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Every thing i need to know about a yearling?

(11 Posts)
Amieesmum Mon 08-Aug-11 19:45:38

Hey guys,

I've been helping one of the girls at the stables i'm sharing at, break her 4 1/2 yr old cob in - she is a complete (ish) novice and bought the pony in a fit of impulse buy without having tried it, after being told it had already been broken in (clearly we get him home and he isn't) Anyway, he is coming along nicely and we've now got her actually riding him (kind of) as well as the usual teaching him to lunge, long reign etc etc (as well as teaching her to do it herself)

Anyways, It's re lit my fire for youngsters so to speak, and for some reason, everyone has told me it's a great idea to buy a youngster, fresh, untouched, etc etc. I've bought a 2 year old mare in the past, and broke her in when she was old enough, i miss her dearly but this was quite some time ago. I've found exactly what i'm looking for, a cob x welsh D colt to make about 15'3, not quite a yearling, he's about 6 months atm and being weaned, i hope to have him home by october/ november, after weaning & being gelded.
Just wondered if there was anything really obvious i need to know, or that i might have forgotten having not had a yearling before. Also anything essential to buy that i might not have in my kit box already, I'm hoping he'll live out, so a bit unsure of rugging with a horse this young?

I'm probably just being paranoid, but i'd hate to buy something and not know absoloutly everything i possibly can. I've seen some really stupid irresponsible people buy youngsters because they are cheaper, it really puts my back up, just trying to cover all the loop holes if you see what i mean?

Callisto Mon 08-Aug-11 21:00:55

Handle him loads, don't let him take the piss and don't do too much too soon. Other than that, enjoy. smile

Oh, and I don't like rugs on youngsters - too much potential for disaster.

Callisto Mon 08-Aug-11 21:01:11

And get him gelded...

Amieesmum Mon 08-Aug-11 21:11:15

hmm yes thats what i thought with the rugs too, it just screams broken legs, but out all winter without? I think i'm just being a pansy
My loan horse is wearing a rug already, although to be fair, he's normally stabled at this time of year already (he is a disgustingly fine thorough bred though, and a tart for that matter)

He'll be gelded by the time he gets to me, my yard wont take a colt, and also for traveling alot of companies wont transport colts. He's quite a distance so going to get him delivered by a transporter.

was hoping to give him 18 months just pretty much being played with (groomed pampered etc) & handled, maybe the odd walk in hand. Before i even contemplate any kind of work, thinking spring 2013 to start with getting him used to long reining, wearing a roller and litttle things like that, i'd like him to enjoy being a baby and playing in the field before the hard work if you see what i mean.

Callisto Mon 08-Aug-11 21:54:20

If he is nicely put together you could have some fun showing him in hand, which would also be a great education for him.

Welsh cobs generally grow pretty decent coats I think. As long as he has a field shelter if it is very wet and cold he should be fine.

Saggyoldclothcatpuss Mon 08-Aug-11 22:38:54

He will be quite hairy enough to go rugless if he lives out through the autumn.
Six months old + 18 months makes 2 years old. IMO way to young to be doing any kind of work. Leave him till at least 3yo.
I currently have a colt foal, the only advice I have, is handle and lead him regularly, but make sure you treat him like a horse, not a pet, and don't let him take the piss. Mine is quite handy with his teeth, as the owners of our last paddock used to spend a lot of time scratching and hugging him, so now he thinks if he grooms bites you, it will encourage you to groom him back! confused

Lucyinthepie Mon 08-Aug-11 22:44:18

He's a welsh cob, he doesn't need rugs. I have one in my field that may or may not be welsh, has never worn a rug in her life. She doesn't have a field shelter either, just natural shelter from hedges and trees.
Buying a 6 month old, please learn from my experience! Don't do it unless you can look after the baby yourself. Don't put a foal into a livery experience where it will be handled by others who may not do things the way you do. That was a huge mistake on my part! Also, make sure your foal gets used to being moved about on his own, not always in company of another horse (but don't overwhelm him with experiences and flood him).
Dont lunge until he's at least 3 (if at all).
Knowing what I know now, I'd also plan for a barefoot future, and get a good trimmer in at an early stage to assess his foot balance and advise on the best care. Good foot balance is seldom addressed by farriers trimming youngsters (whatever they say), but it can really set your young horse up for a healthy and athletic future.
Oh god, I could write a book... It turned out OK for my horse in the end, but the foal and I went through some crap that could have been avoided on the way.

