1) Congratulations! Owning a foal is a rewarding experience. Keep in mind that a foal is a young horse, one that does not have a fully developed immune system. It is common for foals to get runny noses, just like a small child. With that in mind, keep the foal away from all other horses for a minimum of two weeks when you take the foal home. It is preferred to keep the foal segregated for 30 days, but two weeks is a minimum. The stress of the move and a new environment can cause the foal to get sick. If the foal was already harboring something that wasn’t easily detected, the stress can cause this to flair up. There is no way to predict how a foal will respond to a move. Being cautious is the smart thing to do.
2) If you are taking the foal out of state, be aware of what requirements your state has to bring the foal in. The state of Washington requires a brand inspection for any foal leaving the state of Washington. With that said, your state may not require a brand inspection for the foal to get into your state. We will not figure out what testing your foal needs, and will not pay for any testing. We will help facilitate any testing that may be needed. We request that scheduling be between the vet and ranch, with payment consideration needs to be dealt with between the vet and new foal owner. We require you to tell us what you need prior to taking the foal and giving us plenty of notice so that we can efficiently get everything done.
3) We will not be registering your foal for you, but will give you the documents needed to register the foal. We don’t register the foal for you for the following reasons: You get to pick the foals’ name (under our contract it must start with KT); You get to pick the color that you believe the foal to be; and you get to document the markings that you believe the foal has. AQHA also gives you the option to put a picture on the papers, which may be something you desire. If you have any questions, please let us know. The parents must be DNA verified and we will take care of that and that cost. It may take more time with the DNA, but it will get done as long as both parents belong to KT Ranch.
4) Making sure your foal has the inoculations that you feel the foal needs to have are important. We give West Nile to the mare while the foal is nursing. We will also try to deworm your foal after it has been weaned for a week and has relaxed. Keep in mind that dewormer is a poison, that kills worms in the foal’s system, it is very important not to put extra stress on the foal by deworming the foal right away when you get it home. Waiting until the foal has adjusted and is eating at the new home is the best way to keep your foal healthy and happy. Please check with us before deworming as we have probably already taken care of it once the foal is weaned. Giving shots, especially those with live viruses, are also a stress and it is best to wait until your foal has been in the new environment for some time before you inoculate the foal. Talk to your vet and make sure you have a plan to keep the foal as healthy as possible and stress free.
5) Taking the foal home is a big step. Many people want to start working on the foal right away. Being weaned off the foal’s dam, the trailer ride, and going to a new place are all stresses. Do not over stimulate the foal. Working on the foal right away is just one more stress. Petting (or trying to pet) and offering the foal food are the only two things you need to do in the first couple of days to first couple of weeks depending on how the foal adjusts. Once the foal relaxes and has adjusted to the new environment, feel free to ease into working on the foal. The most important thing to do is to gain the foal’s trust, halter breaking is secondary.
6) Keep the feed as close to what they are used to as possible. We feed alfalfa hay, some grass hay, and a pellet that is similar to Strategy or Animax. Another stress is taking a foal off feed they are used to and asking them to adjust to a new feed. Also try to keep feeding times and amounts the same until that foal has adjusted and can be eased in to a new diet.
7) Once you get the foal home, it is always a good idea to have your vet inspect the foal. This will introduce the foal and vet, and the vet may be able to give some suggestions to help the new owner and foal. And it may give you peace of mind.
8) Be REALISTIC. The breeder cannot know what is going to happen with the foal, and cannot predict if the foal will turn out how YOU except. If something major comes up, always call the breeder to see if they have ideas, but realize that things happen. Just to remind you our email is email@example.com and the ranch phone is 509-234-5881. Email is preferred (Mom doesn’t always check the messages!). Your foal has come from a working ranch and has not been treated as a pet. Please keep that in mind as you move forward.
We are excited for you to start your new adventure with a KT bred horse. We strive to breed excellency into all of our livestock and hope that you enjoy your new foal as much as we have while we have we had that foal here. Thank you!