Thursday, September 8, 2011

Small Steps

Okay, sent home 2 horses yesterday and picked up 3 more from the same folks. Worked the first of the 3 fillies this afternoon for the first time and...wow. She's just as quick to fight as her sister was. (Just so everyone knows, her full sister is a mare that I completely fell in love with and just sent home the same day I picked these 3 up.) It's a fight to get them to face up in the roundpen, it's a fight to get a halter on them, it's a huge fight to get them to give to any kind of pressure on the halter at all.

Anyway, it took sister weeks to really calm down and decide that humans are friends and not something that she had to run away from all the time. After that, she got really friendly really quick so I'm hoping this little filly will follow in her footsteps and make a really nice horse as well.

Went through the same thing with this little filly as I went through with her sister, had to run her from her pen to the roundpen, then rope her to begin to get her to face up at all. After I got her yielding to the pressure from the rope and facing up, I tried to start working my way closer so that I could get a halter on her...but she wasn't having any of that. I could get to her forehead and put my hand there but the instant I tried to move to either side or back past her forehead, away she went. Finally decided to work her down a bit and see if that helped. Ran her round and round and round both ways until she finally gave me both eyes of her own volition.

Only then was I able to work my way up the rope and put a hand on her forehead without her getting nervous. So, we stood there like that for a few minutes until I saw her relax just a touch. Worked with her quietly a bit more and she finally let me get beside her head where I was able to SLOWLY put a halter on her and take the rope off her neck. That's when I found out that she is just like her sister and would instantly rear up, spin around, and bolt the instant she felt any kind of pressure on her head.

Long story short, 3 hours after I ran her into the roundpen, she will tentatively let me rub her anywhere in front of her flanks, will face up from just a bit of pressure on the halter, and will tentatively lead just a bit. Letting her stand out by herself to get some breathing room for a while...fixing to go back out and see if she acts any different now that she's had a while to relax some.

After our little break, I went back out and worked with her again. Had to go over some stuff again but by the time I called it quits, I could get her to face up in any direction and was able to rub her all over her body. Also got her to bend a bit each way with the halter and she would hesitantly lunge both ways as well. She seemed like she finally started to get it and was being as willing as she had been all night, so I decided to call it a day. Did manage to lead her out of the roundpen and back into her own pen to turn her loose again with no fuss. All in all, not a bad first day.

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