When you have a foal, everything is sweetness and light. But only for so long. Then the life lessons begin and they have to learn to wear a halter, to follow a leader, to stand tied, and face their biggest fear of all—being separated from their mommy. It is a difficult change for both mare and foal, to give up that comfort and connection. But weaning a foal helps develop the disposition a horse needs to have—a working horse has to be able to go out and do a job without throwing a fuss when it is separated from other horses. Weaning is a very important step in the life of a foal.
Our weanling stud colt is just a handful. I had forgotten what it’s like having a horse this young, but he is certainly a lot of trouble. The main problem is that he has got too much energy and not enough experience. Watching him careen around the farm full-tilt is entertaining until you see him run into something. Owning this colt is like having a teenager who just got his own drivers license and is anxious to demonstrate his skills. It’s exciting, it’s entertaining, it’s often hilarious…..but it’s also scary.
As you know, we have been working on halter breaking the new stud colt we purchased a month ago. It’s been awhile since I’ve had a horse this young to work with, so I’m trying to remember any tricks on how to train a foal to lead, and am looking back through some old horse training articles I’ve written to see what advice I’ve given to others on this topic. Every horse is different, and with this particular colt, we’ve been able to slide right past some trouble spots that might affect others.