A mare will carry a foal on average for 335 days. The birth can be anytime between 320 and 350 days.
The cute baby horse is called a foal, and very quickly, usually within an hour, the equine foal will be standing on his wobbly legs, trying to suckle milk from his mother’s teats.
If you’re lucky enough to see the birth, you’ll know what I mean when I say it’s just a “magical” experience.
What is foal imprinting?
When it comes to handling a new-born foal, people always have a difference of opinion.
Some believe you should not interfere with the mare and new-born foal, while others follow the belief of foal imprinting, which means the foal, is handled within twelve hours of birth.
Speaking from my own experience, I find it easier when a foal is handled from birth.
They learn quite quickly to accept you if handled daily.
A foal being imprinted will let a human touch it all over, pick up its feet, and become aware of the human voice.
All foals are different, some are very friendly others are timid and shy; but one thing remains the same, handling the foal gently, carefully but firmly.
How to catch a foal
To catch the foal you will need two people, one to hold the mare while you catch the foal.
It can be quite tricky and he may try to escape by going in front or underneath the mare, especially if the mare is standing in the middle of the stable.
So stand her alongside a wall to make it easier to catch the little one.
He should be caught with one hand around his quarters and the other hand around the front of his chest.
Once you have caught him, give him some attention by gently stoking him.
Foals stay close to their mother until approximately six months old, after that, they are weaned, which means he is separated from his mother.
Playful Foal photos
While the cute baby horse is far too young to be ridden, it is still able to learn skills it will need later in life.
By the end of the foal’s first year he should be -
• Foal-slip trained
• Stand tied up
• Halter trained
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