Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Photo

My, how time does get away from me. I may be only a fairweather blogger. Nothing much to write about or take pictures of lately.

Luc is coming along, slowly. He had to go back and live in the mustang pen for a while, thanks to his habit of busting my fences. I probably would not adopt a horse again that has been very long in holding where they feed through panels. He sticks his head through fences and breaks the center rail (or in one case, a post). I'm not sure if I already wrote about him breaking through the electric fence? That was fun, with all 3 horses running wild. 

He is still untrusting and sometimes high strung, herdbound. But he's getting better the more we work together. He enjoys interacting with me, poor kid is bored and lonely. He is very trainable. He's just still pretty tense about it. Not as explosive lately though. Baby steps. I remember Bella was harder than this, and now she's amazing.

Speaking of Bella, she's been lame in the front end since Sunday. Laminitis? I think likely "road founder" from an ill- timed trim right before the ground froze. I put Tonka's easyboots and pads on her, and that helped, but the clip (cleat?) cover in the back quarters bruised her tender white hooves. They're off now. We should be hovering around freezing for several days, so the ground will be soft. 

Now I'm behind schedule for getting to work! See ya!






Monday, November 10, 2014

Little Horse in a Big World

Well, we made it to the round pen.  Kind of launched in there on the tail end of a series of forward jumps, but hey, we did it.  Good thing I had the gate open to receive him.  :)

This is probably the first time he's ever grazed in his life.  What a thought.
(He was born in a holding facility - basically a feedlot situation)

 He thoroughly enjoyed himself.

He still checked in with me though.  Mostly looking for treats, I think, but also wanting companionship.

What a goob.

He looks really small in the round pen.  I sure do hope he grows.

 Meanwhile: Scout, outstanding in his field.

He sure isn't small.  Big tub o' lard.  I think he may have grown again - I mean upward, not just sideways.  Maybe it just seems like it because I've been hanging out with short Luc.

I was tempted to leave Luc in the round pen after his jumpy trip there, but we have some cold, windy weather coming in, and I didn't want him to be without shelter.  So I pulled on my big girl panties, caught him up easily, and walked him back to the mustang pen.  He did just fine.  I think he was relieved to be back in his familar place.



Sunday, November 09, 2014

Cute

My poor little guy is still in the mustang pen. I agonized yesterday about whether to move him out or not. I decided there's no need to hurry.

He did graduate from having to wear his halter all the time and is now running around naked and standing nicely for haltering.

In preparation for him possibly getting away from me with the lead rope, I let him drag it around for a while. He thought it was weird but didn't act stupid about it.

Today we worked a little more on driving forward at liberty. He gets pretty spunky about it, and tried sticking in the corners with his head through the fence, but I let him know that wasn't going to work this time. He did better to the left than the right. Every other corner he'd turn around and I'd have to convince him to get going again in the right direction, which he would do under protest, too fast with a lot of head tossing. Baby stuff, baby steps...  At least he's getting it and keeping his head.

The grass is growing thanks to the mild fall we've been having, so I found some big enough to pick and took him a hand full. He went crazy over it! He found his purpose in life! It makes me sad to think he's never grazed before. Soon, soon...

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Too Much Darkness!

I can't seem to get any good pictures of Luc. Either he's right up in my camera or it's too dark. Or both.

I got some mediocre pictures yesterday, which aren't really blogworthy but they're all I have.


Poop cleanup is a pain in the arse now that the rain has come. Luckily he only poops in one area. I hadn't intended for him to be confined to the mustang pen for this long, but the horse sets the pace. Soon he'll be in a larger area, then grazing in a pasture for the first time in his life.

