Should I hit the panic button?

Caol Ila

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I feel under pressure because YO would really like them to be able to go into Hermosa’s old field with the herd, the one that’s a ten minute walk up the road. They are currently in fields normally used for sheep, and they would quite like their sheep field back.

Might as well accept that this isn’t going to happen for a while. YO can’t catch her so she can’t do anything about it.
 

DabDab

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I've halter trained a fair few foals and can't recall any that you could handle easily in the first week. Some foals are easier and some mares are more helpful than others. However, once you've established that physical contact I've always found the pennies do start to drop very quickly with foals.

I agree with others, personally I would avoid leading Hermosa until the foal can be haltered and vaguely led with her.
 

Sandstone1

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I feel under pressure because YO would really like them to be able to go into Hermosa’s old field with the herd, the one that’s a ten minute walk up the road. They are currently in fields normally used for sheep, and they would quite like their sheep field back.

Might as well accept that this isn’t going to happen for a while. YO can’t catch her so she can’t do anything about it.
Cant the sheep just go in with them?
 

milliepops

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I really wish I could just sell them but there’s no point because there’s no way in hell they’re getting on a lorry.
If you *really* aren't wanting to keep either of them then that could be overcome. Completely feral ponies are herded onto lorries, where there's a will there's a way.
 

LadyGascoyne

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If you *really* aren't wanting to keep either of them then that could be overcome. Completely feral ponies are herded onto lorries, where there's a will there's a way.
I agree with this, and would add that you shouldn’t keep them because you feel trapped.

I am sure that you have the necessary horsemanship skills to get through this and produce two lovely horses CI. But that doesn’t mean that you have to.

Horses are meant to be fun and it’s hard enough work when they are bringing you joy. None of us are in your shoes right now and I just wanted to say that if you did decide not to keep going with them, I hope you know that you’d have support here regardless.
 

milliepops

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My yo just picked up her almost unhandled yearling from stud and manhandled it onto the lorry with a calm experienced horse to bring home.

My now-3yo was sedated to travel to me, as he had to get on a transporter lorry at a set time. I'm just now getting round to teaching him how to load as he has no idea what happened.

It can be done. Are you really feeling like you want an "out" because I think if you advertised as a young mare not lorry trained I doubt it was be off-putting to the right people.
 

Berpisc

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She was actually good at it. We had to go up and down a road for about ten minutes each way to her old turn out field and she was doing great with cars, bikes, cows, pigs, and ridden horses. We’d just started to go on longer in hand hacks, which obviously ceased and desisted once we learned she was due to foal that week.

It seemed imperative to get her caught and leading a bit in case there was a vet emergency. And there was one.

Everyone else on this forum who’s had a foal seems to be able to handle it from day 1. Same with people I’ve seen with foals in meatspace. I still wonder if they wouldn’t be better off with someone else.
I cant speak for everyone but would say no, it doesnt all go smoothly. Hermosa was worried about her foal, and got upset. You did the right thing afterwards to pop the headcollar on. You can build confidence in small steps. But dont think it all goes smoothly for everyone else ;)
 

paddy555

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If you *really* aren't wanting to keep either of them then that could be overcome. Completely feral ponies are herded onto lorries, where there's a will there's a way.
absolutely. We have helped load lots of complete ferals quite easily.

At some stage they will have to be moved unless they are going to live there for the rest of their lives.

we brought home all our youngsters in a lorry and only one of them had loaded before. When I bought them I didn't even ask if they would load or had travelled. I didn't expect them to have. One, who came at 3, had travelled and had an accident travelling when stuff fell on him. We still got him in and let him travel loose.


Someone who is capable of taking on a 3yo Spanish is not going to worry too much or even expect her to be trained to load. They will either have their own transport or employ a professional transporter.
 

splashgirl45

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sounds like your YO is pressurising you to put hermosa and caso in to the herd, if it was me i would try and find somewhere else, why not take quadro up on her suggestion, herd the 2 of them on to a lorry, maybe give hermosa a little sedative, you say its 40 miles away, thats approx an hour and do able once a day to check them and give hermosa a bit of fuss. when i had problems finding flat grazing for my old horse i travelled 50 miles daily for 3 months until i moved closer. if quadro is happy to help you for that amount of time it would give you breathing space to calm down and get over your loss which is very recent. you may make a decision to sell now and regret it in a couple of months. i think you need to take a step back and try and relax.. hope you can soon sort things out and sorry quadro if i am putting you on the spot...
 

