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Raising a Colt

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  • Raising a Colt

    I am raising my first foal. He is currently 7 months old (as of January 8th 2020 at least) and I feel he is a little small. Then again I haven't been around many growing horses, but even my barn manager felt he was small for his age. I was wondering if anyone new of any supplements that are good to add to a foals diet. My barn manager mentioned that were some some sort of full feed that was good for making sure your horse got all the vitamins they needed.

    I also wanted to ask tips on training for these little guys, I've trained before, but never this young, so i'm coming across some behaviors that I want advice on how to address properly.

    Biting- I usually pinch him in response and its not aggressive biting. His previous owner carried treats in her pockets and he pulls at my clothes. He has nipped my arm once but it wasn't too bad. Just a little sore that day.
    Restless being tied- when he's tied up he doesn't know how to stand still and he is not cross tied trained. How would you go about teaching him to stand pretty?

    These are honestly it so far. He's a pretty calm colt. I'll ask about more if any pop up.

  • #2
    7 months is still toddler equivalent in a horse, little early to pronounce him too small. It is generally a mistake to stuff food in babies unless there is a specific deficiency or malnutrition noted which it does not sound like from what you’ve told us Save your money and the colts future health. He’s only been off the mare for a couple of months, lots of time to grow.

    Height is influenced by genetic makeup and you cant create extra height by feeding extras, he’ll grow to where his DNA sends him,

    Judging by his pedigree, he’s bred to be a working horse with lots of “ cow” in there. Those are not the biggest horses out there, bred more to be agile and catty quick on their feet. Never seen his parents but very familiar with the family lines represented and if there are successful Reiners in there, they won’t be particularly big tall types. Most are 15-15.2, some smaller. Course there are some bigger but, IMO, most tend not to be as quick in the pattern work or go down deep in front of a cow then sprint to block

    Be remiss not to mention that SOME western aficionados get mislead about healthy weight in SOME youngsters. They get seduced by flashy ads for very young Halter class winners touting show success. Understand SOME of these breeders pack the pounds in them so they look older then their age, the idea is to sell them and/or create a market for their offspring who others want to beef up and sell as quickly as possible. They aren’t interested in the future performance career, they are in business and need them sold.

    Don't ever look at some precocious, overfed colt spending hours going in circles conditioning in a sweat hood daily and compare him with your healthy colt at a healthy weight being allowed to be a colt and grow up to be a healthy, sound and useful horse. And don’t let random people pronounce him “too small” at 7 months old. That’s really kind of deflating for a proud new owner. Borderline ignorant.

    Ask your vet. You can also post a link to pictures/ videos on here...yes we are random people too but, collectively, have much experience with youngsters of many breeds and don’t make random judgements without being asked.
    Last edited by findeight; Jan. 6, 2020, 06:55 PM.
    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      Originally posted by findeight View Post

      Judging by his pedigree, he’s bred to be a working horse with lots of “ cow” in there. Those are not the biggest horses out there, bred more to be agile and catty quick on their feet. Never seen his parents but very familiar with the family lines represented and if there are successful Reiners in there, they won’t be particularly big tall types. Most are 15-15.2, some smaller.

      I'm not sure quite what you're getting at here. Are you saying that it's possible he will be too tall to be successful in reining? And Im assuming you looked at his pedigree from my previous post, when you say "cow" are you referencing working cow horses?

      Comment


      • #4
        If that is the colt with the pedigree in the Western forum, there is not much of today's performance type horse like reining or cutting there.
        Further back there is some show horse, twice Impressive in there, other foundation breeding.
        It seems for the past generations he may have been bred for color?

        According to that breeding, he should be a good size compared with colts his age, but could have thrown back to some shorter gene way back there, that also happens.

        At that age, he is not going to stand there very long, will just be wiggly more than settle down and stand there tied asleep.

        As for social good manners of not getting pushy or biting, that at that age is best taught by other horses.
        They will teach him not to barge in on others, not to bite or try to play without being invited first.
        Then it will be easier for the humans to reinforce what they already know.

        As for what to feed a weanling now yearling, have your vet examine him and tell you how it is doing on a standard growing curve and if it finds any you may have to change.

