Dala's Notes on Foals


You should correctly handle foals from birth. The sooner they are used to people and commands, the easier it will be handle them when they grow larger and stronger, as well as when breaking-in time comes. Foals that are well handled are half-backed (half-broken) already making your job easier. There is no need for formal lessens, but correct treatment, commands and behavior should take precedence whenever you are doing anything with the foal. A foal is not a young canine and should not be allowed to act as one. Because they rapidly mature, what was once thought of cute soon becomes dangerous and hard to handle as well as confusing to the runner. All foals should be kept indoors at night during their first winter, with their dams if the are not weaned. Leaving them outside will not toughen then up at all. In fact it will stunt them permanently as they will be unable to take in enough nourishment. There is no is no need to keep foals and their dams cooped up in a stall for the first couple of weeks. If the weather is nice, you should turn them out either into a field or an indoor exercise area that has a non-dusty flooring after the first few days. Not only does this let the mare gently recover, but sets the foal off on the path to learning to use it's legs and developing strong bones and muscles, and to learning what their world is about. The mare and foal should be left alone at first, but they should gradually be introduced to other mares and foals introduced to other mares and foals and kept in as natural a herd environment as possible. Foals will form groups together and learn herd manners, as in who is strong or weak and who is friendly or not.

Feeding Foals

A foal will drink it's dam's milk for the first few weeks, but should be allowed to experiment with it's dam's concentrate feed if it wishes. The foal is unable to digest hay at this age. When the foal begins eating more of it's dam's feed, you can gradually start feeding the foal feed of it's own. the feed should have plenty of protein and a herder can advise you on what is the best mix of feed to give. Gradually the foal will take to hay as well as grass, as it copies it's dam. Though don't be surprised if the foal spits things out at first. The feed should be absolutely clean with out any dust or dirt present and a permanent supply of water should be available if at all possible.

Weaning Foals

Normally weaning is a gradual process that is barely noticeable when it is allowed to occur naturally. Even mares with a new foal can be seen with last years foal taking along for the occasional suck, which does no harm. A lot of people tend to wean foals around six months of age. This can be a traumatic experience and leave lifelong mental scars if down too early or too suddenly. It is best to wean gradually by introducing nanny mares to the herd and taking away the dams of the oldest foals, who will soon attach themselves to the nanny mare. Gradually remove more and more mares from the herd until only the foals are left with nannies who have no milk. Another way is to separate the foal and dam for short periods of time. Gradually increasing the length of time they are separated until they are living separately.

A runners life

A foal starts out life with long legs in proportion to it's body. Normally a foal is able to stand on them within two hours of birth. They are able to eat solid foods at about six sevendays but will mainly relay on their dam's milk. At around two months a foal loses it's furry milk hairs. A foal will lose it's first coat in their first autumn and it is not uncommon for them to change color. Their adult coloring emerging as their fluffy foal hair falls out in patches. Chestnut foals will turn grey if they have one grey parent and duns will often turn bay. A yearling is still leggy and somewhat uncoordinated but is beginning to fill out. This continues until the runner is mature when the highest point of the croup will be inline with the withers. At this time, the croup is noticeably higher. The runner "coming up in front" by gradual stages as he matures. The last point of growth on a runner are the epiphyses, the "growth plates" on the long bones of the legs. Until these are closed, the legs are not capable of sustaining hard work, particularly while under weight, without risking the leg becoming damaged or misshapen. The epiphysis at the end of the cannon bone closes around 9 to 12 months, but the one at the end of the radius, immediately above the knee, does not close until around two and two-and-a-half turns old. When a runner is middle aged, from five to ten turns, the body is fully formed, and the distance between the wither and should the distance between the wither and shoulder is close to that of the distance between the elbow and the ground. All internal organs are fully developed and the physical proportions are established. In a well-made runner the length of the neck is established. In a well-made runner the length of the neck will be about one-and-half times the measurement from poll to lower lip, taken down the front of the face. The runner is usually at the peak of his powers provided that his early training as been directed at the formation of the correct musculature. In a runners late tears, the joints may become puffy as circulation becomes less effective and the effects of work become evident in the legs. Many old runners often stand "over at the knee". Hollows may develop over the eyes and the back may dip more than usual. The teeth have become worn with age causing chewing to become more difficult. Digestion is less effective and it becomes more difficult to keep the runner in good and healthy condition.

