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weaning naturally

This is a discussion on weaning naturally within the Natural Horsemanship forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • Can you wean a horse that has been suckling for 3 years
  • Could weaning a colt cause the mare to grass founder

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    09-02-2013, 02:09 PM
  #11
Trained
If the mare is struggling to hold her weight then she has rights to, so I would take her away and leave him with the herd, he will probably never notice that she has gone.

I have weaned at all sorts of ages, I always abrupt wean, because to me it is far more cruel to drag it out, both on Mother and colt. I've never had bad issues down the road. From mommas point of view if you wean, you can keep her on a lighter diet for a week or so until she starts drying up and then start increasing her feed so she is at a good healthy weight before the winter. The colt is not the only part of the equation here.
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    09-02-2013, 02:38 PM
  #12
Green Broke
A mare of ours was weaned at 6 weeks old. She does have behavioral issues. Not really from the actual weaning but from what happened after. We didn't own the dam and she was already drying up because she wasn't being fed properly. We had another horse there and pulled them both due to the poor care the horses were getting. We had already started our filly on milk replacement pellets.

When we moved them, our filly was constantly cooed and coddled over. She has no fear of humans and at times has respect issues. But again, that wasn't from being weaned itself. It was how she was treated and handled after.
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    09-02-2013, 02:43 PM
  #13
Green Broke
I would seperate him from Mom and the other mare. You can pen him up with the gelding so he is not alone and wont have as much anxiety. As soon as his testes drop get him gelded.
     
    09-02-2013, 11:51 PM
  #14
Foal
not a real nice group here

Seems some of the folks here just jump right on criticizing people and don't really even read what is said.
The colt JUST turned 5 months old days ago and I will not go against my Vet's advice and geld him too soon. I don't think horses are people nor am I putting human emotion on them. I have been reading a lot about raising horses naturally and this is the information I have found. It has been PROVEN that abrupt weaning can/may cause loss of confidence and setbacks in training. Perhaps not with every horse but why would I take a chance?
My mare IS the reason I posted this. My concern is for her weight and how to keep it up while she weans her foal.

There are such judgmental people here.
     
    09-03-2013, 12:00 AM
  #15
Banned
Wow. The people here that have given you good advice, many of them have bred, weaned and trained more horses than I've taken breaths. You asked a question and you got advice. Unfortunately if the mare doesn't wean this foal on her own its going to suck her down to skin and bone. I'm not sure what you mean by 'natural' weaning, sometimes it's not natural, sometimes birthing isn't natural either and one has to intervene for the sake of the mare, just as you should for the sake of your mare.

Oh well then.
     
    09-03-2013, 12:01 AM
  #16
Trained
So you want to find somewhere that people will just agree with you? You may find it boring after a while.

The beauty of an open board is that you get all sorts of opinions, all you have to do is take on what appeals to you and ignore what doesn't. Mind you if 90% of people are saying something other than what you believe, then MAYBE you should re examine your stance.
     
    09-03-2013, 12:54 AM
  #17
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by badgerdogbren    
Seems some of the folks here just jump right on criticizing people and don't really even read what is said.
The colt JUST turned 5 months old days ago and I will not go against my Vet's advice and geld him too soon. I don't think horses are people nor am I putting human emotion on them. I have been reading a lot about raising horses naturally and this is the information I have found. It has been PROVEN that abrupt weaning can/may cause loss of confidence and setbacks in training. Perhaps not with every horse but why would I take a chance?
My mare IS the reason I posted this. My concern is for her weight and how to keep it up while she weans her foal.

There are such judgmental people here.
IMHO, reading is a good thing, but thinking that what you are doing is natural is a bit naive as NOTHING you do with a horse is natural to it. Your mare is NOT weaning him because she's not bred back. In the wild mares are bred back asap. You will have to separate them and make sure that he cannot nurse or she will not dry up. What causes "loss of confidence and setbacks" isn't the way foals were weaned, but the way they are handled.
     
    09-03-2013, 01:03 AM
  #18
Weanling
Badgerdogbren, people here are trying to help you. When you wean a horse too late, it can cause weight issues for momma. I know you care about your mare and your colt. So saying this, and I know you wouldn't let it get to this extent, a horse at the barn where I keep my horse was gelded at four years old, and was one of the worst horses I have ever had to deal with. He was studdish, couldn't be turned out with any horses other than one mare, and he broke clean through fences, even after he was gelded.. So basically what I am saying, is find the balance that works for you and your horses. Some mares will let foals suckle till they are skin and bones. As long as the baby is suckling, she will be producing milk, which means that all the feed your trying to bulk her up with is going to the colt. 6 months is usually a good weaning time, some go a little longer if the foal needs it. Some people wean younger because the foal is either a)strong enough, or b) causing detrimental weight loss/issues for the mare. I'd take the colt, put him in a pen with the gelding, and take the mare on a 30 day vacation to a friends barn or something like that. Horses don't really "miss their mothers" after they've been weaned. He may pace a bit the first little while but he will settle down alright. This is how my friend does it, and she's been breeding Quarter horses for 20+ years. You've been given some really good advice by people on here, These people are all quite knowledgeable. Please, for the horse's ske, listen to them. Best of luck
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    09-03-2013, 01:53 AM
  #19
Yearling
I bought a mare pony years ago who had her 2 year old filly still nursing on her.

Knew a guy who thought he could wean his colt by putting short tacks through the noseband of his halter so that when he tried to nurse the tacks would prick the mare thereby would make her quit letting the colt nurse. Ummm yeah, that didn't work too well.

What did work for me and I did it for many years was keeping the foals out in the pasture they were used to being in along with my old gelding and any mares who didn't foal that year. The nursing mares went into the pasture right next to the one the foals were in. We have electrified high tensile fencing and it is well respected by all. They could still see each other and for the first couple of days they might stick to grazing along the fence line but after that the greener grass in other parts of the pasture would call to them and that would be the end of them hanging out within sight. It was never traumatic for the mares or foals. Never had a one try to go through or over the fence.

I also used to wait until fall to geld the colts and never had a surprise pregnancy. Not saying it's impossible but I personally never had an issue with them trying to breed any mares. Just keep a close eye on him and make sure he's not showing any interest.
     
    09-03-2013, 02:23 AM
  #20
Showing
I'm sorry that you consider people who are straightforward and honest to be rude. We don't believe in *****footing or head-patting around here so if that's what you're looking for, you probably are in the wrong place .

It's really too bad, you could have learned a lot here. I hope the mare doesn't suffer any permanent damage from malnutrition brought on by nursing a foal that doesn't need to nurse...and I hope she doesn't end up bred by her own son here in a couple of months. If she's skinny, then she's in no condition to carry another foal without complications.
     

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