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          Originally posted by Bluey View Post
          If that is the colt with the pedigree in the Western forum, there is not much of today's performance type horse like reining or cutting there.
          Further back there is some show horse, twice Impressive in there, other foundation breeding.
          It seems for the past generations he may have been bred for color?

          According to that breeding, he should be a good size compared with colts his age, but could have thrown back to some shorter gene way back there, that also happens.

          At that age, he is not going to stand there very long, will just be wiggly more than settle down and stand there tied asleep.

          As for social good manners of not getting pushy or biting, that at that age is best taught by other horses.
          They will teach him not to barge in on others, not to bite or try to play without being invited first.
          Then it will be easier for the humans to reinforce what they already know.

          As for what to feed a weanling now yearling, have your vet examine him and tell you how it is doing on a standard growing curve and if it finds any you may have to change.

          I didn't really buy him to be any big competitor, mainly a project horse for my own growing experience. I enjoy reining, and its a sport I know, which is why I was hoping to train him in such. However, on the topic of his pedigree. If you go back far enough there are thoroughbreds. How much will that impact him AQHA wise/ breeding wise/ competition wise? Is it far enough back that he's still considered a pure bred Quarter horse?

          Comment


          • #6
            What is he being fed now? Brand of feed, weight of feed and hay type and weight in lbs.? How much does he weigh now?

            There's controversy on hard tying babies before their neck bones are done growing and stronger.

            I'd rather teach them to ground tie, which if he's a quiet colt should be easy to do.
            "There is no fundamental difference between man and animals in their ability to feel pleasure and pain, happiness, and misery." - Charles Darwin

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by FaithView View Post


              I didn't really buy him to be any big competitor, mainly a project horse for my own growing experience. I enjoy reining, and its a sport I know, which is why I was hoping to train him in such. However, on the topic of his pedigree. If you go back far enough there are thoroughbreds. How much will that impact him AQHA wise/ breeding wise/ competition wise? Is it far enough back that he's still considered a pure bred Quarter horse?
              Yes, you are right, TBs were in the pedigree of many foundation horses and a valued addition to the new breed.
              AQHA horses are what they are and the TB in them is part of it.
              Three Bars probably one of the most famous ones, in most pedigrees if you go far back enough.

              He has many very nice horses in his pedigree, he should grow into a really nice horse for you and should be able to do any you want, other than compete at the top with todays specially bred horses in some performance events.
              For an all around horse, he should be able to do whatever you train him to do just fine.

              Then, there is more to any horse than just it's pedigree, some are bred for something and surprise you shining at other.

              He also has a very nice name, that is always good.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Marla 100 View Post
                What is he being fed now? Brand of feed, weight of feed and hay type and weight in lbs.? How much does he weigh now?

                There's controversy on hard tying babies before their neck bones are done growing and stronger.

                I'd rather teach them to ground tie, which if he's a quiet colt should be easy to do.
                We tied our foals at a few days old along with their dams and never had one injured, not then, not later, not as grown horses.

                You do need to do it properly, teaching them first to give and then tying them where there is some give, like on a pipe fence, the rope over a pipe but tied to one below it, so the already trained foal has room to move without "hitting the end".

                The old way to tie hard and let them fight it as many did was never a good way, you are right about that.
                Have known horses injured by that method.

                These are some foals, days old, well handled to teach them to give and then tied with their dams for a very few minutes only.
                Some are AQHA race bred, some show/ranch bred ones.
                The two top pictures was a Flaming Jet daughter and her foal at two days old and three weeks old later.
                Bottom right is a daughter of Champsville (TB) and bottom left a gray show/ranch mare, foal was shown at halter, performance and cutting:

                Comment


                • #9
                  I have a late foal (July) who was both late (two weeks past due date) and tiny. He is now 11 and almost 16h. He may be 16h but I wouldn't want to admit it to myself!

                  His foal buddy was a month older and a bigger foal to begin with and mine didn't catch up for a long time. Don't think about big vs small but look at his weight and keep him from getting fat or skinny. I found my two would be a bit ribby, then cover the ribs nicely right before producing another growth spurt and getting ribby again.

