Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Genesis – 06/29/09

Since the last post, Genisis has pretty much been on an eating-themed vacation.  She likes to eat with her muzzle right up to Joma or Joe.  Even Keisha tolerates her, and Keisha hates everyone.  Genisis is looking good and life on the farm is agreeing with her.

I mess with her in the field, but there is no need to teach her how to be petted, fed treats and generally loved up.  She halters well, she leads well, she handles well.  She allows me to grab her mane and jump up and down like I might mount.  She lets me work with her tail, play with her mouth, clean between her teats; all the while, she casts her dreamy look at me.  She doesn't care about the weedeater, the truck, the tractor, the gun.  Nothing seems to faze her. 

She has skipped an entire grade or two, here! I will have to start lunging her to see how she does.  After that I just have to saddle her up and teach her to pony, but I will bet that will be a cinch as well.  I have talked to my nephew to bring out his two tiny little cowboys soon for her. 

-- Anastasia

Friday, June 26, 2009

Genesis – 06/22/09

Genesis arrived Saturday. The nice rescue lady showed me how nicely she does on getting her feet cared for. She did great. She met Joma, our Thoroughbred gelding and flashed him doe eyes. Come to think of it, she flashes everyone doe eyes. It is endearing. But apparently you have to be up close enough to Joma for him to see those eyes, because he chased her away from the little herd the rest of the evening.

The next day, they were grazing nose to nose. No surprise there. And they stayed that way all day. I decided to let her have the day to settle...although she did not seem to have any trouble at it. Joe, the old Appaloosa, is suspicious of her and keeps himself between Genesis and Keisha, the Evil Boss Mare.

Monday morning, Joe and Genesis are grazing nose to nose. I guess the only one who doesn't succumb to that doe-eyed gaze is Keisha.

Since everyone is apparently OK with everyone else, I decide to start up her training. I noticed she had a little diarrhea - probably stress and strange pasture. Sometimes this will happen to a horse and then they are just fine within a day or two. She seems fine and frisky and I am sure it goes away with no ill effects. We tied her to a post and left her to observe if she was trained for this. She pulled some, but gave up soon. Then on to bath time. She was jerking her head when she heard the hose sputter, but no freak-outs. We started by wet hooves and moved up by stages, ensuring no acrobatics got started. All in all she did OK.

Later that day, we took her out again and lead her up to a little wagon. She caught on quickly that I wanted her to stay close to it. After draping my arms over her back, it was clear she actually liked that. Then Donnie, my weedeating kid who is taking lessons, stood in the wagon so that he would be suddenly tall...way taller than her. I have had horses get spooked about the first time they see a human be as high as they would on their back, but she did fine. Donnie draped himself over her while standing in the wagon. He bore a little bit weight on her and waved his arms around. Nope, no problem. I'll bet she can saddle right up. I want work her up slowly to more and more weight, but she can take the saddle now, if she is up to it. Then I will pony her around with saddle so she can be ready for a little kid. Donnie is too heavy right now, as he weighs 140. Luckily, I have some little nieces and nephews.

Later, Donnie was riding Joe and Genesis kept getting underfoot. It looks like she will be trained to be a pack pony soon, since following around a rider is something she wants to do. We will see how it goes.

-- Anastasia

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

General -- 06/17/09

Sorry for the lack of posts here these days! Things have been so hectic around here with putting up new fence and trying to keep up with the day to day things on my own that I haven't had much chance to work with anybody. I have spent some time with the munchkins, just trying to get them halter broke and leading well. Jasmine is finally wearing a halter, but she doesn't know how to lead! It's always fun trying to get a skittish 1000 pound horse to lead without an enclosed area (like a round pen) and by yourself! But she's slowly coming around and finding out that what I'm asking isn't going to hurt her. Marbles and Maggie are leading pretty well now, but they are still not easily caught. They haven't figured out about treats and carrots yet, so the only reward they appreciate is a good scratching. They're getting better about having their feet messed with, so hopefully I can get those awful hooves trimmed soon.

Abbi has a hairline fracture on her left front that Doc says is almost calcified, so her training should begin in the next couple of weeks. Genesis leaves for Anastasia's pony training this weekend, then it's on to her new home when she's ready.

Gentry has improved when it comes to taking the bit and the terrible head tossing that he was doing. I haven't done anything special except to make the bit just something in his mouth, rather than something that causes pain. Soft hands and a plain snaffle did wonders for this guy! I put some beginners on him last week on the lunge line and he was awesome!

Frisky seems to be a fairly well-broke mare. She did test me when I first rode her and didn't want to go where I was pointing her, or even move forward when I asked. But she's the type of mare that shows her stubbornness by stopping and growing roots, not by bucking, rearing, or taking off. After 10 minutes or so, she finally gave in and decided that doing as I asked was a lot easier than doing what she wanted (which was head back to the gate and her little heard of dwarfs). After that, she was great! She has a very comfortable little western jog, but her canter is a bit spastic. I had heard rumors that her previous owners had done nothing but gallop down the trails, leaving their horses rode hard and put away wet. So when I asked for a canter, I got a "OMG, I have to RUN!!" reaction. The calm demeanor went away and she was off like a Thoroughbred out of the gate! Quiet legs and seat, half halts, and low-key 'whoa's and she finally settled into a fairly nice canter. As soon as she quieted I asked her to halt, got off, loosened the girth, and put her away.

I've been ignoring Jewel's training for now. One of the summer projects is to build a round pen and that's what I'm going to need with Jewel. She's going to take a lot of work and patience and I feel like I'm just wasting time with her on the lunge line in the middle of the pasture since her attention span is that of a cat being taught to sit on command. It's practically non-existent.

Tabby has gone on her first trail ride and went by herself since I couldn't find anyone to ride with me and Glenn was out on the road. I only took her out for 30 minutes, but she was awesome! She crossed a small stream without trouble, went past a big rusty van sitting beside the trail, and totally ignored the barking dog at her heals as we went past the neighbor's house. She was a little concerned with being by herself, but once she was out of earshot of the rest of the herd, she settled down and seemed to enjoy the ride. Her adopter is just about ready for her and Meghan, as their fence is almost done! Woohoo!