showing weanlings

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Well-Known Member
Mar 26, 2004
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East Concord, NY
how young do you start working with them in halter and leading?

How old do you want them to be before you take them out to their first show.

How much undo stress would I be putting on our it really worth it?

Any other tips or opinions would be appreciated!

My personal experience is.

Halter I dont do until etleast 3 weeks ish. But I handle them up untill then rubbing all over scratching
Ill maybe run my hand down their legs to get them used to me having to place them later

I say 3 Months to Show BUT you can earlier and zorro went at 2 months and he was awesome it wasnt traumatizing at all
He talked ot mommy who was also at the show in halter class but stood awesome
He was relaxed enough to fall asleep while my others guys were in performance. I really think it may depend on your mare/foal combination.. but I show my mare as well(And she had been shown year previous to foaling) so they arent seperated which may be alot more stressful on them..
We've started our sucklings on a halter at only a few weeks old, just to allow them to get used to something on their face. It's easy to teach them to lead when they are still sticking close to their mom. Attach the lead to the foal's halter and tie it too mom's halter.........Then take mom for a walk. The baby learns about pressure and lease against the lead very quickly. We never leave the halter on for very long. And the walks are only for a few minutes at a time.

We used to show the babies as young as 6 weeks old at local shows, but don't anymore. We stopped after deciding that the stress and possibility of the foal getting sick wasn't worth it..........Last year we showed two of our weanlings at State Fair. (They were fully weaned from their moms and been vaccinated.). One of them STILL ended up getting sick!

One of the nice things about weanlings is that as long as you have them trained to walk on a lead, you can show them and they don't necessarily need to know how to set up! Everyone forgives a weanling if they act a little nutty.
Like others have said, first they need to learn to walk on a lead and allow themselves to be handled. I would caution against tieing a lead to the mare's halter. It just doesn't seem like a good idea to me. They need to learn to walk next to you and if it's tied to the mare, there's potential for the foal to try to run ahead (I have very independent foals) or run another direction, both which could cause undue strain on the foal's neck when it hits the end of the lead. They also need to learn to trot in hand as well. The earliest I have hauled is 4 months, but would consider hauling a younger foal if the dam tolerated the stress. I find that if the mare is relaxed the foal usually is to.
Thanks so much for your opinions...

We decided to breed my daughters show mare last year and had wanted to hit a few R shows this year. The foal will be 2 months old for first show. This filly is already well handled and mom and baby are very comfortable with all the handling and messing with. Don't really think the whole showing thing will be much of an issue but I just worry about the baby getting sick. We don't stable at the show...always arrive the morning of and show off trailer. Hoping this will keep my baby from catching anything.

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