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Franklin Levinson's

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Weaning a Foal


I have one pasture for my mare and foal and I was wondering if there is any problem with leaving the two of them together and not separating them to wean the foal? Will the foal eventually stop nursing?


The problems are that unless you 'properly,' 'appropriately' and completely wean the foal off the mare, there is a strong possibility the foal will continue to nurse long after it should and will become so 'herd bound' to the mare that trying to separate them (take one out for a ride for example) when the foal gets a bit older will be such a traumatic experience for the foal that it very probably will hurt itself or someone else trying to stay with the mare. Complete weaning is an important process for the good development of confidence within a mature horse. Only having those two horses works against you. The mare should have a companion or two around during the weaning and the foal should have other foals to hang out with (or at least some easy going, mature pasture mates) during the weaning as well. I would move them to appropriate environments (separate locations for both) for a while to have the weaning process be less traumatic for both. If they can hear each other calling, that is not good. It may be inconvenient for you now, but will save you enormous problems in the future.

Good Luck, Sincerely, Franklin

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