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new Weanling-how to avoid buddy sourness...

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  • new Weanling-how to avoid buddy sourness...

    So we have a weanling that has only had the opportunity to smell new horses while both were on leads, and weanling was still with mom...weanling was boarded for new routine/experience,handled it ok, still not turned out with friends(training barn)...when she was with mother, still only with mom alone...now here at our barn, and would like to introduce her to new friends, but are unsure how long, or how often to let weanling out with new friends, since hasn't been out with another horse, and separated from mare only 5 wks, how do we avoid surrogate mother, or buddy sour syndrome with weanling? any ideas? limit turnout time/switch out new "friends"?- choice of new friends is older mare (not sure if she will show ropes or become mom figure), or old gelding who is low on totem, and wouldn't hurt a fly, but occasionally shows interest in fillies any ideas on how to avoid surrogate mom(older mare friend)/on new buddy sour syndrome with weanling? unfortunately don't have any more "babies" that weanling can go out with...I have had buddy sour horses that couldn't be "fixed", so don't want this baby to become one...thank you for any comments...

  • #2
    I wouldn't be very comfortable keeping a weanling away from a herd because of worry about becoming attached. Horses learn a lot from herd mates, and IMHO horses who don't learn how to behave in a herd are harder to deal with later. In addition to social dynamics, limited turnout time isn't the best from a health and soundness standpoint. I would arrange a mixed herd and turn the weanling out to grow up with them. You can always rearrange the herd if you find the weanling has bonded too closely with someone.
    Mystic Owl Sporthorses


    • #3
      i agree ... put your weanling out with both of those you think, then eventually turn them into a larger herd. I always turn my mare and baby out with other horses, so they learn herd dynamic early, also makes weaning easier as they have friends aside from mom already.
      First and foremost about the horse.
      Rose Bud Ranch Sporthorses
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      • #4
        Your baby horse has been alone for five weeks? Forgive me if I misread that. If it is correct, you may want to consider treating her for ulcers. That must be incredibly stressful for her. Please do get her with friends, 24/7 is best, as soon as possible!
        "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
        The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.


        • #5
          Young horses seem to be much more tolerant of herd changes and new friends that are close in age. I'd get him/her a buddy sooner than later, and they will likely sort their herd out in a day or so. Babies like friends, so some herdy behavior should be expected. Manners are always expected, but they are like kids and need friends to be more confident/comfortable.
          Tracy Geller
          Find me on Facebook!


          • #6
            Agree with EqTrainer.... horses are herd animals and should be with other animals of their species. Do check your filly for ulcers and then make sure she's in a herd environment.....
            Siegi Belz
            2007 KWPN-NA Breeder of the Year
            Dutch Warmbloods Made in the U. S. A.


            • #7
              I think it's less about selecting the least surrogate-like buddy, and more about the owner/handler doing their homework. Take baby away from the herd daily for walks around the neighborhood, grooming in barn, horse trailer field trips to hang out at horse shows, etc. so that leaving her horsey buddies is no big deal.


              • #8
                They generally have a less chance of becoming herd bound with more horses in the herd. Two is a bad number unless one of the two changes relatively often.
                McDowell Racing Stables

                Home Away From Home


                • #9
                  My personal experience is that if you over handle them, that's when they become sour. My weanlings/ yearlings/ two year olds live in a herd environment and don't get over handled. I honestly can't say I've had a sour one, they might whinny a time or two, but for example if their getting trimmed or bathed they don't seem to have an issue. There are always other horses in sight though. Companionship is very very important for young horses, and IME there really is something to not over doing it with them. I had one I had to bring in a couple weeks ago, a weanling, she left her buddies and stayed in a stall next to two other horses she'd never met, without a single issue. I totally agree with Laurierace on having more than one buddy.
                  Making Your Ambitions a Reality at Secret Ambition Stables.
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                  • Original Poster

                    Originally posted by Dressage_Diva333 View Post
                    My personal experience is that if you over handle them, that's when they become sour. My weanlings/ yearlings/ two year olds live in a herd environment and don't get over handled. I honestly can't say I've had a sour one, they might whinny a time or two, but for example if their getting trimmed or bathed they don't seem to have an issue. There are always other horses in sight though. Companionship is very very important for young horses, and IME there really is something to not over doing it with them. I had one I had to bring in a couple weeks ago, a weanling, she left her buddies and stayed in a stall next to two other horses she'd never met, without a single issue. I totally agree with Laurierace on having more than one buddy.
                    Great comments...thanks


                    • #11
                      Definitely introduce her to at least two, but keep it od numbers so that you can bring her in and those she's out with still have friends (and vice-versa). Horses are heard animals and tend to have "best friends". Odd numbers (like three in a field) help that when you want to work with one of them.

                      Youngsters need to learn the ropes. Older, gentler kinds are the best at teaching that. Perhaps an old mare or gelding? Or, as in my case here since I only have one foal last year, mine went out with a half sister and an older mare.
                      Randee Beckman ~Otteridge Farm, LLC (http://on.fb.me/1iJEqvR)~ Marketing Manager - The Clothes Horse & Jennifer Oliver Equine Insurance Specialist


                      • #12
                        What has the foal been doing for five weeks since being weaned? I would keep an eye out for any sign of ulcers. Weaning and a new farm are stressful enough. She needs to get out with a safe friend ASAP. I really think the more you worry about not having a buddy sour horse, the more trouble you may end up with.
                        Turn her out as much as possible with a safe friend or friends. Mine are out 24/7 as long as there is no really nasty weather. I do put them in stalls to eat seperately. If you don't have two safe horses to put her out with, put her out with the best one. She needs to be out and have company.
                        As is our confidence, so is our capacity. ~W. Hazlitt

                        Gift Hill Farm


                        • #13
                          So the only horse she has interacted with in her whole life is her dam??? And she has been in solitary for 5 weeks?? To me that would spell maladjusted.
                          Breeders of Painted Thoroughbreds and Uniquely Painted Irish Sport Horses in Northeast Oklahoma


                          • #14
                            I wasnt going to say it but.. The Hell Bitch came from exactly the same scenario.
                            "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
                            The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.


                            • #15
                              I don't see anything wrong with turning a weanling out with a single buddy. Worrying about buddy-sourness is silly, to me. It is natural at this age for weanlings to be attached to a buddy if they are turned out with a single friend. It is healthy for them to have a steady role model and friend to show them the ropes. Provided that as they get older you appropriately introduce the idea of being alone in a stall, gradually going out with other, bigger buddies, etc., you should be completely fine.

                              The best case scenario is to have another weanling or group of weanlings for your weanling to go out with, +/- an old pony. If that's not possible, then a steady-Eddie type companion is great. Expect the baby to outgrow the relationship as they mature. I would not ever keep a weanling without a buddy unless the weanling was terribly ill with something contagious. I have kept even very sick weanlings and yearlings with trusty old ponies for companionship, it just isn't healthy for them to be isolated.

                              Personally, I would be very hesitant to turn a weanling out with a group of adult horses. I think that is very risky. Some adult horses can be VERY aggressive to a weanling. Weanlings are not always good at getting out of the way. In nature, a horse of a weanling's age still has it's dam to hide behind. Being unfairly picked on by bigger, more dominant adult horses at an early age isn't good for social development either.