Thursday, December 4, 2008

Starting Your Foals

Here at Van Bert Farms, we start working with our foals the day they are born. We have a nice pasture we have dubbed as "our maternity ward". We are able to watch the mares from the barn and each of our houses. The mares that are within 45 days of delivery will go into this field. After the mare has her baby, and after the mare has had time to bond with the baby, we catch her and the foal. We iodine the foals navel, and worm the mare with ivermectin. This gives us the opportunity to "handle" the baby, picking up the feet, and rubbing all over the body. Mare and baby are then moved to the "nursery". There the babies are handled every day for about 9 to 10 days. We start for short periods of time (5 minutes) and moving up to about 15 minutes. We introduce the foals to a halter, but we never leave a halter on the foal. I will give you some ideas on the things we introduce to our foals and how we teach these things on a different day.
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