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The Late Foal... Comparisons to the Early Foal.

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  • The Late Foal... Comparisons to the Early Foal.

    Let's talk a little about late foals and relate comparisons to early foals. How disadvantaged are they through the early phase of life? I expect once full maturity is reached, it doesn't really matter that much but for the age group divisions at shows, they may be as much as 4-6 months younger than others they are competing against and what about inspections? Here in NS, having an inspection is in itself a challenge so sometimes they come every two years. Would presenting a late foal as a yearling be better than showing up with the tiny baby with the spider legs??

    Just like to hear about some of your experiences and feelings on this.

    I purchased a filly born in September. She is four months of age in January. KWPN bred. She will not be shedding out her baby fuzz for a while yet. Here in the cold country she will be needing it a while yet. She is still on the mare and the breeder is competing in the south so the plan is to leave her on the mare until she returns and will wean in March. Would this extra month or two on the mare add to the foal's development or does it really matter? Both mare and foal are in very good weight and doing well. Yesterday while grooming the foal, I was getting lost in her wooly winter coat and enjoyinig it, so I don't think the baby is minding it one bit.

    Tell me your views and opinions on this please.

  • #2
    The older the foal gets the less they will nurse. But the mare still provides comfort in scary times and wisdom about the world. Not a bad thing at all as long as they are both in good weight.
    McDowell Racing Stables

    Home Away From Home


    • #3
      The foal will be 6 months old in March... I NEVER wean before that unless it's a medical situation. So your current plan sounds good to me.

      As far as showing goes, I wouldn't be in any hurry to show her this year, however by next year the difference between her and older youngsters won't be noticable.

      Good luck!
      Siegi Belz
      2007 KWPN-NA Breeder of the Year
      Dutch Warmbloods Made in the U. S. A.


      • #4
        September is really a 'late' foal and just forget about presenting them anyway as a weanling, he has to be at least 6 weeks old to be accepted at KWPN keuring.

        In big keuring they try to separate the classe so they will have an early and late foals classes. And from what I saw for equal quality the early foal has more change to get a better place but otherwise I saw a 6 weeks old winning the Championship against 4 months old but he was really outstanding.

        I feel the age where they look the best is 3 months to 4 months .

        So in your case you have no choice anyway only to present him as a yearling. If the judges do a good job at checking the 'age' of your yearling it should not mathers but I remember once have a comment about my foal born in July in an early September KWPN keuring. They presented him as born in June which a month makes a huge difference and they said that he was underdevelopped for his age.... (she finished 16.3 h) I wanted to jump in the ring to make them realized their mistake but I didn't and he was my first Second Premium...and last.

        I learned a lot from this experience.
        Breeder of Royal Dutch Sport Horse


        • #5
          In terms of weaning, I actually prefer to wean around 8 months unless there is a health reason with the mare or foal that requires earlier weaning. Research has shown that foals that are weaned "older" (more in line with what happens in nature 8-12 months) experience less stress (physical and social) and keep their weight better. Due to weather issues, I once weaned as late as 12 months with no ill effects to foal or mare. (That was the easiest separation of all my weanings and the weaning process here is pretty low stress since we use a "nanny" system.)

          In terms of inspections, it depends on the registry. It has been a while since I was involved with KWPN (and that was only as an observer) so I can't offer any insights on their foal vs. yearling assessments.
          Dawn Jones-Low
          Faerie Court Farm Arabian Sport Horses


          • Original Poster

            I am hoping for a KWPN inspection in the fall of 2013 coming to the area, as there wasn't one locally in 2012. Never Say Never Farm I believe will be hosting.

            Currently she is a stout filly with plenty of width and depth everywhere, I am hoping that her yearling gangly "longer lines" stage should have her looking just about right. We shall see.

            One other question comes to mind, perhaps just a superstition but is there a time relating to the phase of the moon that is "Best for Weaning"? As the moon affects height of tides, I often wondered if it affects us, and it is often said we get a bit looney on a full moon. LOL

            I know my dad was always one to make weather predictions about this sort of thing. Amazingly he was usually right. I enjoyed his predictions.
            Last edited by Hocus Focus; Jan. 11, 2013, 11:02 AM.


            • #7
              We leave foals on the mares as long as possible. Studies show this is beneficial to the foals and they have a lower incidence of ulcers.
              As far as size at maturity relative to how early or late in the year they are born - the Jockey Club did an extensive study on this as they are always trying to breed for Jan/Feb foals and they found that by the time they were 3 yo's there was no difference in their size relative to the month foaled.
              Summit Sporthorses Ltd. Inc.
              "Breeding Competition Partners & Lifelong Friends"


              • #8
                I also prefer to wean at 8 months. At that stage of social development they have learned and individuality makes it less stressful (provided mare and foals are with others).

