New Activities for Young Horse???

I have a 8 month old Warmblood colt that I am looking for some advice on new activities to do with him. I worked with him in a halter breaking class and here is what he has learned and mastered:
-Walk/trot over tarp, streamers, water
-Walk/trot over ground poles and baby cross-rail
-Walk/trot both ways on line and free lunge
-Load in and out of a various types of trailers
-Basic “sacking out” like towels, plastic bags, tarps, balloons, etc.

He is doing well with all of these but I can tell he is bored and ready to move on.

Does anyone have any new activities we can do? He is very smart, usually picks things up the first time around, and not usually phased by anything. He’s a pretty cool dude!


Keep it up with the trailers! A good loader is a wonderful thing :slight_smile:

If you haven’t already, work on picking up feet- he should do all 4 without fuss.
Turning on the forehand, and haunches.
Backing up.

You can also set up little patterns. I had to halter break a colt for a class, and my final was something like- trot to a cone, halt, turn on the forehand 90 degrees, back up 5 steps, walk to another cone, halt, pick up a foot. That sort of thing.

Do you have access to trails? I took my mare on “hikes” out on the trails at that age - and I think it really contributed to her being a wonderful trail horse once under saddle.

I started long-lining the Evil Princess at about that age, and we worked up to going everywhere on and off the farm on foot. You can teach almost everything a riding horse needs to know from the ground. And by the time I backed her at 3, she was way ahead of the curve. And I was in great shape from all that walking! :smiley:

Let him start wearing a bridle. Also, now’s a good time to introduce the concept of a saddle and girth. Long line in a surcingle. Find a cheap little pony saddle and put it on him, let him wear that for a bit. Nothing too serious with either the saddle or bridle, but it will certainly make things easier on down the road when you’re actually ready to back him.

ETA: I apparently completely missed the first sentence where you said he’s 8 months old. Obviously I don’t mean you need to start riding him, but just start to introduce the saddle bridle.

Voting for no bridle.
Wait until he’s older and has had the wolf teeth removed. It would be pretty awful to bit him too early and get him off to a bad start. You can’t hurt anything by waiting, and risk starting lifelong bad habits if you do things to early.

I wouldn’t saddle him either. Get him used to wearing blankets and having them casually tossed over his back.

There are several threads on COTH about age-appropriate activities, and of course there are conflicting opinions, but 8 months is a weanling. No bridle, no saddle, no driving. Relax a little…it sounds like you are off to a great start, but therein just as much likelihood of problems on the future caused by over handling than under :slight_smile:
Don’t overdo it!

Thanks for all of the replies! We will start doing “nature walks” soon!

He can pick up all four feet and has been trimmed.

Yeah since he is a WB I am taking everything SLOW, we had the option in our weanling class to put a surcingle on but I didn’t. That may be a project to start after he turns 1. Like I said he seems really solid. I think going out on little trail walks will be fun for him, I can just tell he’s like “Come on Mom, let’s do something cool!”

I also vote for no saddle or bridle yet. He still has about 2 years till he would be undersaddle. LOTS of time to learn about those things.

At this age, you really don’t need to do a lot. They are growing like crazy, and have short attention spans.

At this age, my horse’s “job” was to come in once a day and be groomed while getting her supplement. On the weekends we would go for walks off the property, or play in hand on the trail course.

Sounds like your class is very similar to the one we were in together! He can pick up all four feet and be trimmed.

No, I’m not going to do the saddle/bridle lesson till he’s probably almost 2. Right now I bring him to the round pen to groom and do a little bit of our ground work. I am teaching him to stand tied right now. We have trails so I will probably start doing little walks with him.