The subtitle of this book is A Swift, Effective Method for Permanently
Shaping a Horse's Lifetime Behaviour. Dr. Miller developed
the Imprint Training method, which is basically early training during
specific critical learning times, given as soon as possible after the foal
The theory behind this method is based on the premise that, at birth the foal will be both extremely
receptive to learning about his environment, and will bond with
whatever is moving and above him during the first postpartum hour. The
repeatedly exposes the foal to a number of stimula to get him used to
things and not fight them.
From then on in his life, the foal will be
relaxed and accepting of that action.
For example, foals are habituated to
having their ears, nostrils, feet and legs handled, clippers are introduced,
the concept of restraint is introduced, and various cloth rags and plastic bags are rubbed over
the body. This is just the first stage of the method which later teaches the
foal to be sensitized and move away from pressure, and progresses
into halter training.
The author says that it is amazing how
much a young foal can learn when using this training method, and how easy
and painless it is for all parties concerned. Be warned, however, if you are
going to use this method you must read the book and follow it to the letter.
If the instructions say to do 100 repetitions, don't do 30 - your foal may
be tensed up and not actually
habituated and then what you are teaching him is to fear and resist stimulation.
The author has the experience of many years and foals trained, so he knows
how much is needed to do the job right.