Mare teaching foal to lead? From Warmbloods Today art. about fire
I read it awhile ago, but the article has stuck with me. A farm (which you may know--I forgot the name) was in the path of a fire and they had to evacuate. The person being interviewed was grateful that they teach the foals to lead off their mothers (by tying them to the mare?) and therefore they had no issues with leading the mares and foals during the evacuation.
Does anyone teach leading this way? Can you give some details? Pros/Cons? I'm just interested in hearing more about this.
I think its a horrible idea. Its way too easy to permanently damage their fragile necks. That said, I do teach all my babies to lead by the time they are a couple of days old due to the layout of the farm. To get to the paddock they have to walk on top of a retaining wall and I don't want them to wander away and fall off. I use a butt rope at first then once they get the hang of it we just lead them normally being very careful to go with them if they pull back or run forward.
I've done it for years.
Not to teach to lead ; no; that I teach them early on, but when I'm on my own-which is often- and need to transfer mare and foal from one place to another I find it most helpfull.
I've seen shots of the mares from the VDL stud being led to pasture (?) with their month plus foals following them (free) but it seems my foals always get to wandering and then inevitably one of them panics or gets into trouble. (sigh!)
Safer and quicker to lead mom with baby tied to her neck: I even converted an old breastplate for that purpose. I find that when the foal digs in and start to throw a fit most of the mares simply stop wait for the tantrum to pass and then we resume. I've never had a foal hurt in any way: but I'm patient and keep a close eye on them, circling around if it helps.