Dealing with foals?

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Dealing with foals?

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  • Dealing with a colt that nibbles
  • Yearlyings who nip

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    11-03-2008, 08:08 PM
Dealing with foals?

I've been helping my Auntie out on her TB farm lately, she's got 2 mares with babies at the moment (we're in Aus).
I was just wondering how other people deal with their foals- more specifically BITING? Lol
One of them in particular is quite shy, he's getting braver, but when he does get close he does nip a lot (as foals do!)
We generally don't punish them at all when they nibble like that, but espcially with this little fella as we're still trying to gain his trust! But then you end up with yearlings who think it's cool to bite lol.
What would you guys do, hypothetically or literally?
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    11-03-2008, 08:17 PM
I've had a lot of experience with foals, and yes, they LOVE to nibble on clothes, hair, fingers...pretty much everything lol. You don't want to punish them like you would an adult horse; you don't want to hit them and lose their trust or make them head shy. What I do is push them out of my space when they try to nibble or bite. I'll push their head away or just push their whole body away from me. Nibbling is kind of a phase they all go through, so as long as you consistently push them out of your space when they try, they'll grow out of it. If they're extremely persistent, give them something else to think about when they try to bite. As in move their feet. So, in a sense, you're not punishing them for biting, you're just making it harder for them to. Eventually they'll stop.

Hope this helps
    11-03-2008, 08:24 PM
Be jello and wiggle When my 2 were tiny I would wiggle whatever they were mouthing till they quit.
    11-03-2008, 08:48 PM
Lol great ideas guys thanks! Lets see if I stop sporting bruises soon lol
    11-03-2008, 10:11 PM
Both great posts! I always push them away for give them a very light flick if they are good to handle, which my colts all are because we make sure of it. I would suggest getting the shy colt handled. I firmly believe in working with babies every single day. They can learn so much in the first six months if you work with them. And it makes your work much easier, so you are working with a small young horse rather than a yeraling, two year old, three year old etc that has not been handled.
    11-03-2008, 10:15 PM
Yeah he gets handled at least once every day, we're getting there slowly! Still a nervy little fella though :)
    11-04-2008, 06:54 AM
For nibbling I'll just push them away, but if it's a bite, even a testing one, they get a bop on the nose, just a two finger tap, enough to say that's too far. Then of course it's back to the lovin'

Oh and nice to see another Adelaidian on here!!
    11-04-2008, 02:25 PM
I definitely use a quick flick of the finger agianst the nose. Their feelings recover quickly and immediately over it. They may try to bite right away again, but its testing the waters as they were'nt sure that's why they got in trouble, and they want to make sure. Generally the second time they fly off, but they are back again in no time! They are so curious that they can't help them selves when they warm up!
    11-05-2008, 01:31 AM
Good to hear Cheifie, hope he comes around quick for you guys!
    11-05-2008, 02:40 AM
Hehe so a flick on the nose it is! Sounds great thanks everyone!

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