Cheeky Chestnut

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CI you need to go away for a couple of days. Tell your YO you are going away for the weekend and go decompress. I’ve said this so many times now on this thread. Step back, stop trying to control everything, stop trying to be perfect, stop with this faux unreachable ideal you seem to have created based on watching other people. It’s giving you seriously unrealistic views of what having a youngster is.

You bought this mare for a reason, you saw something you liked but now you are hating the whole thing because of a mess you have made for yourself by trying to do make unrealistic and quite frankly unreachable deadlines. I know it feels like people are probably being cruel to you, I know you don’t particularly like me despite the fact I’ve met you and never had an issue with you on here, but listen to the sense I’m talking, stop dismissing taking a step back. It’s not a failure and you seem to have it in your head that it is.

What would be a failure is you getting rid of this mare because you have overwhelmed yourself.
 

Caol Ila

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I don't have an issue with you. Or anyone on this forum, to be fair.

It just seems impossible to take a step back when the vet, for instance, tells me she won't check my mare for a post-foaling infection unless I can catch her and lead her from A to B. I was able to do that on Sunday evening and mare got checked, but that sort of thing certainly keeps the pressure on. Maybe in parts of the country where there are more feral/semi-feral hill ponies, vets have ways and means (or maybe everyone just hopes for the best!), but that doesn't seem to be a thing here.
 
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Cheeky Chestnut

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I don't have an issue with you. Or anyone on this forum, to be fair.

It just seems impossible to take a step back when the vet, for instance, tells me she won't check my mare for a post-foaling infection unless I can catch her and lead her from A to B. I was able to do that on Sunday evening and mare got checked, but that sort of thing certainly keeps the pressure on. Maybe in parts of the country where there are more feral/semi-feral hill ponies, vets have ways and means (or maybe everyone just hopes for the best!), but that doesn't seem to be a thing here.
Who ever that vet is is not acting very professionally. A vet cannot refuse to treat an animal. Cows and sheep aren’t halter trained. Do they refuse to treat them? I get its a safety thing however they have no right to put that pressure on you. They have sedation for a reason. If The mare can be caught and held for injection then that seems to me to be enough for the moment.

Go give yourself a break. You really need a some headspace x
 

Caol Ila

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She was making a big deal about Hermosa being "unhandled" and wanting to get her into a barn where we could build stocks with straw bales. Started off with saying that she wouldn't treat the horse unless we did that but thankfully backed down from that. Moving the two from the field to the barn seemed monumentally stupid and dangerous. Catching horse and sedating in field was not, although vet insisted that I lead Hermosa from the far end of the field to the gate (which we achieved, with baby bouncing along). If my normal vet, who's seen Gypsum for the last ten years, had been on-call, he would have trusted my judgement of the situation more and it would have been less fraught, but when you put in an emergency call on Sunday evening, you get the vet you get.

The reality is that while she's not as halter-broken as would be ideal, she is amenable -- even now -- to you running your hands all over her body. My QH would try to kill you when you touched her in certain places. Hermosa's fine. Doesn't care. And once sedated, she was fine with the vet's arm inside her.

It all makes you feel like you need to get all the basic handling solidly in place, ASAP, simply so vets will treat your damned horses.

You're also right that it would be stupid to sell them in the heat of the moment. I could really regret it later, and there's no going back from that decision.
 
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Cheeky Chestnut

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She was making a big deal about Hermosa being "unhandled" and wanting to get her into a barn where we could build stocks with straw bales. Started off with saying that she wouldn't treat the horse unless we did that but thankfully backed down from that. Moving the two from the field to the barn seemed monumentally stupid and dangerous. Catching horse and sedating in field was not, although vet insisted that I lead Hermosa from the far end of the field to the gate (which she did, with baby bouncing along). If my normal vet, who's seen Gypsum for the last ten years, had been on-call, he would have trusted my judgement of the situation more and it would have been less fraught, but when you put in an emergency call on Sunday evening, you get the vet you get.

