Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Mustang's first day out to pasture - June 2005

I was looking back through old pictures, and based on when they still had their leadropes on and the fact that when we worked with them for the first time, Chico, the bay gelding, had gotten his leadrope off, it appears that we did not work with them until almost 2 months after they'd been at the ranch. So, we let them settle in for a long time. In the meantime, I'd found a 2 year old quarter horse for sale in the June 2005 Montana Horse Trader. I fell in love with the picture of this horse, and I begged Todd's mom to call and ask questions about her, since I didn't feel experienced enough to know what to ask. Todd's mom and I drove 7 hours with a horse trailer to "look" at this filly. She was better than we expected for her very reasonable price, so of course, we came back with her. This was another case where the horse was mine before I officially owned it (I'm bad, I know, and someday it will get me in trouble). I really wanted to learn how to train horses, so I thought I could start working with her right away that year since she was 2 and the mustangs were only yearlings.

June 2005

The set of pictures I'm including in this post were taken in June 2005. These are of my 2 year old quarter horse, who I named Cody, and the two yearling mustangs, Chico and Catlow, with their halters on and leadropes in tow. This was one of the first times the mustangs had been out of the barn. They knew what a fence was at this point, even though we hadn't worked with them. They learned a lot from watching the other horses. The grass in the pastures was just AMAZING this year. It has not been that tall since.
Here are Catlow and Chico, waiting for Cody to come out of the barn so they can go graze in the pasture.

And out in the pasture, the horses are submersed in grass. I don't have a single picture that shows Cody's head (Cody is of course, the largest of the horses here). And Catlow, peeking over Cody's back...
Chico keeps a close eye on me as I inch closer to get a picture of him. My favorite thing about Chico when he was this age are his large expressive innocent eyes and the light colored hair that encircles them.
I approach Catlow to get a nice picture of her. She turns and notices that I'm getting closer and I am almost in between her and the other two horses.
She feels threatened so she takes her mouthful of grass back over to where the other two horses are grazing....
...then looks back keeping her eyes on me. Can you tell yet which horse ends up being the more difficult one to gain the trust of? Interestingly, you can see that Cody is a strange shade of dark bay. Well the following summer, she shed out a lot lighter (but has been dark every summer since), so I had her tested by Animal Genetics in FL. Cody carries the cream gene, so she is technically a dark sooty buckskin, hence her interesting color.

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