Bringing Up Baby From Birth To Weaning...And Beyond!

Paniolo_GalPaniolo_Gal Member
edited November 2014 in Thoroughbred Breeding
This thread was created to discuss several issues involved in raising a foal...from personality development (foal imprinting, mare/foal/peer group relationships) to various issues that arise in bringing up a foal to be a healthy adult horse (mind and body). This thread is not restricted to racehorses but open to all breeds of horses which include member's personal experiences with raising their own foals as well. This can also include equine relatives as well. Photos not required but would be helpful. This is not to be confused with Personal Photos of My Beloved Horses Past & Present where we share a community photo album of our past & present four-legged friends.
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  • The picture that I posted in Personal Photos of My Beloved Horses Past & Present there is a picture of my dad's horses Mia and Embry. Embry is the colt who they own he is very difficult and hard to handle. He is very head strong when trying to lead him to different pastures. He is also very nippy. He is going to be difficult when he gets older especially since he is going to get huge or at least I believe that he is going to get huge just because of what type of horse he is.
  • OK KMM...this thread was created so you can place your discussion about foal imprinting.
  • OK KMM...this thread was created so you can place your discussion about foal imprinting.
    Umm is this suppose to go to my comment cause if so I am not KMM.
  • Oh this will be a good thread for me to post some pictures of Rowdy who was raised as a human almost, by humans, inside a house, and eating yogurt from a spoon. That is so amazing. And yet now, at 6 months, he's pretty much doing normal horse things, nor is he pushy and obnoxious. He's not a diva type in any way. It's truly amazing. He's now teaching himself to sleep standing up But I'll do that when I have a little more time. It might be interesting for the people who haven't followed his story on MareStare.
  • Oh this will be a good thread for me to post some pictures of Rowdy who was raised as a human almost, by humans, inside a house, and eating yogurt from a spoon. That is so amazing. And yet now, at 6 months, he's pretty much doing normal horse things, nor is he pushy and obnoxious. He's not a diva type in any way. It's truly amazing. He's now teaching himself to sleep standing up But I'll do that when I have a little more time. It might be interesting for the people who haven't followed his story on MareStare.
    I have followed his story it is interesting. At least Rowdy is not a pushing foal, Embry is a trouble maker and a pain in the butt sometimes. He has his moments when he is the best acting horse, but he is very active and he likes doing what ever he wants to do when he wants to do it.
  • Oh this will be a good thread for me to post some pictures of Rowdy who was raised as a human almost, by humans, inside a house, and eating yogurt from a spoon. That is so amazing. And yet now, at 6 months, he's pretty much doing normal horse things, nor is he pushy and obnoxious. He's not a diva type in any way. It's truly amazing. He's now teaching himself to sleep standing up But I'll do that when I have a little more time. It might be interesting for the people who haven't followed his story on MareStare.
    Good thing Rowdy won't end up like the yellow colt from Buck who was also raised in a house, but not taught how to behave properly the way Rowdy has been. I'd be interested in seeing pictures. Working with young horses is a very interesting experience. (And I can say I've done it just enough to understand and appreciate what hard work it is)
  • Oh this will be a good thread for me to post some pictures of Rowdy who was raised as a human almost, by humans, inside a house, and eating yogurt from a spoon. That is so amazing. And yet now, at 6 months, he's pretty much doing normal horse things, nor is he pushy and obnoxious. He's not a diva type in any way. It's truly amazing. He's now teaching himself to sleep standing up But I'll do that when I have a little more time. It might be interesting for the people who haven't followed his story on MareStare.


    Good thing Rowdy won't end up like the yellow colt from Buck who was also raised in a house, but not taught how to behave properly the way Rowdy has been. I'd be interested in seeing pictures. Working with young horses is a very interesting experience. (And I can say I've done it just enough to understand and appreciate what hard work it is)
    I don't see my dad all of the time since i live with my mom and my step dad, so I haven't been able to see Embry grow up as much as I would of liked of. But the one thing that I have learned with being around him is that taking care of a young horse who wants to do what ever he wants (which most of the time is what I don't want him to do) is very hard work and it takes patience to work with a young horse.
  • VA_in_CAVA_in_CA Member
    edited November 2014
    Okay, I'll start Rowdy's Story of Survival with a couple of very early pictures that are just adorable. The first is one of the earliest pictures, where he's waiting in the truck with Ann while Chris runs in to the store to get supplies for bottle feeding him. He's about 4 hours old here with a body temp of 95 degrees after his mother rejected him because he couldn't stand up with his contracted tendons. The date is 23May2014, in the morning.

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    Here he is at about 5 to 6 hours old when he stood up on his own for the first time, after a bottle feeding.

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    and here he is sleeping with his "mama" after she gave him one of his middle of the night feedings, every hour or so. At age 1 week.

