Feb 2002, 02:50 PM
Sacking out is an 'old school' method of training. More about dominating the horse than the join-up process etc. Personally I wouldn't do it, I haven't done it on my youngster, she is just gradually getting used to scary things, the last thing I want to do is terrify her. But in saying that, if your horse trusts you too much it may lose respect for you and treat you as a playmate, its tricky.
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