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New Foal advice needed.

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  • New Foal advice needed.

    I'm looking for advice on rearing our new Foal.
    I purchased my Daughter a very talented grade Palomino QH,she was bred when we purchased her,and although we did not really want a foal,we purchased the mare for her training.
    We now have a beautiful Buckskin colt,his sire is Mapleside Mr.Magic,I was thinking of selling the foal when he is weaned as we just do not have the knowledge to train a foal,but with the Horse market the way it is Im just not sure if we should put the money into him and send him to our trainer,or if we should sell him when he is weaned.
    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
    ,

  • #2
    I don't mean to sound harsh, but I speak from experience. Whether you plan to keep the foal, sell him as a weanling or sell him later on, get the help of your trainer NOW. You'll be doing the horse a favor.

    Foals are cute. They also come into the world knowing nothing about leading, being tied, picking up feet or (most importantly) not running down/kicking/otherwise maiming humans. It is totally different than handling a trained adult horse or even a greenie. You have to keep them from learning bad habits that may be with them for life and make the life of everyone who will ever ride or handle the horse easier. It's SOOOOO easy to either scare a baby or let it turn into a bratty yearling or 2 year old with no respect for your space. Sadly, not many people want a pushy young horse (especially a grade or a registered one with undistinguished bloodlines) once it's past the cute baby stage. I don't think I have to spell out the fate of a lot of these horses. In many parts of the country, grade weanlings/yearlings are going for 50 bucks or less now.

    The market is not great for much of anything now, but still, a 2-3 year old that can be easily handled (leads, ties, clips, bathes, loads, lunges) and has been nicely started is going to be an easier sell than a weanling. A 4 year old that's going nicely and can be ridden by your average ammie is even better (this is why almost no one makes money breeding horses). Especially for grade horses, the ONLY thing they have going for them will be their manners and training. If you don't feel up to teaching your foal all the groundwork and manners he needs to know, get your trainer's help sooner rather than later. It's easier to establish boundaries with a couple hundred pound foal than an 800 lb yearling who's been getting away with murder his whole life.

    I speak from experience. Nine years ago, my dad and I decided to breed my mare. We knew nothing about babies and probably made every mistake you could make. On top of this, we ended up with a foal with a very sensitive yet still very confrontational personality. Personality is somewhat innate and it's a role of the genetic dice. I still have the baby, now 8. It took lots of time, money, and effort to end up with a horse that (finally) respects me on the ground. But it would have been easier if we had gotten help sooner. Don't make this mistake.

    Good luck,
    BES

    ETA: Just realized the foal in question is a colt. I advise converting him to a gelding as soon as your vet thinks he's old enough. Teaching a baby manners is that much harder when you have hormones thrown into the equation
    Proudly owned by 2 chestnut mares
    Crayola Posse: sea green
    Mighty Rehabbers Clique

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      Thankyou BES

      Thankyou very much for your advice,we have had a halter on him,and my Daughter has been out with him nearly everyday,but I can certainly see him becoming a "little Brat" if we dont get him to our trainer.
      We have him in a paddock with his Mum,as Im concerned about turning him out in the larger pasture where our geldings can reach over the fence,do you have any advice about turning him out...I feel very naive and think I really jumped into buying this mare without looking at the future of this foal.

      Comment


      • #4
        Keep mom and baby separate for at least a month. Then bring in one of the nicer herd horses, one at a time so they all can meet on mom and baby's turf before putting them out with the herd.

        As far as raising babies. I have raised many a weanling, but never a suckling until last year.
        I was petrified...and as I said I have raised many colts and fillies, owned horses now almost 40 years.
        So, I watched mom and my senior gelding interactions with the colt. My colt was extremely mouthy as in mouth wide open coming at you. Everything about him was brato.
        So, we kept things really really short for the first three months. In stall, pick up feet, then out. In stall, halter on/ halter off, then out. In stall, brush 5 minutes tops, then out. You get the idea.
        If he did anything bratty, which for him was usually nipping or trying to mouth something, I would walk away, and instructed all barn help to do the same. Mom and sr gelding did that.
        Then about 6 months he started to get nipped or corrected. I also was not as quick to ignore bad behavior either, and would say NO, and walk away.

        I totally agree to seek advice of your trainer, but I also have to say I seem to be encountering a lot of bad trainers lately. Maybe they know how to teach riding, but their horsemanship seems to end there.

        Get some good videos or books on bringing up babies. I am sure some Cothers can help direct you in good books.

        Just remember, anything he does as a baby and gets away with, will just stay with him as an adult, but not be so cute.
        I don't believe in discipline, either physical or verbal, when they are under 6 months, since they don't understand it. Ignoring them works pretty well. And I mean, hang out with the colt, but as soon as he gets bratty, say NO, and walk away. No drama, just don't feed into his bad behavior.
        He will learn, be good, I get humans, be naughty, they disappear or are out of my reach.

