Saturday, June 24, 2017

Working with baby mustangs.

This was the night we brought them home.
My mustang pen has not been used for quite a while!  Well, it has occasionally held friend's new horses as a quarantine pen.  It was getting late when we brought them home the first night, so left them alone after feeding them.  They needed to just settle in.

Right from the start, the sorrel didn't seem as afraid as the bay roan.  The bay roan would hide behind the sorrel most of the time if we got too close, and was the first to move away, taking the sorrel with her.

When I arrived to see them the next morning after adoption, first they hung back.

Then the sorrel boldly approached me get a closer look.

I could get pretty close to them at the waterer.

And the sorrel actually touched my hand with her nose.

And they got their first taste of grain.  The sorrel really liked it, while the bay roan took a few nibbles before moving away.
We let them just hang out that day as well...

And Sunday morning I sat by them as they ate hay.  Both of them sniffed my back.  They have sweet eyes.

That evening, my friend stopped by to visit and we started their first official work session.  First I worked with the sorrel with the pole.  She didn't run at all and it didn't take long at all until I could touch her all over her whole body with the pole.  Her uncomfortable spot was her chest and front legs.  She attempted to rear and half-heartedly strike out.  But settled quickly.  I advanced quickly to touching her shoulder and rubbing her neck.  Her "good" side is her right side.  She prefers me on that side.  I was a bit pushy with her just because she let me touch her so quickly.  I attempted to rub her face, and she didn't like that very much, and attempted to pin her ears at me and threaten to strike.  So I just ended on a good note being able to rub her withers and back on both sides.

Then my friend worked with the bay roan.  This is her first time working with mustangs.  The bay roan is a bit flightier and needs a bit more work to gain trust, but really she's not bad.  And once my friend gains that trust, she's going to love the bond they build!

The bay roan's tendancy is to kick when the pole gets down by her tail and her sides...but after running at first, she settled quickly.  We didn't touch her today, but she is learning that she can be touched.

That evening, my friend took the bay roan to her house so that the two could be separated and it would be easier to work with them.

I was busy Monday and Tuesday, but Wednesday I got a chance to work with the sorrel again.

As you can see from the pictures, things progressed rapidly!

She is the least spooky, calm mustang I've ever met!  She will be a fun one!  I anticipate having more trouble when we get to the making her move part.  Right now I'm encouraging her to stand and just let me touch her all over.  I can throw a rope over her back and she doesn't even move off!  She seems completely unconcerned.  I can swing it and bump her against her butt.  She makes me think maybe she's done this before?  But once I got to the halter part, she let me halter her, but if I put any pressure on the rope, she reacts like an unbroke horse...leans into the pressure.  We haven't done anything with leading yet, but I anticipate doing that this weekend.  I'm pretty positive that she's never done any of this before, but she is just so easy!  So laid back!  So calm!  She doesn't even seem upset that she's in her pen all by herself with no other horses around.  She's not going to be a very big horse and she's not the best put together horse I've ever seen, but with this temperament, she has a lot of potential.

And I ended the session by taking her tag off!  I unwound it through the holes (rather than cutting it off)...that's how chill she is.

Oh, and by the end of that session, after calling her Fifi the whole time (just as a cutesy pet name), Fifi began to stick, so her name is going to be Phoebe (Fifi for short).  It may change to Phoenix, but Phoebe fits her better.  We'll be calling her Fifi a lot!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Mustang mania

So, this just happened:

There was an adoption event in Marshfield, WI June 16-17, and my friend and I brought home 2 yearlings!!!!  So excited to be working with wild ones again!  I have more to update.  For now I'll just say my friend is working with the bay roan, and I am working with the sorrel.  So far, the sorrel is the easiest mustang I've ever worked with!  Kind of a nice change from the last 2 I had (Kachina and Griffin).

Friday, May 26, 2017

Catch up

My babies Charlie and Denny both turned 2 years old this month and they've really grown!!!!  My appy pony Shimmer is 4 and is doing really well with riding.  Earlier this year I did radiographs on Chico's hocks and discovered why he has been so on and off lame over the last several years.  H.e has severe arthritis of his distal hock joints and it even has calcified the collateral ligaments.  Same in both hocks so it's likely just him, no injury.  He's been a pasture pet for the last several years anyway.  Now I guess he's permanently retired.  Cody, Catlow and Stormy are all doing well.

I just want to show some catchup pictures of this spring.  I can't believe how awesome my babies are turning out.  I'm so pleased with both of them. My human baby is growing a ton too!  She's six years old!
Catlow and her baby Denny (Cody photo bombing)

Charlie and her Momma Cody


Charlie and Cody

My new puppy Aladdin and Shimmer

Denny and sissy Charlie

Charlie and Denny




Stormy (my daughter leading her)

Stormy and my daughter

My dad riding Catlow on a trail ride

Cody and her spring dapples


Denny making baby face at Uncle Chico


Denny and my daughter

Denny and his momma Catlow

Charlie and her first trip away from home


Thursday, February 2, 2017

Horsey Play Date

My good friend who lives nearby bought a new horse last weekend.  He is a black 8 month old Welsh/Morgan cross, and he is going to be one fancy horse!  He has a beautiful extended trot, and should mature to around 14.2hh.  I was off on Wednesday, so I loaded up Denny who is a year older than her new colt and went to her house for a horsey playdate.  It was Denny's first time loading into a trailer by himself, and last time he loaded was over a year ago with his mom.  He did ok.  He was concerned, and he didn't hop right in.  It took some convincing, but he did finally step in.  Once in he was just fine.  I really haven't worked with Denny and Charlie much at all, other than basic skills.  They both lead, tie, pick up feet, stand still, can touch all over.  I've started to lunge both of them a bit, but not much at all lately since it is so cold here.

So this impromptu play date was quite a new experience for Denny.  He met a percheron cross gelding (who was kinda bossy), the colt, a goat, a llama, and a calf.  I was surprised by how little attention he gave the goat and llama having never seen anything like them before.  He didn't care one bit about them...wasn't scared of them, and wasn't really that curious about them either.  He had his hooves full with the new horses.

We got a lot of really great pictures of them!