The Deltree Way
We're not a big stud - but that's what sets us apart. Each and every one of our foals are raised as part of our family. We're personally hands on with every one of our horses, from the moment they're born. Not only is temperament of the utmost importance in our breeding program, but our weaning and handling philosophy sets our horses up for a life time of success.
The Arabian horse is a family horse - a horse that slept in tents with the bedouin tribes of ancient times. That is why it is so important to us that they are raised as part of our family - so that they can then become part of yours. Arabians have huge hearts, endearing personalities and are fiercely loyal. Our handling and weanling processes ensure our babies never know fear and leave our care as confident, bold, well-adjusted individuals.
We start by teaching our foals to halter, lead and be touched all over while on mum. They understand pressure and small requests. At weaning, we initially wean side by side with mum - touch is an important part of communication between horses, so we believe in having mum close as a reassuring presence. What then happens over the next two weeks is that both mum and baby become more confident in leaving the fence line naturally. This completely avoids the "losing mum in the shopping centre" sense of panic when foals are weaned in isolated, dark stables. After this time we find we can move mum several paddocks away with zero stress or fuss from either. Research also shows more gradual weaning strategies significantly reduce the occurrence of separation anxiety in horses, and this is why we do it.
Because our babies are not afraid of us, and have learned basic handling on mum, we never have to leave halters or drag leads on in the paddock, not even in the initial weaning phase. Once the babies are adjusted and settled into their new life, we will then begin introducing a variety of new stimulus to ensure our babies are ready for life in the outside world. This will include washing, rugging, some stabled nights, float loading and hard tying.
The feedback we often get from our approach is new owners that are overjoyed with their well handled, friendly, confident youngsters. Our babies prove that there is a better way to wean than traditional methods - by using good horsemanship and kindness.