        Also, I never led my colt to pasture until he was almost 3 months. I had read leading them when they are younger than that can do damage to their neck.

        For the record, my colt is now a yearling, picks his feet, walks well on a lead, has had a bath, been cross tied, taken for long walks away from mom and dear old sr gelding, and knows whoa, back, stand, and walk on. How well those words register, well, he seems to get it. I always use the words I will use whether they get it or not.

        I do not think I have spent more than 15 minutes on doing anything with him and not everyday. My point is, it doesn't require a lot of time, and I think overspending time with them increases the brat factor.
        Make your time with them the first 6 months, only productive and positive in very short spans.

        Be prepared for weaning. I had a sr gelding he was turned out with as
        I did not want him to join my herd. I have two already established herds, and did not want him in with them for reasons. He and my gelding stayed together for the weaning, and mom stayed in the adjacent paddock. All went well, very well. They are now all together again, and colt is quite indepedent...something I was concerned about with barn sour, herd bound behavior. He has heard mom and pop scream for him for months now, while he goes off and explores, so he doesn't care.

        A buckskin colt...I am jealous. I bet he is adorable.
        I also agree with the above posters...getting a horse trained could save its life.
        save lives...spay/neuter/geld

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          Thankyou "fivehorses" you have given me some excellent advice.
          I think I was so worried that I was not spending enough time with him,that I was maybe spending too much time,when he gets mouthy which he does,I spend more time around him until he stops..which of course he will start up again when Im next around him,this is the time I should be walking away from him,just like a naughty child,standing and telling the child they are "naughty"is not going to make a lot of difference,but walking away and ignoring the behaviour will have a much bigger impact in the long run.

          Thankyou again for the sound advice...and yes he is so cute,I wish I could post a photo of him on here.

          Comment


          • #6
            Linda Tellington-Jones has some very nice videos on dealing with babies, including older ones if it comes to that.

            Comment


            • #7
              What you will find most difficult is that other people think there mouthy behavior is oh so cute and will not walk away.

              As soon as my colt(and yes, even today) if he gets mouthy, I say, no, and walk away. SOmetimes I don't even say no, I just leave. Not the barn, but his stall, not the farm, but his turnout area.

              They don't comprehend much as wee babies, but they do know they like us humans, and when their behavior is naughty and we leave, well, eventually the correlation will dawn on them! I add NO to teach the word with my actions...leaving. As he aged, I would say No, and give him a quick whack. Never on the face, usually on his chest or neck. But, I find even hitting is not necessary. Once they get NO, they usually know that means a negative.

              I had a woman here today first time, and she was pushing very hard on one of my horses to get off the hose. I told her, all you have to do is say back or over and lightly touch the side you want them to move off of. She was stunned to see me do it, and she had been pushing hard, and he was pushing right back at her. This was a draft.

              Anyhow, common sense, and realizing this is a baby, and like human babies they don't always get it at first. be consistent, do everything as a teaching opportunity.
              Even at a week old, if I wanted my little one over, touch lightly(sometimes I would physically move him) and say over. Thats how they learn to associate the word with the requested action.

              Again time wise, I really did not spend too much time.
              I watched a video of a young colt with a mare and this woman was sitting in the stall with the newborn, the mare was a rescue and obviously upset with her in the stall, and I thought, hello, leave them alone. They don't need humans constantly in their face.
              You feed them, you turn them out to pasture, bring them in, feed them, groom, I mean thats a lot of interaction for a baby.
              Also, my colt came out of a very abused mare who had obviously been beaten. I chose to let baby explore me on his terms so he would not pick up mom's negativity. Remember, they have lots of senses, and are picking up your vibes, but most importantly picking up mom's. They watch the interaction you have with their mother as well as the other horses around.

              I had to hose my colt after gelding. I enlisted the help of someone, since I wanted one of his to hold him, and the other hose him. I did not want him to learn to do the hose dance! Anyhow, a week or so ago during one of our few hot days, I gave his poppy a bath, who stands like a statue for it. I got the colt, and again had someone help, and we not only hosed his legs but his entire body. I think watching his poppy be so good, he thought, ok, don't like it, but will take it.

              They are great fun. Just remember, use every opportunity with him as a lesson...since that is really what it is.
              Do not worry about time spent, in fact, under 3 months, there is very little you can do other than groom, and even then we are talking for a minute and building up. When he learns to like grooming, and starts getting mouthy and you say NO, and walk out...he will learn.
              OH, and they stay mouthy for a long time. My guy is now 13 months, and seems to have just relapsed. One day he was coming at me with mouth open, and my response was, ooh, you poor baby, teeth hurt? And walked away. LOL. He is back to being good again.
              save lives...spay/neuter/geld

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                Thankyou.

