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Weaning for Life Experience

(Photo : Weaned foals with the baby sitting older mare)

 The weaning of foals is in full swing at White Robe Lodge.

"We are a bit later this year with the South Island sale being earlier. We have done 30 foals and another 12 are due,'' said Karen Stewart, wife of stud manager manager, Wayne.

 Karen is hands on in the weaning operation. The foals are either owned by the stud or clients.

"We do the weaning the old fashioned way which has been tried and proven."

The foals are taken through a crush gate with their mother and fitted with a halter and separated from a box.

"They (the foals) will be in the box for about two weeks. We teach them to be individuals, pick up their feet and find their own space.

"They are branded and fitted with a microchip.'' The foals are then returned to the paddock with a shelter shed and a sensible older mare for company.  "If something does give them (the foals) a fright in the paddock, they tend to run to the mare for protection and all is well,'' said Karen.

The mares, weaned of foals, are consigned to winter quarters on the stud property at Middlemarch.  "The Middlemarch property is a godsend for the winter, being much drier.''

"Basically, we are teaching the foals how to handle all the things they will come up against in life.''

"The feedback from clients is that our young horses are good to work with.''