First Trim

Jake had his first hoof trim this morning. We tried to do him last week but he played shy with the farrier so we left it another week so we could do some more handling with him. I've been picking up his feet and touching him all over while he hangs out in the shed and he's good to halter, but he needed to experience having two people around him. 
So how did he do? As expected, the fronts are tougher than the hinds with a colt. In the herd the colts try to take each other's front legs out from underneath their buddies in a game of colt tag, and it's natural for him to drop to the ground in response to the challenge. He'll get much better as he distinguishes human contact from colt play, which is something that just comes with time and consistent handling.
Jake will be de-wormed today too - his first de-worming that will be repeated at 8 week intervals for the rest of the year.
One of my pet peeves with foals is that they are busy with their mouths and I see so many people teasing them, encouraging this behaviour, then getting bitten. I've tried to short circuit this behaviour by only petting Jake with a steady, smooth touch, borrowing this concept from massage: a gentle, slow rhythm of one stroke per second is a soothing touch, as compared to a faster rhythm that is used for stimulation.
In many cases with a foal people scratch them on their butt or neck to see that lip-stretching, funny contortion that they do. It's fun but it's not fair when you have to smack the foal for biting you or turning his butt to you for a scratch when you've encouraged it. This is where we have to think longer-term and do what is fair for the colt. He's hard-wired to react to a stimulating scratch and there are consequences to that for everyone who handles him, including visitors.
We led Jake in the yard last night for the first time behind Tatti. I think I might wear my helmet next time - he's a bit bouncy! 

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