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Tips for teaching mom/foal to trailer

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  • Tips for teaching mom/foal to trailer

    I will be taking Ace into the trailer with mom for the first time tomorrow. I have my friend (and a groom at my barn) coming to help. We have a 2 horse slant and we were just going to see what happens.

    Any tips? My mare is very concerned about where her foal is, so will that be a problem when walking her in the trailer?

    Any tried and true hints would be fantastic! Thanks

  • #2
    Is it completely open? I haul in a stock trailer so mine have lots of room. If the foal is very young I just hook hands with a friend behind the foals butt and kind of hoist the foal in. If the mare is really concerned I will keep her right behind the foal instead of loading her first. On the other hand some foals will walk in right behind mom so do what you feel is comfortable. If mom is going to panic I would load the foal first. If mom is relaxed in the trailer try to load her first and see what happens. If nothing else have someone hold her and two other helpers keep the foal close behind and hoist the foal in if needed. That way the foal can go out of sight of mom.
    Cindy's Warmbloods
    www.cindyswarmbloods.com Cindy's Warmbloods
    www.facebook.com/CindysWarmbloods Join Us on Facebook for latest updates!


    • #3
      The loading is crusial I think, really sets the tone for future loadings. Make sure you have plenty of help, 3 people at least. If the mom is a worrier, have one hold the mare, 2 grap the foal from behind and just walk him in (and hold) until mom comes on.

      And I second nothing in the trailer as well.

      Best of luck
      Linda Woltz
      standing Benidetto (Belissimo M/SPS COrdoba)


      • #4
        Make a box stall (take out the middle partition if it's a 2 horse trailer, and have someone carry the foal in ahead of the mare. Never put a mare on first. If the foal is older, have two people lock arms behind his rump and walk him up the ramp.
        We keep the mare and foal loose in the box stall.

        Stop every hours or so to allow the foal to nurse.
        Last edited by VirginiaBred; May. 5, 2008, 09:38 AM.
        Randee Beckman ~Otteridge Farm, LLC (http://on.fb.me/1iJEqvR)~ Marketing Manager - The Clothes Horse & Jennifer Oliver Equine Insurance Specialist


        • #5
          Yup, I second all the advice. Have 2 people (or 1 if the foal is very small) put the foal on first. Have someone else hold the mare so she doesn't trample the foal handlers as she self-loads after her foal. Is the mare a good loader herself? If so, you should have no problems. Definitely put the foal on first. If you put the mare on, and the foal doesnt immediately follow (some will, some won't) then the mare will get frantic and will unload (whatever you do, don't lock the mare in (ie butt bar) without the foal already on the trailer) and then it will be harder to get her on a second time. I also agree with taking out the partition. You can tie the mare (or not) but don't tie the foal and don't put any sort of leg wraps on the foal.


          • #6
            Definitely a box stall. We put some bedding inside and spread hay over it. We teach our foals to lead in front of the mare because sometimes I'm the only person here for turn out and bringing them in. So as others have said - walk the foal up first and then the mare. We always tie the mare and let the foal free when hauling but for the teaching process just keep them on awhile and then walk them off.
            Summit Sporthorses Ltd. Inc.
            "Breeding Competition Partners & Lifelong Friends"


            • #7
              I had a broodmare who lived to eat and I knew i was going to have to trailer her and her foal by myself. So every day I hitched up the trailer in the barnyard and fed her on it. The foal would follow. One day I just closed the ramp.
              Worked like a champ for her two foals. The mare however was a self loader to begin with.
              I wasn't always a Smurf
              Penmerryl Sophie RIDSH
              "I ain't as good as I once was but I'm as good once as I ever was"
              The ignore list is my friend. It takes 2 to argue.


              • #8
                I just wanted to clarify that the ONLY way I would load a mare first is if there are 3 people and two cradling the foal DIRECTLY behind. I would never leave a foal loose just to see if it would follow. The two people cradling the foal behind literally keep the foal almost touching mom the whole way and help the foal in if needed if he/she does not automatically follow. I have not had a mare that is a good loader panic with this method as her foal is never more than a foot or so away.
                Cindy's Warmbloods
                www.cindyswarmbloods.com Cindy's Warmbloods
                www.facebook.com/CindysWarmbloods Join Us on Facebook for latest updates!


                • Original Poster

                  Well, we got it done mostly.

                  We tried the baby first, but he wasn't going on, even with us pushing him. We didn't muscle him into it because we didn't want to scare him.

                  We put mom in and let the baby stand right by the door so she could see him. She did call to him, but stood pretty well. They still couldn't coax baby in, so we took mom out. I finally got fed up and said I will put baby in no matter what and had the groom push while I pulled.

                  He jumped in and hung out and then we walked him out. We let them back out in turnout and did it again a few hours later.

                  Haven't got mom and baby in together yet. That will be next time. baby steps I suppose. The trailer is a small 2 horse and doesn't have a ramp, so it was a little hard getting him to step up onto it, but all wen well in the end, just have to get mom on too next time. She can be a stubborn cow sometimes!


                  • #10
                    I have an adam's stock - I can take out the middle divider, but would you guys also recommend taking out the chest bars so its a completely open box?


                    • #11
                      I have been having to haul a huge six week old colt so get mom re-bred. It was not easy wrestling him on. She loads right up if I can get him in, but with just two of us, it's a HARD job. Hoping there is some tough helper at the clinic today when I go pick them up. With the littler ones, we have never had a problem, just sort of push/carry the foal and mom usually hops right in.
                      Trinity Hill Farm


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Samotis View Post
                        We tried the baby first, but he wasn't going on, even with us pushing him. We didn't muscle him into it because we didn't want to scare him.
                        Did you try picking his feet up and putting them inside the trailer? Some of them will allow you to put their feet up and just need help getting in from there (two people push from behind.) We have actually just lifted their hind ends up to get them moving into the trailer if their front feet were inside. Two people stand behind the foal, lock hands under the rear end and push/lift.
                        Altamont Sport Horses
                        Trakehners * Knabstruppers * Appaloosa Sport Horses
                        Home of stallions: Ambrosius af Asgard "Atlantis" & Hollywood Hot Spot
                        Birmingham, AL


                        • #13
                          We always load the mare 1st. If the foal will not go on forward then back them on... Hunter_rider gave us that tip a few years ago and it works wonders!!!!


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by 53
                            I have an adam's stock - I can take out the middle divider, but would you guys also recommend taking out the chest bars so its a completely open box?
                            Is the floor past the bars fully supported?
                            Randee Beckman ~Otteridge Farm, LLC (http://on.fb.me/1iJEqvR)~ Marketing Manager - The Clothes Horse & Jennifer Oliver Equine Insurance Specialist


                            • #15
                              Be careful if you are loading a foal, doing that push/pull thing. They can so easily rear and flip over. If you take the dock of the tail, and push it up to load, they can't rear. Get someone that knows what they are doing to do this, so you don't injure the tail, as you want to press it up right at the base. It shouldn't take much.