How to groom a runner

First, with a stiff-bristled dandy brush, remove dried sweat, mud and manure. Then body brush all over, about six strokes in one spot, and using, where possible, long, firm, sweeping strokes cleaning the brush with a metal curry comb every two or three strokes. Always brush backwards and downwards. Push the mane over the wrong side of the neck, then bring it back again with the body brush, a lock at a time, brushing right out from the roots to remove the grease. For the tail, grasp the end of the dock and the tail hair, holding the dock out towards you and horizontal to the ground. Let down one lock a towards you and horizontal to the ground. Let down one lock a t a time, brushing from the ends first and working your way up to the roots to get them clean. Next take one of two sponges (never ever mix them up), wring out in warm water (although cold water can be refreshing in the summer) and gently sponge away any discharge or dust from the eye's, nostrils and lips. Using the other sponge do the sheath in a gelding or the udder in a mare, under the tail (dock) and between the buttocks. Dry with a towel in cold weather. Taking the water brush (a small, softer-bristle dandy brush) dip the tips of the bristles in water (but not the runners drinking water), give a firm downward shake to remove the excess, and brush or "lay") the hair of the mane, particularly at the roots on the crest of the neck, and the dock, to flatten the hair.

Caring and Feeding of Orphaned Foals

Any text surround by asterisks is to be considered OOC information, as the terminology is not Pernese. The information may well be known but it would be stated differently.

The many a birth of a long-awaited foal is an occasion to celebrate. All of the planning, breeding dates, pregnancy checks, and hopes finally are realized. But what if the unthinkable happens, and the mare becomes ill, doesn't produce any milk, or worse yet, she dies. What do you do with the foal? How do you care for him/her? How and what do you feed the little one? This chapter and will discuss some of the options/considerations for caring and feeding of orphan foals. Those of you who are new to breeding and raising runner's might have never experienced the dilemma of raising an orphan foal or feeding a foal whose mother is producing little or no milk. This is a very real problem and can be a very time-consuming ordeal. Foals can lose their dams for any of a variety of reasons, such as colic, uterine hemorrhage, or the mare can even reject her foal completely. Other problems can occur that result in the inability of the mare to produce adequate milk for the foal, such as mastitis (infection of the mammary gland), metritis (infection of the uterus), or any other serious illness. If a mare is grazing fescue pastures while in late pregnancy, there is a fungus that can live on the grass. which if ingested by the mare will block her ability to produce milk for her newborn foal. The foal is not an orphan technically, but another source of milk must be found immediately. This fungus also can lead to other serious problems with foaling, such as dystocia or weak foal.

Newborn Orphans

Newborn foals rely entirely on their dam's milk for nutrition. The first milk a foal ingests is colostrum. It is essential as it provides much-needed immunoglobulins that help a foal fight off infection, since foals are born with a virtually inactive immune system. Therefore, if a foal is orphaned at birth, it is a particular emergency to find another source of not only milk, but of colostrum. Remember, a foal is only able to absorb the immunoglobulins from the colostrum ideally for approximately 12 hours. This decreases after 12 hours with minimal absorption occurring around 24 hours after birth. Therefore, it is imperative that colostrum be administered as soon as possible. If colostrum is available, the newborn foal needs about 250 ml of colostrum every hour for the first six hours, total of two to three liters of colostrum should be divided into three to four doses given at hourly intervals, then free-choice every one to two hours. *If colostrum is not available, the foal will need to be administered intravenous plasma by BeastHealer within the first 24 hours of life. Equine plasma contains immunoglobulins to help protect the foal from infection. A 100- pound foal needs one to two liters of plasma if he/she has not received any colostrum. *Colostrum can be collected from mares post-foaling when sufficient amounts are present. It has been shown, 200 to 500 ml can be milked from a mare without compromising her own newborn foal. Additionally if the mare is at risk of dying, then colostrum should be milked from her before the lose of the mare. Colostrum can be frozen and will keep for one turn. It should be thawed at room temperature before use. Do not thaw it with hot or boiling water as this can destroy the *antibodies.*