The reality is that while she's not as halter-broken as would be ideal, she is amenable -- even now -- to you running your hands all over her body. My QH would try to kill you when you touched her in certain places. Hermosa's fine. Doesn't care. And once sedated, she was fine with the vet's arm inside her.

It all makes you feel like you need to get all the basic handling solidly in place, simply so vets will treat your damned horse.

You're also right that it would be stupid to sell them in the heat of the moment. I could really regret it later, and there's no going back from that decision.
You can put your foot down with a vet. This is your horse, you are doing what you can with what you have been given. From what you have put on here in the previous weeks she is not wild. Your vet seems to have taken relatively unhandled as the mare being wild. She’s not. Yes there was a blip with her baby but that’s a learning moment. You know now not to do that but she will stand and let herself be touched and if the vet has any issues then sedate her. It won’t hurt her to be sedated if the vet feels they have to do it.

Please stop allowing people to put pressure on you. It is very hard but they are making this harder for you. No is not a dirty word. If that vet won’t treat then find another one and put in a complaint. I won’t have certain vets attend my horses as I don’t like their methods or manner.

Yes you would regret it. You are overwhelmed and it’s hurting to see it. You have for two beautiful babies there and instead of just being able to appreciate how blessed new life is people are piling the pressure on you. You should be sitting in the field in the sun admiring your mare, admiring the lovely colt she has not seeing them as a burden. I hope this changes soon for you and you can enjoy them.

Give yourself a big hug and take some Kindness time x
 

View

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You are overwhelmed and it’s hurting to see it. You have for two beautiful babies there and instead of just being able to appreciate how blessed new life is people are piling the pressure on you. You should be sitting in the field in the sun admiring your mare, admiring the lovely colt she has not seeing them as a burden. I hope this changes soon for you and you can enjoy them.

Give yourself a big hug and take some kindness tine.
This, a thousand times over.

I am so desperately sorry that you aren’t being allowed to enjoy them.

You are a good owner - you listen to what your horses are telling you. I wish there was something practical I could do for you right now, but I’m 400 miles away. Moral support is the best I can do.

You will get through this - because you (we) always do.
 

CanteringCarrot

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It's all worked out so far, hasn't it?

The foaling went quite well, the YO has been fairly accommodating, you were able to be at this yard before she foaled (even though you didn't know that she was pregnant), Caso is healthy, the vet was able to do the exam/treatment, no one was hurt in the slight training in the field mishap. A lot of positives there and a lot of things that could've gone wrong, but didn't.

You've even got back up now (Quadro) should something happen with this yard.

You've got someone already interested in buying the foal if you choose to sell him.

You've got two lovely healthy horses.

There really are horses that are more feral until 3 or 4, or even longer that are fine.

Mine was quite feral until he was started under saddle at 4. He's easy to handle. We also had some mishaps when I first got him, but we figured it out. PRE's are smart.

Don't let the pressures and what-ifs ruin this time for you.

I am also an over thinker and do compare myself sometimes. Just yesterday in my riding lesson I was getting all flustered in my head about my horse not doing things perfect that I know he can do. This was probably because he felt my deteriorating mood 😅 so it did no one involved any favors to think like this. I am always saying my horse needs to live more in the moment (he can anticipate) and do what is asked in that moment and not worry about the rest...hmm...same advice applies to the human 🤣
 
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scats

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CI, there’s no shame in saying this isn’t what you signed up for and isn’t what you want.
I would take all the pressure off yourself for a week or two while you have a think about the situation. Not just about the foal, but Hermosa aswell.
If you decide that you would rather sell them both at this stage, it can be done. You aren’t stuck in this situation and you do have options.
Take care x
 

katastrophykat

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CI- I agree with the other posters generally however it’s never easy when you’re in that situation. I planned my foal for two years before he arrived and it still didn’t go to plan in weeks 1-3!

What I would say just now is

1- the mare will be more foal proud in the first three weeks, it *should* lessen after that.

2- if you can get the TB out of the way before handling either of yours, then do it, or more ideally full time- leave Hermosa and Baby to their own place if you can.