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    All pictures from Mea Ola facebook page.
  • VA_in_CAVA_in_CA Member
    edited November 2014
    Here is the video of his first standing. He gets an enema in this one, too. LOL--
    At one point you can hear Chris saying, "I like Rowdy." That was a little disagreement they had over what to name the little foal. Here's what Ann posted in her journal of Rowdy's life: "His name is Kikeona — strong fighter. I will call him Kike (Kee Kea) for short. He was born on Friday around 4am. Rowdy is his barn name now." Everyone calls him Rowdy now, so I guess Chris won. LOL It's the name Rowdy answers to. and that's what matters. He likes it.



    The original plan was to let Mea Ola foster him. She would have, but he got too sick and had to take powerful antibiotics which made him sensitive to heat and heat stroke, so they had to put him in an air conditioned place. This was late May in the high desert. Here he is meeting Mea Ola (whose name means survivor in Hawaiian) She was rescued over 2 years ago, in foal with Sassy. It was then she got the nickname of Mama. This is still Rowdy's first day, 23May2014.


    Videos from Mea Ola's facebook page.
  • Oh, he's precious, he is.
  • Paniolo_GalPaniolo_Gal Member
    edited November 2014
    So glad you are recapping Rowdy's diary of recovery! Oh...btw if there's still time left in editting...VA_in_CA, might be good to post Rowdy's name in the original start of your diary of him in the car with Ann so new members can associate the foal to his name. :oD
    Maybe you can give it a title at the beginning like: Rowdy's Story of Survival or similar?
  • Okay. Will do.
  • Paniolo_GalPaniolo_Gal Member
    edited November 2014
    I added a suggested title: "Rowdy's Story of Survival" on the earlier post...if you haven't seen that add-on above.
  • Okay, added as directed, ma'am. I didn't bold it, however, because the story that Ann wrote on her facebook page is much more detailed and first hand. I'm only giving a brief summary with some pictures that illustrate the points. I've gotta hit the sack, now as it's nearly midnight and my cats are hungry. I have to go to another town tomorrow (25 miles one way) to deposit an international check. Was going to go today, but I spend so much time on hold getting my new credit card activated that by the time I ate and got dressed it was noon and lunch time is not a good day to go to a bank. By the time it was 1, it would have got me home too late, nearly dark. (I also plan to get help filling out the fraud report,) So I'm going to go tomorrow first thing. May not get on the computer until I return. That will be so hard, though. I hate not checking in on Spider and Rowdy. sigh. I'm a worrywart.
  • Paniolo_GalPaniolo_Gal Member
    edited November 2014
    OH NO...I didn't want to sound dictatorial...just was trying to give suggestions VA_in_CA. LOL! I always pretend I'm a newcomer so it's always good to get a mini introduction of the story. It's like when we come in on the middle of a story after a commercial and the TV program reintroduces a brief story background so we can fall into the program rather easily. :oD
  • You didn't sound dictatorial, just didactic. Hahaha. Actually I was teasing, but teasing is hard to do in writing. You can always assume I'm teasing unless I say something really hurts my feelings, which I will do outright, as I did with markinsac.
  • Paniolo_GalPaniolo_Gal Member
    edited November 2014
    Didactic...that's a good one! Can't be a teacher...I have no patience in that area...especially when students don't listen...being a teacher, you know what I mean...wink! But give me a furry or feathery friend...that's a different story. :oD
  • Paniolo_GalPaniolo_Gal Member
    edited November 2014
    VA_in_CA! Loved that video of baby Rowdy when he got that initial enema treatment. Oh...my tummy feels funny...Oh...Oh...Poop!
    Can't wait until you eventually get to post those adorable closed eyed photos of him getting hand fed yogurt by you and others. You can tell with his facial expression that he LOVES HIS YOGURT!
  • Thanks for sharing Rowdy's story VA! I love learning about all of the horses at Mea Ola's! I really appreciate the regular updates on Spider too, I really hope he heals quickly.

  • Before continuing Rowdy's story, I thought I'd give a brief background of Mea Ola's Place that will provide a framework for Rowdy's miraculous story.

    Three years ago, Lalainia Ann Kline was living in Tehatchapi, CA, in the hills well north of LA towards Bakersfield. She saw a flyer posted by Kern County Animal Control that inspired her to take in some of the horses on the flyer. This was the beginning of Operation Horse Rescue.

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    _____________________________________________________________

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    She took in 19, providing care as a foster home. She is very skilled at public relations and fund raising, so this proved successful. She found good forever homes for most of the rescues and is determined that she will provide loving care to all her rescues who are not adoptable, usually because of extreme age.

    One of the rescues--in the upper left corner of the flyer--had serious leg and hoof issues and was in foal. Ann put the mare on Mare Stare for the foaling, and attracted followers in many states and foreign countries. Her daughters gave the mare the name Mea Ola, a Hawaiian name, which means survivor.

    After that first year, two years ago, the whole operation uprooted and moved eastward to a ranch about 7 miles west of Hesperia, CA. She brought all the surviving rescues and the name Mea Ola, that she gave to her Place. Since then she has continued to rescue horses on an as-needs-basis.

