Before you train foals it is importunate to imprint them. This is because, when a mare gives birth to a foal, it needs to be introduced to the outer world by welcoming it with a warm and comfy gesture. The new horse is taught to comply with the humans and be like its mother and all other horses around. The baby horse just after the birth is loaded with some amount of data and information to survive in the complex and new wild world.
Baby Horse should know who is its mother, should able to run in case of any danger, should be able to chase the dam, and quickly get up and show momentary reflexes. All these practices are taught to foals just after birth. This process is called Imprinting.
Moreover, species like horses have the potential to learn and remember what they are taught just after a few hours of birth. They have the capability to replicate and remember whatever is taught throughout their life. They get attached to the entities that they see just after the birth and later when they see something unfamiliar they try to flee away from it.
Hence, the most important and favorable time to train and teach (the touches and senses) to the foal is just after birth. When imprinting is done properly by a trainer, training becomes very easy and effortless.
Train Foals Through Imprinting
When a mare gives birth to a foal it lies helpless and motionless in the bushes or on the grasses, from where handler starts handling it swiftly by toweling the whole body softly and gently. The foal is then touched throughout the body smoothly to feel the touch and senses. Furthermore, the handler keeps on rubbing and touching the foal for a certain period of time. After this, the imprinting process starts.
The foal is handled to feel the smell, appearance, and hug of humans so that in future when it will come in contact with humans there will be no fear for them. It will be introduced to the experiences that it will be practiced later on regularly like grooming, foot handling, the sound of clippers, touch under the tail, handling mouth and ears at the time of ride, and so on.
Imprinting Practices Are As Follows
- Lubricating finger and putting it into the rectum
- Ear, muzzle, and poll is rubbed usually
- Rubbing the toe by picking up the feet and grooming
- Touching frequently knees, hocks, and ankles
- A small syringe of water is put into the mouth(to deworm it)
Thus, this sort of learning when done on proper time and in a proper way helps a long way, but when it is not done properly many side effects in the behavior of the foal can be seen when it grows up.
A Consequence Of Train Foals
When imprinting is done foal becomes desensitized to the stimuli and starts accepting things around it as it grows gradually. Training helps the foal to respect its restraint and obey the orders that are given like standing quietly whenever asked to or moving on and learns to control the movements as directed.