Once again, with weaning, as most everything else with horses, humans have imposed their processes and procedures on what they think is best for horses.In the wild, a foal will stay on its dam until the dam weans the baby before the next foal is due and that is certainly not at three months or six months.I totally disagree with weaning any foal at three months unless the mare is sick or the foal is pulling the mare down...such as is sometimes the case in older mares.I also totally disagree with a foal not getting nutrition theory from the mare's milk after three months. The milk in all mammals, including humans, is rich in vitamins and minerals such as calcium which is critical in bone development, not to mention protein and fat...all building blocks for strong bones and muscles.There is also the bond between the dam and the foal to consider. Horses are by nature herd animals and they have a hierarchy that keeps the herd organized. Taking a foal away from its dam at such a tender age is a shock to the foal and the mare that can result in problems down the road.Mares also teach their foals many things such as which weeds to avoid or how to break the ice on a frozen creek and how to survive the elements of snow, wind and rain and predators and their mothers teach them manners and how to behave. I have been around horses that lived all their lives in a barn and were weaned as very young foals and they were flighty, nervous and developed bad habits such as cribbing and weaving. Some of you might be shocked, but my colt was not weaned until he was almost a yearling. His dam was not bred back. He nursed less and less of course as the months went by. His dam shared her grain and hay with him and they grazed together and ran and played together. Same thing with my filly. Her dam left for about a year and came back and while you might not believe this, the filly remembered her dam!I know that this is not feasible for the big farms...but there are ways for the process to be kinder on the mare and the foal. If you watch the PBS "Nature" program on the Lipizzans, you will see what I think was a much better weaning process than what we seem to do in this country. The foals and the mares all run together in a herd setting from the spring when they are born until the late fall. Once weaned the colts and fillies run together in a herd throughout the winter. So my take on all this weaning process is to, when you can, try to create a natural environment and let nature take its course.
13z will be kept at the farm or something when zenyatta is bred, she isnt gone for too long
I'm sorry if this is an off topic question, but not knowing all the ins and outs of horse breeding, I thought I would ask. Apologizes ahead of time if this is a stupid question.When Zenyatta goes to be bred (which I assume is soon, or has possibly already happened), does Z13 go with her? I would think they would keep him safe from disease, etc. at LE, but I wondered if he would need to nurse while she is gone (also not knowing how long she would be gone). And also if it would be upsetting for her to leave without him. Sorry if this is confusing. Appreciate if anyone can explain this to me.
im sure 13z will be in good hands while he waits for momma to come back, its interesting to know how they do things