What's the One Thing You'd Like to Know About....

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...bringing up a weanling?

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Here's a picture I took yesterday of my weanling, Smitty, as he modeled his very first horse blanket. (It's not quite the horse equivalent of a human infant's onesie, but close. It seems teeny compared to the big horses' blankets!)

Smitty went through some prep work before I made the move to put this blanket on over his head and buckle the straps. He learned the head-down cue I wrote about a couple of posts back. He had his back legs and underside desensitized to the tickling feeling of dangling straps (I used a longe whip's tail end for this, so I could stand back out of range in case he kicked.) He got rubbed over the back and sides with the blanket a time or two. He got a chance to get used to the sound of the nylon fabric rubbing against itself.

The actual blanket application was a non-event because of these prelim steps. In fact, because it was a cold morning when I put it on, he seemed to snuggle right into it with a measure of horsey gratitude. Smitty doesn't know this, but wearing a blanket is going to prepare him for other things in life, like wearing a saddle and feeling light pressure against his sides.

Raising a horse is a special experience. If you've never done it before, you might have a question or two about it. And even if you HAVE done it before, each new weanling is its own experience, with potential for a question.

Got one?