My Tunes

Friday, August 29, 2008

I'm off to Oklahoma.

I'll be in Oklahoma for a week, visiting with my son, Keegan his wife Nicky and my little granddaughter, Amelia.

William will be in charge of stuffing the horses full of carrots and generally entertaining them.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

My three wonderful horses.

I'm so lucky to have three beautiful horses.

Here's Foxsun's self trimmed hooves.


Yesterday my Morgan, Foxsun, was in with Cowslip, our very elderly blind cow, because Brad was feeding the cows something he shouldn't eat. When the herd left for the night he was left behind with Cowslip and was whinnying for his old cow wife, who had hung around for him for awhile then left to catch up with the rest of the cattle.

Brad went to open the gate to let him out but he got Cowslip's special dinner bucket first. Cowslip isn't digesting her food properly because her rumen isn't working very well anymore, so Brad gives her something special to eat that she loves. Hearing the sound of her bucket she went for anything that she heard moving. She walked right into the back of Foxsun who didn't mind because he's used to old cows, being married to one. Then she heard me and came after me. That was a sight! I was hobbling along as fast as I could and shouting as loud as I could so she wouldn't run me down and she was feebly staggering after me. It looked like a slow motion train wreck I'm sure. Foxsun saved me. He put his body in between Cowslip and me and very slowly walked with me over to Brad, even though the gate was now wide open and he'd been crying for ages to go and catch up with his herd. Once I was safe he went through the gate. The herd was about a mile away and he trotted west through the sagebrush and into the setting sun to find them. For twenty years he's been our dear horse pet. He's wonderful to ride too.

My pets look after me. Last year his old cow wife, Dandylyons and he got separated from each other and he went crazy galloping all over. He had about 300 acres to search and I could see her with the cows up on the bluff. I went up there as far as I could on my crutches to call her. She left the herd and came to me. Seeing I was having trouble getting back down the steep bluff, she let me put my arm over her back and walked very very slowly down. I was able to reunited her with Foxsun. I raised Dandylyons from birth and she loves people. She hates bulls so she hasn't had a calf for about ten years.

I did some wild Mustang fishing today with Echo. It gives us something fun to do together. Here he is trying to steal the bait right out of the plastic bag where I'd stuffed it. I was using fresh alfalfa as bait and pushing it through the loop at the end of my whip.


He watched me bait my 'hook'.


Then we had some fun. I can catch him down low or up high.



He loves to hang out with me. When I sit in my lawn chair he stands over me. Everyday he lets me touch a little bit more of his face. I touched his cheek today and wiped some stuff out of his eye. Maybe in a few weeks I'll be able to touch his ears and neck.

Wildairo holds no grudge against us for stabbing him in the neck with a needle and letting a stranger go one on one with him. In fact he loves his new feet and eagerly holds them up for Brad now.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Wildairo puts up a fight.


Wildairo put up one heck of a fight! Even under heavy duty sedation he really played the wild Mustang card. He was rearing, striking out with all four feet and biting. Well, he only tried to bite once, then the farrier, Jeff, hauled off and punched him in the mouth. Wildairo got a few kicks in though. Jeff said he wasn't hurt and they may have been glancing blows. Jeff said he hoped we didn't mind that he punched him and I told him I had to get rough with him myself at first. It was one hell of a fight! At one point Wildairo fell to the ground. I really think we should have all jumped on him right there and pinned him down.

I didn't take picture photos of Wildairo's brave, but loosing battle with the farrier because I was too busy trying to save my own skin. I finally fled the scene and let Brad and Jeff deal with him. I went over to Echo, who was a bit upset but still eager for company. Jeff hung on to the lead rope and really showed Wildairo who was boss. Wildairo was actually rearing up and striking with his front hooves! Wow, if wild horse fighting ever became an Olympic event Wildairo would be a contender. The nice thing about Wildairo is once you show him who's boss he's cool with it.


Soon as Jeff got his hoof up he stood pretty still. It seems like Wildairo is just scared of the 'stranger danger'. He will not let strange people get near him. As all you horsie people know, horses have brains that are designed so you have to train them on both sides of their bodies. But Wildairo's brain is in four parts, not two. He had to be trained for all four feet in other words!!!