Nurse Mares

Now comes the next problem-how to get the foal to drink.
If a foal has been orphaned, the best way to provide milk is through a nurse mare. The orphaned foal is fostered onto another mare which has lost her foal, or had her own foal weaned. This might sound like a perfect answer; however, there are some problems. These will be covered in another chapter. However, once the foal is successfully fostered onto the nurse mare, the foal has an ever-ready food source and he/she will be socialized properly. The fostering process should not be attempted without an experienced person to supervise, since often the mare must be sedated and/or restrained to prevent injury to the foal. Mares can be placed into stocks or hobbled to prevent them from kicking the foal. However, two people are needed at all times while introducing the mare and foal—one to restrain the mare and one to guide and protect the foal. The mare and foal should not be left alone until the mare has fully accepted the foal. Signs of acceptance include the mare nickering to the foal when the foal is led away, and the mare allowing the foal to nurse without resistance. Acceptance of the foal can take up to three days, but usually occurs within 12 hours. Another alternative is to use a nanny-caprine. Some orphaned foals have been fostered onto nanny-caprines with minimal restraint. These caprines can be fostered onto nanny-caprines with minimal restraint. These caprines can be placed on hay-bales or platforms so the foal can nurse. As the foal grows however, the caprine may not be able to provide sufficient milk and thus supplemental feeding is required.

Bottle Or Pail Feeding

If a nurse mare is not an option, or if the mare rejects the foal, the next option is bottle feeding or pail feeding the foal. If the foal has never nursed from the mare, it usually will be quite willing to nurse from a bottle. Make sure the hole in the nipple is not too large- when the bottle is turned upside down, milk should not flow out of the nipple-otherwise the flow is too fast and the foal might aspirate milk while drinking. Foals which are fed from a bottle need to be placed in an upright position to nurse. This lessens the chance of milk traveling down the foal's windpipe instead of the trachea (aspirating) and developing pneumonia. To simulate a natural position for nursing, stand with your back to the foal and hold the foal's nose underneath your arm. Then gently insert the nipple into the foal's mouth (make sure it is over the tongue). The foal might bump your arm with his/her head, but this is normal-it is how the foal stimulates the mare to "let down" milk. Do not hold the bottle above the foal's head as this position can make it very easy for foals to aspirate milk. Healthy foals usually will drink only until they are full, so the foal should be allowed to drink free choice after it has consumed colostrum in the first 24 hours. It also is a good idea to record the amount of milk consumed at every feeding, especially in the first few weeks of life, since this can help alert you to a decreasing appetite or ensuing illness. Remember to clean the bottles and nipples after each use. If the foal has been nursing a mare, then getting it to nurse from a bottle can be quite difficult. These foals might be more likely to drink from a pail or bucket. Pail feeding is definitely less time-consuming and has an advantage since the foal can drink free choice. Foals usually are able to be taught to drink from a pail. Milk is placed on your fingers and inserted into the foal's mouth to stimulate the suckle reflex. With your fingers still in the foal's mouth, lower your fingers into a pail of warm milk while the foal is suckling on your fingers. Eventually, it will get the idea. With this method of feeding, a bucket of mare's milk or milk replacer can be left in the foal's stall or paddock and changed every six to 12 hours. The bucket or pail should be hung at chest level for the foal to drink, and it should be cleaned every time the milk is changed. Remember, all foals should have access to fresh water at all times.

What to Feed

The next question is what type of milk should be fed to the foal. Mare's milk is the perfect solution, as it alone matches the nutrient needs of the foal. Herdbeast's milk or Caprine's milk usual Herdbeast's milk or Caprine's milk usually is readily available; however, neither is the perfect substitute. Caprine's milk can be fed without alteration, However Herdbeast's milk should add one tablespoon sweetening . Some foals prefer the taste of Caprine's milk over Herdbeast's milk. One of the complications with using milk replacers is gastrointestinal upset. Some foals will develop loose manure when the replacers first are used. This is normal. If the foal develops diarrhea, then the milk replacer should be diluted with water or changed to another brand or type. If the diarrhea persists for more than one day, then a BeastHealer should evaluate the foal and proper treatment can be instituted. Other foals might develop mild bloat (gas) from the milk replacer. If this occurs, discontinue feeding for a few hours, and then feed a more diluted formulation or supply more frequent feedings. Once foals reach about one month of age, they are ready for solid feed. A foal which is with its dam will mimic the mare's eating habits and begin to eat grass, hay, or grain with the mare at an early age (two to three weeks of age). These foals usually are introduced to a creep feed by one month of age. Orphan foals also should be introduced to grain at that time. Foals should be fed a grain that has 16-18% protein. A good general rule of thumb for feeding is one pound of feed for each month of age until six months of age, or six pounds of feed. Foals generally can be weaned from milk replacers at three to four months of age if adequate grass or grass hay and grain are available.

