Sunday, June 29, 2008

Now it begins

Ok, it's been a very busy few days.
First my friend Kim and I were off to the eastern side of the state to pick up my rescue mare and 3 more for the trip back over the mountains. It was a L O N G day..but well worth the effort.
You can view the story and pictures of Herbie, now known as Hobo and his friend the yearling appy colt now known as Dingo at SOS (linked on this page).
We also brought back a yearling black Arab filly and I'm sure there will also be updates posted on SOS about her.

My filly was previously mentioned in my first post under the Cast of Characters as Jillian.

Jillian now has a new name...Jasmine...she responds to Jasmine, she really responds to Princess Jasmine, but she doesn't like Jazzy for short LOL.
She settled in really well the first night. I kept her in the round pen just to get her land legs back and check out her surroundings. She barely even blinked at her neighbors the Llamas.

And was very calmly taking in everything, looking at all the other horses in the various fields.

Sat. I got a chance to handle her a little. At first she wasn't sure she wanted me to catch her, but it appears she's had some type of round pen work as she did turn and face me when I controlled her direction after her first evasion. I started out just brushing her and combing her mane and tail, then looped the lead around the rail to see if she would pick up her feet. Her feet may or may not have been handled in the past. She was a little hesitant with the front so I didn't ask for a lot. Just a pick up pause set down. Her back are another matter. She is VERY touchy in her rear area. Any kind of movement towards her back end has her moving away from you. When finally able to rub the leg down and ask for the foot as soon as it comes up she starts jerk/kicking it. So with the help of my sister we just used a soft rope loop at the ankle to teach her to just lift and relax the leg. She caught on real quick and when we didn't get all after her with the jerking but just talked to her calmly and let her work through it she stopped almost immediately. We think that she's probably been hit in the past for jerking her feet away. By the end of the session she would pick up both hind feet eand hold them relaxed with no kicking action. We probably worked with her a total of 15-20 minutes overall and once she figured what we were asking she was quick to pick up the verbal cue of foot and a light pressure on the rope.

After the lesson I put her in one of the smaller fields with not to much grass, as I don't know how much exposure she's had to fresh grass and don't want to overload her system changing diet to fast. So she has little grass and as much hay as she wants. When turned out she very calmly walked herself around the perimiter of the field. Checked out the "neighbors" Cathy's mob =) and settled in. When the mares and foals across the way moved towards the back of their field she ran a couple circles, went whew its to hot for this and went back to nosing around her hay.

Today was pretty much a repeat of yesterday although I had to catch her in the field. Once again as I approach she would turn and walk away but if you step up and turn her back she is directed very easy. A couple passes back and forth and she just stopped and waited for me to walk up and halter her. Took her to the round pen and worked on her feet again. She remembered the front so well I held them a little longer cupping the hoof and patting the bottom of her foot...just messing with it to prepare her for her first trim with me in a couple weeks. After each pickup, hold and patting session she got lots of pets and praise....I don't think she's had alot of that. Then we moved to the back feet again. She really wants to keep the hind end away from you so we once again just looped her foot to raise and hold it. Then when she was releaxed with that worked on just rubbing the hip and then down the leg. Had some more jerk away with the rub down the leg, but when there was no "punishment", just another request to pick up and hold she came around after just a couple requests.

She is very bright, and catches on quickly what we are asking of her. My impression is that she's been worked with...probably manhandled or worked with a very heavy hand, and little or no praise for a good job. I wouldn't think abused...but there doesn't appear to be much of praise and "good girl's" in her background. And she is responding to that very well. I am also using a lot of voice commands to let her know exactly what is expected. Repitition and a kind firm hand will do wonders with this mare.

AND I think I figured out how such a nice girl ended up at running through the auction without any papers or ID...When we were looking at her teeth closer today, she is VERY parrot mouthed. Not just a slight overbite, but a good inch or so. I'll be calling my vet to ask if there is anything special to take into consideration for a parrot mouth in the way of feeding, teeth care etc. seating a bit next year. While it's something a breeder would not want associated with their stud or breeding program, it's not an isurmountable issue. Just something to be aware of when it comes to mouth upkeep.

I'm looking forward to working with Jasmine. I think she has some minor issues, but nothing realy serious. I think she's going to come around and be a real sweetheart. She's probably 14.1 and 2 years and I'm thinking she'll probably top out around 15 to 15.2.

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