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April 23, 2009

Halters & Young Foals - Almost Disaster

Sometimes the least expected can happen. And this time it could have ended in disaster for this beautiful young colt.


I'm going to tell you about a disaster I barely dodged this week.

I have 2 outside Quarter Horse mares in my barn in corrals. One has a nice mule colt. The owner brought them Monday to rebred to Mav. Cathy was helping me tonight with the breeding. We had just bred one mare and were letting Mav catch his breath.

While we were waiting, We were watching the mule baby play bouncing and rearing bucking. The mare's owner had left her halter on her when he left her at my farm. The mare was eatting grain in a pan on the ground while baby played. Before we knew it, the baby ran his front foot through the mom's halter and could not pull it out. Then he started fighting it. The mare then picked her head up. The colt was standing on his back feet stuck.

I headed that way and the mare saw me coming and almost paniced but I started talking to her, and she calmed down a little. The baby had lost his balance and was hanging there. But as soon as that happen he went limp.

So I got in there and picked him up to take the weight off his leg and tried holding him up and getting his foot out. Well that didn't work because of the angle he was in. So I let him down again hanging and I went to work getting the mare's halter undone. Her owner always kept it on her, and it had been on a long time, and was hard to get undone. I did finally get it undone and the colt jumped up and was ok.

Well after that experience, I went around and started taking halters off of everyone who still had one on. I never had seen something like that happen or even heard of it happening. I was sure glad it happen when we were there!

This experience sure opened my eyes to what everyone has been saying about not leaving halters on. I wonder if a horse colt would have paniced and broken his leg in that situation, or if his mother had spooked, what might have happen. That young mule sure knew he was in trouble and went plum limp.

Please take this story as a warning that it can be very dangerous or even deadly to leave halters on your donkeys and mules when they are unattended. And even when attended, you should watch to make sure your lively young colts don't get hung up in someone else's halter.

Article by Anthony.

Posted by Guest Contributor at April 23, 2009 11:03 PM


so glad the colt was not hurt. We own donkeys and mules and were advised by our farrier not to leave halters on either when not working them or having them vetted or hooves trimmed because of the many disasters they knew had occurred with haltered donkeys and mules. Good advice. Also, they learn to associate the halter being put on as something going to happen and can help with training.

Posted by: Bobbi Church at July 26, 2009 04:44 PM

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