Adopting a foal

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Adopting a foal

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  • Adopt a Foal

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    02-14-2013, 06:34 PM
Adopting a foal

I have absolutely fallen in love with this colt. The owner offered to let me buy its mother a while back, but I ended up going for a different horse. The current owner really isn't the best candidate for a horse-owner, but he makes sure the horse has good food, fresh water, and a clean stall (believe me, that is more than many of the horses at this boarding facility get).

I am worried about his friend, who is trying to convince him to sell it to him. He wants it for his four year old daughter. He has never owned a horse in his life, nor had any experience other than petting one. He wants it to be a breeding stallion. He is assuming by the time his daughter can ride, she can just hop on the horse and everything will be perfect.

He currently 'helps out' with the foal, and he is going to ruin him. He is very forceful with the foal. He doesn't understand the horse isn't born to know what he wants him to do. Plus he has a very confusing way of teaching the horse, and punishes him for not being a mind reader. I don't mean an light smack on the rump, but he actually hits it in the face, whips it with a rope, and things like that. He was lunging the foal at three months old. I don't mean making it calmly walking it in a circle, but making it gallop hard for long periods of time, when the colt obviously wants to stop. It has a biting and kicking problem that he doesn't know how to handle. Worst of all, he refuses to take any advice. I know a local trainer that offered to help for free, and he won't even consider it.

Why do I want this colt? I feel bad for not adopting his mother. Another person adopted it, and her other horse recently starved to death, and the colts mother is pretty close to it (I've done everything I can, animal control, humane society, etc. Go to for more info). I can't save her, but I can give this colt a better life. I have worked with foals before, though never owned my own. Everyone has got to start somewhere right?

He has such a bad attitude with everyone, but he is an angel with me. This horse and I have this connection, its hard to explain, but I want him. I know his owner would sell him to me if he was going to sell him at all.

His mother is 100% paint. Her conformation is a trainwreck, mainly her fetlocks, but she has an amazing personality. The father is unknown, but I think I know who it is, because the foal looks exactly like him. He is 100% thoroughbred, with excellent conformation. He is now nine months old.

Here are some pictures and videos. Can someone tell me what they think of his conformation? Do you think it is a good idea for me to adopt him? Thanks.

Here is the mother:

Here are some pictures of the colt. The first pic is at two days old:

Here is the only video I have of him. He's just being cute here, but it has him walking and galloping. It may not be the best to judge conformation, but maybe it will help:

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    02-14-2013, 06:37 PM
Excuse my hyperventilating in the video. He likes to race me against the fenceline, so I was running around just before I turned the camera on. Here are the pictures that didn't show up.

    02-14-2013, 06:41 PM
He's cute. Impossible to tell at this age what he'll end up like and none of the pics are good to tell how he's built, really. The dam isn't too horrible, but her knees are the scariest part of her, to be honest. I think if the colt didn't inherit those awful knees, he should be fine.

If you get him, I would see about getting a trainer to help you with him, especially with his more difficult issues.
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    02-14-2013, 07:45 PM
I can see why you would want him, he's freaking adorable! I agree with Drafty about the mare's knees and right now, it's difficult to tell if he's inherited any conformation issues.

Which brings up a question I have, at what age do major flaws start to present themselves? I honestly have no idea and it would be interesting to know if you were able to wait and see before adopting him (if that's a possibility in this case) to see if he starts to show some serious faults?
    02-14-2013, 07:52 PM
Originally Posted by Glynnis    
Which brings up a question I have, at what age do major flaws start to present themselves? I honestly have no idea and it would be interesting to know if you were able to wait and see before adopting him (if that's a possibility in this case) to see if he starts to show some serious faults?
There's a saying that goes something like "Look at a horse at three days, three months and three years, and you'll have an idea of what you've got."

Some issues are evident right away. Others, like back length and knees/hocks, don't start manifesting until around three months. At three years, most of the major flaws will have manifest themselves and you'll know closer to what kind of horse you'll end up with.
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    02-14-2013, 07:57 PM
Thank you. In the first picture, he is 2 days. In the others, he is 8-9 months. His knees are a bit big, but not going in every different direction like his mother. You can see that best in the picture of him kicking up snow.
    02-14-2013, 08:00 PM
He looks like a cutie, but I agree, there is nothing that can be told about his confo from those pictures. Just looking at the foal pictures, I don't see much of anything horrible, just a possibility of long/sloping pasterns (but sometimes foals grow into them).

The way I see it, if you've got foal experience (and someone more experienced to come help whenever you need it) then go for it.

Though his conformation may not be perfect, there is no reason why he couldn't make a very nice horse with the right training.
    02-14-2013, 08:20 PM
Green Broke
Going back and re-reading, (especially after the 3rd paragraph!), I say, if you can afford to take him, do it, and the sooner the better! I would worry about his conformation later, but for now, it seems a matter of saving this boy from ruin - the best of luck, and kudos to you for caring so much for him- sure wish you were closer by, because I'd love to help :)
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    02-15-2013, 01:59 PM
Green Broke
The mare is currently being starved to death? Colt doesn't look like he is starving.....

Trade hay for the colt.. to save his mother. Call a vet and get that colt gelded (if he has dropped) and then get a trainer.

No opinion on conformation. He doesn't look like a bad attitude.. just a young and untrained attitude.
    02-15-2013, 02:08 PM
I agree with Northern Star. If you're just looking for a pleasure/trail horse with this guy, then I think for his sake, scoop him up. By the sounds of it, this person will end up screwing him up and this little boy won't meet a good end.

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