I recently had the opportunity to work with a foal getting him used to the halter using positive reinforcement (clicker training). For clicker training I usually give a treat after the click but he was not at the point of eating grain well as he is still very young but he loved to be scratched so I used that for his reward. Using clicker sets the foal up for success because it is their idea to put their nose in the halter and eventually stand there while you buckle the halter.
Building a foundation from the beginning without force, fear or intimidation goes a long ways. If I were working with an older foal that was eating grain well I would be giving them a treat instead of a scratch as food is a primary motivator for horses.
This short video clip I created was put together from several videos as this process is over several days. As you can see I started outside of the fence with the foal getting him to understand the click then the reward, then I had him following me.
After the foal understood what the click was about then I move to using a horseman’s string getting him to target that as I did not start out with the halter. You could start out with getting the foal to target the halter but in this case I decided not to. After several days you see that I am now able to put put the halter on as the foal stands quietly.
If you would like to learn how to get your foal started with clicker training get signed up for my online classes.
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