Foals are always eager to please, they have a childlike enthusiasm. Training a foal is a large responsibility if you get it wrong the foal will develop bad habits that are hard to break once the horse is grown. Even some fully grown horses find it hard to stand still when being groomed so teaching a foal to be groomed can be quite a challenge.
Horse Grooming – How to Teach a Foal
1. You will have to teach your foal to be lead and stand still when tied before you attempt to groom your horse.
2. You should not tie your horse for the first few grooming sessions.
3. After your foal has experienced a few grooming sessions then you can tie him. Until your foal knows there is nothing to fear you should leave him untied.
4. Halter your foal, pet and stroke him for a while. Talk to him in a calm and soothing voice so that the foal begins to like being handled.
5. Familiarise your foal with the grooming brushes. Bring the first grooming brush towards the horse’s face; let the foal smell, bite and touch the brush. The more familiar the foal is with the brushes the better.
6. Start the horse grooming with the body brush, begin at the foal’s neck and work backwards towards the rump.
7. Switch sides, be aware that your foal will treat this part of horse grooming as an entirely different experience.
8. Let the foal move about if he wants to as this is all new to him. When your horse stands still make sure that your praise him in abundance so he knows what is the correct and incorrect way to behave during horse grooming.
9. Move onto the mane comb, you should introduce your foal to all of the grooming equipment you will be using on your horse in the future. The more familiar your horse is with the horse grooming kit the better and easier future grooming will be.
10. The key for how to groom your horse successfully is keeping the sessions short and ending all grooming sessions on a positive note.
11. Once you have repeated these steps a few times and have been successful feel free to tie up your foal and begin grooming as usual.