Jeff was incredible! He hung in there and got the job done. He used a rope to do something with the back ones. I was hiding out with Echo so I didn't see what he did. Soon as Jeff left Wildairo gave in to the tranquilizer and spaced out. I wanted to throttle him but I didn't.


How can a horse be so lovable with his family and so frightened of strangers?


His feet look so nice now. This is not a good picture because of the sand and he was standing very oddly because of the tranquilizer. I wonder if Wildairo will ever get over his fear of strangers? Brad wasn't here the last time the farrier came and he didn't think there was a need for sedation. He was very surprised how volatile Wildairo got when he was approached by the farrier. Once Jeff was next to him with his hoof up he seemed OK. I'm thinking of using a blindfold next time. I might get one for Wildairo too.


Sunday, August 24, 2008

Lincoln Co. fair & moving Echo.

The Lincoln County Fair was fun. This is an huge Ox that belongs to Bullwackin' Kass.


We met Lea of 'Lea and her Mustangs blog'. We had a very nice visit. We were very impressed with Dusty Roller and the Mustang he has been training for the 2008 Extreme Mustang Makeover. The Mustang's name is Telford and Dusty has had him since June. It's incredible what he can do with him. He's an excellent trainer and Telford is as easy going as a horse can ever be.


He has started to trained Telford to lie down, but at the demonstration, once down, Telford fell asleep and Dusty had a bit of a time getting him back up. The audience loved it.


Dusty can jump Telford with or without a bridle while cracking a bullwhip over his head. It was very impressive. Telford is 4 years old and spent 2 years in the BLM corrals at Litchfield, California. Dusty picked him up at the Palomino Valley corrals in Nevada.


Dusty said Telford was the easiest horse to start this year. I really hope Dusty will be able to train our boys next year because he's awesome with horses. I'm not sure if I want to get into standing on the saddle while cracking a bullwhip though. Heck, who knows though, it might come in handy around here.

I moved Echo Taffy to a bigger corral after we got home from the fair. Echo didn't want to leave his small pen and it took ages for him to come out. I had to keep walking up to him, turning around and walking out of the pen. Finally he followed me to his new pen. I kept telling him we were going 'walkies'. He walks up to me for carrots and lets me stroke his face but he starts snorting and getting fearful if anyone else comes in the corral. I was working with Echo perfecting his carrot eating technique, and in the other corral William and Brad were with Wildairo practising for his big day tomorrow. Wildairo considers Brad his drinking buddy because he and Brad share an evening beer now. Thing's have really gone in the gutter around here! Brad and Wildairo have quiet a bond. Brad also feeds Wildairo peaches!!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Echo is the opposite of Wildairo.

For the last couple of days I've been able to stroke Echo all the up above his eyes. For a few days he only let me stroke the side of his nose. He's very timid but has shown no signs of aggression like Wildairo did. Not once has he pinned his ears back or lifted a hoof as a threat. I am so glad because I don't want to go through all that 'who's the boss' again. He's very relaxing to be around.

I'm becoming very fond of the little guy. Before he got his halter off I could give the lead rope a gentle tug and he'd step up to me. He is so scared and he's really trying to be friends.

Wildairo is going to be sedated for his Monday appointment with the farrier. His hooves are so bad now that we can't take any chances of him misbehaving again. Although I've had the vet sedate my horses for many procedures I've never had a horse sedated for the farrier. Has anyone gone through this? My vet said that he'll still be able to stand on three legs.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

I think Wildairo is jealous.

I spend a lot of time sitting with Echo, talking to him in a soft voice like I did with Wildairo when he was a new boy. Wildairo cannot understand what's going on and he's upset and puzzled because he thinks I'm telling him to come to me and offering him carrots while my back is turned away from him. He is behind a gate about 10 feet away and he pounds his feet on the gate to get my attention. It's very distracting and is slowing down progress with Echo.

I have been cleaning up his old corral to put him back in there for awhile. He'll still be close but there will be a wooden fence for him to pound on and it won't be so annoying. I have tried every thing I know to stop him from using his front hooves to get attention. I wait for him to do it then smack the offending leg with the bamboo pole while shouting at him. It works for awhile but then he hears me talking to Echo and it sets him off again. Being smacked with the pole doesn't bother him at all, he doesn't move, but he doesn't like me shouting at him. Wildairo is a different kind of horse alright.

