Raising and breaking in a foal myself has been something I have wanted to do for as long as I can remember. I grew up with horses but developing that special bond with a foal is something I have always wanted. Three weeks ago the oppertunity fell into my lap and since I work from home and have the time and funds I couldn't pass it up.
I got word from a friend that runs a horse rescue that a group of young foal would be at a doggers sale not too far from us (about an hour and a half's drive). Being my first time at a saleyard is was a bit distressing seeing the condition of some of the horses one little filly caught my eye from the start and I wasn't going to leave without her.
Heres our girl in the sale yards, the poor thing had just been taken from her mother and was terrified, starving and dehydrated.
She and the 5 other foals from the same propety were all completely unhandled but with the help of a man that worked at the saleyards (who was lovely and gentle with her) we had her haltered and on the float in 20 minutes.
When we got her home we discovered she had no idea what hay was but with a little convincing she was happily chomping away in no time and the next day had her first taste of hard feed. We also found out she is a bit of an escape artist and got out of her yard twice in the first week (thankfully she only went to visit out shetland pony in the next paddock) but we fixed that rather quickly by running an electric fence aroun her yard.
With the guidence of my mother who has raised foals in the past I have been working with her slowly and gaining her trust. At first just getting her to appraoch me at feed times and then letting me touch her as she ate.
Three weeks on now when I whistle at feed times she comes trotting up to the gate and calles to me. I can approach her and touch her all over, though she is still a little touchy with her face and lower legs but we are getting there. She has also put on weight and started filling out, no more visible ribs :)
We have had some hiccups along the way. Every now and then she tries to be pushy to get what she wants and even turned her butt to and lifted her heels to my mother a couple of times but she is quickly learning that she won't get away with that here.
Every day I push her a little bit further and make her give me a little bit more before she gets fed.
This is me with her about a week after we brought her home. Working with her and seing her become more relaxed makes me so happy :)