New to site, need help with my foal
Hi to everyone, i am new to the site and have recently been bought a foal, he is a beauty and is now five months old, have him two months, i have noticed that he is so greedy and always wants food, he never stops eating...is this normal or am i spoiling him?also i am finding it difficult to lift his feet he hates when i touch down his leg and just backs away, he is out with two other horses during the day and is stabled at nite, sometimes it is a disaster to get him in, other times it is no problem, when he was younger he loved to be groomed now he moves away, any help with any of these issues or any other hints or tips on how i can train him and look after him well would be greatly appreciated, he is a little character but i don't really know if im doing the right things with him.
thanks a million
How much is he eating? I'm sure he is just being a pushy foal. Personally, I don't like feeding them treats (especially not hand feeding) because they tend to get nippy. I would just work with him daily. Have someone hold him and just touch him all over. Will he let you touch him or will he only move away if you try to pick them up?
It's normal for them to want to eat pretty much everything you give them. My horses would eat grain all day if we let them. I'd just find the good amount to feed him (I'm not much help in this department..I've never had a baby) and stick with giving him that every day and stay away from the extras and treats for the most part.
And with the touching thing..I agree he is probably being a pushy baby. Just be patient with him and work with him OFTEN! Don't make him feel cornered or trapped though when you do it as you may make him feel frightened. Maybe start off doing it outside with him on a halter and lead rope so he doesn't feel that way. Horses tend to be very claustrophobic.
Do you keep this horse at your house? Do you board him? Are you working with a horse trainer? How much horse experience do you have? It sounds like you need to work on respect?
Horses like to eat. Heck, that's our boy's favorite activity. Is your foal fat? What does your vet say about the amount of food your baby should be eating? Just a question about your baby. How old was he when he was weaned? If you've had him for two months and he's only five months old now I'm wondering how old he was when weaned.
Oh, yeah RWF made a good point. And I would say work with him every day/often but only for short periods. They tend to get frazzled easily. Maybe go out and grab him from the field, take him for a walk/hand graze and brush him then be done with it. And praise him like he cured cancer when he does the right thing =)
Yeah, Spastic Dove made a good point as well to not over do it each time. And another thing I thought of too..I wouldn't work on the stuff he is afraid of every single time you come into contact with him either. That may turn him even more sour on it. Just take him for little walks outside of the pasture maybe and do some fun things with him that he likes between the training sessions..
thanks a mill for the advice guys, i will take them on board and spend more time with him, he was weaned at three months, too early i believe but the way horse sales have gone over here i think his owner just wanted to sell as soon as possible, he is living just by the house, his stable is ten feet from the house door and the fields are round the back, he will let me groom him almost every day but when i go down his legs he backs away, he will not let me lift his back feet, he goes crazy, the vet has advised me to feed him grain twice a day because he was weaned so young, but he still wants more, he also gets carrots and apples almost every day, is it wrong to give him these treats??also does anyone know if he needs a rug? he had one and grew out of it but since it has been off him his hair seems to be growing nice and fluffy, its not that cold here at the minute so i think he should be ok without but i just dont know, i have a genuine love for horses but know very little about taking care of them, am reading lots now to get up to speed, thanks for all the replies
I don't think he needs a rug.
Honestly, my best advice would be to pair up with a GOOD trainer. It is so easy to make mistakes when working with babies and it's hard to take information from books and turn it into actually working with your baby when you lack the hands on experience. This way, you can have someone there showing you much better than we could tell you over here.
I wouldn't think a carrot or two would be too bad if it was cut up in with his food. Don't overload anything though. I have heard (I'm not positive) about excess of apples being bad for horses. Also, they're very sugary.
Talk to your vet. He may know of a good trainer in the area.
Thanks for the advice, i will have a word with my vet and see can he recommend anyone with experience to help me out.
I agree with finding a good trainer. Foals are said to have 'character' and being cute when they're little, but when they get older it's not cute anymore to a beginner--it's plain dangerous. No one wants to see you hurt!
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