Un-trained old dam and her young - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 9 Old 03-06-2014, 03:35 PM Thread Starter
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Un-trained old dam and her young

The hardest barrier to over-come is that between human and .....a stubborn some what dangerous dam and her young.
About a year ago I came across this pretty little mare. Dapple grey nice conformation, nice straight back. Nice face etc.. well... She has NEVER had a halter on her and from what I can see.. She hates humans.

"X" happens and she ends up in my care. She just had a little colt "Koal". I was not present while she foaled, I'd hoped to imprint the young so he wouldn't fear humans as she does.

Before she gave birth she only allowed me to pet her neck 1 time.

Now she's threatening me spinning her hind quarters pinning her ears back.8 days later now and no suprise the little colt is starting to do the same thing as her but right now he's not threat.. its early training of hers. :( I don't like her attitude. It's not of fear. Its of.. stubborn threat. She thinks she's the boss. And after this long in her life... she's probably proven this to other humans. This needs to stop.

If it keeps on like this that foal is going to be a very violent lonely boy.

What is the best way to approach this situation in a natural gentle way, so I don't get kicked and every one is happy?
And the both of them understand that he is going to get horsemanship training from me and mom is going to have to stay busy. Eating? Watching? I don't know..

I'd appreciate your opinion or tips. Thank you..
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post #2 of 9 Old 03-06-2014, 03:40 PM Thread Starter
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post #3 of 9 Old 03-06-2014, 03:44 PM
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I would leave the mare alone for now.

Is there a small area where you can separate the mare and have her still be right there and work with the foal near her?

Of course you could always leave them both alone but sounds like you don't want that option.

It's normal sometimes for even the friendliest mares to become nasty when there's a new baby. I wouldn't push her at this time. Wait until he's older and more independent and she doesn't care so much. I would not try to work with them in the same place. That could be very dangerous. I would separate them (but keep them very close) anytime you want to work.

ETA- AWWWWWW!!!!!askldnadnal I can see why you want to work with him!! How can you NOT love on him and kiss his nose!! Soo cute!
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post #4 of 9 Old 03-06-2014, 04:33 PM Thread Starter
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exactly!

Thank you.
He's very young but see the sooner he realizes I'm not a threat to him.. it might be easier.

I guess seperating them for a few hours would be ok. She's too dangerous for me to deal with alone.
I'll try this and let ya know how it goes.
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post #5 of 9 Old 03-06-2014, 05:00 PM
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Quote:
I guess seperating them for a few hours would be ok
I think this is too long for a foal this young. If you have a place where you could have the mare and foal in separate pens where they could still touch and see each other, I would do that for a half hour or so. For the first time or two I would just leave them alone so they both figure out they don't need to panic about it. Then I might do something like sitting in the corner and reading for half an hour, to encourage curiosity. You can work on haltering and handling after you have him curios about you and not fearful.

If you don't have an area like this, where they could see each other, I would personally leave them alone till weaning. I have worked with many untouched weanlings before, and halter breaking an untouched weanling will be much easier than working with a half handled, fearful/aggressive one. I also would try to avoid attempting to touch or work with the mare for now and just spend time in their general vicinity. Having the foal learn from his mothers bad behaviour around people will be very counter productive.
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post #6 of 9 Old 03-06-2014, 05:41 PM
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Sorry I tried to stress that. I would not completely separate them. My separate I simply meant something that would physically separate/physically restrain the mare (like a low wall, even stocks for the mare) restrict her within an area but restrict the foal in the same area or immediately adjacent (and I don't mean actually restrict the foal I am just talking about space). I think it's very important the foal still feels mom's around (it may make her worse later on too if she feels you repeatedly took her foal away, don't know though) I wouldn't separate them any more than you will be working with the foal for, which at this age will not be for long. Even if you aren't physically working with him just sitting around I doubt you'll be there for more than half an hour or so. We are trying to teach him to relax, not traumatize him further.

Hope that clarified :)
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post #7 of 9 Old 03-06-2014, 07:47 PM Thread Starter
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I went out, watched the 2 of them for a little bit and decided that seperating them would only make them both more nervous. The foal wont concentrate on me. He'll only be scared cause he can't get to momma.

So instead, I expanded their stall area, and called it a day. :)
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post #8 of 9 Old 03-06-2014, 07:54 PM
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If I were you I'd get a half wall that will allow the foal to go through, but not the mare. Don't worry about separating them yet. Just let him come hang out with you. Foals are naturally curious, I'm sure in no time he'll be looking forward to coming to hang out with you!
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post #9 of 9 Old 03-06-2014, 08:24 PM
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^Exactly. You are taking "separately" more literally than we meant.
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