Friday, March 5, 2010

Another day, a new member of our family

      Well it has been one week since we picked up our new horse, Sulphur's Anejo. She is an approximate ten month old zebra dun filly from the Sulphurs Spring HMA. She is underweight, scrawny, shaggy, wormy and in lack of the vital vitamins, minerals and MCAL in her diet, but we are going to change that. She has since been slowly introduced to alfalfa pellets, a high quality youth blend of concentrates, along with a vitamin and mineral suppliment and free choice loose mineral S.O.D. and hay. She has already begun slowly gaining weight.
     After getting her home, I had told my husband of my plans with her. I had chosen her, to become his horse. After watching Seth and I work with Cuervo, my hubby was completely in awe, with the relationship that one can build with a horse. So, he had asked me to help him understand horse phsycology. I knew that Cass would not be the best choice for him to learn with, as she is a mixture of Introvert/extrovert left brain, but very, very lazy, but very, very extroverted with people. One must really climb into her head, to figure out how to motivate her to do anything. And believe me, if she is not motivated, she throws a fit. Hubby doesnt need this right now. He needs the OBVIOUS body language of a wild horse. Cass ignores all body language and pushes through to get what SHE wants. IF SHE doesnt want to yield, she will change the subject by putting her head on his shoulder, and then he melts. SO, I figured, a yearling filly would be perfect to start with. One that every single move Todd makes will become obvious to him, by seeing Anejo's reaction to his move. Then, we will use Cass, for regaining his seat and have a quiet ride, where he will not have to worry about a horse bolting and running off with him. So together, the two horses will teach him. Both very opposite of each other, and he will learn how to deal with each type of horsenalities.
      So far, he has done wonderful with Anejo. The first night, he was able to touch and rub on her. The second night, he achieved putting a halter on her, and the third night, yielding hq, fq, and leading. Each night thereafter, he gained more ground with her, and today, the seventh day, we actually allowed her to go out into the pasture with Cass and Cuervo! Gentled where she comes up to us willingly, allows us to catch her, leads great, backs good off the lead, pivots both directions, stands for grooming, lifts her feet too. Tonite we will work on picking out her feet, lunging as well as clipping bridlepath.
     Anyhow, here are some photos I took over the past few days of Anejo, and the others after she was introduced to them.
Cuervo and Anejo bonding immediately. I suppose they both know that they are Sulphurs.
Anejo followed Cuervo around like a puppy dog!
poor little girl, needs some groceries
Anejo bonding with Cass now
I cant wait til the grass comes in on the pastures, such a muddy time of year
I had left the halters on everybody, in case I had to grab them quickly, if they picked on Anejo.
Cuervo being cute as usual
Seven days after adoption, so Anejo is still very skinny.
Our first two Spanish Sulphurs. We are hoping to add a few more mares and a stallion.
I sure regret gelding Cuervo.
She will fill out in time. I got her dewormed on day two, and she will gain weight slowly but surely

