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Discussion on Tying mare with foal

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Heidi Magnuson
New Member
Username: Heidim

Post Number: 4
Registered: 1-2005
Posted on Sunday, May 1, 2005 - 1:19 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi. I'm wondering about how to tie my mare, so she doesn't pull back when her foal wanders off. The mare ties and leads well now, and I want to keep her that way. When I lead her out to the pasture, she keeps a watchful eye on her foal and gets antsy when he goes to far astray. I'm afraid that tying her will make her want to pull back to reclaim her foal. Any advice?
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Ann
Member
Username: Dres

Post Number: 505
Registered: 10-2000
Posted on Sunday, May 1, 2005 - 3:00 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Heidi, DON'T TIE, knowing an accident could happen, let the mare be a mother now.. after weaning you can start her back up... or do as I did, and just tack up in a stall so the foal stays near, then ride in the arena next to a paddox so the foal and mom can see one another.. I usually feed the foal its extra supplements during this time , no one fusses... I don't start this practice till the foal is 6 weeks old and the mare and foal have been in the arena together first..

On the first day God created horses, on the second day he painted them with SPOTS..
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Heidi Magnuson
Member
Username: Heidim

Post Number: 6
Registered: 1-2005
Posted on Sunday, May 1, 2005 - 5:12 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thanks, Ann. That was helpful. I had no idea how many little complications result from having a foal around. I'm a newbie, so I think I'll just wait until the foal is weaned to work with the mare. She'll probably take less than a month to shape up, and I doubt the market will change much during that time.

Because you seem knowledgeable in this area, I'd like to know your opinion on training the foal himself. What's best to do before weaning, and what's best left for the time between weaning and, say, the end of his first year. I realize there are a range of answers, but I'd like your opinion. Anyone else out there is certainly welcome to share their experience as well.

PS: Interesting about God painting horses with spots on the second day of Creation. I understand He lengthened the ears on mules then, too.
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Ann
Member
Username: Dres

Post Number: 506
Registered: 10-2000
Posted on Sunday, May 1, 2005 - 7:07 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I work with the foals daily, small lessons not more then a few minutes is all it takes... putting halters on and off... fly mask.... grooming, picking up legs, pulling on tails / ears / privates ... teaching them to lead... at first you have to make a figure 8 out of the lead rope around the foals rump to help ''pull'' them foreword....after that I usually just basically make them take a few steps to the left then the right... by putting their heads in that direction the feet have to follow... good baby.. that's all for today... I have found with my ''spotted'' foals it does not take long for them to just follow your lead... You can ride your mare, in fact she might enjoy the break from the little one, mine have.. just don't tie her and make sure she trusts that her foal is safe, and you all will be happy... i usually ride my mares to get them in shape faster, they are always the best looking / fit mares in the foal inspections becus of it...

thanks for the chuckle on the EARS... I have in several groups been 'teased' about the stubbornness of the spotted horse....

On the first day God created horses, on the second day he painted them with SPOTS..
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Christos Axis
Member
Username: Christos

Post Number: 750
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Sunday, May 1, 2005 - 7:16 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Heidi, the mare will be very protective for 2-3 weeks, then it will slowly fade. After 5-6 weeks most mares have no problem with you handling and training the foal. They won't care much for the foal's objections on ground training but they do sense when it's in danger and will come to its rescue if you're rough.
You can watch them in the pasture, around the sixth week the foal starts to stray away from mom for some time. That's where you can introduce some ground training. Haltering, grooming and leading training can be finished before weaning, it only takes 10 min a day. Training will not be 100%, as the little one is silly and impatient, but quite there.
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Ann
Member
Username: Dres

Post Number: 507
Registered: 10-2000
Posted on Sunday, May 1, 2005 - 8:54 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Actually Chirstos by 3 weeks my foals are leading very well, its starts on day 3 when I take the mare out to pasture and bring her in at night.. the foal is haltered and lead with the mare leading us.. then after a couple of times of this I lead the foal in front and the mare follows us out to pasture.. this only works the first few weeks, as you said the mare slowly becomes more independent of her little one and does not always follow me and baby out to pasture my way.. :-) I love the little ones , they know no wrong, only what we teach them...

