Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Luna- Time Will Tell

Luna is not the first young, green horse I have owned. But she is the first young green horse I have owned since I was a teenager.

In retrospect, it probably was not a good idea to get her. At the time, I did not know I was going to get pregnant and have a baby, which has changed everything in terms of the amount of time I have had to work with my young, green horse.

{You can also how wide my filly is. She is built like a tank and the bone in her legs is huge. It would be fascinating to know what breeds make up her mustang heritage. I've been told some Draft blood and maybe Foundation Quarter Horse. Also, she looks blood Bay here but has white hairs underneath and will totally roan out in the summer from her head back.}

But Luna came into my life with a lot of potential. The little, scrawny, winter-coat shedding 2 year old filly with a big head had a great disposition and I couldn't pass her up. She has not dissapointed me. The pregnancy set us back but I was able to find a great local trainer and I had 30 rides put on her this fall. She continued to show that she is moving in the right direction of becoming a good riding horse.
However, I am a long way from having a finished horse and knowing ultimately if she will work out for me. That is the gamble of a young, green horse. You can learn as much about their breeding, history, and monitor their body language and disposition on the ground. But ultimately you won't know what kind of horse they will be as they mature and begin to be ridden under saddle. Time will tell.

As Luna is a mustang born in the wild, we know little about her genetics and family disposition. Luckily I knew her owner, who was the person who adopted, gentled, and did some preliminary saddle work with her. I trusted that she had a good start. I don't have any specific goal for Luna other than she be a solid trail horse. She needs to be trustworthy on the trails and good with other horses. That is the only thing she needs to be. If we could round up some cattle (she shows some cowy-ness) or do some dressage or pop over a jump, then that would be a fun bonus. 

If given the time and training we find that trail riding just isn't Luna's thing, then hopefully I am in the position to use her in a way that will best develop and foster her talents. If I can't, I sadly wouldn't keep her because she is too good of a horse and craves attention and work- an idle pasture pony she does not want to be!  It would break my heart if she didn't work out because I have come to adore this darling mare- she is quite the character and full of personality! Hopefully that won't come to be, because I really do feel that she will make a great trail horse.

 It's a gamble for sure, raising a foal or getting a young horse. It's such a blank slate.
Have you ever gotten a green horse and trained or had it trained? Did it work out or not for you?

Ranch Girl


Nuzzling Muzzles said...

It's hard to do just about anything when you have a baby or toddler. I wouldn't get discouraged. I remember being totally frustrated because right after I bought Gabbrielle as a yearling, my mother broke her leg and I had to move in with her, leaving my new horse alone and untouched. Then when it came time to train Gabbrielle under saddle, my mother died and I had to settle her estate, which took two years. I gave up on trying to train Gabbrielle since I couldn't consistently ride her, and I hired a trainer. Then I started having hormone problems and gained a ton of weight, and now I really shouldn't even be riding such a petite horse. So, for Gabbrielle's sake, I found a gal who loves to ride her, but I often feel like despite all the joy Gabbrielle has brought to me, I'm not the right owner for her. I'm hoping her rider will buy her and give her the attention she deserves.

gowestferalwoman said...

Something you might be interested in -


"To do a DNA test on your mustangs, it is $25 per animal. It can tell specifically what breeds are present in your mustangs. It may be able to show what general type of horse is present, such as Spanish or draft or something that is a general category like that. Sometimes it does not give any clear answer which could be due to the horse a generic type or be highly mixed, or it could happen for unclear statistical reason. However, if you want to give it a shot we need about 35 mane or tail hairs pulled so the follicle remains attached.
~ Gus
Mail to the address below telling what you want done. Checks should be made payable to TAES.

E. Gus Cothran, Ph.D.
Equine Genetics Lab.
Texas A&M University
TAMU 4458
College Station, TX 77843-4458
(979) 845-0229
GCothran@cvm.tamu.edu "

I think im going to give this a whirl on my Adobe Town Mustang - for $25. its affordable, and they just might have something interesting to tell us :)

Although right now I think he wants to keep all his tailhairs; we have another winter storm advisory again this week LOL


ps - for my own personal herd' I have started two horses on my own, including the morgan i have now - started other peoples colts for $$. As I get older, I want to spend more time riding, less time thinking out things all the time - many nights laying in bed trying to figure out training situations- parenting is just like that too LOL...however, i wont rule out any more babies (colts :D ), because then i did just get a mustang, sooo theres that...LOL

Ranch Girl Diaries said...

