Horse trainers have to have different approaches when dealing with young horses. One is by leaving the horse alone to learn the different skills and the other one is by training the horse at a very early stage. Horse training requires careful thinking in order to be an effective trainer.
Even without the presence of humans, a horse can learn the basic skills. Some horse trainers allow the young horses to learn everything on their own on the first two years of their existence. Herd dynamics can be learned even at this stage. When your horse reaches the age of 2-3 years, you can now start horse training. Other trainers prefer to train their horse after birth. They want to build a strong foundation for future partnership. So everyday is a learning process for both the horse and the owner/trainer.
It’s up to you whether you follow the first thought or the second one. Young horses easier to train as compared to older horses. But since you’re dealing with a young one, the training should be logical, progressive, and introduced in a slow approach. You will use this approach to weanlings, foals, and yearlings. You should value time because this is a very important factor when training young horses. Before you even think of mounting a young horse, you must first accomplish the many tasks involved in horse training.
If you want your horse to learn the basic skills, you can leave him alone for a while. Allow your horse to learn all there is to know at his own pace. You must learn the horse’s language so that you can easily tell when you’ve pushed your horse to the limit. Daily training is essential but you should limit it to only 20 minutes each day. The horse’s brain is continuously developing and daily training can help. Make sure that you teach simple and short lessons everyday.
As the horse ages, you can gradually add lessons to the training. It’s not a good idea to turn loose young horses after their lessons; instead, secure the halter and lead it in place so that the horse is always near you. You can take your horse when cleaning the stalls, working on the fences, or even on trail rides. You must provide ample time for hanging out or what the vaquero’s call ‘colgado’. This is an effective way of teaching your horse about daily tasks and routine. By building good habits and a good relationship, it will be easier to teach the horse more complicated lessons in the future.
While you’re ‘hanging out’, you can already conduct incidental training; for instance, you can ask your horse to step back, sidestep a few steps, or disengage the hindquarters to make more room or space where you can work on. When your horse immediately obeys, you can give him a reward. For the horse, this is already a way of establishing a strong foundation and relationship between the horse and its trainer.
Always keep in mind that lessons should be simple. If you think that the lessons are a bit difficult and the young horse can’t catch up, try to break it down to smaller components. Observe conciseness to avoid confusion. Being consistent in all your dealings is essential to successful horse training. Repeat the simple lessons until the young horse masters it and proceed to a new lesson.
Don’t exhaust your horse during the training to avoid any reluctance on the part of the horse.