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Imprint Training

Equine-Reproduction.com Bulletin Board » Foaling and Immediate Post-foaling Issues » Imprint Training « Previous Next »


Author Message
 

A. Bascom
Neonate
Username: Anj

Post Number: 9
Registered: 05-2006
Posted on Saturday, May 20, 2006 - 10:52 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Does anyone here have experience with, or is anyone planning on Imprinting their baby??? I have been reading Dr. Miller's book and I really want to try it with this baby. I am really determined to be present for the birth, because of part of his teachings - he says to truly imprint, you have to start on it within minutes of birth, and most of the things he does have to be done before the foal even stands up or nurses.
Just wondering about you guys' thoughts on this, or if you can point me in the right direction.
Thanks!
 

Jan Owen
Yearling
Username: 1frosty1

Post Number: 74
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Saturday, May 20, 2006 - 11:10 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hi,
I too read Dr. Miller's book and I was there for the birth and followed the book. Very good information! The only thing I did not do was the clippers. Baby was anxious to stand and I did not want to do half way. You must contine the stimulus till they relax or you will "sensetize" them not desensetize them. Good luck and I hoping you get to be present, It is truly amazing!
 

A. Bascom
Neonate
Username: Anj

Post Number: 10
Registered: 05-2006
Posted on Saturday, May 20, 2006 - 11:23 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Jan, thank you so much! Did you do it with this year's foal, or a different time? If it was last year or earlier, did you see a difference when it came time to train? How long did it take you for the initial session, and do you feel like it took away from the "mommy/baby bonding time?" It seems like everything else I read contradicts him because 1) they want the foal up and eating ASAP and 2) they don't want mom to reject the foal. Sorry about all the questions, but I haven't actually ever talked to anyone who's tried it.
Thanks again!
 

Fred H. Moyer
Weanling
Username: Fmoyer

Post Number: 27
Registered: 02-2006
Posted on Sunday, May 21, 2006 - 03:25 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I got the book and the video and I'm doing it for sure with my mule baby. Dr, Miller has doen hundreds of foals. The mare bonds with the foal and the foal bonds with the mare while he is doing his imprinting. He is the pioneer and went against much of the conventional wisdom. He talks alot about the concerns folks have. Most of the concerns are unfounded. The muscles on the foal are even stronger after imprinting due to the iso streching and stuggling during the process. In all the HUNDREDS of foals he and his fllowers have imprinted none of the mares rejected the foals. In fact he firmly believes imprinting protects against rejection, escpecially in maiden mares. The video was very helpful. I gotta go check my mare, she is really close :-)
 

Kim Winter
Breeding Stock
Username: Clafairy

Post Number: 414
Registered: 07-2005
Posted on Sunday, May 21, 2006 - 08:49 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I had the book, read all through it and planned to do as you say, be present and follow dr millers instructions... Turns out it is not as straight forward in real life as I thought it would be!! Baby was standing when I arrived because my mare foaled at lunch time and would not have it until we left she was holding out while we did the water and poo picking and such. And now, on the second day - mum is WAY to protective to really get a good go at it...! Im VERY disappointed but isnt that just how things go sometimes!
 

A. Bascom
Nursing Foal
Username: Anj

Post Number: 14
Registered: 05-2006
Posted on Sunday, May 21, 2006 - 09:22 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Fred, Thank you! I remember reading all that in his book. It's just different hearing it from one of us old hands rather than a professional like him who's done HUNDREDS! I am so excited to try it.
Kim, I can imagine how you feel! You wait and wait and wait for that one moment and then you don't get it. I'm scared to death of the same thing happening. My mare is sooo gentle I think I'll be okay even on the next day, but she's a maiden so I guess you never know.
 

Jos
Board Administrator
Username: Jos

Post Number: 10679
Registered: 10-1999
Posted on Sunday, May 21, 2006 - 11:25 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I would like to add a word of caution about imprint training. While Dr. Miller may not have reported foal rejection by the mare, there are quite a few people who have experienced that following attempting imprint training.

The University of Arkansas "rule of thumb" for their imprint training is that they do not do it before the foal has nursed once. I know that is contrary to what Dr. Miller preaches, but my personal preference when dealing with newborn foals/new mothers is to err on the side of caution. If you choose to do it earlier, watch the mare's reactions closely. If she shows any signs of discomfort at the active involvement with the foal, I would stop. I don't want to be getting up and feeding a foal every hour for the next two weeks because it's been rejected! :-(
 

A. Bascom
Nursing Foal
Username: Anj

Post Number: 18
Registered: 05-2006
Posted on Sunday, May 21, 2006 - 01:36 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Jos, thank you so much for your imput. I agree with you, to err on the side of caution! I just didn't want it to mess things up by doing anything the book doesn't sasy. He does mention to not get in between mom & baby and let her lick and snuggle and be involved while you're working with baby... But in raising dogs, shhe and cattle, I've always thought it was major important to get them to eat ASAP. That's where Dr. Miller's book contradicts my common sense. I'm glad to be able to talk to some people who have actually done it themselves though. Thank you!
 

