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Should I be concerned? please advice!

14 replies

polarfox · 01/02/2011 16:51

I know nothing about horses- rode once 20 years ago and that's about it!!

Very near to where we live there is a farm with massive fields, where they let their horses out during the day. I say "their" but its not theirs, there are customers horses (you know .. like in kennels!!)

One of these horses had a foal last month- the cutest little thing! But both mum and LO are never taken in the stables; they are outside 24/7, with plenty to eat and drink. The other horses are taken in (presumably by their owners?)

Is this what happens with horses? Do they (esp little one ) not feel the cold?
I want some reassurance!!

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Myleetlepony · 01/02/2011 18:02

Depends on the type of foal, but I'm guessing they will be fine. Maybe mum doesn't like being stabled. Is she a chunky looking horse?

polarfox · 01/02/2011 18:29

No, she's just a normal framed horse.

Should the foal have a blanket?

Thanks myleetlepony; I feel more relaxed now!!

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LisaD1 · 01/02/2011 18:31

Maybe they don't have a big enough stable for mum and baby to share? Maybe mum isn't good stabled and they're worried she may hurt the foal if stabled?

All sorts of reasons why she could be out. Not what I would do but then not necessarily wrong, as long as fed/watered and checked on.

shufflebum · 01/02/2011 18:35

Quite an early foal but it should be fine as long as the mare has lots to eat so has a good milk supply. They probably both get hard feed too and horses generate a huge amount of heat thorough digestion. The spring grass will be here soon and it'll be happier than a pig in poo.
If it was mine it would have a rig on but but then I'm soft and lots of people don't like putting rugs on babies incase they get caught up in them and panic.

polarfox · 01/02/2011 19:33

Thanks so much- not only I feel relieved that all is well, I also learned a hell of a lot about foals..

By the way, another daft question - the mum likes the odd apple from my kids; when can they offer one to the foal?

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shufflebum · 01/02/2011 20:42

The foal will probably be already pulling at bits of grass so is "on solids" as such but might not be able to manage a whole apple as yet. It would probably love a squashed apple (stamp on it!) but it's owners will probably not be keen on it having titbits as it will probably make it nippy as it will always expect food from any person that approaches it. If it's bold enough to come over then give it a nice rub on the forehead between the eyes instead and a light blow on the nose.
(God that sounds pornographic but any horsey person will know what I mean! Grin)

Just a final thing if you're feeding carrots to mare of foal feed them whole not cut into rounds as they can cause them to choke but as I say best not to feed either without permission.

polarfox · 01/02/2011 21:11

Thanks shuffle for all that..

Oh it's bold all right; goes up to any passer by for a cuddle , and I ll try blowing on the nose!! Smile.
The mare dosen't - she's not as approachable!!

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Loshad · 01/02/2011 21:14

also are you sure they are out all night - mine are out by 6.30 am, and don't come in until about 6.30 pm, so to many passers by it may appear like they are out all the time, but they spend all night snoozing in the warm Smile

polarfox · 02/02/2011 10:24

They could well be Loshad, but I doubt it as I walk my dods past ther at 6.45am and 8pm..

Its such a gorgeous little thing, and so friendly- cant stop patting him!!

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marge2 · 02/02/2011 11:18

Most foals I have ever seen have SUCH a thick coats. I wouldn't put a rug on a foal myself, and so long as the fencing is good and safe I would think it was fine. Mum will be fine with no rug. I wouldn't worry.
I wouldn't feed the foal either. There's a pony in the field where my horse was turned out and she was a total bloody nightmare for pestering for treats. Caused lots of trouble in gateways etc. Not a good habit to get into.

Saggyoldclothcatpuss · 02/02/2011 22:55

Please don't feed random horses in fields. The horses may have allergies, be on carefully controlled diets, could be made ill by feeding and/or could be a danger to your safety.
Being with a group of horses with food can lead to a real risk of being kicked, or caught in the middle of a squabble. Also, foals, even small ones, can be very boisterous, not understanding that you or a DC aren't horses, and wont be happy being bitten or kicked.
If these were my horses, and I came across someone feeding them, I would be VERY cross.
I know your child likes to feed them, but would you like someone randomly feeding your dog, or giving your DC sweets?
The foal should be fine. As someone else said, they have really thick fur. It's like a thatch!

Butkin · 03/02/2011 11:03

Agreed on the feeding issue. We've had to put notices up at our field gate and still we find bits of carrots and even potato peelings!

Feeding horses in the field can cause squabbling between them and also encourages them to nip for treats which is a very bad habit. We never feed any of our horses by hand. If we have an apple for them we either put it in their feed or just throw it onto the ground and we always make sure they get treated equally and at the same time.

One of the biggest problem owners of ponies have is trying to keep the weight off them and are usually on controlled diets.

Our horses are out all day but also in at night. They are rugged because it makes them clean for riding and we've part clipped them but otherwise they could live out without rugs.

SupersonicDave · 04/02/2011 20:12

Also, wrt the rug issue, rugs on mares with foals at foot can cause the foal to get caught up so most don't wear them Smile

polarfox · 04/02/2011 21:26

Thanks guys- wont feed again as you are right!!

And feel happier about LO being out in the field at night!

Knew you would put my mind at rest!

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