My little man was born May 22. We did everything the books told us to do, and maybe to much. We imprinted him the best we could. On his second day of life he was real skiddish, (assumming this is normal, he is our first foal) so we really concentrated on touching him all over the place. When he was a couple of weeks old and out in the pasture he would come running up to me talking up a storm, leaving his mom. I've had a couple of horse breeder friends of mine stop and see him and they say they have never seen a foal that friendly, but I should be proud of myself. The one has a 2 year old filly and still can't get her unless she is stalled. The other guy smacks his head and said that is one spoiled rotten foal, then added to say he wishes he had the time to spend more time with his babies. When I'm out in the pasture giving him love, he does spook but he will run to whoever is closest for comfort, either his mama or me!! Anyways sorry this is long my main question is did I imprint him to much? The one guy did say he'd rather see a foal like mine than the normal, but I don't know if he was just being nice and did not want to cut me down. I'm still learning and if I'm doing something wrong, Please, please let me know.
it sounds to me like you have a well adjusted foal. you have his trust and he likes to be around you. I do not think you can inprint too much at all. Most people can see that you take time with your horses and love and care for them. I am about to have a foal and hope that mine is just like this with me. I have a client's foal that is not like this and it is a little difficult to do anything with her because they did not take the time that it takes(the previous owners). The owners now have me working with her and the three others they bought at the same sale and there is only one that I can walk right up to and he is two and I have worked kinda hard to gain his trust but now I have it and we are doing great together.
I whole heartidly believe that imprinting is a great idea and that everyone should try and do it to some extent. The only thing to keep in mind is that this is a horse, and needs to have that "flight" responce in order to be easily trainable. I guess what I'm trying to say is just be careful not to coddle them too much and turn them into a pet or you'll have problems in the future. I am training a 3yo. now who was imprinted at birth by his previous owners. He's a very sweet horse, but he has NO respect for people what so ever b/c he just believes we're his playmates. He'll literally run you over. He looks perfect at first, listens well while on the lead etc. but the second you try to tell him to do something that HE doesn't want to do he throws a temper tantrum. He's reared up on his owner and clipped her in the head with his front hooves, and even body slammed her to the gorund the other day just because he wanted to get out to the field to be with his pasture mates. So just make sure when you're working with them that you're always inforcing that you are in charge so that when they get bigger they have respect for you and aren't dangerous b/c they think they can be in your back pocket all the time.
Thank you, he does still have that flight response, he'll come to me for comfort though instead of his mama if I'm closer. I am trying to enforce to him what my space is because he does like to intrude into it. I just push him away and say No. He is disiplined BUT he is also very spoiled. I am an at home mom so he gets visited sometimes up to 6 or 7 times a day. I will enforce the rules more because I don't want him to get out of control. He does no them because if he comes up and tries to nip at me he runs away right away sometimes before I can pop his nose.
My foal is almost the same way. I imprinted him for a few hours the morning he was born then all that day and the next day. He isn't a flighty baby at all but never was. He is 3(almost 4) months old now and is great. I dont think you can imprint them too much. I think you need to do it alot! With a lot of things too. Just dont let him run into you at all, or rub on you. Riley(my baby) knows how to move away from pressure so it is easy to get him out of my space and he doesn't crowd. I think that you are doing a good job! I love having a baby that is imprinted and with follow me etc. Just remember he's going to be 1000 lbs one day! and as clinton anderson says, "they're not babies, they're little horses"
Donna -sounds like your guy is doing fine. My girl stood behind me instead of her Mom when my gelding was reintroduced to the group. She was afraid of him from a previous encounter. I was closer than Mom and she found complete comfort in being behind me...it was very touching. She also leans on my older mare for comfort. It is just a sign that he trusts you and that is how it should be. Be sure to discpline him at the appropriate times and spoil him at the appropriate times...you should end up with a great horse.
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