Concerned that my orphaned foal won't exercise - The Horse Forum
  • 1 Post By tinyliny
  • 4 Post By Dustbunny
  • 3 Post By Yogiwick
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post #1 of 4 Old 05-13-2018, 03:13 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2018
Location: Canada
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Exclamation Concerned that my orphaned foal won't exercise

My foal is 2 weeks old and has been brought up on foal milk replacer as his mother died delivering her. She has a great appetite but when we put her out in the little paddock (30'x100') she doesn't know enough to run, skip, jump and do what a foal should. We tried a nurse mare but she rejected the foal. The foal is out of a big standardbred mare and at birth got lots of colostrum milk that the vet milked from her mother prior to losing her (about 3 baby bottles full). When we put her out, she just stands there at the fence. After a few minutes she lies down on the ground, then gets up again a few minutes later but just stands at the fence. Open to any helpful advice. In all our years, this is our first orphan foal. It was the mare's third foal and the others were healthy and strong right from day one and both were terrors in the fields.
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post #2 of 4 Old 05-13-2018, 04:03 PM
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how very sad! I really feel for you and how your heart must hurt to see the wee little thing so forlorn. Somewhere I read an article about some foals that did not thrive, in a way that was as if they were autistic. I'm going to look for that article for you . . . be right back.

Here it is:
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tinyliny is offline  
post #3 of 4 Old 05-13-2018, 07:05 PM
Green Broke
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How about getting a pony, donkey or a goat for company?
Poor baby. Sad to be all alone.

If you ever find yourself in a fair fight, it's because your tactics suck. ~ Marine 1SGT J. Reifinger
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post #4 of 4 Old 05-13-2018, 07:23 PM
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Doesn't sound like a physical/health issue at all.

With my sheep if I have one or two lambs that are young they are MUCH more playful than when I have a group.

She needs SOME sort of friend. I'd keep on trying a nurse mare but if it won't work find A friend, preferably another horse but it doesn't have to be. Many geldings make excellent babysitters, maybe because they don't feel like they need to "mother" the way a mare does? A horse that would nurse her would be great, but it's not necessary... it IS necessary for socialization, and at this age she needs some sort of constant companion.

I would definitely make sure she has lots and lots of access to a turnout area even if she doesn't use it. She WILL mosey around and figure things out and I wouldn't be surprised if you saw her playing on her own some.

While I'm sure part of it is she doesn't "know" she also doesn't have a reason to. Even a playful horse will often just stand around if it's alone. You need to keep her mental health in mind too.
Yogiwick is offline  

foal , inactive , orphan

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