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by Developer Services

Training Tip of the Week: Don’t let your foal get pushy.


Letting foals get pushy and dominant is the biggest mistake I see people make with young horses. Someone will raise a foal in their backyard and treat him like a big dog. That’s all well and good when the foal is little. When he rears up, nibbles your clothes, kicks out or squeals and runs away, it’s all kind of cute. That behavior soon turns into being dangerous when he’s 500 pounds and eventually 1,000 pounds. That’s when the owner shows up at a tour and says, “My horse bites me and attacks me. What should I do?” The answer is the same thing they should have done with the horse when he was a foal – move his feet forwards, backwards, left and right, but now that the horse is an adult, they have their work cut out for them.

If you gain the foal’s respect when he’s young, he’ll never have a chance to develop those bad behaviors. He’ll never learn that it’s OK to bite, kick or run away from you. I like that people get their foals quiet, I just don’t like when they try to turn them into lap dogs with no respect for human beings. Because in that situation, it’s not if you’re going to get hurt, it’s just a matter of when and how bad.