I think life happens sometimes despite our best intentions for our horses. I will never part with my boy-i would just find someone to come ride him or lease him here, if it came to that. I adore Luna too but she is 3 not 20 with a whole future ahead of her it would not be fair for her to sit! :) but I really think I'll be able to juggle the baby and the horses in the next year. Now if I were to have another baby. .... that would be another story.

Ranch Girl Diaries said...

Go West- I have heard of this!! It sounds amazing. I have seen some results posted and the answers ates always a bit scattered- and the breeds a little obscure so I just worried about the validity of it. But it's on my list to try! :)

Alanna M. said...

I have had several thoroughbreds off the track, but Emi is my first baby. So far so good...but I know what it's like to wonder where you will end up with them.

fernvalley01 said...

I have hadboth green horses that I raised and those I purchased , the ones I raise are easier , but really a horse is a horse, and as much as we want them to all be a perfect fit , some are not, and some that we least expect turn out to be the very best! my good saddle horse Catana , that I rode for 24 yrs was one I new nothing about going in but turned out t o be truly one of the best horses I ever knew

Shanna said...

I'm in the same boat as you. I run a private horse sanctuary but most of the horses we currently have are on the younger side now. But after having a baby(along with major medical problems for the entire family), it's been difficult to put any time on each of the younger horses. I'm not sure I'm doing them justice but we have the horses we do because each one has some problem that made it so no one wanted them. It's definitely a juggling act but I guess that's what makes us grown-ups.

Judi said...

I wouldn't want to do it any other way. I like to train them from scratch--then keep them forever. That way, the only problems I have are the ones I made myself.

I've always found young horses take to trail riding quite well. They like the adventure of traveling out. The ones who don't like it are the older ones that didn't have much time on the trail when they were young--and they can't adapt to it.

The odds are very good that she will make one fine trail horse.

Ranch Girl Diaries said...

Judi- her disposition seems to point to bring a trail horse. she was a little spooky last fall when my trainer was taking her on training trail rides but she regained her composure quickly and never bolted. I think that was just immaturity and inexperience and with more miles she will love to go out and cover some ground! :)

C-ingspots said...

I agree with Sherry, about a horse being a horse...most of the time anyway. Green horses are clean slates, and haven't been screwed up by anybody, and therefore have the potential to be awesome horses. Just depends upon how you teach them and bring them up. I've raised and started 3 before, and they've all been awesome horses! But...I'm older now, and am less courageous, so maybe in hindsight, getting a wild-born Mustang with a questionable/abusive past of 12 years old wasn't the smartest thing for me to do! :) But - he is amazingly sensitive and smart and totally loving and trusting. Now. We've been developing our relationship for 2-1/2 years now. He's totally ready for those first rides out in the trails...but (gulp), am I??? I'd really like to send him to someone I could trust to ride him for a month or so, and let me know how he does. Don't rush, and don't put pressure on yourself. She'll be fine, and so will you. Have fun with her!

4RRanch said...

I've raised my own horses and recently bought 2 untrained ones. I like knowing everything that has happened to them. They are much easier to deal with than the already trained ones I've had. I feel like my time with them has been spent retraining. I pretty much took of about 10 years from riding much when my girls were young. It was hard for me to find time.

achieve1dream said...

I'm way behind on reading blogs again, but I'm slowly getting caught up.

I think Luna will be a great trail horse!! She's a Mustang so you know she'll love trail riding since Mustangs spend their whole lives on the move. The only thing different is the human made stuff in the environment, but that will just take time and experience for her to get used to, just like with any other horse. :)

I love raising young horses! It seems like older horses (well the ones I can afford) all have problems which is why they are for sale. Starting one myself is so much better because I know everything they've done and been exposed to. It also gives me those first three years just to do ground work, build a strong bond and learn everything about them. :D

My family raised a filly from birth until we sold her at six or seven years old. I've also started green horses for people back in my teenage years when I wasn't afraid of anything. Chrome is my first one to raise and train completely by myself and I've enjoyed every minute of it. He's the best horse I've ever worked with. :) I'm the one who is afraid to take him out trail riding alone (I have nobody to ride with). I think he'll be totally fine because he enjoys it so much. I just have to suck it up and do it lol.