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Cuddlyb20 03-14-2013 02:37 PM

Foal health?
Hello all!
I just joined this forum, it's nice to be around horse talk again. I've been around horses since the age of five and haven't wanted anything else. And right now after moving with my fiancÚ we are looking at buying a new horse for me. (My old pony was sold two years ago when I began college :( )

We found a sweet little guy through a friend of ours. He's about 6 months old and I know he has some draft horse in him. If we meet him and like him (I already like him ^_^) we will bring him home in a month. What should I look out for health wise? I've never owned a horse younger than 7 years. I plan on training the little guy myself which I'm good at so no worries there. What should I feed him in addition to hay? I was looking at supplements the other day but not sure if he should have one or not. I'd like to stay away from oats because they give too much energy. I'm in Alaska and it still cold here. I don't want him to sweat and get a chill. I'm also looking at toys for him. I would like to get a big ball for him to play with and one of those flavored licky things. Any ideas on what else a young horse would like for a toy?
Also does anyone know the age at which you can geld a horse?

Merlot 03-15-2013 02:00 AM

Hi There CuddlyB and welcome to the forum.
Firstly the best thing for your new foal to play with is another horse - please don't keep him by himself!
If possible, a horse his age OR a gelding as geldings tend to be more playful than mares.
You can geld him any time now - the sooner the better - easier on him and the new research states that it does not hinder growth in any way.
I don't know what supplements you need to feed in Alaska, just make sure they are made for horses in your area and they are top quality. I don't get feed with supplements already in it as you can never know if they are getting enough - better to add them in the form of a top quality supplement - this is one area it pays never to stint. Make sure, if he is being fed grass and you are not near the ocean, that he gets enough salt - add it to his feed don't rely on a salt lick!
I keep the feeds very plain - speedy beet, copra, crushed barley, oaten chaff, bran or pollard that sort of feed no mixes as they nearly all have added minerals and or mollasses - NOT GOOD!
Good Luck and enjoy him :-)

Cherrij 03-15-2013 07:16 AM

First, with a young horse you want a steady increase of body weight and height - no rushed growth spurs that can later cause problems. No rapid changes in feed, and as said above, try to purchase the feed made locally.
Feed types:
– Good quality protein feeds
– Low starch
– Good vitamin and mineral levels
– Good quality forage (e.g. grass)
– Feed a young-stock pellet (if required)
– Good doers = balancer only
Basically, give good quality hay, have a salt/mineral block on the side, ad lib forage, and feed forage balancer - can add in some vitamins and minerals, if sure you need them. can on the side feed some sugar beet pulp for more protein, some alfalfa, but they do not really need any grain - that will just give too much energy for growth spurs.

Most youngsters don't need much more than forage (hay/grass) and some balancing as they aren't in work, they should grow slowly and develop at their own rate, later when starting to go in work, can add more energy dense feeds - but doesn't have to be grain, and work your way from there :)

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