Wedgie had a lot of firsts this week – he was FINALLY weaned from his mama, he got his first big boo boo, his first haircut AND he had his first hoof trimming. All pretty much within 48 hours. Little guy’s world was turned upside down.
We had planned on weaning him a couple months ago, but the unbelievably wet weather the last two months made it difficult. We didn’t have any spare stalls or inside pens that were dry, so the pasture was the best place for him and his mama.
Walking the Wedge
The use of a “butt rope” laid loosely around his hindquarters helps teach Wedgie to walk forward while being lead with the halter. This is a very common training technique we use with foals.
He was actually taught to lead and accept a halter when he was just a few days old. He was then turned out with his mama and the other mares in the pasture where he was allowed to just be a baby. (The photo above shows him getting a reminder to go forward when led.)
He’ll be worked with up close in the barn for a few weeks again while he’s completely weaned and then turned back out to pasture to continue learning how to just be a horse. He’ll now be out with the rest of “the boys” instead of the mares. At two years old, he’ll be brought up again and start very light training to be ridden. Their leg bones are still maturing up to about three years old, so heavy riding at too young of an age can actually be detrimental to their development. He’ll probably be gelded at this point as well.
Boo Boo wrapped in blue
Wedgie’s boo boo. He cut himself on the ankle when he was having a tantrum over being separated from his mama. We put them in side-by-side stalls when weaning, but he still managed to have a fit and bang up his little leg on the wall.
**On a related note ~ Horses tend to find numerous ways to hurt themselves. It’s a full-time job trying to keep them safe. For instance; if you have a mile of fence posts and only 1 has a tiny nail sticking out, the horse will find that 1 tiny nail and cut himself on it. I think you could put them in a padded cell, cocooned in bubble wrap and they’d still manage to do something! It’s part of their nosy nature and part of life with horses.
Wedgie’s 1st trim
Wedgie received his first pedicure or in equine terms: hoof trim. A lot of times this is a very difficult task as the babies don’t like their legs and feet messed with and lifted off the ground. This first trimming was made much easier because we got him used to us touching his legs and looking at his hooves when he was just a few days/weeks old. The more they’re handled when young, the easier it is to do the necessary tasks as they grow. He was a perfect little gentleman while Dad trimmed his hooves. He won’t actually get his first set of shoes for another year or so.
Wedgie’s 1st haircut
This photo was more of a snarky comment by my husband on the similarity of Wedgie’s wild forelock and mane and my wooly head. It was pretty foggy that day and with a lot of moisture in the air comes lots of curls and frizz in my hair! So yes, the Wedge and I both have naturally out of control locks. We did manage to trim what is called a “bridle path” for Wedgie (not me). It is a strip of about three inches of his mane right behind his ears that we trim down to the base. It makes it much easier for the halter to fit snugly and secure. It’s also more comfortable for him as the halter won’t be sitting on top of a wad of mane and pulling his hair.
So that’s pretty much Wedgie’s traumatic week. He’s doing fine and starting to enjoy being in the middle of everything at the barn. He has already learned to pull the lid off of the grain bin as he goes by and tries to snag a mouthful of hay when passing the bales. One thing is for certain, Wedgie will be in the middle of things on a regular basis.