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Published by Ken Dunn
Dunway Enterprises

Imprinting the Newborn Foal

Articles Relating to Horses Private Label Articles Stable and nutritional management Published by Ken Dunn - Dunway Enterprises

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Article #11

Imprinting the Newborn Foal

Imprinting is a fairly new technique, and everyone has there opinion on how and if and when it should be done. I look for a window of opportunity. This window is usually as soon as the foal if dropped and the mare is busy passing the placenta.

I think this is the perfect time to get some dry towels (or handfuls of straw will do) and rub your new foal all over his/ her entire body. When I say the 'entire body' that is exactly what I mean; the head, neck, legs, belly, feet and don't forget the inside of the foals nostrils and mouth.

Gently rub the inside of the foals gums and tongue and inside the foals ears. This little act will be very beneficial later on in his/ her training.

Remember to do this several times and be very gentle, if the foal resists or seems frightened go back to rubbing gently and petting him/ her. If you have a little time to spare, put his/ her halter on and off several times, petting and rewarding him/her every time the foal lets you do something new. Pick up the foals feet and pat the bottoms of each one and rub his/ her legs.

Remember ahead to the things that you will be asking of the foal in the next few weeks and it will make this a more profitable session for you and the newborn. As the newborn takes a standing position again lift the legs and feet a few more times and repeat putting on and taking off the halter in this standing position.

Later on in the day or possible the next day attach a lead rope and ask you foal to take a step or two, nothing too demanding. Reward the foal with rubbing and petting, keep a eye out for that 'special scratch spot' that makes your foal relaxed, calm and happy to be with you.

Keep up these little sessions every day, 2 and 3 times a day for the first 2-3 weeks. Your foal will learn to trust you and want to be with you as you bond together in these first, crucial, few weeks.

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