Initial Handling of New Colt
Within the first three days after the colt is born, put a halter on the colt.

1. Have someone lead the mare, with the colt following, into a stall.

Mare backed into corner of stall. Handler has caught the colt from the back.  Getting ready to put halter on.

2. Back the mare into the corner of the stall – right up to the wall.
3. The colt will run to the corner and try to get around the mare, but cannot.
4. Ease up on the colt – I usually walk right up behind the colt, and with my legs spread a little, I reach up with one hand on either side of the baby and get it by the chest. Its back-end is against my body, my legs are spread so if the colt were to kick, it would miss me. I’ve never had one try to kick yet.
5. Now you have the colt with your hands around the chest – have your helper hand you the baby halter, but keep the mare pressed up against the corner of the stall.

Putting halter on colt.  Assistant ready to hand him the lead rope - snap first.

6. Slip the halter onto the baby.
7. Have your helper hand you a long, soft lead rope, – he should give you the snap in your hand, which you will snap onto the halter.
8. Then you run your hand down the rope, around the right side of the colt, wrap it around the colt’s backend and then back up to the halter.

Note right hand at base of neck.

9. Then you take your left hand and hold the two ends of the rope just under the snap by the halter.
10. Your right hand will be placed at the base of the neck of the colt – right where the mane ends at the withers.
11. Now you are ready to lead the mare forward.

Then right hand moves to halter.

12. Note: you can use this method of catching the colt the next several times. The colt will grow quickly, so you will eventually have the mare backed into the corner and you will ease up to the side of the colt, instead of from behind, put your arm across the neck of the baby and catch it that way – slipping the halter on, and then running rope behind the rump of the colt.
NOTES: IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT YOU HAVE THE ROPE WRAPPED AROUND THE RUMP OF THE COLT WHEN YOU FIRST TEACH IT TO LEAD. THE NATURAL INCLINATION OF ALMOST EVERY COLT IS TO GO BACKWARDS. THE ROPE BEHIND THE RUMP STOPS THAT. IF YOU DO NOT HAVE THE ROPE BEHIND THE RUMP, THE COLT CAN REAR UP AND FALL OVER BACKWARDS WITH THE POSSIBLE OUTCOME OF A BROKEN NECK. THERE IS NO NEED TO TAKE THAT CHANCE.

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Last Updated: December 27, 2016

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