Barnmice has a webcam set up to watch and record the births of 4 mares (mare stare), due any day now. Head over to Barnmice, create an account if you want (not necessary to get hooked on the proceedings) and keep vigil. Most mares foal in the early morning hours, so if anyone gets to see this please let the rest of us (who sleep through all this stuff) know.
Tag Archives: foals
De-sensitization and imprinting are found in every trainers tool box. Their importance to our efficient handling of horses is invaluable. From a human perspective our interaction with horses from handling to riding is safer and less stressful. Its value to a trusting partnership though is dependent on how sensitive and considerate we are to the horse. Is our horse enjoying the relationship more as a result or are they simply dead to the stimulus?
My journey with horses has been an adventure of discovery. I am always looking to refine and enhance the connection and communication, to dance with my horse to the rhythm of joy, love and perfect communion. I know that our journey as spiritual beings seeded in matter is universal. Each and every being is an equal and unique fruition of one consciousness in all life.
I adopted a Paint Cross colt a Month ago who’s now 7 Months old. He lives out with my 4 other horses who are all way taller than him.
He’s a sweet little guy who loves attention but he has no emotion. He’s so calm and cool and thinks he is stronger than anyone. He walks into me, through me, nibbles me, pushes me with his head and all the rest. Doesn’t know his space and does everything a colt can at that age.
I know it’s normal so I’ve decided to tackle his problems NOW instead of later on when he will be stronger.
I read you’re not supposed to be violent with them when they are so young but he’s emotionless. He only responds when I smack him.
Do you think you could give me some basic tips on how to earn his respect? Am I right using physical force on him when he misbehaves?
I have no intention of training him under saddle alone but I want to at least get his ground manners in check. Thank you, Laura
Answer from April Reeves: Hi Laura. I first want to speak to your comment “I’ve never actually trained one.” I have this theory/understanding that anyone who has been in the presence of a horse has had influence on the ‘training’ of that horse (what he knows of humans). This is because horses ‘soak’ everything a human does. All your movements, signals, voice and body language ‘speak’ to a horse. That non-verbal language translates into what the horse will become. So while you may think you have never trained a horse in all your life, you have actually spent years training horses. Humans believe that training is simply a matter of learning techniques. While this is true to a point (and it’s best to learn good techniques that produce happy results) humans need to understand the horse at a much different level first before entering into a relationship of any kind. Humans must learn to speak their language first.
This is where we will start.
Question: I’m about to have my first foal (actually my mare is). Everyone has an opinion on when to start this colt. When do you think I should I start this foal?
Answer from April Reeves: My answer is the very first day of his/her life! Colt starting is not just about leaving the foal until it’s 2. If you want a really great horse to ride at the end of the day it all begins from the beginning! Why attempt training later in the horse’s life when you can do it when the horse is a baby? Why spend twice the time trying to fix problems later in life?
Colt starting is not just about riding, but getting your new foal use to you and all that a human offers. Brushing, hoof trimming and handling, leading, standing, tying, spook proofing, trailering – all these can be done the first year of the horse’s life. Don’t make riding your only goal.
Question: Mare had a colt 2 days ago and is sour toward her. With coaxing she has let her baby nurse a time or two, but will stop & get irritated. Colt won’t readily take a bottle so we keep trying to get the mare to tolerate her. She is not upset at anyone handling her & doesn’t care to even be with her. The colt gets upset and makes noises at the absence of her mom, but not the other way around. Any way to encourage mare to accept her &/OR good way to get colt to take a bottle? Any good milk substitute you recommend?
Answer from April Reeves: I have run into this problem on occasion. I have never had to separate a mare and foal because of it, nor added milk replacement. You do have a big job ahead of you though.
Some mares experience odd sensations when first letting a foal nurse. They may experience tickling, soreness and irritation. Like some people, some horses are over-sensitive or hypochondriacs. These mares need time to adjust to their new situation.
Answer from April Reeves: Let’s start with bedding. I prefer to use straw bedding at first. Keep it thick to give the mare and foal maximum comfort, especially since newborn foals tend to fall a lot while learning to stand. Straw smells natural to a horse, and watch that it’s not dusty or moldy. Keep the straw in the stall for about 3-5 days after the foal is born, then you can switch to shavings.