Training the Mind of the Horse and Rider

Training the Mind of the Horse and Rider
Click on Logo (Original artwork by Lanie Frick for Messick Quarter Horses. Not permitted to be copied)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Starlet let's everyone know that she is still boss!

Last weekend was weaning day, and I put the broodmares in the outside arena. The 3 babies stayed in the smaller lot. Duke, the stud, is in the round pen next to them, yet separated by another fence, and Red, the older, babysitter gelding, is on their other side. This morning, the mares were out of hay, and it was a cold, 40 degree rainy morning. The mares were even shaking, and their leg muscles were quivering. Poor girls, they needed to be eating lots of hay to keep warm. I did not want to put out a round bale in the rain, and by myself. I could have, but what a mess in the rain! And it’s time to get all the horses together anyways, before we had more freezing weather. I had already went around 2 mornings, breaking ice, and this was at least one less tank to break the ice in if it freezes before I get the heaters located, installed, and plugged in! I had to get water heaters into tanks. If they got into the tanks, then eventually they would get plugged in!

Instead of fighting the mud and rain and the tractor with a round bale, I lead all 3 mares, all at one time, to the bottom lot! Goldie on my right, Starlet on my left, and Chick followed behind. I knew Chick would respect the lead rope and not try to pull it out of my hand or try to get antsy and start bucking, or trying something stupid. With me caught in the middle of 3 lead ropes, I needed the mares to cooperate! They walked beside me and didn’t get stupid. Good girls!

I didn’t want the horses whinnying, so I gave the babies, Red, and the other horses their grain first. The mares lead down easily, just alert! I had wondered when I turned them loose in the lot why Starlet and Chick put back their ears at all the horses. And then I remembered...they hadn't been with these horses for about 6 months! But they had shared a fence, so everyone should be friends! Right? Wrong! No wonder Starlet was going around telling everyone she was still boss! LOL The babies whinnied some, and so the broodmares answered. The mares couldn’t figure out if they needed to be smelling the other horse’s noses, kicking out at the other horses, or going to the gate, whinnying and trying to see the babies. It has been 10 days since weaning, but the babies still whinnied. I’m thinking it is only because they are seeing more horses, since they aren’t going ballistic. Yet!

The mares were hungry and they were distracted by the other horses. The mares saw the round bale! Hay sounded better than talking to their, now forgotten, youngsters. But then they has to chase the younger horses and the new horse, Regal. They ignored their buddy, Bubba. Poor Bubba. He used to be in the midst of who was on top of the dominance ranking in the lot. Now, he was just being ignored! Finny was left alone, and that was good. I didn’t want to see kick or bite marks on him. Buster, the quiet one, wanted to be everyone’s buddy. He wasn’t smart enough to pay attention to the laid back ears, and Starlet’s kick almost connected with him! He better move faster next time. Shaggy wanted to follow them, and was being annoying, and Chick left him know it with flatten ears and bared teeth. Chick is mostly all bark and no bite, but the other horse better move or she will nail them! The new horse on the place, Regal, had all of Starlet’s attention, and Starlet chased her away from the round bale! The 2 boarding horses were left alone, which I thought was strange. One is an older show gelding and the other is an old mare. Maybe both of them threw off the “I’m not a threat” vibes. But they were ignored and that was good for them. I don’t need them chased or have bite marks before winter sets. Then Starlet decided she wanted the other round bale under her control too, and chased everyone from that bale! She is an dominant boss with the horses, but she is an awesome lesson horses for beginners and kids! I’ll keep her, just so I can watch her antics and laugh at her ways!

The weanlings are staying quiet. I didn't expect that. I figured that they would be whinnying and would be acting up. I expecting some running around and frantic whinnies. They stood quietly eating their hay, every now and then watching the other horses. But they couldn’t see much. I did feed Red his hay on the ground, directly outside their pen and in their line of vision to the other horses. Good plan!

I hope all is fine when I get home tonight! Electric is on so the bottom horses should respect the fence! I hope the mares are really hungry and stick their heads into the round bale all morning, sleep the afternoon away, and wake up hungry and stick their heads back inside the round bale.

Today was my late day at the store. Why didn’t I wean on a Saturday afternoon and then have 2 days to watch horses? Why did I leave for the whole day and not stick around to watch my babies, with Starlet being the biggest baby and herd troublemaker? But luck was on my side. I got home, and in the dark, put on my headlamp and walked to the baby lot. Is no whinnying a good sign or a bad sign? I figured if horses were out, there would be some running around. But all the horses were at the round bales, and Red and the babies were standing quietly, waiting for their grain.

Weaning crisis is over. No one cares where their mom is. Chex is still angry though, and lays his ears back at the other babies, just like his mom does at the other horses. Oh, that boy is going to find himself in with other horses sooner than later. He is not going to rule the roost! He has an attitude adjustment coming, and probably within the next 2 weeks! Honey and Duster, (yes, I finally settled on a name for Starlet’s baby! Dukes Starduster!) don’t care when Chex puts back his ears, they just push against him and push in for their grain. Oh, I see some certain personalities showing, and not all pleasant ones! The babies will live with Red and Bob, the older show gelding, for the winter. Red and Bob won’t kick them but they will teach them horse manners! I can’t wait to watch that!

I finished night chores with no incidences of whinnies, kick sounds, or horses being chased away. Weaning is over for another year. Mares have settled down.

Now it’s time to start riding Starlet and Chick. They are out of shape! I wonder how Goldie would like a saddle now? She was started as a 2 year old, rode lightly during her 3rd and the start of her 4th year. She wasn’t going to make the cut for a great pleasure horse, and she still had some buck in her, so what do we do? We either ride her and sell her or we quit riding her and breed her! She has great bloodlines and has thrown some awesome babies. Maybe now is it’s time to be more than a broodmare and get back to riding! Hmmm, maybe I’ll get my one son to get on her for her first ride!

Come along for the ride!


Tammy said...

Ah, you can put that first ride on ol' Goldie! And I want to watch! LOL!

B said...

I will let you know if I ride her first, and you can sure come and watch. She could buck when she was young! Hopefully she is more mature now, and she won't have the desire to buck@ :-)))


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