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I purchased a mare having been exposed to a stallion. The colt was born on Friday, is healthy and doing well. I have no extensive experience with foals and I want to be sure that I am doing everything the best I can to raise a well adjusted, respectful horse (to weanling age). He has already had a halter put on him a few times, patted around, then pulled back off. He's been blanketed, as he chose to be born in the worst of our winter weather so far. I tried googling "raising foal" and "foal care" but most search results are health based, rather than training and handling. So everybody that breeds, handles foals, or knows good online sources, please throw them my way. :mrgreen:

Also, he is a Shire, born with a winter coat. He's been inside for the ice to melt, as I don't want him to be injured by slipping on unsteady legs. But aside from ice, would be be alright staying out in the pasture so long as weather is dry and low winds? Or would he be more susceptible to the cold?
 

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There is a good article "Halter Breaking Your Foal" that you can download from here Halter Breaking Your Foal – America’s Horse Daily
The most important thing within the first 3 months is to do everything you need to be able to "doctor" the foal if you need to. Handle/rub/touch all over, halter break, lead on a rope, and tie (attended). Handle the legs, but don't expect him to be steady enough to keep a foot up more than a few seconds (e.g. like you would pick out) until closer to 3 months.
They are more susceptible to chilling in the cold/wet/wind until they get a little fat/weight on them, but if it's not cold and raining, I would let him out with mom.
Good luck and enjoy.
 

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Check out Clinton Anderson's method of halter breaking foals. I've used that method a few times and it works amazing! It pretty much boils down to you can use bailing twine and put one around the front of them and one around their hindquarters and you stand on their side. You teach them to walk by putting pressure on the hindquarter one, and to back up by pulling on the front one. Eventually you take the front one off, and keep the back one on. So then when you ask them to walk forward with a halter/lead on you can help them understand by putting pressure on the hind end. I saw one episode of it on RFD-TV and thats how I learned :)
 

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my mare had her first and only colt almost 5 yrs. ago. He has been handled and taught ground manners right from day one. He had his little rope halter taken on/off constantly, whenever I fed him his foal pellets he had to put his halter on, that is how I learnt him on to have it on and off. I used Clinton Anderson's methods with him right from the start. I would bring him out into the yard (his Mom was so good and trusted him with me while she grazed in the pasture) and let him graze while dragging the lead on the ground. He was never left unattended like that but he learnt from that not to panic because he steps on his lead and he learnt how to think things through. Didn't take him long to figure out how to step back and off the rope to get rid of the pressure. I taught him how to move off of pressure, lunge online.......everything I did for the first couple of years were short periods (babies attention span are like a kids LOL doesn't last long). I taught him how to load up in the trailer, I would leave little treats in there and there was always one of the horses in it looking to see if there was a treat or not. When he was only a couple days old he would try to suckle me on my arms/face/anywhere! I tried the pushing away but that didn't stop him, so what I did was squeal at him like his Mom would do if he was doing something she didn't like, only took twice and he's never tried to mouth me with his mouth since! There is lots of daily stuff you can work with him to do, things that only take a few minutes and you quit not him......I loved working with my boy. He's now started under saddle and he knows when his halter goes on it's time to listen up, he's working now LOL
 
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