Of course, it is not easy to train a horse if you are a novice to the world of horses. If you already have an untrained horse, you may want to look for a trainer who is willing to train both the horse and his rider. If you haven’t yet acquired the horse, you may want to consider buying a horse that is already trained, instead. However, if you are trying to train a foal, you can and should do some preliminary training before you ask a more experienced trainer to take over.
From the day the new foal is born, you should accustom him to your touch and the sound of your voice. Knowing that you won’t hurt him and that he can trust you is the most important lesson your horse will ever learn.
Once your foal is used to you, it is time to accustom him to the foal halter. You should buy an inexpensive halter, since your foal will rapidly outgrow this piece of equipment. Start by letting him simply look at the halter and smell it. Make a fuss over him when he accepts that the halter isn’t scary.
Once he is used to seeing the halter, get him used to wearing it unfastened for short periods of time. Remember to let him know how wonderful and brave he is to let you put the halter on him and be extremely careful not to startle him. Repeat this process for several days. After a few days, you can fasten the halter. Again, let him get used to the fastened halter for several days.
Now that your foal knows that the halter isn’t scary, it is time to teach him to let you lead him. Your first step is to coax him to move with you when you grasp his halter. Do not pull on the halter. You don’t want him to start struggling. Once he is accustomed to allowing you to lead him, you can introduce your foal to the lead rope. Remember to move slowly.
Once your foal has been trained to walk on the lead, you should keep working with him every day to keep him used to being touched. In between petting your foal and fussing over him, pick up his feet, introduce him to grooming tools and look in his mouth.
Of course, while your foal is growing up, you should be learning how to train him to tolerate a saddle and a rider, as well as how to teach him to walk, trot, canter, gallop, back up, turn, stop and jump on command. Luckily, you will have quite a few months to learn the best way to teach these skills to your horse.
Finally, although any newborn foal is trainable, this is not true of all adult horses. If you have purchased a green broke horse that is aggressive or fears people, you may never be able to train him. Horses can develop lifelong phobias at an early age and they can be almost impossible to overcome. If your horse falls into this category, you will have to be willing to show patience and understanding. Gaining your horse’s trust is the only way you will ever be able to train him.