Lucyinthepie Mon 08-Aug-11 22:46:17

Honestly, I wouldn't buy a foal if it was going to be kept at livery, turned out and brought in by a variety of other people. Probably "disciplined" as they saw fit and when they thought it should happen. I just would never do that again, it wasn't fair on my foal, but I was too inexperienced to see the pitfalls until it was too late.

Amieesmum Mon 08-Aug-11 23:30:31

No it's total DIY there, it will just be me handling him, and my daughter helping out with grooming, and can't afford huge livery bills. He's my boy, and i want to develop a good bond with him regular handling and lots of gentle but firm encouragement and all the usuals. I'm quite a gentle and quiet with horses, i know that doesn't work for every one, but it's always worked for me.

Being a cob x i'm going to avoid lunging at all if i can help it, as from what i understand it's not great for them, although i've heard so much conflicting information i'm not entirely sure why. (maybe one of you can help me on that)
The only things i'd do in 18 months get him familiarized with things, like walking out (in hand) and a potter in the menage to see it's nothing scarey (in hand) then as he moves towards 3 getting him into a roller, to get ready for long reigning as he reaches the age of three. I guess i'll have to wait and see how he matures, and deals with things, theres no point doing it if he isn't ready, it's not like i'm in any hurry to ride him.

The hope is he'll be a horse as much for my daughter as for me in 5 years time she'll be 12, and hopefully set up for riding him. I've been sneaky and hopefully calculated when she'll have grown out of her pony... at least i hope so!

I'd like to do some light in hand showing probably next summer, getting him used to a trailer, and show environments would be great, he really is a pretty lad (once the sale has gone through completely i'll post some pictures! for everyone to coo at)

and scrap 2013 for some reason i've got my years mixed up oops! for some reason i thought he'd have just turned 3 not 2! lets make that 2014! (i really should know better i work with bloody numbers!)

Lucyinthepie Tue 09-Aug-11 08:45:38

That sounds perfect!
I don't lunge at all, even for an adult horse I think it places strain on joints and let's face it, it's boring. Most people do it for too long anyway, when I hear someone saying they've lunged for 20 minutes I cringe.
The most useful DVD I've found recently is the Silversand Horsemanship The Start DVD. It's not expensive and is just very simple and common sense. If you could get hold of something like that and pick out suitable groundwork and leading work for his age you'd be well prepared for the show ring. Then when it's time to start him, just take what he's already learnt and continue on with the process suggested in the DVD. It really gives a strong foundation for a young horse, making sure that everything is in place.
I used to take my youngster out for walks. Once I had good groundwork in place, and she was nice and obedient in her rope halter, we used to nip out for walks up the road to the pub. This was from about 9 months old. At first her walks were only about 10 minutes, but as she got older I kept in the habit of taking her out like a dog and by the time I backed her we were out everywhere. Along the roads, over open fields, through woods... so she'd already rehearsed hacking and was very comfortable going out on her own.
Basically, I ignored most of the conventional advice that I got about bitting her at 2, shoeing her at 3, lunging her etc before backing, and looked at what I really needed from a good hacking horse. I needed her to be really, really good to lead. Good to load and travel. Good out on roads and varied terrain. Add to that - good to get on! She turned out a bit big, so I taught her that any time I perched up on anything, like a bucket, or a fence, she came alongside for me to scratch her back, which easily progressed to getting on. Consequently I never had any problems with her standing still to be mounted.
You're going to have great fun. You can pm me anytime smile.

Fennijer Thu 11-Aug-11 17:28:18

i've got a 3yo gelding which i bred myself. I would recommend getting him out to some small shows in hand as it's a fantastic learning curve for youngsters. The other recommendation i would give is to not feed lots of treats - my sister looked after my youngster whilst i was away and she had him taking polo's from her lips by the time i returned! Quickly nipped that in the bud! I keep mine on a DIY yard and he is turned out with a mix of geldings who have taught him his place in the pecking order, just beware there is not any particualary nasty geldings in the field! Good luck with your new adventure!

smile

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