                Originally posted by fivehorses View Post
                What you will find most difficult is that other people think there mouthy behavior is oh so cute and will not walk away.

                As soon as my colt(and yes, even today) if he gets mouthy, I say, no, and walk away. SOmetimes I don't even say no, I just leave. Not the barn, but his stall, not the farm, but his turnout area.

                They don't comprehend much as wee babies, but they do know they like us humans, and when their behavior is naughty and we leave, well, eventually the correlation will dawn on them! I add NO to teach the word with my actions...leaving. As he aged, I would say No, and give him a quick whack. Never on the face, usually on his chest or neck. But, I find even hitting is not necessary. Once they get NO, they usually know that means a negative.

                I had a woman here today first time, and she was pushing very hard on one of my horses to get off the hose. I told her, all you have to do is say back or over and lightly touch the side you want them to move off of. She was stunned to see me do it, and she had been pushing hard, and he was pushing right back at her. This was a draft.

                Anyhow, common sense, and realizing this is a baby, and like human babies they don't always get it at first. be consistent, do everything as a teaching opportunity.
                Even at a week old, if I wanted my little one over, touch lightly(sometimes I would physically move him) and say over. Thats how they learn to associate the word with the requested action.

                Again time wise, I really did not spend too much time.
                I watched a video of a young colt with a mare and this woman was sitting in the stall with the newborn, the mare was a rescue and obviously upset with her in the stall, and I thought, hello, leave them alone. They don't need humans constantly in their face.
                You feed them, you turn them out to pasture, bring them in, feed them, groom, I mean thats a lot of interaction for a baby.
                Also, my colt came out of a very abused mare who had obviously been beaten. I chose to let baby explore me on his terms so he would not pick up mom's negativity. Remember, they have lots of senses, and are picking up your vibes, but most importantly picking up mom's. They watch the interaction you have with their mother as well as the other horses around.

                I had to hose my colt after gelding. I enlisted the help of someone, since I wanted one of his to hold him, and the other hose him. I did not want him to learn to do the hose dance! Anyhow, a week or so ago during one of our few hot days, I gave his poppy a bath, who stands like a statue for it. I got the colt, and again had someone help, and we not only hosed his legs but his entire body. I think watching his poppy be so good, he thought, ok, don't like it, but will take it.

                They are great fun. Just remember, use every opportunity with him as a lesson...since that is really what it is.
                Do not worry about time spent, in fact, under 3 months, there is very little you can do other than groom, and even then we are talking for a minute and building up. When he learns to like grooming, and starts getting mouthy and you say NO, and walk out...he will learn.
                OH, and they stay mouthy for a long time. My guy is now 13 months, and seems to have just relapsed. One day he was coming at me with mouth open, and my response was, ooh, you poor baby, teeth hurt? And walked away. LOL. He is back to being good again.
                Thankyou all for the excellent advice you have given me,I have started on the "NO" with him today, and he just looked at me with those cute eye's and when he opened his cute little mouth ready to take a bite of me,I walked away,it didnot seem to bother him yet,but if I'm religeous with this method,from all the advice I have recieved from you all,I'm sure in the long run this is going to have a better impact on him.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Babies are a blast, but they are not for the faint of heart. They are quicker than you can imagine and can go from 0 to BIG TROUBLE in a heartbeat.

                  That said, the best advice I can give you is what I heard from a race horse trainer years ago - love them, let them know you love them, and don't let them get away with ANYTHING. I followed his advise on the youngsters I raised and it never failed me. I spent 2+ hours with my young gelding because I had the audacity to try to pick up his foot while he was eating his dinner. He had a scratch on his hind leg I wanted to look at and he tried to take my head off. Now, keep in mind picking up feet was not a suddenly new thing to him. He had been having his feet handled for well over a year by this time (he was about 2, I had had him since he was 1 and they had been handled since birth). I took his food away and proceeded to pick up each and every foot. I didn't lose my temper (although he did) and DID NOT stop until each foot had been handled in the manner befitting a gentleman. He was then fussed over big time and his dinner was given back after he cooled off. It paid off in the long run and he's never tried to kick me again (to date - I place no guarantees on the future LOL).

                  It's that kind of perserverance you will need. If you don't have it you really need to send him down the road to somebody who does. You don't do youngsters a favor by letting them get away with nonsense.
                  Last edited by Saidapal; Jul. 13, 2009, 03:35 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    bump
                    save lives...spay/neuter/geld

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