Darcie Oakley
Neonate
Username: Dars

Post Number: 3
Registered: 05-2006
Posted on Sunday, May 21, 2006 - 04:51 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Just from my experiance. I have done imprint training and I beleave in it. Just don't make a pocket pet. It makes everything easyer and less stressful as you go. I have done it with all 5 foals we have had over the last 10 years. I will say they were very easy to start when it came time for riding or any task there is a true trust. I always keep up on it through the years. The most recent foal was yesterday morning. Boy it is an amazing experience I was thankful to be a part of it. I do have Dr. Millers book I have had it for years. I dont follow the whole process I break it down and complete it while the baby is young. At birth I do as much as I can each time I have a different amount of time before mom is ready to starts bonding and teaching baby. That is interesting to watch. I rub touch, play ,move what ever I can.I have always been able to go over the whole foal. Before mom takes over. I never but in during bonding I have always had some time between bonding and baby getting up. Make sure if you use a towel that it does not have any fabric softner. Moms from my experiance love to give tongue bathes. I towel them after moms done with her personal baby bath. Also keep in mind the human hand is very unsanitary try to keep your fingers out of the babys mouth. I save that for later it's never been a problem. Depending on your mare be safe about it. If your mare is up have her haltered or someone with you. You never know how a mare will respond her hormones are out of control. I have only had 1 mare get really nervous but we would halter her and do our thing. By day 2 she was way better about her baby being touched. The mare also recieves our attention during this process with baby. Brushing, rubs, grain, grazing she did a lot of work. In the past I missed one foal being born. When I found the right time when baby was sleeping I tied the mare in the stall and played with baby. Good luck take all the advice you can and use what works for you.
 

Jan Owen
Yearling
Username: 1frosty1

Post Number: 76
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Sunday, May 21, 2006 - 05:19 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

My first foal that I Imprinted is now 3 and under saddle. I have a wonderful mare who is very bonded to me. My experience was to be there during the birth and I bagan while his back feet were still inside. Mom continue to lie licking and nickering to the foal the whole time. I did not get in the middle of that at all. I spent about 30 minutes doing the imprinting and when mama finally stood up, placenta had fully passed and then Junior was ready to stand so just backed out of the way and let him get to his feet and find his first snack. The entire first week of his life we went through the motions of picking up his feet and tapping, etc. I agree with Darcie about the hands and germs. I too save the mouth stuff for later and make sure my hands have been washed clean. My mare was very tolerant of my presence and it never interfered with their relationship. However she was not tolerant of other people and that was reassuring too. So no big audiences. He had a light weight pony saddle on at 4 months, no biggy to him, and was ponyied out on trail tons. The first time a bit was put in his mouth he was 2 1/2 and no biggy. You know your mare the best use your best judgement.
 

Kjersti Tackett
Neonate
Username: Freetodreamarabians

Post Number: 7
Registered: 09-2005
Posted on Sunday, May 21, 2006 - 06:04 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

We imprint our foals but it is not as extensive as Dr. Miller suggests. We maybe spend 10 minutes on average always being sure like was mentioned above to continue past the resistance. I pay attention to the key areas like ears, belly, legs, and lips/mouth; that are frequently the most sensitive. And usually in that first ten minutes the babys aren't seriously trying to stand so in that way we feel okay too. wouldn't want to wear them out fighting to trying to keep them from standing. Above all getting colostrum and bonding with the mare is THE main priority so if we get one that really wants to stand we let them get up and nurse and then mess with them afterward when they lay down or something. We also find that if you have a short time even shorter than the 10 min we aim for its pretty easy to continue handleing them over the next few weeks. And if you miss it thats ok just keep handleing anyway, horses can be desensitized at any age its just easier the smaller they are lol! Also though if you have a mare that is more agitated with all the handling or if they don't look as interested in the foal as you think they should I wouldn't risk it and just handle the foal as much as possible over the next week as you can after the mare has a secure bond. All in all I think it works out okay whatever you do, we always handle our foals daily whether they're imprinted or not and they all are well mannered and love people. Hope that helps.
 

Anj Bascom
Weanling
Username: Anj

Post Number: 29
Registered: 05-2006
Posted on Monday, May 22, 2006 - 10:41 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thank you everybody! This gives me a lot of good ideas. I was just so worried that if I didn't do it EXACTLY like the book says, that it's not even worth trying. Now I know different! I think this is going to be so fun. It's sad to think I have to sell this baby, but just think, I'll be all practiced up and I can keep the next one!



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