What Can I Do With a Yearling?

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Written By Esrat Jahan

Esrat is a well-regarded animal rescue expert and writer with nearly a decade of experience in animal advocacy. Esrat is the former editor of Tails Pet Magazine and volunteers in animal rescue, including Chicago’s Anti-Cruelty Society and Starfish Animal Rescue.

What Can I Do With a Yearling?

Yearlings are young horses that are typically around one year old. They have outgrown their foal stage and are now transitioning into becoming adult horses. During this time, it is important to provide them with various experiences and training to promote their growth and development. In this article, we will explore some activities and training techniques that you can engage in with your yearling to help them become well-rounded and disciplined horses.

1. Play and Physical Exercise

Yearlings are naturally curious and full of energy. They enjoy playing with other horses and engaging in playful activities such as play fighting, galloping, and bucking. Providing them with plenty of room to move around is essential for their physical development. Allowing them to exercise freely is an important part of their growth.

Additionally, you can introduce safe toys and play balls to satisfy their curiosity. This will keep them engaged and mentally stimulated. Make sure the toys are designed for horses and pose no safety hazards.

2. Groundwork and Basic Training

At this stage, yearlings are too young to be ridden or driven. However, you can start introducing them to basic groundwork and training exercises. This includes teaching them to respond to cues, leading nicely, and practicing grooming rituals. Groundwork helps establish a foundation of trust and obedience while preparing them for future training under saddle.

Consider scheduling a gentle appointment for your yearling if they are male. It is important to foster good manners and teach leading skills during this time. Take long walks together and expose them to different environments to help them become accustomed to new situations.

3. Discipline and Boundaries

Discipline is an important aspect of training a yearling. Encourage good behavior by using your voice in a calm but firm manner. When the horse needs to be disciplined, remain composed and say a simple “No.” Consistently use this command, and the horse will learn to behave appropriately.

It’s crucial to avoid shouting or using aggressive physical force. Instead, focus on establishing boundaries and teaching your yearling what behavior is acceptable. Positive reinforcement, such as rewards and praise, can also be effective in shaping their behavior.

What Can I Do With a Yearling?

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4. Exposure to New Environments

A yearling should be gradually exposed to new environments and experiences. This helps them become more adaptable and confident as they grow older. Take them for short trips away from their usual surroundings, such as trail walks or outings to events where they can observe different sights and sounds.

By introducing them to various environments, you are preparing them for future challenges and ensuring they become well-rounded horses.

5. Development of Trust and Bonding

Building a strong bond and trust with your yearling is crucial for their overall development. Spend quality time with them, engaging in activities that they enjoy. This can include grooming sessions, allowing them to explore different obstacles, or simply being present in their presence.

Using love, language, and leadership in equal doses can help produce bonding, obedience, and exuberance. By building a strong foundation of trust and respect, you will be able to establish a lifelong connection with your yearling.

What Can I Do With a Yearling?

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Frequently Asked Questions Of What Can I Do With A Yearling?

What Should I Be Doing With My Yearling?

To ensure the proper development of your yearling, there are a few important things you should be doing: 1. Provide ample room for moving and exercising to help them grow strong. 2. Offer safe toys and play objects to satisfy their curiosity.

3. Practice basic gentling on the ground, as yearlings are too young to be ridden or driven. 4. Handle them with knowledge and care, as they can be unpredictable due to their energy levels. 5. Make sure they receive proper nutrition for their rapid growth.

By following these guidelines, you can ensure the healthy and well-rounded development of your yearling.

Can A Yearling Horse Be Ridden?

You should not ride a yearling horse as they are too young for that level of training.

Is It Ok To Lunge A Yearling?

Yes, it’s okay to lunge a yearling. Lunging can be a beneficial part of training to develop balance and obedience.

How Do You Discipline A Yearling Horse?

To discipline a yearling horse, remain calm and use a firm “No” consistently. Avoid shouting and use your voice to communicate. Positive behavior should be rewarded, and inconsistent behavior should not be tolerated. Consistency in discipline will help the horse understand how to behave.


Yearlings are full of energy and curiosity, making it an exciting time to engage with them. Providing physical exercise, basic training, discipline, exposure to new environments, and building trust and bonding are all important aspects of their development. By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your yearling grows up to be a well-behaved and confident horse.

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