Special Notice:

The Lincoln County Fair is this weekend and there's going to be a special presentation scheduled at 11am Saturday by Dusty Roller. Dusty, and his wife Cindy, own Diamond D Quarter Horses and Training in Davenport. Dusty has been selected as one of 200 trainers in the U.S. to train a wild Mustang in 100 days for 'The Extreme Mustang Makeover' in Fort Worth, Texas. He'll have his Mustang at the fair and will be demonstrating his skills. I hope to attend because I'm considering using a professional trainer when the boys are ready to trained next year (or the year after).

I have 'trained' Echo to eat baby carrots so far!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A very stressful day.

This morning I was so disappointed that Echo seemed to back almost to square one. He wanted nothing to do with the bamboo pole and only came to me to nervously take hay from my hand. I felt like it was a set back and on top of that Wildairo is so much in need of a trim that I'm getting very worried. The farrier can't make it till the 25th and I worry that Wildairo will act like an idiot again. I was in a great deal of pain with my ankle and it was one of those days when I was feeling a bit overwhelmed and wondering if I'd taken on too much.

I went in for lunch only to have William come in a few minuets later and tell me Wildairo kicked him! I was very upset but not so much after William told me what happened. Wildairo had his head deep in his big bucket and William came up behind him. Just as he got near a piece of corrugated metal, which had blown up against the fence in the wind storm, suddenly banged in the breeze. Wildairo's head shot up as caught site of movement behind him and fired off a hoof in the general direction of the would-be predator. His hoof missed William's leg but Wildairo's hock somehow made contact William's thigh. No bruise, no redness, but that didn't stop William from going on about it. I told him he was very lucky because he could have his knee broken and maybe now he will be more careful.

After lunch I sat in my lawn chair by Echo feeling forlorn and waiting for the pain medication to kick in. I put my hand out to Echo and said, "come on", he came over and I absent-mindedly stroked his face...then I realized what was happening!!! I got my cell phone and took a quick picture.


I stood up and called him to me and took another picture. This is what makes it all worth it!


He's scared of the bamboo pole but seems willing to come to me and let me touch his face. That evening when Brad came home I had him watch the gate while I cleaned out Echo's water tub. Then I walked up to him and talked to him till he relaxed enough to take a deep breath and lick his lips. He stood there so brave and after awhile he let me stroke his face. He even considered following me but wasn't quiet brave enough for that.

But thing's got bad again. I asked Brad to fixed a bit of fence in his pen. Brad was very quiet yet Echo snorted at him. When Brad turned slowly to come back out Echo lost it. He panicked and bolted into the fence. Brad, being used to bulls and mad cows started to climb out but seeing Brad get higher made Echo get worse so Brad stepped down and stayed really still. He was trapped in the far corner with Echo going berserk in a cloud of dust trying to escape. Brad told me to leave because he said my standing near the pen might be making Echo feel more trapped. So I went over to Wildairo, who despite the ruckus, gave me a very happy whinny. I couldn't see Echo and Brad because of the dust and I was pretty scared that in the cloud of dust Echo would trample Brad. When the dust settled I saw Brad opening the gate and leaving the pen. I hobbled over and hugged Brad and was so glad he wasn't hurt. He said Echo is just timid and wasn't trying to hurt him but get away from him. I noticed Echo had a bit of skin missing under his forelock where he ran head first into the fence board. I talked to Echo, fed him and called it a day.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Fishing for Mustangs

He was a proud young Mustang till he came here, now look at him, he's as crazy as the rest of us!


As you can see Echo managed to get his halter off. Now I will sleep better at night. I have NEVER left a horse alone with a halter on till I adopted a Mustang, so I'm glad he pulled it off. It was too big anyway for his little head. I just sent it down to the Burns Corrals thinking he wore a regular horse size halter.

He was responding very well to the halter and rope when I asked him to move forward with no silly stuff on his part. I do not have a corral the right size to work a horse, they either too big or too small, so I have to be able to touch him before he goes into the bigger corral. We have been doing some bonding from the comfort of my lawn chair. I let him rub his top lip all over my face, I had a wonderful close up view of his grubby little colt teeth. He rubbed my face a bit sore. I trusted him not to pull my hair and he didn't. Then he trusted me enough to let me rub my nose on his nose. (I wish he'd blow his nose more often). I even got to touch his nose with my fingers and tickle his whiskers. We have also been blowing into each others noses.