He has learned that he can be uncomfortable or under pressure and he will come through okay. Which is important. He is learning to move forward from driving pressure, and to move his hindquarters and shoulder independently. He backs a step when asked and is usually pretty comfortable about it. He has stumbled upon the right answer when I ask him to lower his head to halter pressure, but he hasn't really been able to do it consistently. I can rub his legs all over but haven't picked up his hooves yet. He's coming along slowly. Yesterday I was able to get out there with him for 4 short sessions. I wish I could do that every day. Now it will be dark when I get home from work, so I'm going to see if I can fit some time in for him before work. And I'm not going to allow anyone to take up my time on the weekends until I get him moved to better winter quarters. I can't wait to see how he settles in once he has horse buddies and room to move.


Thursday, October 30, 2014

Hmmm...

I really thought I would blog more now that I have a mustang to gentle and train. No such luck though. Mostly it's lack of time. I am still working more than intended, but it's okay because no matter what, I don't work over 40 hours a week. And it's only temporary.

Anyway, Luc is coming along slowly. He is an interesting one. At first glance he seemed so easy, because of his busy curiosity, but he gets overloaded easily, and backslides sometimes. He is easy to read though. If he's uncomfortable he walks away and starts pointlessly fidgeting with a spot on the ground, or the corral rails.

He has less of a tendency to put himself in the corner and stick his head through the fence now. I make a lot of noise when he does, to discourage him. He will pretty consistently turn and give me both eyes when I ask. In terms of round pen work, we have kind of done something similar, very slowly and only until he faces up, which is usually after half a trip around the pen, if that. Just to regroup and come together again.

It took me over an hour to put a halter on him on Monday. We'd done it plenty before, but suddenly it was totally not okay with him. I had to keep my cool, and be patient and persistent. And I finally ended up using food to keep him busy while I slipped it on.

Leading work is coming along well. We are still not moving totally smoothly, he has certain spots where he sticks or rushes forward, but he responds well to direction changes. I asked him to back up last night and he was clearly not ready for that. We had to go back to easy stuff and lots of praise to ease his worry.

I wonder how much of his interesting mix of insecurity/boldness come from growing up without the lawful and calming influence of a mare. Obviously he had his mom and other mares until he was weaned, but since then has been running around with a bunch of teenage boys. I wouldn't trade him, but I think growing up in a holding facility is not near as beneficial as growing up as nature intended, whether it be in a wild herd or on a farm.

I have to get ready for work. Hope you all have a grand day!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Test Results

Luc is negative for type 1 EPSM. That's all the news I have for today!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Words, words, words

On Thursday Scout got to see the equine chiropractor (who is also an experienced equine vet). He watched Scout move, then checked every joint and adjusted where he was stuck. Which turned out to be all over the place. Jaw, atlas, neck, wither, rib, pelvis. Scout really enjoyed being fooled with, and after each adjustment his eyes would get all dreamy and he would lick and chew.

He took a good look at Scout's tail and confirmed that it has no feeling at all and he did break it. He is pretty sure it will never have feeling again and will always just hang there. I was still holding out hope. :(

We are cleared to ride! I got him out yesterday with that intention but his stifles were popping so loudly I decided to introduce him to Luc and then walk him instead. We need to slowly build up fitness, I think. Without circles!

Luc is doing just fine. So far he isn't loving halter training. Sometimes it's smooth as butter and he just follows me, and sometimes he really wants to throw a fit. I thought it was funny a while back when I was reading up on donkey and mule training, that so many people pointed out that they naturally push/pull against pressure, unlike horses. Not a good comparison at all! Horses do it too, in the beginning.  I think people don't see that because horses learn so fast to give to pressure, and many people have never started a horse from the very beginning.

When Luc gets willful I try to keep a happy medium of enough pull that I don't lose him, but not so much that he completely freaks out. And if he's just feeling adversarial we take a long break. Most of the time he gives to a polite request, but after a bit he gets frustrated. He is a baby who hasn't learned to deal with duration yet. Mind you, we only just started hooking on the lead rope yesterday, so we ought to just keep getting better and better.

Today I have great plans for horseplay and fence mending! What fun!