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Biting, Please Help!


My daughter has a 3 week old male foal. He loves attention and is fine with being handled (legs, ears, feet, head are no problem) BUT he has started BITING allot her several times his sister in the next pasture and his mom on the neck all the time. This is not what I would call "nipping" this is draw blood to the surface. We are having some interesting discussions on the cause and how to handle it. Any and all suggestions will be greatly appreciated. Thank you, in advance, for your help in this matter.

Hi Mark,

Well, I hope I can help. Stud colts can be a bundle. Sometimes the Mom or older horses, mares in particular, will teach the baby some manners. If this is the mare's first foal, or for other reasons, she may not know how to keep baby in line. Anyway, it is very common for stud colts, or fillies too sometimes, to all of a sudden get very mouthy. They are teething and look to use that mouth. They do not understand they are hurting you. Please do not start 'popping' him. That will cause fear and make everything worse. Is he halter broke? If not, do it right away. If you cannot do this safely, get someone who can. Once the baby is halter broke you can begin to work with him. Was the colt imprinted? This would have helped.

How old is your daughter? If she is fairly young, getting her a young foal may not have been a good idea. Foals are always unpredictable, no matter what. Do you own the mare also? It is still a long time to weaning (6 months) so halter breaking and some ground manners is about all you really want to do. I halter train the second day. Once they really get moving and are a few days old, which is pretty quick, they are quite strong and can hurt you just being babies and playful. It is common for babies to rear, run at you, attempt to climb up on you, kick out at anything and joust with their mouths. One thing you could do is begin to carry a wand (3-5 foot stock whip) with you when you are around the baby and fend him off with the wand. Do not hit the horse. Rather hit the ground with it or wave the wand in the air to get the colt's attention and back him away. Use just enough energy to get the horse to yield a bit of ground. Please be sensitive to his responses and try not to instill fear. Once he is halter broke you can teach him to lead by leading the mare alongside him and having a butt rope around the baby's rump coming through his halter on both sides and out the front. If you are good you may be able to teach him to circle for a few turns around you on the lead line. But this requires some real training experience with foals. Please be careful for him and yourself. His is very young and requires excellent parenting and a lot of patience. Don't expect him to be anything other than a normal stud colt which he appears to be. Will you geld him or do you plan on keeping him a stallion?

I hope I have helped a little. Please let me know how it goes. Be careful out there......

Aloha, Franklin

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