Sunday, February 14, 2010

A beautiful snowy valentines day

      What a wonderful valentines day. Yesterday we visited Ewing BLM and my husband told me to pick out another mustang as my valentines present. What a wonderful gift! I will go with another Sulphur, as I am just overwhelmed by the intelligence, and bond that I have with Cuervo. Dont get me wrong, Castiel is a dream. But, she is a little different than Cuervo. Castiel is our social butterfly. She LOVES ALL people. You dont have to work for her trust, and she is pretty much a brat. LOL. She is our " I demand your attention, I wanna help you do anything your doing if youre not paying attention to me, give me any puzzle to solve, Ill do what you ask as long as you dont expect me to work too hard at it" kindof gal. We love her to peices. Shes an anyone can ride her kind of horse. But what I personally love, is a horse who you have to earn their trust. One who demands truth. One who will give you his heart and soul once you earn this trust. This is my Cuervo. He is as honest as they come. He will not let you near him, unless he has already figured you out and approves. He will sit back and literally assess people he meets, back in the background, watching extremely tenatively. Only if HE feels you are trustworthy, will he allow you to approach him. If he does not approve, you work at it another day. BUT, if he has already let you in, and you have already approved his worthiness, he will approach you! He is extremely loyal as well. Cuervo and I have bonded insanely, to the point that even today, my husband and I were sitting in the truck watching the horses in the pasture from a distance. My husband, who Cuervo is ok with, but not preffered by, whistled a few times at the horses. Castiel and Briego ( a rescued 17 yr old arabian gelding) both look up at us. Cuervo kept grazing through the snow, completely ignoring Todds whistles. So Todd says, I bet you anything that Cuervo will acknowledge your whistle... Well, one little whistle, and his head pops up immediately, and he leaves the other horses and comes to the edge of the fence by the truck. Thats the kind of loyalty that Im talking about. One that when you are with your horse, you litterally feel connected to him to a point that you are almost one mindset. I had tried hiring a few different trainers to just put a few rides on Cuervo since I was unsure if he was going to buck at the lope, and didnt want to risk reshattering my ankle, (which was still in a cast). Two trainers hired, two trainers dumped as soon as they got on Cuervo's back. Now this is the part you might not believe, I literally climbed up on his back BOTH times right after he dumped the trainers, both days, and he never even thought of bucking. Thank God, because my surgeon would have killed me. He relaxed immediately and pittered around like he was managing every footprint. One of the trainers was shocked and insisted he could train him, and worked with him for a few more days. Cuervo never did settle down with him, nor did he ever relax. Nor did he have a ride that Cuervo didnt buck. The other trainer refused to get back on him. I rode him a few times after that at the walk and trot, and had no problems whatsoever. I rode him in a halter and a lead rope. Not one single buck, not one bolt, not one fight.  I found another trainer, to put ten rides on Cuervo,  This guy, actually understood Cuervo, much like I did. He let the horse do what he needed to do, and earned his trust within the first two hours. Its always gotta be in Cuervo's language. He only talks horse, and he will not even try to figure out the human language unless you are attempting to make it horsey. If you want Cuervo to run laps around the arena, stop, turn and face you, back up, sidepass down the rail, back to you and reverse and do it the opposite way, all at liberty, all you need to do is ask, but ask it in a language he can understand "body language, pointing and just subtly working your hands and shoulders, etc". Anyhow, they got along great. Seth was able to ride Cuervo with no bucking either. He rode him for ten days, and had him walking, trotting and loping relaxed. This was all I needed to assure I was not going to get dumped on that ankle. Anyhow, since then, I have been riding him, and have never had any issues. We have completed Parelli level one, alot of two, and have the walk trot canter down with lateral flexion, sidepass, halfpass, roll back, a slow spin, and he will walk trot canter over bridges, and tarps too. all of this is done in less than 30 rides. He LOVES a challenge. He never quits, never fails, and never gives up. He is a little un motivated at first, while being tacked up, but once my hiny hits the saddle, he is all "game on" and drowns himself in his work. He loves it. Full of presence, full attention, and with pure impulsion. He is soft and flexible, and I only have to think about applying a leg, and he is bent around it. If we run into an issue of any sort, he seeks my comfort and guidance. He is my absolute dream horse, and I feel he really loves and trusts me too.
      Anyhow, this is why I choose to go with another Sulphur horse. I literally feel ill, on the days that I cannot make it out to the barn to see Cuervo (those are the days, when I have class after work, and my husband or daughter takes care of the horses), any how, I will post photos of what new mustang I chose as soon as I get to bring it home... Stay tuned. LOL. until then I took some photos of the horses out in the snow today. Forgive me for taking more pics of Cuervo than the others. I simply cannot help myself. He is my drug, he is my passion, he is my air.....
Cass (leading) and Briego (our rescued arabian)
Cuervo and Cass feeling good
Cass (with star) and Briego feeling good
time for a little grooming
Cass is telling Brego that she has had enough. This is four months after
we had rescued Briego, finally at a manageable weight. When he
arrived, he weighed a little under 600 lbs!
Here Briego weighs about 750 lbs
Cuervo, the love of my life!