How Much And How Often To Feed

A healthy newborn foal will nurse from its dam about seven times in one hour. This number decreases as the foal gets older. As a result, frequent feedings are most compatible with the foal's digestive system. Foals require anywhere from 21-25% of their body weight in milk per day. The ideal approach is free-choice feeding of milk to ensure the foal's requirements are met. This is quite easy with the bucket or pail feeding method. However, with bottle feeding, the newborn foal will need to nurse every hour for the first week of life, then can decrease to every two to three hours after the first week. As you can see, the bucket feeding method has its advantages. The problems arise when the foal is ill and is not consuming enough milk. If this happens, a BeastHealer should be notified and force feeding must be instituted. But how will you know when your foal is consuming enough milk? Newborn foals should drink about five to seven liters per day in colostrum and milk. Remember, healthy foals need between 21-25% of their body weight in milk per day, so a 75 kg foal will need about 19 liters of milk per day. Foals also should gain about one to two kilograms of body weight per day. Contact a BeastHealer if you are unsure if your foal is consuming enough milk or is not growing appropriately.

Special Problems Of Orphans

Raising a foal is a time-consuming job. One main problem with humans raising foals is that the foal will identify with humans, not the runner's. This might be cute when the foal is a newborn, but it presents its own set of problems as the foal gets older. Foals raised by people without contact with other runner's have been shown to fear and avoid other horses later in life. It has been shown that foals raised by humans did not learn how to graze properly. Orphan foals also will nurse themselves, other foals, or other runner's—male or female. These problems can be eliminated by raising the foals with another runner or pony as a role model. The raising of an orphan foal can be a challenging and very time-consuming job, but it can be done with a healthy, well-adjusted foal as the end result. The loss of a mare is not a death sentence for the foal. Raising an orphan foal, however, should not be attempted without the guidance of a BeastHealer.

Creep Feeds

Peak milk production in mares occurs between three and eight weeks after foaling. It should be obvious that as the growing foal's requirements continue to increase, the mare's ability to produce the nutritional support for that growth becomes more limited. As the foal is consuming more of its requirements from the creep, the mare from the creep, the mare will cut back on her milk production in order to match consumption of the foal. The creep feeder encourages the foal to increase consumption as its dam loses the ability to nourish it properly. Too many runner owners provide the mare huge quantities of feed during pregnancy with the ill conceived notion that they are feeding two animals at that time. This is further complicated by the fact that they then turn the new foal and mare out to a "natural environment", in a poorly managed pasture at a time when the nutritional stresses are greatest on the mare. Generally most pastures can not provide for proper supplementation of the mare's requirements during peak lactation and the mare and foal suffer in this circumstance. As a result, we stress the mare unnecessarily.

By encouraging the foal to consume solid feed as early as possible, it makes the transition during the weaning process much less traumatic. Foals get used to eating on their own and eventually become more independent, and this makes separation from the mare easier and less fretful.

Many mares are a little marginal in their maternal instinct or ability to provide adequate milk for their foal, and if this was to occur early in the foal's development it might permanently stunt its growth. By providing a creep ration, the risk of this malnutrition is minimized. Sometimes it's better to feed the foals directly, rather than to feed the mare and hope that she will produce enough milk to maintain normal growth. Remember that the mare takes her "cut" of the feed as a "handling charge" in order to manufacture that milk. By removing her as an unneeded "middle man" we may be more efficient at providing the foal with the nutrients needed for proper growth.

Early weaning provides for increased efficiency and may prevent some foals from acquiring the bad habits of their mothers. Numerous runner owners have noticed that their early weaned foals didn't have enough time to learn to bully their peers as their mothers did (much of an animal's behavior is learned). This makes for a more uniform group of foals to train and condition.

Don't count on the foal being able to steal enough feed from its dam to make much of an impact on its growth rate. Some mares are defensive about their feed and may not let a foal near the feeder, even if it could reach it. Other mares in a group setting are prone to chase foals away from their feed. This expression of a "pecking order" may result in the foal being hurt by one of these overly aggressive mares and that's not usually worth the risk. There's nothing wrong with feeding mares and foals in a group, provided you match the condition, temperament and status carefully. Since the foal learns to eat by watching others do the same, it provides good stimulus to consume the grain ration. This competitive nature of foals can be exploited to get foals to eat earlier, provided that the foals are about the same size and background so that the "pecking" order does not create further problems for us. Foals which are raised in a box stall may utilize a feeder with spacer bars designed to keep the mare out of the foal's feed, provided the mare does not mind the foal eating while she can not.

