Foal head shy! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 09-17-2016, 10:35 AM Thread Starter
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Foal head shy!

So I'm completely new to foals and my mare had a beautifully marked piebald colt. I didn't get too close to him till the day after he was born as his mother is very protective. He doesn't mind me touching him at his feet, bum or body but as soon as I get near his neck or face he runs to the other side of his mother. I'm rather concerned about this as he's nearly a week old and I want to try to get him use to a halter and i want no bad habbits.

I would also like some other tips for foals because as I said I have no experience.
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post #2 of 7 Old 09-17-2016, 11:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by horsegirl2016 View Post
So I'm completely new to foals and my mare had a beautifully marked piebald colt. I didn't get too close to him till the day after he was born as his mother is very protective. He doesn't mind me touching him at his feet, bum or body but as soon as I get near his neck or face he runs to the other side of his mother. I'm rather concerned about this as he's nearly a week old and I want to try to get him use to a halter and i want no bad habbits.

I would also like some other tips for foals because as I said I have no experience.
I'm very strict with my broodmares, they are not allowed to interfere in any way with anything I may do to their foals. If they are interfering, they get haltered and tied up so that I can handle the foal. It's a whole lot safer that way.

As for the foal being shy, that's normal. They are born knowing they are an easy meal for a predator. It takes time and repetition to get them used to you. One of my favorite tricks to get them liking human contact is to scratch them. I start with the bum, right at the tail head and to the left and right, over the hips and down the back of the butt cheek. When they are stopping and letting me scratch, then I slowly work my way forward. Scratch the bum with the right hand and slide around to the left side and reach up and scratch the withers and left shoulder. Work my way back to the bum and switch hands so the left is scratching the bum and work my way around the right side and then scratch the right shoulder. After doing that several times a day for a week or so, you should be able to walk up and just start scratching at the shoulder and withers. Pretty soon they'll walk up to you and ask for it. Then introduce a soft curry and rub them all over, those foal coats get itchy, they LOVE being curried. Then brush with a soft brush. Before you know it, they will be used to you having your hands, brush, halter, lead rope all over them and they'll be loving. Trick to the whole thing is to only do it for a little while at a time, leave them wanting more. You be sure to leave before they get tired of it or bored and start to walk away.

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post #3 of 7 Old 09-17-2016, 12:05 PM
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Dreamcatcher gave you wonderful advise. Good luck with your new baby!

R.I.P. JC 5/19/85 - 12/9/14. You made my life better.
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post #4 of 7 Old 09-18-2016, 04:32 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you so much for your detailed informative reply!

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post #5 of 7 Old 09-18-2016, 04:34 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamcatcher Arabians View Post
I'm very strict with my broodmares, they are not allowed to interfere in any way with anything I may do to their foals. If they are interfering, they get haltered and tied up so that I can handle the foal. It's a whole lot safer that way.

As for the foal being shy, that's normal. They are born knowing they are an easy meal for a predator. It takes time and repetition to get them used to you. One of my favorite tricks to get them liking human contact is to scratch them. I start with the bum, right at the tail head and to the left and right, over the hips and down the back of the butt cheek. When they are stopping and letting me scratch, then I slowly work my way forward. Scratch the bum with the right hand and slide around to the left side and reach up and scratch the withers and left shoulder. Work my way back to the bum and switch hands so the left is scratching the bum and work my way around the right side and then scratch the right shoulder. After doing that several times a day for a week or so, you should be able to walk up and just start scratching at the shoulder and withers. Pretty soon they'll walk up to you and ask for it. Then introduce a soft curry and rub them all over, those foal coats get itchy, they LOVE being curried. Then brush with a soft brush. Before you know it, they will be used to you having your hands, brush, halter, lead rope all over them and they'll be loving. Trick to the whole thing is to only do it for a little while at a time, leave them wanting more. You be sure to leave before they get tired of it or bored and start to walk away.
Thank you for your informative reply I'll have to try this!
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post #6 of 7 Old 09-18-2016, 12:21 PM
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I didn't put a halter on mine until he was a couple months old. By that time he was comfortable with our hands all over him so it wasn't an issue. Take it slow and don't put too much pressure on at once.

“When I bestride him, I soar, I am a hawk: he trots the air; the earth sings when he touches it; the basest horn of his hoof is more musical than the pipe of Hermes. ” ~ William Shakespeare
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post #7 of 7 Old 09-19-2016, 08:00 AM
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Great ideas posted here. Good luck w/ your new baby!
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