Hello Dr Deb, you mentioned in another post the importance of teaching the horse to come to you. Could you help me with a 2 year old horse I have acquired from the wilds of Europe, he is in a holding stables after import at the moment and they report he is difficult to catch (hardly surprising, his only contact with man has been basically branding, gelding and herding into transport trucks). I have told them not to chase him at all, but should be grateful for any advice when he is transported to me in a few days. I do not have a round pen (nor any experience of using one). Just a smallish paddock. All young horses I have had in the past have been bred by me, and have always come to me when called. But in my older years, I don't want to get this new, 2 year old one wrong, so any advice gratefully received.
Yes, Ruth. Go find Harry. Go find Bryan and his sons. Go find Tom Curtin. Go find Josh Nichol. You are telling me that you don't know the first thing about starting a young horse from scratch. These are the people who know how to do that, who do it every day. You cannot learn this over the Internet.
When the colt arrives at your place, have them back the truck up into the enclosure you intend for him to occupy, and then leave him there, and leave him alone without any attempt to train him, except for seeing to his feed and water.
You will have a six-week limit, approximately, because at the end of that time you will need to get the hoofs trimmed. And the horse will have to come to you for that, and be able to be decent with the farrier and not afraid of him. Therefore, you go find the good help well before that.
Indeed, it could have been several years before that, couldn't it? Because nobody forced you to buy a wild horse. And you've known about these people for years, because for years you have corresponded here. What made you think that you could possibly succeed WITHOUT PRACTICE?
Good luck with repairing the mistake you have made here, and let us know which one of our friends you go see first. -- Dr. Deb
If I may make another suggestion, I would also go the Bureau of Land Management's website and look over their requirements for containing a wild horse. I would not bring your wild one home until you are sure you have met those requirements, at a minimum. Since the horse is uncatchable, you will want to be sure that he cannot escape and that he cannot be injured in the enclosure. Be sure he can't skirt around the trailer when unloading. The only place for him to go once the trailer doors are open, other than remaining in the trailer, should be into the pen.
I did what you are doing nearly two years ago now, but with a weanling. A two year old is a much bigger undertaking. Good luck and be safe.