Specialty Foal Training begins at the farm on day one. We have always felt that handling the foals is an integral part of desensitizing them to the human touch and to begin the building of trust between human and horse.
This is a very important time, the handling and desensitizing of them will be the first impression that will affect their perceptions of humans for the rest of their life and so we want to make sure we leave them with a feeling of trust and security that we are not there to hurt them.
The foals in the beginning have all the natural instincts of fear and flight, and what we try to do is build trust with touch and movement of their body. We then begin to build on this with daily handling of them.
Our goal is to have each foal be desensitized enough to allow us to walk and trot on the lead rope, stand quietly , pick up feet, brush and comb them, catch them, take the halter on and off, move them away with touch, tie and trailer load, desensitize to scary objects, and expose them to new stimuli.
These items\are some of the most basic fundamentals of ground work and will take a foal a long way in the handling and training of their formidable lives. If we can give a foal a good start we feel it will go a long way in being a valuable partner for any new owner where the bonding will be built on trust and using the thinking side of their brain not fear.
Starfire Farm uses this technique when working with our Georgian Grande horses and foals. We have seen the difference it makes when they finally begin their ground training into being backed. We have found their progress being trained into saddle horses is easier to teach and they have a wonderful trust of humans.