                  My first foal pawed a bit when tied for a long time. I can't recommend the cure (though I had mostly gotten him to stop before the cure) as he pawed and hooked his foot on a high tensile wire fence and mangled it.

                  The other one pawed a bit too, but he is highly food motivated and he learned the food disappeared if he didn't stand still before I realized that's what I was training. I figured it out a couple of minutes after he did and started being more deliberate about the training.

                  Someone pointed out that 7months is still a toddler which means don't expect too much, but also don't set him up to do it. Start with standing still on a lead beside you for just a minute or two. When you tie him stay within arm's length at first. He will have to shift his weight to lift the foot and you can push him back before it starts. Find out what he likes (babies very often adore scritches - just don't let him scritch you in return) and praise often. Tell him "Stand!" as you push his weight back, and then as soon as he settles himself into a stand that is not shifting to move, then you praise.

                  One thing I took from dog training is to praise the command not the animal. "Good stand!" "Good back!" "Good walk!" and so on. I wasn't very good at it so my horse got lots of "Good boy! Good stand!" because "Good boy" fell out of my mouth and then I remembered to praise the command.


                  ​​​​​The other thing about training babies is always DO, never DON'T. Always know what you want him actively DOing and correct by asking him to DO that thing when he's doing something else. It's a redirect to the correct answer instead of letting him find something else to do when you say stop that.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by FaithView View Post
                    I am raising my first foal. He is currently 7 months old (as of January 8th 2020 at least) and I feel he is a little small. Then again I haven't been around many growing horses, but even my barn manager felt he was small for his age. I was wondering if anyone new of any supplements that are good to add to a foals diet. My barn manager mentioned that were some some sort of full feed that was good for making sure your horse got all the vitamins they needed.

                    I also wanted to ask tips on training for these little guys, I've trained before, but never this young, so i'm coming across some behaviors that I want advice on how to address properly.

                    Biting- I usually pinch him in response and its not aggressive biting. His previous owner carried treats in her pockets and he pulls at my clothes. He has nipped my arm once but it wasn't too bad. Just a little sore that day.
                    Restless being tied- when he's tied up he doesn't know how to stand still and he is not cross tied trained. How would you go about teaching him to stand pretty?

                    These are honestly it so far. He's a pretty calm colt. I'll ask about more if any pop up.
                    I just bought a weanling filly, who is 8 months old. I have not raised a weanling in many years, but I am not worried about her height as much as I am her weight. I think that between 6 and 12 months of age, they should be gaining about 1.5-2 lbs a week, and they don't gain "steady," it's in fits and spurts. I am weight taping her every 2 weeks; she was 468 lbs on January 1.

                    I just read things online for feed suggestions. She was getting Grow N Win, alfalfa pellets, oats and a digestive supplement at her old farm. I am transitioning her to Triple Crown Growth, and aiming to see about a 21 lb difference every 2 weeks.

                    What are you currently feeding your baby? I am under the impression that developmental orthopedic diseases are more linked to nutrient imbalances and less linked to amounts fed, which is why I am transitioning my filly to one feed instead of mixing products.

                    I have not started much training with mine, other than to get her leading a bit better. She is super friendly and sweet, but will body check you if something spooks her. I've had her less than a month, and with the holidays, work and weather, have not had much time to do much with her. She is not mouthy at all, but I'd pinch her lips if she got nippy.

                    Can we see a picture of him? I love baby pics!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Bluey View Post


                      You do need to do it properly, teaching them first to give and then tying them where there is some give, like on a pipe fence, the rope over a pipe but tied to one below it, so the already trained foal has room to move without "hitting the end".
                      I second this and would suggest a tie blocker ring. You need to make sure that when there is tension on the lead they need to step towards it for relief, whether doing in hand ground work or tied. I typically try and pull my young one out and make her stand tied for at least a few minutes while I'm doing my barn chores. Young ones don't have quite the attention span, so don't over do it.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by FaithView View Post
                        I am raising my first foal. He is currently 7 months old (as of January 8th 2020 at least) and I feel he is a little small. Then again I haven't been around many growing horses, but even my barn manager felt he was small for his age.
                        What is the context of this? Someone used to looking at WB foals will think a QH foal is "small for his age".

