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You are in... Forums > Welcome To Your Horse Forum > Off Topic > Mare and Foal?

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bonniebaby

Joined:

Mar 12

Posts: 4

bonniebaby says:

Mare and Foal?

Hi all

Wondered whether you could give me some advice.

I've been riding since I was 3 and have had a few horses over the years but had to give them up just before my GCSE's as my other wanted me to concentrate on my education. BUT, in the next 18 months I would like to get a mare and a foal. My thoughts behind it are that I can ride the mare and then back the foal and keep them forever and the foal would eventually be just my perfect ride (if you see what I mean).

I s this a stupid idea? I fully appreciate the time and effort that raising a foal takes and am 100% prepared to give all the time and love that it needs and also to care for the mare!

My second question then is, where do you find them? I wouldn't mind rescuing a mare and foal from a sanctuary.

Please be gentle with your comments, I'm aware it's possibly not the best of ideas!

Thanks!

Laura

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Tommytank

Joined:

Jan 10

Posts: 2000

Tommytank says:

Re: Mare and Foal?

 I rode throughout my childhood and to, was made to give up because of my exams.  

I had a 20 year break then took it all up again and after a couple of years bought Tommy who was 4, I've had him almost 5 years now and wouldn't change a thing.  However, what I will say is I would have been better off with an older and wiser horse, no one died along the way but the 20 year gap led to me not being as confident as i perhaps thought i was.  He had never been on a hack and I just hack so we had some scary moments along the way.  

I'd say be honest with yourself about your abilities, its all very romantic haveing a little foal to bring on and develop into your perfect horse but whos to say the foal will be perfect, they all have their own personalities.  I got a youngster last year and got very very lucky as he hasn't tried or tested me in any way he's been perfect but  thats not to say if i got another one it would be the same, it could be a handful that i couldn't cope with or have the knowledge to sort out.  

I wouldn't recommend what you are planning, one horse is a good start, one that can help you get back into things, they are a lot of work, which i'm sure you already know, a mare would need to be re backed, brought slowly back to work and a foal weaned if you think you have the knowledge and understanding required for it then I guess its not a problem, if you don't then don't try it. 

https://fbcdn-sphotos-a-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/s720x720/536812_10150975524292219_1369322372_n.jpg

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rhapsody

Joined:

Apr 05

Posts: 2963

rhapsody says:

Re: Mare and Foal?

Aboslutely agree with Tommytank 100%.  I have been around horses most of my life and come from a family with a farming back ground.  I currently own a gelding and a soon to be 3 year old filly, and co own Sammy with my husband.  The filly I got at weaning from my friend who runs a horse stud, she has 3 stallions (well 2.5, one is a shetland lol!) and about 20 or so brood mares.  She doesn't breed from all of them every year, just a few, and gives them a year off minimum between foals although this year due to economic changes she has only got 1 in foal, her business mostly is concentrated with the stallions covering other people's mares at the moment.  I have seen first hand from her the difficulties with breeding, it's not all good I'm afraid and last year she lost 2 foals and 2 mares due to a toxin in the ground, one of these mares was the mother of my filly, and her foal was one of those who died.  Other tragedies have happened including one stunning spotted colt (one of the stallions is a knabstrupper) breaking his neck playing in the field by running into the gatepost, and there have been still births and sick mothers.  You really do need to be fully informed before you do this.  In total I have owned 6 horses in my lifetime, I keep them all for life and it's only now that I feel able to raise a youngster, but I know I can turn to my friend for help and advice wherever needed as that is her field of expertise so I'm not doing this alone and blind.  Zara will soon turn 3 and I've loved every minute of having her and it has been a learning curve too, the ultimate will come this summer as she will be lightly backed.  You could always take on a young horse maybe a yearling or two year old who has had a good start in life and take it from there, then you will have a friend for life who you've had from an early stage but if you've had a long break then I would say get a more suitable riding horse you can make little errors with that won't be detrimental to either of you.

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bonniebaby

Joined:

Mar 12

Posts: 4

bonniebaby says:

Mare and Foal

Thanks both for the comments. Would a better idea be to (what I was originally going to do) rehome an old racehorse (Heros Horse Charity) and obviously ride him and then do what you've done and also a little while after get a youngster that is say 1 or 2 and then keep for life?

I'm riding at the moment (in return for mucking out which is quite a good deal!) to get my riding back up to scratch and then in about 18 months I'll look to buy.

I love the thought of rehoming a rescue foal or something but not sure how common it is that they are actually rescued. My Mum volunteered at our local RSPCA centre and was regularly coming home with different animals that had no homes to go to so I realise there's a "rescue" theme with the horses lol!

That sounds absolutely awful about the colt running into the gatepost - that must have been terrible for your friend.

Thank you again for your help both.

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rhapsody

Joined:

Apr 05

Posts: 2963

rhapsody says:

Re: Mare and Foal?

I would go with your original idea.  The problem with rehoming a baby is that they may not  have had a good start in life and may come with issues best solved by someone really experienced, I would say when you are ready to buy a youngster go to a reputable breeder as then you've got more of a chance really.

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bonniebaby

Joined:

Mar 12

Posts: 4

bonniebaby says:

Mare and Foal

Yes I think that's a good idea. I want to get the best experience I can before owning my own (which is what I think is the best thing to do?).

I've been looking after my friends horse three times a week (as she's just had a baby) but I can't ride him as he's a little wild and I'd rather that my friend rode him first! I can't really loan a horse at the moment as any spare money I have i'd prefer to save for my own. I would love to ride in return for me mucking out/turning out but do you think this is expecting too much/how do I find this sort of arrangement?

Sorry for all the questions!

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rhapsody

Joined:

Apr 05

Posts: 2963

rhapsody says:

Re: Mare and Foal?

You could see if your local riding school needs help in return for free rides, or put an ad up in your local tack shop.

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