Foal Training:  Desensitizing Through Touch and Rub
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Foal Training: Desensitizing Through Touch and Rub

August 20, 2019

(upbeat bright music) – [Instructor] So basically we’re just desensitizing this foal to
all different types of touch all over her body. – This is gonna come in handy
later in the foal’s life when she has to get worms. That’s the place where the
bit is eventually going to go. This is gonna get her ready
to have her muzzle clipped to have her throat latch
and her ears clipped. It’s a different feeling for her. It’s a different sensation. It’s an object, it
moves, it makes a noise. – A veterinarian might have to
give her fluids or something these are all reasons why I do it. So if you can teach a
colt not to be frightened of human beings, to be well desensitized, and also to be sensitized
to move away from pressure, it’s a critical learning
period of their life. Take advantage of that
first 48 hours, mate, and it will pay off dividends for you. (upbeat bright music) For the first few days you start
messing with your foal mate it’s very important to do
it in a small enclosed area. That way the foal can’t get away from you, it’s easy to get your hands on him, and it’s just more of
a controlled situation. Just like on our adult
horses, the first body part you want to gain control
of on a horse on the ground is their hind quarters. That’s where all the power comes from. But on a baby foal, we’re
gonna do the same thing, but except we’re gonna
use steady pressure. Getting him to yield from touch and rub. Getting that hind quarters under control is essential to get the horse
to where he’ll soften to you, bend, and lead. If the hind quarters is not under control it’s easy for that foal to
rear up, flip over backwards and bolt away from you. Touch. Press. Push. Dig. Dig. Dig in there. (mumbles) … there’s the step. And even as she took a step,
and then kind of wandered off sideways, that’s all right. She’ll figure it out here soon. Touch. Press. Push. There’s a step. See how she keeps wanting
to turn away from me? I’m gonna hold the
pressure, hold the pressure. She’ll bump into the walls a little bit, she’ll be all right. Hmf. (upbeat music) There. Hold that pressure. There’s a little give. I’m just trying to get
her front end there, to step towards me. Now what’s all that about? See her lick her lips there? Okay. She had a little
conniption fit right there and she got her knickers
in a knot and wanted to use the reactive side of her brain and I just kinda stayed with her. Until she moved her butt a little bit, brought her front end
over and then relaxed. Push. There’s a little step. Why am I walking on this hind close? Because this is the gas pedal. She can’t rear back, run away,
or kick if I can get this hind quarters to disengage. Touch. There’s a little step. Now I know in a perfect
world she would actually step across, you know, but
you can’t be that picky in the very very beginning. Especially when they’re this age. Getting your foal to back
up, mate, is the foundation of a stock and collection. So let’s start at an early age. Teach your baby foal to back away from the string around his neck that way when you put the halter
on and ask him to back up, he’ll already have a pretty
good idea how to do it. Remember, teach your foals in baby steps so it’s easy for them to understand.

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