Babies are very rewarding, the big things are be consistent with your expectations and keep lessons (everything you do is a lesson at that age) short as they have the attention span of a 2 year old child. If your kids are around him they need to be consistent too.
I wouldn’t be too concerned about him being bullied, it can look very dramatic but that’s just the herd teaching him how to be a horse and where he fits in, as a baby he needs to learn when to back off and how to respect other horses, it also bleeds through into how they interact with people. He may need more gradual introduction to go back in a separate paddock at night maybe to give him time to process the lessons before it all escalated to the fence jumping stage tho.
My mare was kept with my 2 geldings from 1 year old and she was quickly in charge and is now (she’s 17 now) a bit of a nightmare to turn out with other horses because it’s her way or the highway, not a mistake I’d make again, they really do need to learn life lessons from a herd.
I would also enlist the help of an instructor now, babies are like sponges and can learn bad things as quickly as good things and as you are inexperienced it would be good to have someone helping/guiding you. I don’t mean that in a negative way, it’s just very easy to do things that seem fine at the time but you later realise it wasn’t a good thing for them to learn and you spend ages undoing a learned behaviour to be able to move on to the next step so it’s easier all around to get it right in the first place. I learnt a lot of hard lessons with my first baby boy that I’ve since been careful not to repeat but you don’t know if you’ve never experienced it before so an experienced helping hand is invaluable. You’ve got 3 kids I’m sure you understand that better than me
Thankyou for your advice it's all really helpful ! I have been trying to be really consistent with him. But also am conscious of not doing too much. So far everyday I have lead him in from field . (He is great to catch) gave him a feed and groomed him. I encourage him to walk along side me when I am leading him and stop when I do. He does get figity when tied up , but not tying him up for long. Is there any other important little things I can do to maintain his mannors. He is a lovely boy. But like you said I dont want to make mistakes and have to undo them. There is a lady on the yard who has had a young one and brought her on herself so got some good advice yesterday. With everything going in my children have had to come with me most days. Bit when things are back to a bit more normal and kids at school. I am going to start walking him out and lunging him in paddock.
There’s a million things to watch out for, things to do and not to do to really get them off on the right foot, but it’s impossible to be specific about them without being able to see the two of you interacting, you need someone there with you to guide you. Most RI’s will happily do a half hour handling session with you to get you on the right track, and it doesn’t need to be often, but then you also have the added bonus that you already have a relationship with the RI when it comes time for backing or if you do end up with ‘the kevins’ as he settles in.
Then don't do it.
This concerns me slightly. I would be thinking of getting in outside help to get some consistency.
Am I reading it correct that this is your first youngster. There isn't anything wrong with having a coach.
The first thing that's essential for all training is that those of us on the forum love photos. Especially as you will have those who love hairy, native and wide.
I can’t remember who here said it but I think it is the absolute best bit of advise ‘opinions are like assholes, everyone has one’ unfortunately you have the difficult task of working out which advise to follow as so many horse folk sound like they know what they’re on about but it can be difficult to know those with a little experience vs those who have dealt with hundreds of horses and Really know all about it.