Quilly Park is a relaxed environment, this is reflected in our foals attitudes and response when the time comes for weaning.
All horses have been handled as foals and taught to lead with their mothers. So, by the time they come in for weaning they are already used to being handled and already have a rapport with stud manager Angela Delaney.
‘We pick up the their feet and play with them on an ad hoc basis so that being separated from their mothers and handled by the team is not a traumatic experience’, says Angela.
This year, we weaned our nine foals in batches of no more than 4 over a 10 day period. They start on a Monday with 5 days of intensive handling then take the weekend off in the paddock. After that we bring them back in for handling during the day, putting them out at night until the end of the process.
Being a boutique operation means that we can wean at the foals’ pace when we are sure they are ready without hurrying them through. That said, it is always our preference to go as early as possible.
We have time to get to know each horse as an individual, to give them the attention that they need without smothering them.
Within our schedules, we allow enough time to be flexible. If a horse needs more time, we give it to them.
Angela Delaney, Stud Manager – Quilly Park
The weaning process is carried out calmly to reduce exposure to stress. After weaning, our priority is to ensure that the foals are relaxed and settled into their boxes while the mares move happily into their paddock.
The mares’ paddock is designed to assist this process, we have broken up our fence lines to distract the mares and discourage them from cantering up and down from one end to the other.
Our facilities are purpose built and self-contained, safety is a top priority, for example the weaning paddock has its own laneway. The weanlings also have their own round yard adjacent to their stable block. Each stable is fully enclosed with floor to ceiling rubber and mesh windows so they can see out on two sides.