Those of you who know of Little Miss Elsa, my surprise foal also know she is coming 1 already! I had blogged previously about concerns over weaning in a less traumatic fashion then was standard. The standard being anywhere from 3-6 months and sudden separation to 2 completely different locations. This was supposed to be the best way. Then why was there fear of injury and horses jumping and breaking through fences etc. This didn’t seem right to me. I had not planned on having a foal, but since my luck saw fit to give her to me, I took the responsibilty on and decided to do a lot of things different then I had with other babies in the past. I had limited options but figured out a very gentle and non traumatic way to do it. First, We were able to have a nice herd of two mares and one pony mare plus the baby. They got along well and Elsa learned herd social order from them all. At 6 months, I decided it would be good to separate them but put Elsa and her pony auntie in with her and Mom and her friend stayed together in the adjacent paddock. They could still touch and see each other but Elsa could no longer nurse. They seemed ok with this arrangement and all was calm. No drama so far. Come April it was time to move Phoenix, Elsa’s mom to a new place in preparation for the upcoming show season. At this point they were well used to being in the adjacent paddocks for months now. The day before I took Phoenix, I asked her to load up in the trailer just to get her comfortable with the idea and she did and we stood there and hung out for awhile. I didn’t want to just load her up the next day suddenly and leave. As a result, The next day Phoenix went to her new place and not one of them made a peep or a call or a run around. It was calm, gentle, trauma free, and peaceful. I felt like everybody was ok with it. Most of all, them. Elsa was moved back in with with her Big and little Aunties who look after her well. For the next few days, I checked on Elsa’s mood and attitude and she seemed happy and well adjusted which made me happy. Phoenix also settled in well to her new arrangement. I wish this for every Mare and foal…

FDT

Weaning done right?…

1 Comment

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

  • Dona M
    Reply

    How sensible, humane and considerate. You are a wise teacher! I have heard stories of animals being separated quickly for milking purposes and then the crying out, and trauma that occurs. That bond is preservation itself and should be respected.