After I've leave him alone for awhile he's nervous when I walk towards his pen again and steps back. Wildairo wasn't the least afraid of the bamboo pole but Echo is fearful of it. I need to get him to enjoy being touched with it but he steps back out of reach. I came up with a unique way of getting him to except the pole being waved about, I call it Mustang fishing. I put stalks of hay in the hollow end of the bamboo pole and then I wave it about, he follows the pole around. I make a 'click' sound when he looks at it and as a reward I let him eat the bait.



This evening, when it cooled down a bit, I went into Echo's pen to clean out his water tub. He was so scared and stood in the corner facing me. (Oh, he is so pretty). I held out a handful of hay then turned, walked away and faced the corner. Then I walked to him again held the hay out for a moment then walked back to the corner. After about the fifth time I turned around he walked up to me and took the hay from my hand. I can touch the bamboo pole on the side of his face and stroke him but he jumped back when I touched his shoulder.

The farrier cannot come back to trim Wildairo's feet till the 25th. I'm concerned because his feet are very long now. I'm cutting back on his feed because he's getting a bit too big in the belly area. I hope he's not pregnant like Bazzy Boy, the Australian lazy sod gelding/stallion, is claiming to be. (See my 'Blogs I enjoy' for Bazz's ramblings).

Friday, August 15, 2008

Is Echo a Welshman?

I'm really happy because Echo is PONY size! I think he's about 13.3 hh. I have a feeling he's got some Welsh pony blood in him because of his face/eyes and size. I recall I read somewhere that Welsh ponies were used in the West for mining and were turned loose to become feral. I hope it's true because I love Welsh ponies and I am half Welsh myself. He'll also eat less than Wildairo and be easy to man (girl) handle. His full name will be Echo Taffy just in case he is a Welshman.

Echo is NOT like Wildairo was when he was the new kid on the block!

Wildairo was in my face and every move I made he saw as an act of aggression on my part. When I approach Echo's pen he steps back, whereas Wildairo would march right up to me in case I wanted to fight. I sit so quietly as Echo eats right next to my lawn chair and if I make any little move, even if my hair blows, he steps back. With Wildairo, I was on crutches and had to pull myself up on the gate, Wildairo would charge me, ears back, mouth open, even striking out a few times at the gate. I had to finally hit him and it was a quick and permanent cure. Wildairo would also let me touch him through the gate early on.

Now Wildairo is a big lovable sweetheart. We have to walk through his corral to get to Echo, so he gets lots of petting and hugs as we go through. I remember as early as the third week, he'd come to me when I called him. It came in handy yesterday when I let him out of his old corral to put him back in his new corral. He was following me through the gate, (he wasn't being led), and he lumbered over to the gate at the end of the alley where he's never been before, it's the gate where we unloaded Echo at. I looked back to see his head hung over it and looking out at a new view and I noticed it wasn't closed all the way in fact it was open about a foot! I started to get so scared and I called him, he turned around and came to me. Phew! He stopped by my lawn chair to help Echo keep his area free of dropped hay. That was so nice of him but look at his belly!



The first night I sat next to Echo for hours. The moon was bright and the coyotes were singing all around. I had my hand through the gate and I felt his soft nose rub all over the back of my hand.

Wildairo is used to being the center of attention and he did all his tricks to get me over to him. He bit large chunks of wood from the fence and was rubbing his tail off as hard as he could, almost knocking the gate off it's hinges. I had to keep getting up to talk to him. I finally sang the song I used to sing to him when he first arrived, The Boxer, by Simon and Garfunkel. Wildairo settled down and lowered his head so I could see his eyes shining in the moonlight between the boards, even Echo relaxed and started eating hay.

The next morning when I went to see them I noticed Echo had pulled his halter over one ear! Foxsun (my Morgan horse) was in with the herd, so I wormed him, then gave him carrots to take away the taste.

All the herd lined up to visit Echo through the fence. Even the calves and the bull politely got acquainted with the new boy. Here's the old cow wife, Dandylyons, waiting to say hello, Foxsun is next in line right behind her.


I'm trying to get him used to my hand.