                That said, I've had to wean at 4 months (mare issue) and earlier in my breeding career I did the 6 month thing...yet I've found 8 months the very best (quite by accident -- I couldn't wean for an early winter and ice storms that would not have made it safe -- and accidentally I learned something about weaning.)

                Though I stopped breeding for babies myself years ago, I have late-born baby here right now. The mare that lived close by was bred to my late stallion Boleem in July. It was so bloody hot the owner, who had no run in sheds, the baby had no "out" time, so I offered her to bring them here.

                The dam turned out to be nutty, and because of that we weaned at 4 months. It had to be done for the benefit of the physical safety of the foal and the mental health (learned behavioral issues to be avoided from the dam) for its future life.

                She's doing just great! Brought in a surrogate buddy before she was weaned. Size and weight wise she looks exactly what she should look like for a foal her age. If you wean early, make sure you are feeding correctly for a young, weaned foal.

                The late babies can be a problem. But IME, once they get past 6 mos., IF you feed them correctly, house them with well adapted older horses, you'll never know they were weaned very early...behaviorally or physically.
                www.littlebullrun@aol.com See Little Bull Run's stallions at:
                "Argosy" - YouTube and "Boleem" - YouTube
                Boleem @ 1993 National Dressage Symposium - YouTube


                • #9
                  You might have "presentation" issues when inspecting as a yearling. Some get past 6 months and just fall apart and don;t come together again until past 3. Some look wonderful and never get the "uglies". What will be in your control is to present her as if you KNOW she will be beautiful and they are lucky to get to see her. PatO


                  • #10
                    Foal inspections are not mandatory with the KWPN, so you could just wait until your filly is three and then present her for studbook.
                    Siegi Belz
                    2007 KWPN-NA Breeder of the Year
                    Dutch Warmbloods Made in the U. S. A.


                    • Original Poster

                      Thanks everyone. I think Siegi's suggestion makes a lot of sense based on what everyone else has contributed as she will not look disadvantaged at that time. However, since we live in a remote area as far as the inspections are concerned, I may have to play that by ear and see "as you say" if she is "pleasing to the eye" or "unsightly" at the time they come through. As she is a bit of a tank anything could happen physically during the growth stages.

                      Another non related question... I also own a Canadian Sporthorse Filly who is a May foal, and at 8 months looks quite good. I think she is feminine and appears correct. Cute mover, super temperament. Would KWPN look at outside fillies if you would like to think of going "one registry" down the road??? I would like to know what options might exist for her having foals by KWPN stallions that could be papered KWPN. She might be best described as having a pedigree of mostly Hanoverian blood (not all approved) and a touch of draft and light horse. A curiosity question perhaps best directed at the registry but if some of you have this answer, I would like to know what is the best option here.

                      My KWPN filly is the chestnut HYPNOTIC She is about 2 months in some shots now about 4 months of age.
                      and my CSH filly is SPEAK TO ME. and they can be seen in their winter woolies at the above blog. Currently 8 months of age.
                      Note.... if you live in the south and are unaccustomed to the fact that horses can grow very long winter coats, you may be somewhat shocked at the images of the fillies. However, Hair is Hair and they did make a great movie about it...a few years back... and I would much rather know they are warm and toasty in their "home grown winter blanket" than have them clipped and naked enduring our coldest days for the sake of a few pretty pictures. Enough said. ha ha

                      Here is a blog I made of some of the photos I had the pleasure of making over the years in North America. You may recognize a few faces. Enjoy.

                      Last edited by Hocus Focus; Jan. 14, 2013, 07:22 AM.


                      • #12
                        Reg, you might want to contact the KPWN-NA office directly about the possibilities for your CSH filly. Off-hand, it doesn't sound likely that she could get inspected for studbook approval. If she already has CSH papers, she cannot get registration papers with another registry.

                        Sounds like your having fun with your new fillies!
                        Martha Haley - NeverSayNever Farm
                        2009 KWN-NA Breeder of the Year/Silver Level Breeder


                        • Original Poster

                          Originally posted by Dutch View Post
                          Reg, you might want to contact the KPWN-NA office directly about the possibilities for your CSH filly. Off-hand, it doesn't sound likely that she could get inspected for studbook approval. If she already has CSH papers, she cannot get registration papers with another registry.

                          Sounds like your having fun with your new fillies!
                          Thanks Martha. I didn't think so but thought it wouldn't hurt to ask. LOL