Rugging Foals

Skyebald

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Just wondering how many of you rug your foals ? I'm trying to decide whether I need to buy some rugs or not :p

Mine is a native, living out 24/7 with access to a field shelter, currently a 4 day old cutie :D

I think I would worry about the rug during the day, they get checked morning and night but I work full time with no one else to check on them during the day
 

be positive

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Why would you want to rug a foal, it is a native, it has its coat and shelter, far safer than putting a rug on it.
 

Amymay

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I see no problem with rugging a foal at all - especially such a new born.

Your best bet OP is to rug on a weekend, when you can be around to ensure that there are no problems with fit etc. Obviously a native is going to be a lot hardier than other breeds. But still, why let it get cold and wet, if you can do something to prevent it?
 

Skyebald

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I wasn't going to but am surrounded by friends who do :confused:
The mare does like the field shelter and it seems the foal does too, he always totters off there for a lie down so am pretty sure he would get out of the wind and rain if he wanted

The youngest I have had before was a yearling Sec D and I didn't rug him until he was broken and being worked
 

Patterdale

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I think if he can get to shelter and especially if he is a native he will be fine.

It's not early in the year and my philosophy is, if it's not broke, don't fix it.

Personal choice obviously, not saying anyone is wrong, but personally I would not rug a foal, won't do it any harm to get wet, they are born with a waterproof coat :D
 

Cath&Vinnie

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I wouldn't bother either. I don't particularly think is the safest thing rugging a foal. And also they will of out grown it within weeks and you will have to keep buying new ones.

There mothers give them a lot of protection too, so i really wouldn't worry about rugging. :)
 

Starzaan

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I worked for six years at a TB stud, and the only time we ever rugged a foal was when we had one who needed weaning at 2 months due to a severe injury. They're waterproof. They don't melt in the rain. You're in danger of making your foal a complete softy and wimp if you rug now. My current youngster is 6yrs now, and has only had a rug on over the past year as he's now in work. He's hard as nails and I want him to stay that way.
All horses are different, but I would never rug a foal unless it was absolutely necessary - especially not a native with access to a field shelter.
 

Skyebald

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That's what I wanted to hear :D:D

I didn't want to rug him, I guess because the weather has been so weird lately with all the wind and rain I was starting to doubt myself and wondered if I was being a bit too harsh ..

hopefully that horrible weather has disappeared for a while ;)
 

wits end

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I'm happy to rug foals. Irrespective of age I don't want any animal of mine miserable, cold and wet. So, my rule is, if it looks to be feeling the cold rug it, if it's happy, leave it.
 

LaurenBay

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I wouldn't bother rugging either.

I also think, that if you rug such a young Horse, you turn them into wimps and therefore end up rugging forever :p

When I was at a stud, none of the TB or Fell Foals got rugged. They were fine.
 

alfiesmum

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last winter i had to rug my yearling (1 next month). i will rug my new foal if required. i had no choice as my little big guy was ill for many months.(i bought him like this) i do hope my foal which my mare is carrying will be full health but i will take each day as it comes and will have rugs on hand
 

Moody-Mare

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Fortunatly I never had to rug my foal-the weather was great! He was rugged when he was weaned. Even at that he only had a cheap light weight on as our yard is very exposed to the elements and not good shelter.
But I would start as you mean to go on though, tough and rough!
 

Dippy Zippy

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Mine was born in january, so it was freezing, so he had a heat lamp above his stable and a greyhound rug (there wasn't a foal rug small enough for him) :p, though he was ridiculously small when he was born, so it was needed :)
 

TBB

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We have on average 6/8 foals per year, all Tbs and we don't own a foal rug. If one was sick and needed one I'd go and buy one but as others have said they won't melt. The only horses that have rugs here are the 3yo's being sales prep'd and a couple of old timers that live out 24/7, the rest grow wooly coats during the winter and shed it when the weather gets better. (Whenever that is)
 

PandorasJar

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I wouldn't bother rugging either.

I also think, that if you rug such a young Horse, you turn them into wimps and therefore end up rugging forever :p

When I was at a stud, none of the TB or Fell Foals got rugged. They were fine.
+1

Start mollycoddling that young and you'll regret it!