    I became aware of Mea Ola's Place in February of 2014, when they took in two supposedly pregnant mares who had been rescued along with 11 others from a feedlot in Nevada. Fortunately the two mares were not pregnant because they were feral, completely wild. It had been fascinating to watch Ann working with these two who were on MareStare for quite awhile before they were retested and found not to be in foal, so when I learned of her agreement to take in this new rejected foal, and saw them on MareStare, I was immediately hooked.

    Ann has many years of experience working for some well-known horse-trainers and she herself became a horse and rider trainer. She also acquired an education to be a Vet Tech, and it was through that job that she came to have Rowdy. For more information about Ann, if you are interested, go here: http://meaola.com/our-trainer-ann-kline-2/

    Ann had a part-time job as a vet tech at a vet clinic in the Hesperia-Victorville area. One day the staff went out for lunch, during which Ann had to run out to her car to feed a baby bird. On her return, the vet asked why she was trying to save a bird and Ann said, "Because it wants to live."

    When that vet was called on May 23, 2014, to euthanize the little foal with the contracted tendons whose mother had rejected him, the vet noted the baby's determined efforts to get up and it's "spunk," and she remembered Ann's comment. This foal, too, wanted to live. So she asked the owners if they would be willing to let Ann have a chance to save the foal and the owners agreed. And that's how the half-frozen little foal came to be lying in Ann's lap in the pick-up truck as they took him home to Mea Ola's Place.

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  • VA_in_CAVA_in_CA Member
    edited November 2014
    Here is a video of the first (of many) midnight feedings. Notice he is wearing a foal coat. They had fixed up a "stall" for him in the hay-storage shed. The "furnishings" included a cot for Mom or Dad to sleep there with him. Foals eat about every 20 to 30 minutes the first few days. Eventually he would sleep for an hour, eat, sleep for another hour, eat again, and so on.


  • Here he is on his second day of life, being fed by a visitor and taking a little walk. He's learned to "follow that bottle." When he starts to run from a standing start he reminds me of the way baby elephants "get underway." He got easily tired though in these early days.


  • Here he is on the 2nd day meeting Mea Ola again. You can really see how bowed his front legs are here. Mea Ola was really taken with him. They were hoping she would be able to produce milk for him, which is possible.

  • Some more pictures from his first week:

    Here he has his own harness and gets to share some love with "Dad." 25May2014.

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    On May 25th he went on MareStare's Live Streaming Camera. This was noted: "He is still not out of the woods, and has 24/7 care, and even us sleeping in there with him at night right now."

    On May 26th Ann posted this: "Rowdy took a turn for the worse early this morning. We will be running blood work shortly, changing antibiotic and possibly starting him on fluids later. He had a fever and is very lethargic. Also, owners just came by and signed him over to Mea Ola’s Place."
    Also this: "His temperature was below normal for most of his first day of life and we have been addressing his issues with temperature regulation. He has a spinal curvature issue at his withers which may be the cause of his front legs being bowed over at the knee and very stiff through the shoulder; he is down on his pasterns in the rear. He has a low white blood cell count for which he has received fluids and plasma."
    And
    :"His feeding started out slowly and it took almost a full day to get him interested in his bottle, though he is now taking as much as 20 oz a feeding."
    Concluding with this sweet note: "He has marched his sweet self right into our hearts and there he stays."

    On May 27th, more was posted about his birth, which provided some explanation for his problems. "... along with the other things known about Rowdy’s birth experience, it was learned that his umbilical cord was attached to the placenta after it had come out of the mare, for about an hour! It did not break, so the owner had to cut it. When we got him, it was still about 6 inches long, so it was tied off shorter and cut. It had been in the dirt for several hours because he did not ever stand until he got here. We used betadine on it several times over the next two days. He could be fighting an infection because of this, and with no white cells to fight it, he needed plasma. We will continue to monitor his blood work and hope that he will need no further plasma transfusions."

    They received a lot of positive feedback, to which Ann responded: "We are so grateful for those of you who have donated at an extra pace during this trying time. We are also grateful for the supportive comments, prayers and good will being sent our way."

    But there must have been some "bashers," (they always seem to show up) to whom she was evidently responding here: "We do not want him spoiled, or super-humanized, but right now, the concern is with saving his life. Then, we can worry about the other stuff."

    His new antibiotic was so powerful, that it made him very susceptible to heat stroke. The vets told them Rowdy would need to be kept somewhere with air conditioning. So they built him a stall in the house--in the middle of the living room. It was quite hilarious to see. This had the added advantage of putting him closer to his care takers for all those nighttime feedings.

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    Ann concluded the first week by posting this: " Rowdy says, 'Thanks for cheering me on.' He is such a good, sweet little guy and gets a little stronger every day. Your support means so much. Thank you to all." and this close-up:

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  • Rowdy's second week began with this entry from Mea Ola's facebook page:

    "Friday, May 30, 2014: For Rowdy’s one week old birthday, he got to experience a little human! His blood work results all came back normal today! What a little miracle he is…so precious and innocent." This picture was also posted.

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    Continuing with this report, Ann said, "He has been such a trooper for all of his treatments and life saving plasma, fluids, etc. His will to live is absolutely what got him through this first week."
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