Greetings from Finland!
I have just bought a 5 months old finnhorse colt on saturday. The seller told me that colts mother has reduced nursing him more and more when he was 4 months old, and he has been staying nights in his own box for a month before I got him home.
In home I first noticed that the colt is very thin and doesn't seem very well, and his mother was also thin (but also 22 years old already). In two days I noticed that the colt doesn't know how to drink water. He eats a lot of snow and licks water like a dog when I try to give it to him from a bucket, but I assume that he doesn't get it enough by licking, and I can't see him swallowing water att all. I'm scared that he will dry out or get sick.
I haven't yet got any reasons from the seller why the foal doesn't know how to drink. I believe that they haven't just noticed the whole thing (or didn't care at all?), cause they also didn't see that the foal is so skinny too. I believe that foal has been nursing small amounts from his skinny mother and eating snow all the time when he stayed with the seller.
But now what to do? I have called couple good finnish horse vets and they haven't even heard cases like I now have here. They doesn'n know what should I do.
I have tried to give him everything possible what could taste good. He doesn't want to taste anything else but dry food, when I add there something wet or different what he has used to eat (he eats grain and foal pellets), no. Now we have tried veal drinking bucket with a bigger dummy, but no. Next thing I will try milk replacer and smaller milk bottle to get more time to try him to learn. He is going to dry out if I can't get him to drink anything without his mother to nurse him.
He is staying with 2 other foals and a older gelding. With the seller there was also other horses, why didn't he learn there like normal foals or didn't they just give water them enough?