Only if there are true circumstances. Getting them used to rugs on and off could be an advantage but I wouldn't personally use one for it's purpose unless with a very good reason.

Ours have all been unrugged all year (bar oldies) and while the others were shivering head to toe in heavy weights on the wetter days mine was toasty warm. Only had one panic over my 3yo being cold and that was in March and even then she was warm when I felt her, just wedged in a bush trying to move herself into a different field and not too impressed to be wedged back out to get groped!

Pan
 

joeanne

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Ummmm if he is 4 days old he wont actually be totally waterproof yet.
If its lashing down with rain and cold, yes I would rug.
But if it were to rain I would not turn a 4 day foal out.
 

Moomin1

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I see no problem with rugging a foal at all - especially such a new born.

Your best bet OP is to rug on a weekend, when you can be around to ensure that there are no problems with fit etc. Obviously a native is going to be a lot hardier than other breeds. But still, why let it get cold and wet, if you can do something to prevent it?
Would strongly advise against this idea - no offence intended Amymay.

But to only rug at weekend would acclimatise the foal to being rugged, and then it would struggle to regulate it's body temp in bad weather on the days you don't rug.

OP I would leave him/her without. I think horses these days get mollycoddled ridiculously from an early age and that is why they end up 'shivering' when they aren't rugged in 15 degree heat! They literally don't learn to withstand a range of temps on their own.
 

Moomin1

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Ummmm if he is 4 days old he wont actually be totally waterproof yet.
If its lashing down with rain and cold, yes I would rug.
But if it were to rain I would not turn a 4 day foal out.
....I'm pretty certain wild foals don't die through being 4 days old and with no rug in the rain/cold. If the foal was ill then fair enough - but there really is no need whatsoever to be rugging a native foal, or in my mind any breed foal for that matter.
 
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I can see no point at all in rugging foals. In fact I see very little point in rugging any horse unless it is clipped or sick. 'Horses are born with all the rugs they need' was a very apt quote I heard the other day. Not far from where I live there is a thoroughbred stud where they start foaling at about the beginning of February and the foals go out by day as soon as possible. I have never seen a mare or a foal wearing a rug there or at Newmarket. These are animals worth hundreds of thousands of pounds. Horses are basically WILD animals and should be allowed to behave in a natural way as much as possible. They are not made of barleysugar
 

Patterdale

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They shouldn't need fly rugs - they have a tail, mare has a tail, and as long as they can get to shade they will be fine.

Mollycoddling them just makes them soft, and they never learn to look after themselves (finding shade/shelter etc)
 

Starzaan

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I loathe fly rugs. Unless your horse has sweet itch, or is very very sensitive to fly bites, let the poor thing be naked and be a horse for five minutes!
Rugging is becoming a fashion, it's getting a bit out of hand and ridiculous....
 

Amymay

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....I'm pretty certain wild foals don't die through being 4 days old and with no rug in the rain/cold. If the foal was ill then fair enough - but there really is no need whatsoever to be rugging a native foal, or in my mind any breed foal for that matter.
The most crucial time for newborns is the first couple of weeks, when they are not waterproof, and rely very much on mum keeping them out of the harsher elements. As we all know, mum won't necessarily do this - so it's incumbent upon us to ensure they are warm and dry.

Foals can fail very quickly (as any young animal can) if left cold and wet for extended periods (although I'm not referring to 'native's' in this thread).

I guess unless you have the experience, it's difficult for some to comment though.
 

Amymay

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....I'm pretty certain wild foals don't die through being 4 days old and with no rug in the rain/cold. If the foal was ill then fair enough - but there really is no need whatsoever to be rugging a native foal, or in my mind any breed foal for that matter.
No, I would entirely agree with you.

As for other breeds, those that are finer need protection. But as Joeanne says, you simply don't turn them out - (or if you do, you give them some protection).
 

JellyBen

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i wasnt going to rug mine, but he arrived on the worst day we had this year, barely above freezing and he was wet and shivering, so i chucked a fleece on him.. i am far too soft, but he has a lovely thick coat now at 3weeks old and could quite easily do without, as he is now! :)
 
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