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8 month old colt...problems

We bought a colt Christmas day. He just turned 8 months old and normally has a very sweet personality. We have two other horses but we can't put them together because they don't like the baby. Our gelding thinks he is over the herd (my mare who is 7 months pregnant) and neither one of them want the baby around. The only time we tried putting them together to see how they would do our older horses chased him all around and tried to bite him. They can see each other when we put them in their stalls at night and when we turn them out during the day they are in pastures next to each other. When he come close they still are aggressive toward him. My husband ponied him while riding his gelding the other day and he tried to run around in front of the gelding twice and rear up.

Our colt has started trying to nibble alot and has bitten my son and my husband. We are working with this problem using some of the techniques you mentioned earlier, but yesterday after my husband had worked with the colt in the arena he walked up to me like he wanted to be petted. Just as he got to me he rared up and his foot caught me on the shoulder. I immediately grabbed my head to cover it up and went to the ground. He went over me and I guess his back feet caught me and flipped me backward. Needless to say, I was sore and startled. Is this normal behavior for a stud colt? Is he lonesome and wanting to play because he doesn't have a pasture mate? He wasn't acting like he was mad or attacking me. This has me puzzled and we need to make sure this doesn't happen again. Please give me any advice you have.



Just briefly. This is normal behavior for young horses, especially 'colts.' Nothing new here. I think you are asking too much of the colt too fast. Young horses like this ideally should be with their peers mostly and left basically alone by humans. Humans generally don't do well with foals like this as the babies do so much better with horses of their own age at this stage and most humans do not really understand what is asking too much from foals. Their attention span is extremely limited and will begin to battle (because they become afraid easily) if taken beyond a few minutes in any sort of activity. Generally, we should not attempt to do much other than very basic things for basic handling with horses this young. Haltering, a bit of leading, handling feet, brushing and maybe, just maybe beginning to yield hind quarters and move away from a little pressure. I really believe you are asking way too much from this foal . This is creating what will quickly be an extremely 'bad' situation. One that will cause the colt to become dangerous quickly. It is normal for them to bite, spin and kick, rear and strike. This is mostly normal play as they would with other horses. You are trying to deny them natural/normal behavior because it does not fit into your human fun with the horse. Allow the colt to be a colt and do not expect obediance, ever......Become a leader and good guide to feelings of trust and safety.

You really do need more knowledge about horses (especially colt and foal handling). Please, please stop trying to second guess what is OK to put this colt through. You are setting patterns now that will very difficult to over come. Once the colt is a yearling, more training can happen. I would really back off here and stop imposing what you think the colt should be doing upon it. Read up on foal handling and what is normal for colts. Too much info to give you in a simple email.

Perhaps purchase a dvd or two about it. Either way, get more education and do right by this foal. Please do not try to guess what is correct. You have a big responsibility here. Do not think that you must impose your will on this horse. It is supposed to be a partnership ultimately. There should not be dominence involved. You are it's great parents now and have to really give your most appropriate best for the situation . Don't expect so much. Allow this baby to be a baby. Good Luck.

Sincerely, Franklin

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