On the first day God created horses, on the second day he painted them with SPOTS..
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Sara Wolff
Member
Username: Mrose

Post Number: 614
Registered: 1-2000
Posted on Monday, May 2, 2005 - 12:04 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I do as Ann. Whenever possible one of us will lead the foal in and out using the rump rope similar to what Ann discribes, and the other leading the mare. If it's just me, I'll lead the foal and let mom follow. The purpose of the rump rope, btw, is to keep pressure off the foal's neck as I was always taught it is very fragile and can easily be injured. I was taught never to just pull on a foal, but always put pressure on the rump instead.

I work with the foals every day, often more than once a day, but never for very long. They get halters on and off from day two, feet picked up, hands rubbed all over them including between the rear legs. I play with them a lot trying to teach them everything they will have to know as they grow older. By the time they are weaned, they are used to water being put over them by sponge, ears, tummy & all other places used to the touch, feet hammered on (gently) with the hoof pick handle, a light blanket being put on them, go willingly in and out of the trailer....anything I can think of that will make life easier for both of us as they get bigger.
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Christos Axis
Member
Username: Christos

Post Number: 751
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Monday, May 2, 2005 - 3:53 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Sara and Ann, I also started my little one as you describe, actually from day one. By weaning he had been introduced to everything, from clippers, injections and teeth been floated (not really), to heavy traffic, crowds, swimming, leading with a light saddle girthed up and accepting a light kid (bareback) for ten steps or so.
But I believe one can really wait to six weeks to start, especially if it is one's first foal. The mare will be much calmer, and the foal much more curious to explore new territory.
I also can't really see a difference between weanlings that were started on the first days to the ones that were started at two months, so I don't think there's a reason to rush.
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Heidi Magnuson
Member
Username: Heidim

Post Number: 8
Registered: 1-2005
Posted on Monday, May 2, 2005 - 7:24 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Wow! You've all given me a lot to work with. I see that I can introduce my foal to more than I ever realized. I think I will just get started on the little things now and build as I go. It's not just the foal learning here--I am, too. Thanks for all your suggestions.
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Zoe
New Member
Username: Zoe

Post Number: 3
Registered: 4-2005
Posted on Monday, May 2, 2005 - 8:34 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Ann when you said DONT TIE i disagree completely! We all no that the mother slowly lets go of her baby but the quicker sometimes the better. SHe has to get used to it in my oppinion. I mean Im just a trainer. No offence Ann, but the baby needs to get away frm there mother without the mother spasing out because if the mom gets loose then the baby will follow and...... well you get the picture! Well Ann that was still good advice
~Zoe~
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Christos Axis
Member
Username: Christos

Post Number: 761
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Tuesday, May 3, 2005 - 6:38 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

No, Zoe, a horse will not understand and accept things by force. She'll have to live with it, of course, but then you'll have to live with her disapproval of your methods, which is a lot tougher and time consuming than just waiting a couple of weeks for things to fall where you want them.
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Sara Wolff
Member
Username: Mrose

Post Number: 621
Registered: 1-2000
Posted on Tuesday, May 3, 2005 - 10:35 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I totally disagree with you, Zoe. I firmly believe broodmares, even temporary ones, need time to be mothers. When you breed a mare, you should know that you will loose her services as a pleasure horse for several months. If a show horse, you will "loose" her for a show season.

The part a mare plays in teaching her foal lessons it will need later in life is very important. Also, you don't want to cause any stress on mare or foal. Just take this time to interact with both mare and foal, grooming the mare, spending a little time each day working with the foal.

In a short period of time the mare will be more than happy to let you "baby sit" for a while. And, you won't hurt things by taking little short rides and letting the foal bounce along if you have a safe place to do so.
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