Foal Handling

Correct handling from the beginning can be the difference between an easy horse to handle and a difficult horse to handle. The first few session will set your foal up to grow in confidence and learn to respond to pressure or it can set your foal up  to react and be scared about pressure or to learn to lean on pressure.

Your foal will, no doubt, have its own personality. This will be influenced by breeding, mares traits and, to a lesser degree, the stallions traits but it can also be greatly influenced by the first few training sessions he/she receives. This doesn't just mean formal training sessions. It means with every interaction with people. Right from the start they will be starting to learn. They can either learn good, useful things or they can learn what you don't really want them to know.

From the beginning your foal should be learning to respond to pressure, calmly, rather than reacting and being worried or scared about pressure. It is very easy, when starting halter training, to inadvertantly have your foal flip over. They have a highly developed flight response and will easily flip over if too much pressure is applied to their head. I have developed a safe and reliable method of halter training that not only bipasses this tendency but also sets them up for a life of soft, easy handling.  The other lesson you want them to learn early is to have their feet picked up. Again setting them up early leads to a stress free life. 

All training sessions I do are age specific and will always take into account the level your foal is at. I have no expectations as to what they should be doing or how they should be responding in the first sessions etc. The sayng "Take your time so it takes less time" could never be more important than when handling foals and I don't believe there is a more important time in a young horses life than the early training. You really are setting them up for life. I am happy to offer advice when you're starting out with your new foal as it's not something that can be easily be learnt from videos or blogs although you can get some valuable information from these sources. Sometimes it helps to discuss your specific circumstances which we can do either by phone, text, pm or join our fb group and ask there. Rainbow Valley Horsemanship Group