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Tamarack

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I have two new foals, they are just over 2 months old. I don't want to do anything that takes longer to undo if I do it wrong. I would love to take the clippers to them but I sure don't want a rodeo. Thanks in advance for any suggestions

Tamarack
 

Marty

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I just kinda do it and they love it. They think it feels good.

I usually start between the front legs where they like to be scratched and work up to the neck. By the time I get there they are loving it and can't get enough. The legs and head are usually a pain at first but as long as they are used to their legs being picked up makes it not so bad.
 

rabbitsfizz

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I do not clip foals- they need the cost to protect them from the sun as well as bad weather.

If you have the time to watch them constantly and bring them in and out as needed, OK, but I cannot see the point.

My Yearlings (which do need a bot of help to shed the wool) are mostly absolutely fine with the clippers, they love the "grooming" feel and are prepared to put up with the nose- Yearlings, of course have had a lot more experience of the world, so are less bothered by most things.

So unless you have a real reason (and I do not mean making them look good for yourself!!) I would advise against clipping foals.
 

Tamarack

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Thank you Marty and Rabbitfizz. It has been soo cold here this year, I wanted to just do the head and neck. They have a barn opened to pasture all day and closed up at night. What is an easy way to start with the halter? do you just make them wear it? Would anyone suggest a good book on starting mini foals? Tamarack
 

Minimor

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I personally would never put a halter on a foal & leave him to get used to it (not sure if that's what you're meaning with your last post?) None of my horses wear halters when they are turned out (nor when they are kept in for that matter!)--they are haltered only when I am working with or around them and they have supervision. As for haltering a foal, I just make pets of the babies, and then when they're about a month old I'll slip a halter on & "lead" the foal around for a few minutes. Usually the foal is used to being guided along with my hand on his rump, or maybe on his shoulder--and so when I add a halter it's pretty much the same thing, I'll hold the lead rope in my left hand & guide the foal along with my right hand on his rump or shoulder. Sometimes I end up putting a rump rope on for some lessons, but sometimes the foal just picks up leading and we don't need to bother with a rump rope. We start in the corral with "mom" and then start going out in the yard for longer walks. We don't tie foals up hard & fast; we usually start by taking a wrap around a post if the older foal needs to be restrained for something, like hoof trimming or a needle--someone holds the end of the rope so that if the foal were to get violent at pulling back he could be freed in an instant. Generally it isn't necessary, because I'l be right there to push him forward. We progress then to tying, so in time the foal will know how to stand tied for hoof trimming, clipping, grooming, whatever.

As for clipping, I do clip my foals. I don't shave them, but I do give them a rough clip with the hair. I wouldn't clip if the weather is cold, of course, but we can get some very hot, humid weather in the summer, and foals can get heat stress in that kind of weather. I prefer to shorten their coats to keep them more comfortable. If they're tame & used to being handled, foals generally don't seem to mind clipping too much. Many of mine like it. The one summer we had 4 foals, and when I'd go out with the cordless clippers all 4 of them would crowd around me, fighting over whose turn it was to be clipped first!
 

Keri

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You put a halter on them with thier lead and "lead" them around with mommy right there. They get the idea of the halter and mommy pushes them along to walk. Haven't tried trimming yet, but when we trim his feet, we just sit him in my husband's lap and he sits there. So we were going to try that way with the clippers and just see how he acts.
 

Bunnylady

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What is an easy way to start with the halter? do you just make them wear it?
Just a word to the wise - don't leave a halter on a foal. I knew someone who lost a foal when he caught his in a low-growing treebranch and hanged himself.
 

zoey829

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Ditto with NOT leaving the halter on a foal. I knw someone who lost a foal that way. He got caught on the fence. so tragic!!!!!!!

As a side note I would love to know when you start to train them on lead lines? I like to get mine used to my hand first and slowly graduate to the lead line. WIth the heat I do not over do it!
 

Baydreamfarms

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I have been extremely lucky with my filly. We put the halter on her and left it on her for a few hours. Then practiced taking it on and off for about twenty minutes. Then when we started leading her we had her follow her mom for a day or so and then we tried by herself. She took to it like rolling after a bath. She gets groomed daily and part of our grooming includes bringing out some of my personal leg shavers and getting her used to the sound and vibration without clipping. I can run my leg shavers all over her legs, head, and ears. She was a tad nervous the first time, but I just talked to her and she immediatly calmed down. She has been having her legs and hooves played with daily as well. We pick her feet, tap on them, move the hoof pick like a rasp side to side and all that. She has already had one trim and she did good for a baby. She wasn't comfortable with anyone else touching her legs tho so now we have her breeder(since she isn't weaned yet), hubby and myself do the feet so she sees it isn't bad no matter who is doing it. I plan on waiting til July to shave her since the nights here still can get on the chilly side when it rains but by July all that is gone. She had her first experience with fly spray yesterday and she was unsure at first, but after she found out that scary bottle wasn't going to eat her she was fine.

But I also know that we are very lucky with how fast she learns things. Our breeder even says she is the most precosious foal she has ever had, so that is nice. But we mainly just take one step at a time and work with one thing at a time until she is comfortable with it, then move to another. But keep working with all the things so she still remembers all her lessons.

And while I don't agree with leaving a halter on, the breeder does and while she is at her place until weaning she wears her halter all the time except when we are there. We take it off and play with her and scratch her face where she itches under the halter and then practice taking it off and putting it on and then before we leave we put it back on. But until she gets used to the surroundings and our neighbors we will leave it on her. We have no trees, are using electric fencing and even her shelter she won't be able to get caught on. But as soon as she settles in off it will come.
 

rockin r

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Ziggy is not quite 3 weeks old. I have already had a halter on her, while she and I are in her stall. At first she kinda froze. But after a few minutes she acted like it was not even there. Almost everytime I am in her stall to clean I put her halter on her and she is fine with it now. She NEVER has it on when I am not in her stall, nor does she wear it when she is out with her dam. TOOOO many things can happen at a blink of an eye for her to get the halter caught. And you sure don't want the baby to struggle to get itself free, as that can do neck, head and eye injury to a young foal. I have not put a lead on her. I feel she is to young and I don't want her to pull back and away with her neck.....On another thought....A friend of mine said her vet told her new research is showing that if you have a "young" horse on a lead that refuses to move forward and locks up with its hind legs, and forceably pulls backward, it may cause stifle damage. I don't know if this is accuarate, but it might be something to think about...

I clipped Ziggi when she was just over a week old. It took me a few hours to do it, but she did great. I did not restrain her in any way, she stood on her own and if it scared her and she would go away from me, she would come back on her own and I would continue. I don't want to make her afraid of something that she will have done to her the rest of her life. The only reason I clipped her was because of the heat. Just a neck and head clip would not have given her any relief...You have gotten some great advice, take and use what works for "your foal"...
 

Tamarack

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Again, thank you all so very much for your good advice. I think I just need to go slow and do the haltering first. The colt was friendly right from the beginning becasue I had to bottle feed him for 24 hrs. The filly, born one day before him was always skittish. I didn't force the issue she would watch when the colt would come around for attention but she wanted no part of it. Then one day when she was about 7 weeks old she just came over to me and I started scratching her all over and now they both won't leave me alone. I was just very surprised at how drastic the change was---but very happy too!

Tamarack
 

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