Training Your Weanling with TS Quarter Horses — Halter Breaking

I want to invite you to join me through the next blog posts of “Working with your weanling at TS Quarter Horses.” I thought I would share with you what I do with my weanlings from the time they are weaned. We are going to cover everything from the actual separation of mom to hoof care, feed and the first training sessions in the round pen. So join me for the next few weeks and follow along. I would also love to hear ideas from you all on things you would enjoy reading about so drop me a note and let me know.

From the time my babies hit the ground I do NOT spend a lot of time messing with them. I do like to be able to get my hands on them, if possible, the first few days as it makes things just a little simpler but if it does not happen that is ok too. I feel that they are going to be worked with and handled so much the rest of their lives and it does not hurt to just let them be horses and learn from their moms and from the herd they are a part of.

This year has been the first year that I have used a donkey as you might have read in one of my earlier posts and I have to say….there is simply no better way to halter brake babies then with a donkey. I am a firm believer that weaning the babies is a lot easier on both parties involved (mare and colt) can not hear or see each other. With that said, when it came to weaning time I loaded up my mares (with colts) and hauled them to a friends place. I stepped in the trailer with mares and babies and stuck a halter with lead rope on each baby and unloaded just the babies into the pen that would turn into their home for the next month. As soon as they were in the pen I hocked the first baby to “Frank” the donkey and watched him do all the work. Check out the video below.

So if you are going to give the halter breaking with a donkey a try you will need:

  • a donkey ( I personally almost think the less the little long eared bugger leads
    the better. Stubborn is a good quality in this case…..for the donkey that is).
  • a wide (about 2 to 3 inches) heavy duty leather band that will go around the
    donkeys neck. Snug enough to not get pulled off but not so tight the poor
    guy will not get enough air.
  • a well fitting halter for your colt….nice and snug but not tight (if your halter is to
    lose you will rely on a friend to cut your colt free from the donkey in a
    tangled mess as it is possible for your donkey to stick his foot through
    the bottom of the halter if to lose).
  • a decent size pen (30×60 or so) to allow the donkey plenty of room to drag your
    future star around.
  • and last but DEFIANTLY not least a gate that is shut. You would be amazed at
    how fast a donkey can haul ass down the driveway, with a colt that has no
    idea how to lead, attached. If properly inspired a donkey has the strength
    of a Semi Truck. Amazingly enough all that strength leaves when you are
    trying to lead the donkey, with colt still attached, back to the pen.

I hope you enjoy this post and get something out of it…….be sure to check back with us here at TS Quarter Horses next week for the importance of teaching your colt patience and the roll tying plays in this.