A creep may easily be built out of portable panels, fencing material etc. in a pasture near the waterer so that the foals will have the occasion to be near it and use it often. When building the creep feeder, remember that its purpose is to provide easy and safe access to the foal, while at the same time limiting the mare's ability to get in and eat too. Make the creep strong and of substantial construction so as to prevent the mare from breaking into it. Whether temporary or permanent, provide at least two entrances, so the foal doesn't feel trapped by other foals or mares and can get out without a major panic attack. There are a number of creeps which provide shade and shelter for the foals, this has advantages in that it will protect the feed stuffs from the elements and prevent spoilage. Additionally it seems that the average foal doesn't mind being away from its dam for a short time. As a reflection of that comfort, they may even feel secure enough to take a nap in a well protected creep and that beats being under foot in a herd of milling mares. Since most foals have to be taught to use the creep, push a foal into the creep and handle it there daily, letting it in through one entrance and out another. Since foals teach each other how to eat creep feed, creep feeder design should allow access for more than one foal at a time. Creep feeders should be designed so the openings are low enough in height to limit access from mares, but at least a couple of inches above wither height of the foals.

As the foals grow, the height opening will need to be adjusted. The width of the opening also should allow for at least several inches of clearance from the foal's body. A foal should be able to easily turn around once inside. Fifty to sixty square feet is adequate for one or two foals.

As a rule, start the creep feed at no more than 0.5% of the foal's body weight. This provides the foal an easy introduction to the ration and won't let the them overeat. Small quantities of fresh feed should be available at all times if the creep is to function as intended. Creep rations should include high quality protein sources such as milk, yeast or soybeans. Creeps can be fed as pellets or as coarsely processed grains. Most grains like whole or rolled oats, cracked or flaked corn, rolled or whole barley get good results, but try to avoid giving long stem grass hay to foals. Although they will pick at a flake of hay, most young foals wind up wasting a lot of it. Once the foals are consuming between 2.2 and 2.5% of their body weight in creep feed, then you can wean them with very little stress anywhere between two and four months of age. If you do not want to wean quite as early, that's acceptable provided you are willing to supplement any deficiencies found in your pastures.

Training Your Foal to Stand for Shoeing and Trimming

The foal only spends about four months with the mare until weaned. Overtime, the foal must them learn to become a useful mature runner. The foal is most impressionable during the first two weeks of life. Take advantage of this time — by taking an active part in early development, the foal can be shaped for the remainder of it’s life.

Handle your foals from day one. Please handle your foals enough so they think you're part of their daily life. Be firm only when you need to be, to keep you or the runner from getting hurt. By the time a foal is four weeks old it should lead, stand tied, stand to be groomed, and-most important to those of us who have to trim its feet-stand to have its feet picked up. All four feet must be picked up, inspected, and cleaned daily. When time comes for the foal to have its feet trimmed, there's no need for a fight.

The most important thing to remember when handling foals is to remain calm and relaxed. Runners, especially foals, are quite empathetic. If you are nervous or apprehensive, the foal will become nervous or fearful. Work in a calm methodical manner. The training is best done with two people, a handler and a trainer. However, an experienced person could do it alone.

First off bones are not static. They can be reshaped due to conformation , level of care and diet. Unequal stresses on bone cause unequal growth and repair. Uniform stresses on bone cause uniform growth and repair. Therefore , uniform weight bearing, achieved through regular hoof care, will effect uniform growth and repair. This is true in runners of all ages but is critical in foals.

The pattern of growth can be affected by unequal stresses. By maintaining a balance weight-bearing hoof, uniform stress will affect a uniform growth pattern. Proper hoof care, or the lack of it, can affect the straightness of the foal’s limbs until the limbs are fully formed

The window of opportunity to affect uniform growth in the foal’s limbs is short. Capitalize on it by providing a balanced weight-bearing hoof through a regular schedule with your farrier. To produce the maximum effect, it is recommended that the foal be trimmed by one month of age. Furthermore the foal should receive regular trimming every four weeks for a Turn. The yearling could them be switched to a six week schedule. Foals with pathological and corrective problems should be scheduled according to their individual needs.

