Friday, March 2, 2012

Changes

Hi friends, I hope all is well in your corner of the world! There is some crazy weather going on around the country which is quite scary. I hope that you, your loved ones, your equines, and your other 4-leggers critters are all safe and sound.

We have still had some last attempts at snow, yet I feel that spring is around the corner. The horses are beginning to shed their winter coats!

Stop trying to take our photo and just feed us please!!

I am going to purchase a 15-day supply of Regu-Mate for Loretta next week. I have done some reading online (message boards can be addicting!) and have noticed quite a bit of information about "mare" issues and behavior and heatcycles/estrus, etc. While I can't find anyone that has had a mare with the exact symptoms as Loretta, I am hoping to help her by trying this first. Why? Well, the veterinarians can not tell me (by no fault of their own, as horses can't talk!) which of the two issues could be causing her symptoms and discomfort. Not even the ulcer scope was not 100% accurate due to water present in her stomach. Treating the ulcer first would be highly expensive. I will keep you updated.

As many of you know, catching My Boy has always been a huge issue when he's in a pasture, so as much as I hate it, I leave a turn-out halter on him. The other day one side got up over his ear and of course when I unbuckled it to fix it, he pulled back and away he ran, the halter left hanging in my hand. What a stinker! Ranch Boy and I have devised a way to get him haltered, though. It was my master plan and has worked twice. I am sure my smart pony has figured us out and it won't work again. I hate to use this method as it feels like cheating but let me tell you, this 18-year old is a piece of work when it comes to being caught. If he was young enough, I'd apply for him to be in a Clinton Anderson clinic!

So here is what we do. We use the white woven hot wire tape to create a smaller corner of his pasture. I feed hay as usual, then give him grain. We unplug the hot wire, tie one end on a post, then walk behind him to create the smaller corral. Now, My Boy is smarter than that and the first time he saw this space becoming smaller he took off running to escape but luckily Ranch Boy waved him back before he got by. He does not figure out the tape is not electrified (just shaking it a little is enough to keep him from it.) My Boy has always been respectful of fences. We shorten this triangular space little by little, until he is forced to stand in his run-in shed. Once he is there, he will stand parallel to the wall and look away from me in defiance, knowing he is trapped yet still not wanting to give in.

Here is what I did this time. I stroke his shoulder and just talk to him quietly. Then, I hold the halter to his head. The second he lowers his nose to smell it or even look at it, I pull it away. After doing this a few times, he actually would turn his head and follow the halter (almost taking a step.) I even had him dipping his nose in it. I would then pull it off and just pet him. It is interesting to me how this "pressure and release" method really works with horses. It is so frustrating to me that the minute my horse sees me approaching him with a halter in his pasture he won't let me near him, but when he knows he has no where to go, he dips his nose right in the halter. Due to his arthritis he is not the kind of horse I can keep in a confined space but if he was, I feel like we would not have this catching issue at all. But I love that he has plenty of pasture to roam around in all day.

I got my new necklace-making supplies today. I am really excited to start creating!! I also just finished a temporary job. I have next week off and then I will be starting a new job the following week. Lots of exciting changes going on!

Have a lovely weekend everyone!!

Ranch Girl

8 comments:

fernvalley01 said...

wishing you the very best of luck with Loretta, I so hope you can get your sweet girl sorted out. As for the escape artist, boy he is lucky he is so handsome! and otherwise such a great boy ,otherwise that might tend to make you a bit mad! Sounds like you have a good plan in place

Fantastyk Voyager said...

Sometimes, my Annie is hard to catch too. Frustrating, isn't it? Sounds like you've got some good changes happening in your life.

Jan Blawat said...

I've never had a horse that was hard to catch, nor a dog that would run off and explore. So it's always been hard for me to understand how other people have these problems. I think I've learned from reading blogs like yours that some animals (like some of us people) just have a streak of independence. It must be hard to respect that and live with it at the same time. Hope your changes are all good ones.

Crystal said...

Haha sounds like your plan works to keep him haltered. Hope all goes well with Lorretta too.

Paint Girl said...

I haven't talked to you in so long, I have no idea what is going on in your life! But that will be changing soon. I will have lots of time to keep up to date on my dear sis!!

Desert Rose said...

The very fist horse I had (before George) would run! we started leaving her in her stall on the days I would ride. unfortunately you don't have that option. Sounds like things are better for Loretta as you didn't mention another colic. Looking forward to see your new jewelry :)))

baystatebrumby said...

I love that this horse is still as cute and devilish now as when i first started reading about him. He is such an endearing stinker, you have no idea how fun it is to read about him.
YEAY SPRING!

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Funny to read this again about My Boy because I usually bring Apache into her stall with some hay or grain and then I just easily halter her.

But today, I wanted to see how she'd do if I tried to halter her out in her 1 1/2 acre pasture and walked up to her with the halter and lead....in a weaving sort of way....not directly at her, and sort of strolled along looking down, up and anywhere else but her.
I stopped a few feet away from where she was standing and just turned with my back to her and then slowly backed up until I was lined up beside her. I petted her face and then tossed the lead rope over and around her neck, all while talking gently to my girl. Then I pulled up the halter around her face and tied the knot.
It was so simple and so nice.

So then I just walked her up to the barn, sat down on the mounting block and fed her carrots.

After the carrots were done, I reached up and removed the halter. She looked at me, I think surprised that I wasn't haltering her to be be tacked up or fussed with, and instead she only had to eat carrots. lol!

Maybe you could try something similar with My Boy...no pressure, just approach, retreat and lots of treats! :)

~Lisa