Young horse training -part 1: There is a new baby in the stable

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On Instagram I asked what you would like to read about and the most frequent answer was young horse training -so let’s start right at the very beginning.

What a nice coincidence that there is a new youngster in my stable -so you can follow us on our journey!

Esquire (Nessie) is a 3yo Westphalian by Escolar – Lord Loxley – Ferragamo, he was broken this spring, then gelded and afterwards spent some months on the meadows to recover and grow. 3 weeks ago he came to our stable. As we live quite high up in the mountains (exactly 1.200 metres above sea level) every new arrival gets his time to get used to the climate as well as the new environment and the new people. This means that during our first week together we take our time to get to know each other. For me this is so important, to learn how the new young horse reacts to different situations, which will make training later so much easier.

So the first days are quite unspectacular:

First the new arrival will get enough quiet to sleep and recover after the long journey. Then we will start with basic things like getting to know the grooming/wash box -can you tie the youngster already or will he need a second person to hold him and show him that no horrific things will happen. Sometimes water can be scary, sometimes even only a drawer that is opened to get the grooming kit. Also lifting the legs to groom the hooves is something a youngster has to learn.

The most basic exercise but also the most important is being led on halter. There you can train obedience and trust. I like to walk with the youngster just on loose rope up and down the aisle having him walking beside me (not in front not behind), stopping when I stop, walking when I walk without being distracted by the other horses. If this works we will proceed to the indoors (most of the youngsters do not know a big indoor arena nor huge mirrors) and take our time to look at everything. Depending on how the horse acted in the stable I sometimes change the halter to a caveson, especially with young stallions, to have a bit more impact if needed. After that we will walk outside and have a look around.

Nessie is a very cool youngster, he was quite unimpressed by his new surroundings and he is very well-behaved in handling. Although he is quite green he learned within a few days not to rub his head on me while I was trying to lift his hoof to clean it and not to try to eat the brushes, his bell boots or my ponytail *lol…

Before I start working the horses I always have my basic maintenance program, which means: farrier, vet, saddler. Most of the horses that come to my stable for training will need their hooves done, as well as their teeth and in my opinion these are the utmost important things before starting the training. Same important is to find a fitting saddle. My youngsters usually do not get their own new saddle from the very start as they tend to grow and change a lot within the first months, but to have the saddle checked and fitted by a professional is inevitable.

You all know me by now, so the next step is obvious: beauty program! This is something for the optics but a nice haircut and a groomed tail is just part of the new life.

So we are ready to start off, read more in part 2!

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