3- try to give the foal a chance at least, I put my mare and foal back into a quiet herd at 3 weeks- they got separated, I have never been so scared. It ended well, but not before the foal was pushed into a fence- I was at livery too, although YO had agreed to us breeding at the yard, we still didn’t have a ‘perfect’ setup and had to slot them in early. TBH, the benefit for me was that the Alpha mare adopted Gunner, he used his Mum as a milk bar and occasional companion and barely noticed her missing when I weaned him- it was the easiest weaning I’ve seen- he came in with mum and alpha mare, Mum went into another barn along the yard, he stood in the next stable to Alpha mare for an hour or so and went back to the field with her… job done!

4- if you need to, foals are fairly easily handled- either with a figure of 8 lead rope or using a headcollar as a harness for the first few weeks. Just scratch him to settle him and pop your arm round the chest and bum to keep him there while you work. Try to make it fun for next time(!) and if you can, get a very light leather foal slip onto him- ideally with a Velcro fitting in case he gets caught up, then it makes little handling sessions easier.

5- yes, sheep are absolutely fine to go in with horses abs foals! They make for good XC jumps- or so my foaly told me!

Mine was in overnight for the first three weeks so used to going with his dam, but we had him led gently alongside after two weeks rather than loose and a halter on when he was out.

Just my experience, in case it helps.
 

maya2008

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If it makes you feel any better, our little mare still does not lead (have had her 2.5 months) - she will follow a bucket or a polo, but not a person with a lead rope on. She gave birth last night, there is no hope in anything anyone is putting their arm inside her without sedation, nor are they going to get a needle in to sedate. It took 30mins to get a vaccination into her last Thursday. After being categorically told not to move her in case she rejected the foal, we had no choice last night, so a feed bucket and a best friend leading the way it was!

We know nothing about foals - just like you. Going to take one day at a time. The difference here though is we don’t have a YO putting pressure on. In your position, I think I would try to get them to Quadro’s. Leading a tiny baby down the road isn’t great, and having a foal out in a big herd isn’t great. If you had her somewhere safe, you could relax and take things at her pace.
 

ycbm

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I really wish I could just sell them but there’s no point because there’s no way in hell they’re getting on a lorry.

This one's usually pretty easy to solve actually. Experienced transporters will effectively pick up a foal that small and place him in the lorry/trailer and his mother will almost always follow to protect him. If you sell them the buyer will sort that out.
.
 
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It's all worked out so far, hasn't it?

The foaling went quite well, the YO has been fairly accommodating, you were able to be at this yard before she foaled (even though you didn't know that she was pregnant), Caso is healthy, the vet was able to do the exam/treatment, no one was hurt in the slight training in the field mishap. A lot of positives there and a lot of things that could've gone wrong, but didn't.

You've even got back up now (Quadro) should something happen with this yard.

You've got someone already interested in buying the foal if you choose to sell him.

You've got two lovely healthy horses.

There really are horses that are more feral until 3 or 4, or even longer that are fine.

Mine was quite feral until he was started under saddle at 4. He's easy to handle. We also had some mishaps when I first got him, but we figured it out. PRE's are smart.

Don't let the pressures and what-ifs ruin this time for you.

I am also an over thinker and do compare myself sometimes. Just yesterday in my riding lesson I was getting all flustered in my head about my horse not doing things perfect that I know he can do. This was probably because he felt my deteriorating mood 😅 so it did no one involved any favors to think like this. I am always saying my horse needs to live more in the moment (he can anticipate) and do what is asked in that moment and not worry about the rest...hmm...same advice applies to the human 🤣
Yes to all this.
 
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CI you need to go away for a couple of days. Tell your YO you are going away for the weekend and go decompress. I’ve said this so many times now on this thread. Step back, stop trying to control everything, stop trying to be perfect, stop with this faux unreachable ideal you seem to have created based on watching other people. It’s giving you seriously unrealistic views of what having a youngster is.

You bought this mare for a reason, you saw something you liked but now you are hating the whole thing because of a mess you have made for yourself by trying to do make unrealistic and quite frankly unreachable deadlines. I know it feels like people are probably being cruel to you, I know you don’t particularly like me despite the fact I’ve met you and never had an issue with you on here, but listen to the sense I’m talking, stop dismissing taking a step back. It’s not a failure and you seem to have it in your head that it is.

