There’s so much to learn when you have a foal at home for the first time.
11 years ago, I bought my first youngster. A lovely black Paso Fino colt, I named Ortega. I bought him when he was just 3 days old. He arrived to me as a yearling, used to the halter, being tied up, being groomed and having his feet trimmed and I’d somehow managed to walk him round a show ring in Germany where he went on to win best UK yearling.
When he arrived at the new yard he was full of confidence but so good to handle, especially for a colt. Catching him in the field was an interesting afternoon. I’d sit there for hours with a bucket of feed, and he’d do everything to avoid me. Luckily this isn’t last long and he was usually very happy to come up to me and come back in to the stable.
Learning as we go
Giselle is a clever filly. She’s now happy to have a groom all over, have her feet picked up and a good scratch on her shoulder and bum. I’ve been working on halter training her but can’t leave it on as she has such tiny head and we’re worried the straps will get caught somewhere.
You can’t lead newborn foals from the head, as they have soft cranial bones like human babies. But to get hold of her is tricky. She’s learnt she can wriggle out of rope round her neck. And she’s quick on her feet.
Next month’s aim is to get her happy to be caught and lead. At least I hope that’s the right next step.