Every winter stallions enter breeding sheds across the country with owners’ hopes of producing the next Spooks Gotta Whiz, HF Mobster, or Wimpys Little Step. Eleven months later mare owners wait with baited breath to see what possibly months or years of plan- ning has produced. Four long legs, a fluffy mane and tail, and a soft nose to nuzzle for milk can carry so much promise.
One of my favorite things about living in Lexington is springtime–not just the new flowers and foliage blooming, or the excitement of Keeneland’s spring meet starting up, but seeing all the new foals sprinting and frolicking across their lush, green pastures along the roads. I seriously think the accident rate goes up in Lexington in the spring because of everyone gawking at the foals.
As a breeder, you want ensure that your foal(s) get the best start on their life so they’re stronger, healthier, and happier. There are so many factors for that first year of life: first veterinarian and farrier visits, first time wearing a halter, new humans, and, of course, weaning. In the March/April issue of the Equine Chronicle, I spoke with seasoned breeders like Joan Schroeder (owner and breeder of AQHA stallion Blazing Hot), Shelley Donovan of BSB Quarter Horses, Anne Prince of Prince Farms, and Andrea Simons of Simons Performance Horses for how they help give foals a head start on life.
“There’s a lot of work, a lot of common sense, and a lot of love that goes into foaling and raising babies. That’s why some people are more successful at it. It has to be a passion, in my opinion. You must love the horses themselves and they will most definitely prosper, as will your own business.” Joan Schroeder
Download the PDF & read the rest of the story: Helping Your Foal get a Head Start on Life