The condition of the foal's feet should be evaluated when the foal is four to six weeks of age. A BeastHealer or farrier is the best source for this appraisal, but if you are independent-minded, here's what to look for:

All four feet should point forward and toe-out just a little. The knee and hock should be in line with the rest of the leg, from the point of the shoulder and the pin bone at the haunches to the bottom of the hoof. Babies often have their knees turn inward or outward, which is normal to an extent. Over-correcting normal toe-out in babies by trimming the hoof lower on the outside often results in pigeon-toed adult horses.

The point of the frog should be centered in the sole of hoof. The hoof wall at the toe should be the same slope as the pastern when viewed from the side, with the foot on the ground and the horse standing and squared up. When you look at the hoof from the front, the hair line and bottom of the hoof should be horizontal.

The foal's hoof should look much like a full-grown hoof, just smaller. Take care of any twist or deformity as soon as possible. For this you may need help from a farrier or a BeastHealer. With so many possible problems, and so many ways to solve them, sometimes we all need help from somebody else. For the health of the runner, it's okay to ask.

To trim the soft baby hoof, all you need are a sharp hoof knife and a rasp. The baby hoof will grow out in 5 to 10 months, to be replaced with stronger hoof growth requiring hoof nippers to be trimmed. Trim the hooves on a regular schedule. Every 4 to 10 weeks is normal, depending on hoof growth and wear. Two important rules: Don't cut the hoof wall deeper than the sole. Don't cut away the sole and frog— only clean up the loose stuff.

Here's a method for picking up the front feet: Run your hand from the neck down the shoulder to the forearm, knee, and cannon bone to the fetlock. Most of the time when you lightly tug the fetlock, the foot will come up. For young runners in training or with stubborn ones, babies or adults, press firmly with the tips of your fingers under the fetlock, just beneath the ergot, then release the pressure when the foot comes up. Most runners will respond to this pressure and give up the foot willingly. Remember that getting the foot off the ground is only half the training. Standing still on three legs to be worked on is the other half. Please practice.

On the hind feet, stay close to the runner's side and, with the hand closest to them, run down from the flank to the inside of the cannon bone to the inside of the fetlock. Then pull the foot forward and walk it back. Sometimes the of use slight pressure with your shoulder to shift the runner's weight off the foot you're asking for may be necessary.

While holding the rear leg in your lap, or the front foot between your knees, tap lightly on the hoof with a hammer or stone, as a farrier does while shoeing. This little exercise will get the runner accustomed to the feel and sounds of being shod.

Steps to accustom a foal to trimming and shoeing

1. Pick up the foal’s foot. Hold it in a position like you were cleaning it . (In fact, you could clean it.) Hold the foot firmly until the foal relaxes (release the foot if the foal struggles too much and start over). Release the foot.

2. Pick up the same foot. Slap the bottom of the hoof with the palm of your hand or rap with a hoof pick . This is to simulate the farrier working on the hoof. Release the foot.

3. Pick up the same foot. Bring the foot forward into the clinching position. Hold the foot firmly until the foal relaxes (again, release the foot if the foal struggles too much and start over). Release the foot.

4. Pick up the same foot. Bring the foot forward into the clinching position. Slap the sides of the hoof with the palm of your hand or rap with a hoof pick . This is to simulate the farrier rasping and clinching. Release the foot.

Repeat this entire process for each limb. As the foal becomes desensitized and tractable, feel free to combine the steps. At first, the constant picking up and releasing of the feet is necessary to teach the foal to give its’ feet when asked. A good rule of thumb is when the foal gives you its’ feet freely; start to combine the steps. This training can be done with a runner at any age but I recommend an early start.

We are responsible for the care of our runners from their birth to their death. Good hoof care is one of the most important aspects of keeping a runner healthy. So get up off your rump and go out to the stables and play with your babies

A runner shouldn't have to be showed before it is two years old. Early hoof growth should not be restricted by shoes. If a runner has a problem that shoes can help, or if you are advised by a BeastHealer, then shoeing is okay. Shows can be put on as early as 5 weeks but this is in sever cases. For example the foals front leg may be badly twisted but then the shoe should not stay on for long, maybe a month or so until the problem is corrected and then the shoe should be removed so as not to restrict hoof growth.

Updated on August 17, 1998 by Dalaynia, Herder Sr. Apprentice.

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