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New foal..to pasture with a herd or to pasture alone with mom

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  • New foal..to pasture with a herd or to pasture alone with mom

    I'm seeking advice from those that have had experience in both and can see the difference in the long term attitudes in the foal. I recognize that fillies and colts have different personalities and this may also influence this. I have just purchased a colt (my first) and have the opportunity to either keep it where it is for now or for a bit to grow up with a herd of moms and foals and to socialize or I can bring him home with the mom and have him spend the first bit with his mom before I wean him. I want to know if it's better for them in the long run to play with other colts/fillies or if it doesn't matter. Do you find they are better behaved if they are on individual turn out with mom instead of in a group of rumbunctious colts all playing? Please let me know if you have done both and if so, which one did you find turned out better or did it really make a difference?
    Thanks everyone
    R

  • #2
    The answer to your question doesn't really concern the colt so much but the mare.... Putting her out with a strange herd of mares and foals will result in lots of running around as well as maybe kicking and other agressive behavior on the part of the adult horses and that may get the colt/other foals hurt in the process.

    If your facilities permit it, I would put the mare and colt in a paddock right next to the other mares and foals so they can get acquainted over the fence for a few days before they all get together.

    If you don't have an adjoining paddock, then maybe you could put just one or two other mare and foal combinations in with the new pair after they've had a chance to get used to the new environment.

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

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    • #3
      Originally posted by siegi b. View Post
      The answer to your question doesn't really concern the colt so much but the mare.... Putting her out with a strange herd of mares and foals will result in lots of running around as well as maybe kicking and other agressive behavior on the part of the adult horses and that may get the colt/other foals hurt in the process.

      If your facilities permit it, I would put the mare and colt in a paddock right next to the other mares and foals so they can get acquainted over the fence for a few days before they all get together.

      If you don't have an adjoining paddock, then maybe you could put just one or two other mare and foal combinations in with the new pair after they've had a chance to get used to the new environment.

      Good luck!
      I agree. Take it slow and watch for reactions. Good luck
      www.Somermistfarm.com
      Quality Hunter Ponies

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      • #4
        I just asked the same question a few days ago on the health threads. I am new to breeding.

        I had my mare out with several horses before baby. She is maiden. Now that baby is 3 weeks I wanted to try it. I took one of her friends on a lead rope and walked her around and let her graze near mom who did pin her ears but, did not come at us. I did that a few days in a row with that mare and another gelding. Then in a 4 acre pasture I tried it one at a time and thankfully it's been great! I stayed in the field and had a friend with me just in case.

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        • #5
          thanks everyone for the replies but I think I'm not explaining myself correctly. Mare and foal are currently with other mare and foal and mare about to give birth. All the mares are old pros at this and the herd are getting along fine. Mares and foals keep to their own for now and the paddock is huge.
          What I'm asking is - is it better to have them with other horses to play with and interact with OR...if I brought mare and foal home and they were alone, would that still provide the developmental requirement to get a good foal...well, what I mean is...will he be well behaved, does it make a difference? Is it essential for a horse to have interaction with other horses their age or does it make a difference. For those who have had foals mixed in a good herd and growing up in that kind of environment and then have had foals that have been brought up with just mom...does it make a diff?
          It's hard for me to express my question so I appreciate your patience

          Comment


          • #6
            FWIW again from a first timer, my foal is very active with mom, trying to jump all over her which is why I felt the need to get them out with others. I feel that he is more calm and less rude to mom now that other horses are around. I turned them out with just them the other day and he went back to being a big brat so I see a difference in him when they are out with the other mare and gelding versus just them but, I have been told that most of the time it's fine if they are just together and that eventually when the baby is weaned and goes out with other he'll learn the ropes

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            • #7
              I think it's always better to let a youngster grow up in a herd environment..... They are social animals and the youngsters learn a lot just by being around older animals.

              When you wean you can just take mom away and leave the baby with the herd. He will feel comforted by the fact that his buddies are still around. You should still handle him and teach him to stand for the farrier and vet, etc.
              Siegi Belz
              www.stalleuropa.com
              2007 KWPN-NA Breeder of the Year
              Dutch Warmbloods Made in the U. S. A.

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              • #8
                I would suggest keeping them where they are since it is the proper environment. Yes, you can do one mare and foal and most will grow up fine, but since you have a choice and it's already a good set up, stick with it.

                I had 2 foals last year which didn't get to be together until weaning due to an evil mare. They were fine, but it's not ideal. This year it's been a pleasure to watch my 5 week old filly bossing the crap out of the 3 month old colt! I could watch them for hours.

                Terri
                COTH, keeping popcorn growers in business for years.

                "I need your grace to remind me to find my own." Snow Patrol-Chasing Cars. This line reminds me why I have horses.

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                • #9
                  I agree with Siegi. Much better for him short and long term to be with youngsters his own age.
                  www.svhanoverians.com

                  "Simple: Breeding,Training, Riding". Wolfram Wittig.

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                  • #10
                    I also agree with Siegi. That is exactly what I did, and when I weaned, all I did was take the mares away and it really wasn't that stressfull. I just kept their turnout situation the same--they were in the same field with their same buddies.
                    Kim
                    'Like' my facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Calla...946873?sk=wall

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                    • #11
                      Thanks everyone. I'm prety sure I will most likely keep the foal where it is with other younguns and moms to teach him some manners.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Definitely best for him and his mom to stay with the herd. He can learn herd dynamics and will be a much better adjusted foal.

                        Good luck with your new guy.

                        Nancy!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          anecdote is not evidence, but...

                          I had a very bad experience with a colt with ALD that had to be on stall rest/ tiny paddock away from other youngsters. He just had mom, and it just seemed like he didn't know how to act at all. He really wanted to play but his idea of playing was a double barreled donkey kick! I think he did grow out of it eventually but he was a terror for awhile. Much better to have them in their natural environment IMO.

                          Many European farms (Schockemohle et al) will keep intact colts on pasture together until 2 - 3 years of age, so I wouldn't worry too much about fighting. They'll settle into a hierarchy.

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                          • #14
                            My baby was with just her mom until weaning and then turned out with 2 strange weanlings. It was not ideal (boarder...long story). She took a couple weeks to figure out how to play. In the long run she has no weird side-effects and is fine in herds, but I would never do it that way if I had a choice. Made weaning way more stressful than it needed to be too.
                            DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by siegi b. View Post
                              I think it's always better to let a youngster grow up in a herd environment..... They are social animals and the youngsters learn a lot just by being around older animals.

                              When you wean you can just take mom away and leave the baby with the herd. He will feel comforted by the fact that his buddies are still around. You should still handle him and teach him to stand for the farrier and vet, etc.
                              Exactly, couldn't agree more.
                              Proud Momma:

                              Imax - Fresstyle x Juventus x Rubinstein
                              2014 - Sister to IMAX (hopefully)

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