                        I was wondering if anyone new of any supplements that are good to add to a foals diet. My barn manager mentioned that were some some sort of full feed that was good for making sure your horse got all the vitamins they needed.
                        What is his current diet? Forage-only diets may contain all the calories a horse needs, but they don't contain all the nutrients, or all the nutrients in the right balances, or both, that a horse needs. I would at least have him on a ration balancer (Triple Crown 30, Purina Enrich Plus, Nutrena Empower Balance are 3 commonly available ones), fed at an amount appropriate for his age, which will be 2-3lb, depending on his expected mature weight.

                        If that makes him fat, then a good quality v/m supplement at the very least.

                        Most foals do not need the calories that come from regular growth feeds, but if he happens to, then find a low sugar+starch feed, like Triple Crown Sr (yes, senior, it's an excellent feed for growing horses, the formula is nearly identical to the original Growth formula before they added more oats and raised the NSC), and feed at the appropriate rate.

                        A common mistake I see is feeding a "regular' feed, the TC Sr for example, but at too low an amount because of the calories. That needs to be changed to a ration balancer in most cases.

                        I also wanted to ask tips on training for these little guys, I've trained before, but never this young, so i'm coming across some behaviors that I want advice on how to address properly.

                        Biting- I usually pinch him in response and its not aggressive biting. His previous owner carried treats in her pockets and he pulls at my clothes. He has nipped my arm once but it wasn't too bad. Just a little sore that day.
                        I would find someone who can give you a few lessons. Biting and striking/kicking at 100% unacceptable behaviors, ever, and something that warrants a "you are going to think I can kill you right now" moment. Loud and big and arms waving and all in his face so he runs backwards as fast as he can. Do it immediately, no more than 3-5 seconds, and then just stop and back off and let him stand with a "WTH just happened ??!!" expression on his face. Once he relaxes, go to him and love on him a bit and go back to whatever you were doing. Honestly, if he comes back for more biting/kicking/striking, you didn't scare him enough.

                        And no, contrary to what some might say, this will not make him scared OF you. Not if you are fair in your behavior, very black and white rules ALWAYS - no nipping allowed here because "oh, it was just my jacket, it didn't hurt" but then laying into him because he nipped your finger. No teeth, no feet, period.

                        Restless being tied- when he's tied up he doesn't know how to stand still and he is not cross tied trained. How would you go about teaching him to stand pretty?
                        Teaching any horse anything is always based on the same framework - ask, ignore the wrong tries, reward the smallest try the INSTANT he does it, no matter if it was just accidental or not. When he stands still for a nanosecond, praise him. Then ask again, praise, ask, praise, and over time, your praise doesn't come until he stands still for 3 seconds, then 5, then 10, then 30, etc.

                        Do this with a lead rope in your hand. Do not tie him at this stage. IMHO hard tying is not where you start, especially with this age, because they can very easily get into trouble and damage their necks. Just walk around with him, ask him to whoa, praise when he does, praise when he stands still for a few seconds, then go do something else. 5-10 minutes a day TOPS at his age. His attention span is really, really short.

                        ______________________________
                        The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Flash44 View Post
                          I am not worried about her height as much as I am her weight. I think that between 6 and 12 months of age, they should be gaining about 1.5-2 lbs a week, and they don't gain "steady," it's in fits and spurts. I am weight taping her every 2 weeks; she was 468 lbs on January 1.
                          Agree that weight is a much more critical factor than height. You can more or less control the weight, but you cannot control the height much.

                          I don't even care about pounds gained. I just like to see them lean - last few ribs visible is fine and even good. But you should at least be able to easily feel them under a Winter coat

                          She was getting Grow N Win, alfalfa pellets, oats and a digestive supplement at her old farm. I am under the impression that developmental orthopedic diseases are more linked to nutrient imbalances and less linked to amounts fed, which is why I am transitioning my filly to one feed instead of mixing products.
                          Yes, nutrient imbalances are big, but also excess energy intake (calories) can lead to DOD issues, either by causing fast growth, or getting them too fat. That's one of the drawbacks of feeding a "regular" feed like TC Growth. Not matter how good the feed, the feeding amounts are higher, and you can't decrease beyond a certain amount, to lower calories, without sacrificing nutrition.

