Training Your Foal: Prerequisites and Problems

Training Your Foal: Prerequisites and Problems

  Keeping the weanling in a horse-friendly environment is, of course, the prerequisite for training a physically and mentally fit horse. Neither should correct feeding, medical care (worming, inoculations) or regular hoof-care be neglected. They form the basis for the foal’s health and also for successful schooling and training. Naturally, the correct environment also includes the companionship of other foals of the same age as well as older horses. When the weanling returns to its home stable after a sufficiently long period of separation, it must be re-integrated into its old herd. If there are no companions of the same age available, a difficult time will begin for the young horse. Although weaned from the mother, yearlings are still children. As children, they continue to learn from older horses and have the need to play, test their strength, and frolic about. The need for companions of the same age group will continue for some time. Never forget that horses are not really mature until the age of six or seven. 

   If you have decided to buy a weanling or a yearling, the conditions of its schooling at its breeder’s must be examined. Was the suckling foal able to live with others of a similar age? Did it have sufficient space? Did it receive the appropriate inoculations and worming doses? Were the hooves checked frequently? What was the feeding like? These and many other questions are decisive for the horse’s future, as many things omitted during the suckling period can never be regained! If you purchase a badly raised foal which was neither cared for sufficiently nor taught the basics of training, you will not have an easy time of it with your weanling. If the foal is already suffering health problems, this will cause untold difficulties. As a rule, a horse will be accompanied by the sins of its early childhood for its entire life. 

  A horse will suffer for life from the consequences of bad schooling. 

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