Thursday, May 21, 2009

I'm ready!

The pens are assembled, rain gutter is up to slow drainage through the pens, plywood is up covering the tin, and the pens are now equipped with full water buckets and hay troughs full of fresh green hay! I think I'm ready.

All along I was planning to have the BLM put halters and long lead ropes on the two, but the last couple days, I've been wondering if maybe I shouldn't. My halters aren't break away halters, and the pens have a lot of places that a halter could accidently get snagged. These are an older style of panel that has really unsafe attachements between the panels (see this post for a closeup of the attachements). I can only imagine how awful it would be to try to untangle a wild horse hung up on a panel by a halter. Either the wild horse will be ruined, or the panel will be ruined, or both. So, today after walking through, looking for any place they could get hung up, and just mulling it over a lot (weighing the risks of them getting injured versus the ease with which we could have gentling a horse wearing a halter and lead rope), I've decided that we are not going to have the BLM put halters and leadropes on them. I feel immediately relieved and now we'll just focus on the gentling. I've heard many people say that the slower and more thoroughly you take the gentling process, the better it sticks in their heads. I hope that's the case!

Today we also removed the dividers from our three horse slant load trailer so that it will served as a "stock" trailer. We went through that too to make sure that there are no protruding edges they could get caught on and we ended up duct taping a rag around the columns that the divider pins had set in. Up near the ceiling there is a ring that slants up that the trailer ties snap to. If the horses were wearing halters I'd be really worried about them getting caught on that, but they aren't, so I think the trailer is safe! Now I hope they don't try to go through the windows...anyone had experience with this? Our windows are covered with a metal grate inside, but if a horse was super determined, he could push through that. I just wonder if they will try to go out a place where they can see outside (through the window, even though the windows will be closed). When we brought Chico and Catlow home, it wasn't a concern because they were so little, the windows were up high and they wouldn't have attempted to go through them. On this trailer, the windows on one side are down low so a horse can look out, but on the back side, they are up higher. Should we cover the low windows? I know I should have thought of all this before, but we are bringing along a whole host of supplies so that we can adjust when we get to pick them up. We have cardboard, duct tape, rags, all sorts of stuff.

Tonight I've been studying for my physics final...I plan to take it at 1pm tomorrow after we unload the horses at home. This means that we'll be getting up early to head out to pick them up at 9am. If we don't get back in time for me to take my exam at 1pm, I have a back up date scheduled for next week Tuesday, but I'd really just like to get that class over with.

Wish me luck! The next post that you see from me will hopefully be of those same two pens, but with horses in them!


arlene said...

Good luck tomorrow. I have ordered a couple of breakaway halters so when I manage to get a halter on Echo, I can leave it on for awhile and feel safer.

I'm looking forward to seeing your next post!

nikki said...

How exciting!! I can't wait to see photos of the newbes and see what kind of personalities they will have!

Have a fun, safe, relaxing trip out there and home!!!

Andrea said...

Wow, you got two totally different horses. The mare sounds wonderful, other than her small size. She's about the same tiny size as the little gelding that's at my house right now.

As for your stud, I think you have a good plan so far. I'm no expert on horses like that either though... But I think you're going to have to take it slow and easy with him.