Colt's progress at 6 months.

metalmare

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If he was yours, how would you feel about my colt's progress at 6 months old?

I'm pleased generally with how he's going, however there are certain 'issues' that I'm keen to resolve... if I'm not being too unrealistic?

The good points

He is easy to catch (goes out without headcollar) and he actually comes cantering over to be caught. He leads nicely and has learnt to walk and trot in hand. He picks all four feet up (sometimes before I ask even) and has had the farrier. He can be groomed and touched literally all over and will tolerate me leaning on him and cuddling him. He can be tied up. We stood next to the road the other day and watched the cars go past which he was pretty okay about. He is okay with dogs and children. He loves to go into the stable at night.

However...

He bites a lot! It is never vicious, he is trying to instigate a grooming session, however I am unhappy about it. Every time he bites he gets a smack but he doesn't seem to be able to help himself. I watched him play fighting with the older horse the other day, who got fed up of Humber rearing at him and biting him so he kicked out. This didn't stop Humber so it seems his instinct is stronger at the moment than any fear he feels of punishment?

Also he is a pain when standing / tied up. Again he is very young!

I think he is doing pretty well and that the negatives will sort themselves with castration, maturity and persistence on my part, but how would you feel?

Thanks!
 

metalmare

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When do you think I could get away with gelding? I know it's not usually before one year of age, but his birthday falls in June, so clearly I couldn't do it then because of the flies. That means we would be looking at next October time and he would be a year and four months (and no doubt his ego would be even bigger).

The other option would be to do it next spring at about 9 months old.
 

metalmare

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Really? I might do it sooner rather than later then. I think the lady who owns the other horse's patience is wearing thin as Humber's idea of play fighting involves grabbing hold of Jacob's tail flap and being dragged along by it. She accepts it's youthfulness but I still don't want to be paying out for repairs!
 

metalmare

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That's great advice, thank you. The vet will be coming in a few weeks anyway to do the second course of vaccinations so I'll talk to her then about it.

It's nice to get a second opinion. He's happy and healthy and I'm pleased with him (most days) but it's still good to get advice and opinion from the wider world.
 

Lucy_Nottingham

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id say he sounds grand.

Most entire males have a tendency to nibble/groom etc iv been working for the past few months with a beautiful 8yo just ex satllion welsh D. He was a perfect horse, only down side was he had this insessent requirement to try to groom you as you groom him!
He eventually learnt not to do it to me as when he did it I stopped grooming him and gave him a tap on the end of his nose if he kept doing it. When he stopped he got patted and I continued grooming, but he still did it to other people....... So id crack on with that and ensure other people do the same to ensure it isnt just you he stops it with.

In terms of tying up, maybe cut small carrot bits and when he stands tied up just give him a piece now and then to make him think "hey this tying up malarky is grand!!!
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However, overall id say well done keep going

and yes get the nuts off a.s.a.p. if you dont want a stallion (can do it under 1year....... its like people saying dont spay a bitch until after a first season....... totally untrue!)

Got any pics of the clever lad?
 

metalmare

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Awww, thank you! It's really nice to have some confirmation that you're on the right lines! There are two different posts with him in somewhere in the photo gallery with Humber in the title.

I'm glad you've all said to castrate this spring... probably save his poor 24 year old mate's sanity. It is very much like watching a grumpy old grandad deal with a toddler. He often barely looks up as Humber gallops around him, bites him or tries to straddle him!

I'll try that with the grooming. I have got to the point once where he started licking me / grooming his own leg and finding ways to avoid biting me. But then his brain seems to reset and instinct kicks in again. I'll try your method and do it really regularly.

He does have a rather over-active brain. You can see the cogs whirring. When he's tied up he has various tricks which include paw the ground, paw the wooden stable wall, rub bum against the stable door, bite the stable door, annoy Jacob... just like a child. And when he stops it's only because he's wondering what to do next. Gotta love him though!
 

Lucy_Nottingham

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arent young boys great!!!!
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Maybe tie him up with a haynet or something (but one with small, random holes in......... like the steady feed ones) so that he has something to do other than focus on eating you!
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hehe

also maybe alter the grooming, like one moment be grooming his neck, then go to pick up one foot, then do his mane then his left hand body.......... etc so he doesnt think ahhh bored of you doing this bit...... dont know if it would help at all, but might keep his mind like what you gonna do next to me?? if he is a very active thinker! (which will make breaking him and teaching him later on very fun!!
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I will go examine PG now!
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metalmare

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LOL - I like that idea of what's going to happen next. You're right - I definitely need to be a bit more inventive about this!

Fortunately he's only going to make 12hh max (section a) so I won't have too far to fall during breaking!
 

Lucy_Nottingham

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ok just saw the pics, i think u shud give up now with him and send him to me!
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hes little, he will fit in a box!
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metalmare

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don't be fooled by those cute looks! The whites of the eyes say it all, don't they? "I am tapped." I just think thank heavens he's only waist high because he would be a real handful if he was big!
 

Lucy_Nottingham

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Lol no during breaking it will be easy, one leg either side and run along with!
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hehe

He is just adorable! but you can see it in his eye that the cogs are going and his thinking about just about everything and anything!
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metalmare

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Exactly! I'll invest in some roller blades! I've put a load more pics up. Maybe I ought to actually do some work soon as I've had the day off due to snow? Ah...
 

No1_in_particular

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Don't worry about your baby biting. He is doing exceptionally well and you are obviously continuing to make him into a great horse!
I breed horses and find that they naturally grow out of their nibbling habit - it's almost like a puppy playing - I really don't worry myself about it and don't try to give him a row or stop him because he will only try to do it more.
As for gelding him I actually don't think this will make any difference to his investiagting with his teeth as it is a foaly thing for them to do and I have had many fillies who do the same..... They do grow out of it.
You can geld him in the spring - I usually do mine in the spring before they are a year old unless there are complications and they haven't dropped one or both testicles - that's the only reason you should have to wait longer.......... your wee man sounds like a complete dream - keep up the good work!!!
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