View Full Version : Help needed with weanling

29-05-07, 11:36 AM
Hi everyone

I was after some tips/ idea on getting my weanling used to having his back legs touched. He was fine up until about 5 weeks ago when he hurt his back leg and hasnt let anyone touch it since!

His leg has healed etc and because he hurt it we used to be able to do anythign with his feet/legs hes had the farrier out to him etc with no probs. Now if we touch his leg he stomps or kicks out!!!

He is very quiet and has been handled since birth but was weaned 4 weeks ago and he went to a friends place and he was going to teach him to tie up correctly etc but they have been in the process of moving and he didnt handle him at all! It really is amazing how much 4 weeks can change a young horse!

So ive bought him back closer and now have access to a great round yard which is all rubber lined etc.

So please bring forward your ideas!

29-05-07, 11:46 AM
You can try getting a piece of poly pipe (used for watering systems in gardens about an inch thick) about 1 meter long, stand by the horses side with one hand in his hip, (so you can feel when he's going to lift leg, kick etc) use the poly pipe as an extension of your hand and gently rub it over his leg, starting at the top and using the approach and retreat method as needed. Dont use it to reprimand (hit) him, if he lifts his leg or kicks at it lift it back up higher on his leg to where he is comfortable with it.

Once you are able to rub that all ove and around you can then put a rolled up rag on the end and do the same, so there is greater surface area being touched.

I have used this method sucessfully on several young horses/foals that are touchy about their back legs.

Also with tying up, teach him about pressure and release before tying him to anything.

Well that's the way I go about things anyway :)

29-05-07, 02:10 PM
One of the mares I bought as a four year old had never been handled and would try to take your head off if you went near her back legs. I bought some cheap but cosy sheep skin lined exercise boots. Got hubby to hold her and distract her with a bucket full of carrots. I quickly whacked on the sheepskin boots (back legs first) on all four legs, and left them on for a fortnight.

She went APE to start with, but couldn't give a stuff about her legs now. Just needed desensitising, and the sheepskin boots were great, as they were soft and light, but there 24/7...

29-05-07, 03:48 PM
Another method depending on how quick and strong you are, that my breaker used on one of ours, who would try and kick out, when you picked his back legs up, was to gently wrap the end of the tail around the fetlock as soon as you grabed it (picked it up), and before he could kick.

Leaning into the horse as he tried to kick out, and keeping hold of the tail end and hoof. As he tried to kick out it would tighten a little and put pressure on the tail, when the kick came back in, it would release the pressure. It took not even a minute each time (prob 6 times) for him to realise standing still meant he could feel nothing. The whole time talking to him and reasuring him he was ok.

paddock boots are also good for getting them used to things on their legs. And they are quick and easy to throw on and pull off.

30-05-07, 02:16 AM
I used a piece of dowling (cut about arms length)and I tied a rag to the end.

I tied pony up and gave him a feed. I then started to brush him in the areas he was comfortable with. He was very relaxed (read body language - it is most important when doing things like this). Once i knew he was quite calm and happy I then swapped my brush for the dowling and started to stroke him from over his loins to his flanks to his hocks. He kicked out a few times but I simply spoke quietly to him and continued on. Don't growl at him or get angry as it will become a negative experience to the baby. Talk to him the whole time and just keep going.

You have to remember he is also at the age now where he is going to start testing his limits so you have to keep on going. IF he gets in a real state, take a step back and groom him where is he happy and then start on his back legs when you see him relax.

It took me a good hour to get my pony to become comfortable with his legs being touched. It does take time but he soon got used to it. I repeated this every day for a week (just to be safe) and by the end of it he didn't give a toss about his back legs being touched at all.

Blazzing Ripper
30-05-07, 12:18 PM
We always use the hose!

It doesn't hurt the horse and the handler is well out of the way of flying hooves.

The key to getting it right is keeping the water stream on the leg until the horse stops kicking and keeps the leg still. AS SOON as the leg is still take the water away, thats the reward. NO Kick- no pressure.