Horseproblems Australia
Post Office Box Victor Harbor
SA. 5211
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HANDLING OUR FOALS WITH RESPONSIBILITY

by

John O'Leary
Horseman
2003
www.horseproblems.com.au

 

 

I cringe when I am asked to go and halter break a foal, weanling, yearling, 2 yr old or upwards. Two years ago, 20 year old, 25 year old Brood Mares, never halter broken and you know what means to Horse and Handler alike :(

Not only is this highly unfair on the poor horses but also the Horse Trainer. High risk for both but it is the horses that I feel for. I have seen them receive everything from broken legs to broken vertebrae whilst fighting against the simple first ask on a lead rope. Blind panic and the natural fight erupts with almost every un-halter broken horse that is older than 7 days.

To be quite honest with you, I think that people who breed horses and do not handle the young ones early are irresponsible to say the least.

When you halter break a foal on about Day 7 of it's Life, danger is eliminated. Stress is lessened and you have a horse that can be treated, controlled, floated, tied up, hoof trimmed, wormed, teeth and God knows what else. You can imagine what those horses that are not halter broken get! I often wonder how many years come off their life span due to missing out on the important things that require control in the young ones. Are they the horses that get more colic later? More worm damage? Crooked legs through a complete lack of corrective trimming?.....and the list goes on and on!

So, if you breed a horse, please do the right thing by it. Be a responsible breeder, not like around 90% of all that I have met.

Here are a few photo's of wonderful, healthy, happy, relaxed babies The photo taken today is the result of all of that responsible Breeder behavior, not one of the young horses attempting to jump over the chest rail as happens all around Australia every year.

Halter breaking foals with the bum rope system or with a whip does not produce 'truly light' or properly halter broken horses. Yes they lead....only until they say 'No'. Believe me, I feel them every day. They drive me 'Bananas' Take a look at the weanling on the left in the photo. It has it's head stuck beneath the chest bar. What sort of blind panic would confront 99% of horses under that situation? These ones think, stay cool and just work it out. No drama! Later, when they get hooked in a fence on a new owners property.....no injury. What security for their safe future?

Click on Photo's to enlarge

 

The 5 of them in one float. Loaded and traveled like Champions.
11/7/03
 


Tied up 10 days
Hard left & centre horses in photo on right

tricks at 3 weeks old. Now 2nd from the left in photo on right

6 mths just b4 float loading
11/7/03

The bowing baby learning to lead. My system but read about it b4 doing it.

 

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