Extreme Mustang Makeover 6/18/07
Monday, June 18, 2007
Sunday, June 17, being a day of rest, Amigo only had a few hugs and scratches along with his feed and hay. Besides, the floods came again with nearly two inches of rain in less than an hour Sunday evening.
Again on Monday the floodgates were opened and we received another two to three inches of rain. But by late afternoon, the rains had abated and Ted decided to do just a little quiet work. One of the goals was to move Amigo from the Round Pen to a more sheltered home, and one with a little dry ground available. Unfortunately, I forgot to charge either of my cameras, so no video or stills from Monday, which is really too bad, because Ted and Amigo really accomplished a lot.
The World Outside the Round Pen
After haltering Amigo, Ted had me open the round pen gate. Amigo's first reaction was to stay within the known confines of the space that has been his home for the last week. A little disengaging, moving over, leading (which he does well now) closer to the open gate, then away, then closer, until finally he was overcome with curiosity about the outside world. They walked through the gate and into the "Training Yard," a very open area between the house and barn where we have trail obstacles to work horses both on the ground and under saddle. The dogs were sleeping on the far side of the yard, and there are wooden bridges, plastic tarps and other training aids to see and explore (not to mention a lot of tasty green grass.) Ted didn't ask much of Amigo at first, just to pay attention and relax. Once he was relaxed and curious, Ted allowed him to graze for a few minutes. Then asked for his attention again.
The first obstacle was the wooden bridge. After tasting it, Amigo stepped willing up on it with both front and looked rather pleased with himself. Ted asked him to step back down, and he did. Lots of praise a little more grazing, then up again. Two or three times and he willingly walked the length of the bridge.
Ted wasn't going to try the tarp this evening, until Amigo decided HE wanted to explore that blowing, rattling thing. Ted walked him over to it, again with the nosing, tasting, picking up and shaking routine and then Amigo walked right over it himself with Ted barely asking.
A New Home
He was doing well enough to try the side aisle of the barn into the old stud pen which will be his new home. Still 6-foot pipe fencing, but larger, about 45x75 and with an attached covered area 14x14 and a full 12x14 stall if he should choose to use it. He made the trip down the narrow aisle easily enough, and seemed to settle right in to his new digs. Of course the availability of green grass in this pen didn't hurt anything!
So Amigo is now enjoying the freedom of choosing his environment - outside in the weather, grazing and enjoying the company of other horses both in the pasture beside him and in the other pens nearby, or a covered dry area with hayfeeder, or even completely in a matted stall with shavings and a big fan for the really hot days to come.
Did I mention that this setup even includes a mister system when it gets really hot? The horses live better than I do sometimes!
Yes, my cameras are charging and will be ready for the next time! Looks like more rain today and maybe tomorrow, then a series of (whispering here...) dry days!