Many sport horses breeders either do not have the facilities to safely wean their foal from their mare or they only have the one foal and want him or her to be weaned with the company of another. We are happy to offer this service.
Foals are stabled in our fully enclosed stables to ensure their safety. During this time they are hard fed and have access to a continuous supply of hay and or baleage. They also have access to automatic water feeders but these can be turned off to allow us to ascertain how much the babies are drinking and to ensure they are getting enough fluids. We also give them the choice of a bucket and most foals start to choose the automatic feeder over the bucket after a couple of days.
Weanlings are introduced to a halter and safely taught to tie up and be led during their stay indoors. They are introduced to ropes which we believe is a crucial and necessary early experience and are allowed to trail a rope behind them in the round pen to allow them to learn about ropes touching and dragging between their legs and also standing on ropes and therefore learning not to panic. I have seen some terrifying moments with foals that have not been taught this and then panicking should they get away from a handler and discover this rope chasing them. That is why all foals handled at Brookby Heights are introduced to this and are not let out in to a paddock until they are comfortable with ropes.
It is during their handling in the round pen that foals are first introduced to wearing a cover if this is their owners' wishes. The round pen is a safe environment for them to first experience wearing a cover as they can get used to the feeling of wearing a cover without any risk to themselves.
When they are happy to be lead, tied up and handled all over, they are ready to be introduced to a post and rail paddock usually by the end of the week. The paddock we use is in front of the main house so a watchful eye can be kept over the weanlings. They are first led around and then left to have some fun.