Monday, March 14, 2016


The babies have been   in the mustang pen for the last week.  They are not happy about being separated from the herd, but they have eachother.  And the whole herd comes down a couple times a day to drink from the automatic waterer that is shared between the mustang pen and their pasture.  So they see their mothers regularily.  On Sunday, I decided to put the mares in the barn, then open the gate and let the babies out of the mustang pen (the barn and the mustang pen are separated by a hill, so they can't see eachother when the herd is in my new barn).  Of course, the babies were pacing in the back of the pen, toward where the rest of the herd went, then they ran out toward the front of the pen...Denny immediately saw that the gate was open and exited, whereas Charlie was so focused on where the others went that she did not see the wide open gate right in front of her face and instead ran to the side and paced at the panels.  Denny immediately took off over the hill for the herd, while Charlie ran back into the back of the pen FREAKING out!  Now she was alone!!!!

She paced the back of the pen for at least 30 minutes.  She had just lost her mind!  She ran out front 4 times, and each time she missed the wide open gate in front of her face and instead ran to the side of the pen toward where the others went, completely missing it.

I was so frustrated with how frantic she was that after watching her for half an hour, I shut the gate, thinking that maybe it wasn't a good lesson for her to get out and find relief by running back to the her after she'd been so crazed.  I went and got Catlow out of the barn and put her in with Charlie.  As soon as Catlow as there, Charlie was much calmer!  Now she had someone to follow, but she still paced the pen and whinnied for her mom.  I was so frustrated with Charlie...she exhibited the same behaviors as when I led her out of the barn away from the herd.  She just loses all rational thought and practically runs me over.  I'm not sure what to do to get her over this, other than leave her with a horse she can be comfortable with and just let her mature...her baby brain just can't handle this.  Unfortunately, she gets the pacing and ridiculousness from her mom.  Except that I've worked with Cody enough that if I am there, she respects me and will not run me over and will stand calm if I'm handling her.

Denny continued to run around and enjoy his freedom after I let him out of the pen.  And suddenly Denny looks like a horse rather than a baby.  I swear it just happened overnight.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Midst of weaning

The babies have not nursed from their mommas in a few days now.  When they are with the herd, they are quite relaxed, but still come to the barn door to whinny to their mommas on occasion.  When they are in the barn without their mommas, for the most part they are fairly calm, but Charlie paces and really wants to get back out.  When their mommas come in but they are in a stall and can't get near them, they just get frantic!  Especially when the mares then leave the barn.  I know it will take time and it is natural for them to be afraid of being without the herd, but they are so good in every other way that I forget that.  And it catches me off guard when they get so frantic that they are practically running me over!  Charlie is the worst of the two.  But I'm not surprised.  She's just like her mom.

Both babies have lost just a little bit of weight in this whole process.  It seems to be mostly belly weight, cuz they are not too thin anywhere else.  Charlie is also just so refined compared to Denny...but if you saw them together, Charlie has such a wider body and it is difficult to call her more refined than Denny.  It's the legs!!!  Her legs make her seem dainty.

Last weekend the weather was extremely nice - 65 degrees!!!!!  I went for a road ride with a few friends.  I rode Cody.  The snow was melting rapidly and the ground was too soft for trails.  It was a good time.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Denny and Catlow

The babies enjoyed being out with the other horses (even without their mommas) much better than being locked in the barn.  Starting now, I'll have them in overnight, and out during the day.  I put Uncle Chico in with them tonight for a little extra comfort.  I'm still letting them nurse twice a day and at this point it seems more for comfort than for the milk.  Here are a few pictures of Denny and Catlow running around after I let the mares out of the barn while I was switching them.  Cody and Charlie did not run around...they were too busy eating hay together.


Weaning is going well.  I've been letting the mares into the barn twice a day for about an hour to let the babies nurse.  Today I can tell that Cody's udder is not quite as full, so she is slowing down milk production.  Same with Catlow.  And today was the first day that the babies came right to me when I walked into the barn in the morning instead of standing at the door whinnying for their mammas.  They were still waiting for them, but came to me first, and calmly walking into their stalls when I directed them so I could let the mares in.  They still went crazy as the mares came in, but I'm seeing an improvement in their attitudes!  Today, I'm home most of the day, so I'm going to let the babies out in the pasture with the other horses and leave the mares in the barn.  Babies need to stretch their legs.  Also, Denny has been pawing at the door and he's wearing the toe off his left foot.  I'd like him to quit doing that, but I can't control it when he's in the barn.  I guess I could lay a rubber mat by the door, but I suspect it won't stay there.