need expert advice fast! move foal to larger barn or keep at home?
my friend and I have a fantastic little 3 month corlando foal currently living in Oregon on her great private home ranch with his dam and a gelding. They are a very cute happy family, the facility is great. he's got a great life there, a good routine. all the grass he wants. weekly halter training etc.
We are planning to drive him down to Northern California later this month with his mom. The two would stay at a VERY nice facilty here, a breeding farm, where he'll go through inspections and then they'd live together and be weaned in the herd after which mom will go home alone. (during this time the gelding will be at another barn so as not to be stuck home alone when mom and foal are gone).
maybe it's just panicky new mom last minute jitters but my friend and I are both worried about the 8 hour drive down for him. mom has great trailoring experience, this will be his first. it's a log haul and he's had a pretty quiet sheltered life. and since there's no way just to knock him out and bubble wrap him.... (is there?)
Suddenly I'm asking, why are we doing this at all? why can't he just stay with mom and gelding (Uncle Leo) until... until I don't know until when. My friend loves having him there and as much as I'd love having him down here I'm scared of the drive as well. and it just seems like so much drama for the little guy.
I've heard that they are better socialized in a herd and with others their own aga and that they become bossy or naughty of they aren't. he's a saint. really.
Have we gone out of our minds?
Also have a trailoring questions - we'd bring them down at night to avoid traffic. lights in the trailor on or off? on might make oncoming traffic less shocking... pom poms in his ears to muffle the traffic sounds?
can do for sure. he's been fed in there and will cruise in and out on his own. loading wint be a proble,. its those 8 hours.... we'll both drive them down but we'll be rleuctant to take them out for a stretch with unrpedicatable baby.
It is possible you have gone out of your minds. If the foal can be inspected where he is, lives out in pasture, and has handling from you or your friend, why are you moving him? If he isn't being handled and won't be inspected then yes, maybe it is necessary, but otherwise, why? As far as living in a herd, there is the good and the bad. He is in a very small, mixed group now and will be weaned with a friend. He should be fine in a big herd, but sometimes those in large herds don't get as much attention to detail that those in small herds do. Right now in CA there is little to no pasture; all is dry lot. If he is on pasture in Oregon, that would be another consideration for me.
additionally, the place in half moon bay is great, its an oldenburg breeding facility, has 24 hour vet service, super careful feeding program etc and he and mom would just stay there a few months after inspection until all mares and foals are weaned together.
would definitely hate to ship them up and down twice.
You could plan your trip a little different. Do some 'sight seeing' - see if there are any facilities between you and your destination that offer daily or hourly boarding for travelers. You can trailer him there, drop them off for a few hours, then load them up again and move on.
you can try to find some at the halfway point or at 2 or 3 hour intervals.
That way they are not on the trailer for as long and less chance of issues and a chance to check them out. I have also seen horses out and grazing on a lead at roadside stops - not sure how they are designed in Oregon, but back east they are almost always off the road and fairly well protected from stray dogs, kids, etc from running into the highway.
I'd bet that he'll do alright without the pom pons, the lights on, etc. Just stop every 2-3 hours as mentioned so that you can check on him. That will calm your nerves as well as giving them a rest.
Is your rig big enough to make a box stall? That way if he needs to nap, he could choose a corner, while mom stays tied.
I'm all for herd weaning and socialization. But also another mare around can be almost as effective. I love to watch 'kids' playing, as what they do with each other is so different than what they can get away with with an adult.
I may have been away for a while, but I'm not gone yet!
If you're driving at night time I would not have the lights on inside the trailer, unless you have a weired trailer there should be no way oncoming car lights can get to him directly!
I also don't see any reason for the pom poms!
If it was my foal I would leave in the late evening, drive about 4hrs and find a place to sleep there for me and baby. Then start out early in the morning for the rest of the trip.
Hoppe, Hoppe, Reiter...
Wenn er faellt dann schreit er...
If his mom trailers well, he should be fine. I have never done little "pre-trips", and sometimes the trip to Devon has taken up to 7 hours, as we had a break down, or lots of traffic. The babies do great. None have gone down to sleep, but all have been at least 3 months old. We do stop every couple of hours (restroom, gas), but it is only about a 15 minute break.
Occasionally during those 5 to 6 hours, they have not been able to nurse. In 2005, we hauled mom in an open 2 horse with the 4 1/2 month old colt loose. About 2 hours out, the back door came unlatched and was ripped off the trailer & destroyed. Thankfully, we loaded him straight in, and he had not felt that he had enough room to turn around. My only option was to tie the baby, like he was a grown up horse. He rode next to mom, although without a partition, for the 3 + hours to get to Devon. Coming home, we did the same, just loaded him up, tied him and drove. He had never been tied before, but rode like a champ, and even placed 4th in his class. It ended up being a super learning experience for him, even if terrifying for me.
This really is a laugh-out-loud video!!! What a hoot! He doesn't look the least bit skittish to me. I think he'll do just fine if you decide to take him on the long trailer ride. You'll have to stop a few times to let him nurse, but he should be perfectly fine. He'll probably lay down and sleep most of the way.
Hi - I have hauled a mare & foal to their inspections twice - once was 5 hrs & the other was 7 or 8. I was nervous too, but in both cases it went very smoothly - we took out the partition and tied the mare in one corner and left the foal loose. They had a hay bag & I also put some hay on the floor. Lots of shavings and they were wetted down before we loaded. Both my mares were good shippers and the foals did fine. I don't think they ever layed down, but they were also at least 3 months old and could turn around. I stopped often for them to relax and offered water, but I wouldn't feel comfortable unloading them. I think as long as they have a chance to relax, you are better off doing the whole trip at once. Traveling at night is a good idea if you're worried about heat. I wouldn't be concerned with lights bothering them either.