                          Not knowing how many pounds of oats and alf pellets she was getting, that's not necessarily a bad diet, though personally I wouldn't feed the oats. A ration balancer at that age is fed at 2-3lb, which is fairly significant calories for that age, and then you can add alf pellets in increasing and decreasing amounts based on the changing calorie needs during growth spurts. Keeping a handful of alf pellets in the mix at all times allows you to add 1-2lb in short order to meet what can be a quickly changing increase on calorie needs. That makes it really simple to keep nutrition where it should be, and just tailor calories on a regular basis as needed

                          ______________________________
                          The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Thanks JB. She appears to be growing like a weed now. Since I got her, I let her halter out 2 holes and her rump has filled out and gotten taller. She is rump high now. I can still feel her ribs, although she is a hairy muddy mess most days. My husband is a vet and he really likes the Triple Crown products.

                            I think the breeder was giving her 1 lb GNW, 1/2 lb oats, and 1/2 lb alfalfa pellets.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Flash44 View Post

                              I just bought a weanling filly, who is 8 months old. I have not raised a weanling in many years, but I am not worried about her height as much as I am her weight. I think that between 6 and 12 months of age, they should be gaining about 1.5-2 lbs a week, and they don't gain "steady," it's in fits and spurts. I am weight taping her every 2 weeks; she was 468 lbs on January 1.

                              I just read things online for feed suggestions. She was getting Grow N Win, alfalfa pellets, oats and a digestive supplement at her old farm. I am transitioning her to Triple Crown Growth, and aiming to see about a 21 lb difference every 2 weeks.

                              What are you currently feeding your baby? I am under the impression that developmental orthopedic diseases are more linked to nutrient imbalances and less linked to amounts fed, which is why I am transitioning my filly to one feed instead of mixing products.

                              I have not started much training with mine, other than to get her leading a bit better. She is super friendly and sweet, but will body check you if something spooks her. I've had her less than a month, and with the holidays, work and weather, have not had much time to do much with her. She is not mouthy at all, but I'd pinch her lips if she got nippy.

                              Can we see a picture of him? I love baby pics!
                              Originally posted by Palm Beach View Post
                              Thanks JB. She appears to be growing like a weed now. Since I got her, I let her halter out 2 holes and her rump has filled out and gotten taller. She is rump high now. I can still feel her ribs, although she is a hairy muddy mess most days. My husband is a vet and he really likes the Triple Crown products.

                              I think the breeder was giving her 1 lb GNW, 1/2 lb oats, and 1/2 lb alfalfa pellets.
                              So Palm Beach and Flash44 are the same person?

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Simkie View Post
                                So Palm Beach and Flash44 are the same person?
                                Add me to the confused group! I did not think Flash44 sounded like Palm Beach at all.
                                Building and Managing the Small Horse Farm: http://thesmallhorsefarm.blogspot.com

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Libby2563 View Post

                                  Add me to the confused group! I did not think Flash44 sounded like Palm Beach at all.
                                  Really not at all! Different stories, different horses, totally different tone. Are they both....fake?

                                  So confused!!!

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                                  • #18
                                    I remember a youngster in the barn who started biting. It didn't last long, They came on one day with a pinched up little tent on their neck. No broken skin , just a tiny tent. The biting stopped. I suspect their dam explained that that was un acceptable, and they go the message.

                                    The tiny tent subsided and eventually became an "Allah's thumbprint". There was some Arab in the pedigree.
                                    Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

                                    Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.

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                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Simkie View Post

                                      Really not at all! Different stories, different horses, totally different tone. Are they both....fake?

                                      So confused!!!
                                      And go look at the pony with no penis thread. Is PB also carman_liz?

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                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Mara View Post

                                        And go look at the pony with no penis thread. Is PB also carman_liz?
                                        Haha okay now I’m thinking this must be a weird technical glitch!?

                                        ETA: Palm Beach also has a post in the Spilling Feed thread that sounds like more info being added by the OP, a new poster. I’m really thinking technical glitch here...
                                        Building and Managing the Small Horse Farm: http://thesmallhorsefarm.blogspot.com

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