Foal Education - Maserati's Kindergarten Time - Haltering [Slideshow]

Gabi Neurohr Young Horse Training - foal Maserati is playing with the halter

Since a long time I was dreaming that my mare Mazirah would have a foal again. Well, here he is, little Maserati du Plessis. My dream became true! He turns out to be a very cheeky, self-confident and smart little guy.

As he is a Shagya Arabian with a lot of blood he is also very sensitive and it is easy to trigger survival mode and opposition reflex.Most important for me is to preserve his curiosity and playfulness and use it to my advantage.

His first task: Accept the Halter

When introducing the halter for the very first time, it is important to not force it onto the foal. Foals are born wild, this means that all survival instincts are very close to the surface and easy to trigger. Anything like holding, quick moves, catching or any sort of confinement can trigger these instincts. The goal should be to grow confidence.

These were my steps to help Maserati accept the halter:

  • Foals are very curious by nature, all to do was wait until Maserati wanted to explore it. Of course, he was very sceptical of that thing in my hand at first!
  • Foals love scratches! I used it to my advantage and scratched Maserati all over his body with the halter until he showed no more fear of it.
  • I allowed him to chew on it.
  • I made sure that he accepted that I touch his ears and the place just behind them.
  • Then I slipped the halter over his nose and off again until he was fine with this
    Only then I actually put the halter on all the way

The first few times that he wore the halter, he was quite irritated by the feel of it. So I just let him wear it 10 mins at the time - of course in an environment where he couldn’t get stuck anywhere and with me watching him.

Discover more detailed explanation by clicking through the pictures!

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