Sunday, July 9, 2017

Hoof trims for Tess and Fifi's freedom

The bay roan filly's name is Tess.  She is doing great at my friends.  She has a completely different temperatment than Fifi though.  She is a bit flighty, less trusting of people, and more attached to my friend's other horses.  So much so that she actually ran into and bent a panel one day when the horses took off with exuberance for the pasture.  Even so, she is leading in the round pen, picking up all her feet, totally desensitized to the flag and ropes.  She's doing great.  Today I trimmed her feet and she also was led outside her round pen for the first time.

She also just would rather be left alone and seems to just be tolerating us (as compared to Fifi who is really getting attached to me).  She didn't really enjoy me hugging her as you can see in her face!

 I worked with Fifi in the round pen today, just getting her freed up and trotting out.  She was wonderful in the round pen.  Moved right out and turned in to me when I stepped in front of her drive line and asked for whoa.  It didn't take long at all to feel satisfied with her round penning skills.  Then I led her around the fence line and let her out into the pasture!

 I turned her out with Shimmer, Charlie and Catlow.  The others get too aggressive with new horses and Denny is interested in her because she's showing heat to him.  I don't want her bred!

Fifi had a great first afternoon in the pasture.  She didn't really care what the other horses were up to and followed me around.  She did test the fence and got a shock, so that was good.  I could walk up and halter her anytime without her thinking she wanted to leave me.  In fact, she'd approach me as I got close to her asking for me to rub her on the withers.  Apparently she's itchy.  She's now spending the night in the stall, but she'll go back out with the same horses tomorrow.  Then maybe after that I'll start adding horses back in so the whole herd can be together again.

Someone asked what made us choose these two.  Well, the bay roan was first pick because of her conformation.  It's hard to get a feel for what kind of a connection you might have with a horse in the pens duiring an adoption event.  The horses are stressed, ignoring the people gawking at them, and just eating hay and trying to pretend they aren't getting stared at.  And honestly, the sorrel filly was just an afterthought because we could adopt a buddy horse for $25.  She was one of the few left, and I am not crazy about her conformation, however, her temperament and sweet sweet nature totally make up for her looks!

Saturday, July 8, 2017


Fifi loves her grain.  She nickers eagerly to me when I come with it once a day.  She's already gaining weight and filling out in areas she was gaunt before.

Last week I was able to halter her and give her dewormer.  She'd only been dewormed once previously in November shortly after she was gathered from Nevada.  A couple days later I found SEVERAL piles of poop as full of roundworms as this pile.

 I have had several hula hoops scattered throughout Fifi's pen.  She pays them no mind.  They do not bother her at all.  She steps on them, and they rattle as they flip up and touch her leg.  Great desensitizing tools!

My daughter has been a great help in desensitizing her with her crazy antics.  My daughter is completely unafraid of Fifi having spent a lot of time around very nice horses.  It makes it hard for me trying to make sure she keeps herself safe around her, but it also is good for Fifi to have a crazy unpredictable soul around.

It's amazing how fast she is filling out.  I feed her pretty much free choice hay, but then also 1 lb beet pulp, 1.5 lbs alfalfa pellets, 1 lb rice bran, 1 lb Purina Enrich Plus, and a sprinkle of free choice mineral daily.

She is one of the least herd bound horses I have ever met.  She's interested in my horses, but is not worried about their coming and going.  They do not break her attentiveness to me.  Her main interests are food, and I think I might be second.  The other horses are definitely below me and food in her loves list.  I've never had one bond to me so fast and be this stead in nature.  She's so unspooky.

She was in need of a hoof trim, so last Wednesday, I made it a priority to get her feet done.  She'd been letting me pick her feet up in a relaxed manner.  It took some patience, but I finally convinced her to stand still (untied, we aren't tying yet) and let me trim all 4 hooves.  I was even able to put her foot on the stand and rasp them.

 After the trimming session, she was very relaxed, so I led her out of her pen for the first time.  I'd been leading her around the pen for the last week and she was starting to give to halter pressure from the side but wasn't leading up real because it was in a small pen.  There was no incentive to lead up. 

Outside the pen, she led up really well.  And she followed me out through the gate into my yard.  My chickens were very interesting, but she was unafraid.  She got to graze for a while, then I convinced her to come into my barn and into a stall.

So now Fifi is staying in my barn.  

I've been leading her out around the yard to graze and have leading lessons.  And again she is just unconcerned about the other horses.

Tonight was the 3rd time leading her out into the yard and tonight was the first time she really tested me.  She's been leading so well, but as we got out into the yard, she tried to bolt down to the area where the grazing is really good.  She wasn't able to pull away and led up really nice the rest of the time.  Then on the way back to the house, she decided she wasn't ready to leave the nice grassy area, so she tried to bolt and pull away from me several times.  The last time, she even let out a squeal as she tried to bolt away.  At that point I chased her backwards 15 ft.  After that she led up really well and didn't once try to bolt away again.  She wasn't bolting in fear at all.  She was testing her ability to make decisions and try to get her way.  She realized quickly that wasn't going to work and she'd best lead up with me.  Just another lesson!  Every day!

She is turning into a real sweety.  She loves to be groomed, she nickers at me every time she sees me walk into the barn, and she really seems to trust me.  I think someday this filly is going to make an excellent kids horse.  I did the cannon bone measurement test and I think she'll get to 14 hh.