What would be a failure is you getting rid of this mare because you have overwhelmed yourself.
I completely agree with that last line, at least as a knee-jerk reaction. I think it would be one you might regret. They are both lovely - and in the perfect situation you'd be bursting with pride. It makes me so sad you feel they are a millstone round your neck at the moment.
 

palo1

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She was actually good at it. We had to go up and down a road for about ten minutes each way to her old turn out field and she was doing great with cars, bikes, cows, pigs, and ridden horses. We’d just started to go on longer in hand hacks, which obviously ceased and desisted once we learned she was due to foal that week.

It seemed imperative to get her caught and leading a bit in case there was a vet emergency. And there was one.

Everyone else on this forum who’s had a foal seems to be able to handle it from day 1. Same with people I’ve seen with foals in meatspace. I still wonder if they wouldn’t be better off with someone else.
Nah! That is just not the case. A great many people with foaling mares have an established and long term relationship with that horse already secured. That makes life a whole lot easier. Everything can be planned and situations set up in advance. But, in other settings no-one is going to publicly share how difficult they find it, how shy their mare has become, how tedious and worrying it all is and how they have had to join the dots to get through things. That is just the way social media works sadly. It is lovely that on the whole, here on HHO people with foals have chosen to breed and are intensely connected to the whole process but in the wider world there are many mares that are either little or poorly handled who don't find post-foaling handling very interesting or easy or who become anxious about their babies and reject attempts to 'do stuff'. Hermosa herself is young, finding her 'place' and has had significant disruption in her life - I would be actually slightly astonished if all of a sudden she 'turned herself in' with her new baby. You are doing fabulously if you can headcollar her and get closer to Caso. I think that is great and for now just doing that with loads of treats and loads of praise is a really good way forward. If you need to move mum and baby as an emergency, you will need a handler for the foal but it sounds like you could sort that. Don't cross those bridges unless and until you need to!!

Oddly enough, we had a mare that foaled (deliberate breeding :) ) The mare was very relaxed and well handled and from the off was completely fine for us to handle her baby - who we still have. BUT my gelding was off the scale stressed about it all; the mare was his best friend and they were happily turned out together after foaling. When we took her to the yard with foalie for a vet check, he completely lost the plot and smashed up several fences in his efforts to get to her. He was really hard to deal with for a couple of weeks and it seemed kinder to just leave him to his new, completely imagined responsibilities!! Hahahahaha!! I think Hermosa is a great mum - she is clearly very focussed on keeping her gorgeous baby safe so she is doing a good job for you in that - you really don't want a mare that isn't interested and isn't looking out for her foal - truly you don't as that is a real nightmare. I think you are doing a great job even if you feel awful. I am sorry you feel so badly about what you are doing though - I am not sure anyone in your position could do better honestly. :)
 

palo1

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She was making a big deal about Hermosa being "unhandled" and wanting to get her into a barn where we could build stocks with straw bales. Started off with saying that she wouldn't treat the horse unless we did that but thankfully backed down from that. Moving the two from the field to the barn seemed monumentally stupid and dangerous. Catching horse and sedating in field was not, although vet insisted that I lead Hermosa from the far end of the field to the gate (which we achieved, with baby bouncing along). If my normal vet, who's seen Gypsum for the last ten years, had been on-call, he would have trusted my judgement of the situation more and it would have been less fraught, but when you put in an emergency call on Sunday evening, you get the vet you get.

The reality is that while she's not as halter-broken as would be ideal, she is amenable -- even now -- to you running your hands all over her body. My QH would try to kill you when you touched her in certain places. Hermosa's fine. Doesn't care. And once sedated, she was fine with the vet's arm inside her.

It all makes you feel like you need to get all the basic handling solidly in place, ASAP, simply so vets will treat your damned horses.

You're also right that it would be stupid to sell them in the heat of the moment. I could really regret it later, and there's no going back from that decision.
Blimey - I understand why some vets might request a safe place but the good vets I know are calm, pragmatic and not remotely flaky. You are right in that your normal vet would be more supportive of you. :) Emergencies happen and you dealt with it but ordinarily a good vet wouldn't find your situation difficult I don't think.
 
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