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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Rescued our first foal this past week. Inquisitive boy, but he's completely unhandled not super wild though. He's starting to get used to us floating through the corral, and will sniff our hands. However, I don't want to push him or stress him more than needed. Any suggestions on the process to gentle him down, we would really appreciate it! We were told he is 4 or 5 months by the kill lot, but I really doubt it.

Our vet comes out Wednesday, any guesses on age?


Horse Blue Working animal Liver Terrestrial animal
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
IMHO, he was too young to be weaned but, as @My Salty Pony commented, mom likely barely had enough to sustain her, much less feed a baby😡

My grandfather’s philosophy regarding his foals was “git to handling those foals before they git to handling you”. With that in mind his First Rule Of Thumb for my cousin and I was”treat those horses the way you want to be treated or find yourselves sitting on the porch all summer”.

Since I am not capable of explaining anything in a few sentences, this article is pretty good. Were that little doll face mine, I would treat him as if he were a newborn and doesn’t know anything; in other words go back to ground zero:)


Dont forget, he’s going to need gelded sooner than later (When both testicles drop) no matter how pretty he is. He does not have papers. The last thing you want to do is put another baby on the ground that may end up at a kill lot.
Thank you for the article, I'll look over the material. 🙂 We will definitely be getting him gelded. Thank you for posting that, I know it takes someone that understands the reality to do so. We have two rescues from kill lots, and completely understand!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
He looks more like 2 to 2 1/2 months.
If you have him in a corral, you can start by just asking him to move. Then, turn him. This gets him to watching you, and paying attention to what you are doing. Get him to where he will face up to you, and give you both eyes.
Once you can move him easily, turn him either direction, get a rope on him. You are NOT going to tighten it down and choke him, it's merely a connection between you and him. Once you have that, You can start working your way up to him. At first, just rub between his eyes. Then back off, and do it again.
Keep at this until you can handle his head fairly easily. Then it's time for a halter.
I always left a drag rope on my colts. They were by themselves in corrals, and in all the years I raised colts, I never had one get hurt by this. That rope has a lot of lessons in it for them to learn that are valuable later in life. They learn that if they step on it, it's not a big deal, just step off. Saves reins later on. Once you have that on him, he's done for the day.

He's not going to know what grain is. Put a pan in there, and just a bit. He's going to tip it over and its going on the ground, so don't over do it. It will take him a few days to figure out it's ok to eat. This is normal. Put all the hay he can eat in there, he's on the thin side. Get him wormed soon as you can as well.

Ok, now time for the work. You will only be spending around 10 minutes on each lesson. He does not have a long attention span right now, and he's going to tire easily. The important thing at this stage is to let him win. ALWAYS finish on a good note. Don't grind on something until he does it wrong. He gets frustrated, and you've set yourself back a bit.

Start by asking for just one step sideways. Pull his head to the side, and just a firm continual pull. No yanking. Once he moves that foot, ease up. Its the ease up that's his reward at this point. Then, ask again. Soon you'll be having him go in a circle, he's leading and he's not even aware of it. Always be liberal with the praise when he does it right. Get him to going both ways, and you're done for that day. Leave the halter and drag rope on him. Makes him easier to catch until he figures it out.

I did a lot of Clinton Anderson methods with my colts with the lead ropes. I never left my longer ropes on my colts, I had shorter ones for that. By swinging the longer lead all over the colt, around his legs, between then, over his back, under his belly, it gets them used to being touched and things moving around them. The more you do, the better he's going to get.

Every day, 10 minutes, let him win. Soon he'll be leading and looking forward to your coming. The day you go out to him, and you see/hear him nicker, thats your reward for a job well done. He's halter broke, broke to tie, and it's been so easy!
Thank you for all the information. We really appreciate the advice and I'll look into Clinton Anderson methods! Luckily my others have all come to me started or finished. So, this will be a learning experience, but one worth moving through with our little guy. That is what our vet was guessing 2.5 to 3 months based off photos. Though, I know it's hard to know based off lacking nourishment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thank you for the suggestions! He is really coming around, and allowing his to scratch on him. We are able to get a rope around jis neck, but have not done anything with a halter yet. He is getting to be a pester at feeding time. He always has free range of brome, alfafa, foal/mare grain, and sweet feed (seing what he will take) I've tried milk replacement to no avail. He's currently on uniprim for yucky eyes, and nose. It's doing a great job of clearing everything up. We are having to mix it in a bit if chopped alfafa. When I came into the corral last night to give the nightly medicine. He decided to bite me, while I was mixing the medicine in. Maybe, being pushy with wanting the feed? He has alfafa available at all times, but for some reason he likes the uniprim mixed with it. He was pushy again this morning for his feeding and pinned his ears back, and look around while eating liking he was waiting on it to be taken. Once he was finished, I removed the bin from the corral and he would approach me, with his ears back again.

My husband went out an hour or do after we gave the medicine and he was acting fine with no ear pinning. Feeling silly, but he definitely tries to test me more so than my husband. Could this because I'm a softer female, and he's definitely not?
 
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