Wild baby

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Wild baby

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    04-06-2010, 11:47 PM
Wild baby

I am helping a friend of mine with her horses. She has a little 9 mo old paint filly. That has been pasture raised and not handled. Last week she got the little filly into a large stall in her barn to wean her and start the halter training process. Most foals I have encountered even those who have not been handled much are still curious enough to approach and generally I can find a spot they like to be rubbed and start from there. This filly however will not tolerate being touched. No matter where I try. It is like she is being electrocuted by my hand. She is not aggressive at all. Any ideas as to how I can get her to accept my touch. I have tried approach and retreat. She is not as curious as the other foals I have worked with. Thanks!
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    04-07-2010, 03:33 PM
Babies learn from their mothers. Am I to understand that neither the foal nor her mother were touched for the last 9 months, and the foal was allowed to continue to nurse way past the time when she should have been weaned?

You have a lot working against you here, if that's the case.

You have a baby who didn't learn anything from her mother about humans, who has never been separated from her, and who has never been confined until now.

All of that together is pretty traumatic for a youngster, and any one of those things would make her hard to handle. Throw them all at her at the same time, and I'm not surprised she doesn't have any trust or good feelings toward humans right now.

What you need to do is stop thinking about a timetable, and not comparing her to other youngsters you've known in the past.

The horse will come around when she comes around, regardless of how soon you think it should be.

Patience is your biggest asset right now. Continue to approach her, but let her tell you when she's ready to accept you.
    04-08-2010, 10:32 AM
Let me say first this is not my horse. The foal was born late in the season. This area has very rough winters and weaning is often put off to the spring to limit the additional stress of frigid temps. My friend had two other babies that were weaned successfully in the fall. The mare was handled and is easy going. My friend is away from home three days a week at school studying to be a vet tech. I come out and help feed and groom her horses while she is gone. She was very concerned about the filly's behavior and I was a bit baffled which is why I posted.

Yesterday I went out and the filly had been turned out into a large pasture in view of other horses. I went into the pasture several times over the course of the day. At first I was able to give her a little rub on her withers, and walk away. I built it up each time meanwhile introducing the shedding tool, until I was able to brush her all over. Whew I feel much better now.

My friends Barn is dark. (a converted dairy barn) I think the filly was just going wacky from being kept in the stall. She was still a little pensive about being handled, but came around quickly. Maybe with all the room to escape in the pasture rather than being trapped in the stall helped her to relax. As well being able to view other horses. I have never stall weaned a foal. I've always used the adjacent paddock method.

I will continue working with her building on this small success. I am a patient person, but I really needed a starting point. I am not so wet behind the ears with horses to not understand that horses are not all the same and that things take time. Thanks for stating the obvious. I was looking for insight from someone that had maybe been through a similar situation.
    04-08-2010, 10:46 AM
I knew very well that these were your friend's horses, as I have fairly good reading comprehension and retention skills.

Your snarky, arrogant reply is not appreciated. I merely gave you advice based on the information given. You asked for advice; it was not volunteered arbitrarily.

If you took offense to something I wrote, that's your problem. Nothing I posted was meant to be offensive or disrespectful.

Good luck with your friend's horses. I hope you can work around your ego, as that seems to be your biggest obstacle.
    04-08-2010, 10:57 AM
Wow! Thanks for the psychological evaluation. You really have been so helpful.
    04-08-2010, 09:39 PM
Sounds like you are doing great. It's funny how perceived problems disappear with a little consistent work. My only recommendation would be to stay with it and build on your success over the next few days.

Actually, I don't think this filly has much going against her. I have started several horses that had not been weaned until late. They all broke out nice and made good horses. In fact, I'd rather have a young horse that has not been handled as apposed to a spoiled backyard horse that is a pet (pest).
BTW, I don't think there is anything wrong with your ego. Good luck.

    04-08-2010, 10:15 PM
Green Broke
I'm glad to hear she's starting to come around. I wish you and your friend, and the filly, the best of luck! :]
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    04-08-2010, 10:52 PM
Sounds like your on the right path. Keep up the patient work! My own horse was never properly weaned and kept in a pasture with her mom till she was 4 years old, which is when I bought her. Yet she is turning out to be a great willing horse but she justs needs lots of patience just like any other horse.

Good luck with your friend's filly! Everything will hopefully turn out good.
    04-09-2010, 09:35 AM
It is true that often the difficulties seem much greater than they really are. I am relieved she has come around. I also talked to my friend and she has just hired a trainer to come out three times a week to work with all the babies on her farm. I had encouraged her to do this, as she really has limited time right now with her studies. I'd rather halter train a weanling than a four year old.

Thanks for your post. She is a beautiful palamino Overo with two blue eyes, and a big chunky butt. I am looking forward to see the horse she grows into.

Now back to ground driving my own two year old :)

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