The second evening I picked up Echo's lead rope and managed, with only a bit of resistance on his part, to get him within a few feet of me. I didn't try to touch him because he's still too fearful of me. I will do it on his terms. I wish I had a round pen or even a pen a better size. We have cattle sorting corrals and they're either too big or too small to work a horse. I have to be so careful because the halter is off one ear.

I'm 100% pleased with my new Mustang! I look forward to earning his trust.


Echo and I are getting along very well. Today he sniffed my face and worked over my hair. I can get a hold of his lead rope with a pole to get him to come to me. He let me touch his nose a few times tonight. It was very peaceful in the moonlight. Echo is very gentle and sweet. He's getting used to me moving about and doesn't jump as much. He refuses to eat carrots or grain. He is SO different than Wildairo.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


He's named Echo as a reminder of the thunder of thousands of wild horse hooves that could be heard here 120 years ago during the night by my husbands grandfather.

Welcome to your forever home Echo.








He arrived tired, thirsty and hungry. I met him and his chauffeur in Odessa. I climbed up to have a peek at him in the trailer and was awestruck. He came up to me and sniffed my hand. He's more beautiful in real life than he was on the Internet. He's refined, good bone in his legs, well put together. A bit of a dished face and prominent eyes. He's only about 14.1 hh I think. PERFECT. I could see him jumping or dressage. I want to ride him!

He checked out the cattle then said hello to Wildairo. Wildairo said, "It's about time you showed up. When are the others coming"? Then he went back to his hay. Echo went right to his pile of hay after he had a long drink of our delicious cold well water. Well I've got to go and make friends with Echo!!!


Tuesday, August 12, 2008


The horse with no name is coming home tomorrow!

Tom from the BLM called and told me my new wild Mustang will arrive here tomorrow evening from Burns in Oregon. They received his blue halter and lead rope.

I'm so excited!!!!!

Mean while back on the Ranch:

Wildairo and I spent some time training alone yesterday evening. He's calm around me. I reviewed the tapes from Sundays rodeo. He kicked and bucked when Brad was leading him but with me he just ran and pulled till he saw it was me the other side of the rope.


This is my ten step program to 'Towel Break' a horse. I chose an old Thomas the Tank Engine towel, but any large towel will work. Just don't use anything pink or flowery with a boy horse.

1. Show him the whip with a rag on the end again.
2. Put the towel over the whip, spread out like washing on a line.
3. Show it to him and wave it about. (Wildairo sniffed it).
4. Let it touch his shoulder. (Wildairo bit it).
5. Put the towel over arm the same way and let him sniff it again.
6. Bunch the towel in hand and rub his face with it.
7. Rub his shoulder the same way. (Wildairo jumped a little bit).
8. Carefully put it over his withers.
9. Pull the towel slowly over his back like a saddle blanket.
10. Walk him around till he's relaxed and falls asleep.


Just a bit of Mustang fun!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Get on the good foot.

Wildairo's new corral was finished enough for him to move in to today. We still have some clean up to do around the outside and his indoor area has to be finished.


I asked Brad to lead him out of his old corral, down the alley way and into the big corral. I thought it would good for Wildairo to be led into a strange area and be led around. He was very well behaved till he remembered he was a wild Mustang and all hell broke loose!

It's all caught on video and if I can figure out how to put it on here I will. Brad led him around a few times and I stood with William the camera man, telling Wildairo what a good boy he was, then suddenly Wildairo started kicking and bucking and pulled away from Brad. He did it twice, both times getting away and letting himself be caught again with no trouble.

I see some really bad behavior starting, off camera I sorted him out. I had Brad pick his hooves up and pick them out. Wildairo was being horrible, he would move forward or pull back. I'm not sure what happened but he decided to run off with me like he did Brad and I got mad. I was pulled along quiet fast, hopping on my good foot, somehow I managed to hang on and put the rope behind my back and onto my hip where I braced myself and yanked him around, all the time yelling "No No No". William was shouting, "let him go," because he thought I was going to get hurt.

Wildairo did that twice, the second time he wasn't as determined. Then I had Brad pick his feet up and pick them out again. When Wildairo came forward I pushed his head and said "Back", when he started to fly backwards or looked like he was about to, I yanked the lead rope hard and yelled "No"! When he held still to have his feet picked out I rubbed his head and told him he was a good boy.

I had to get tough with him like when we first adopted him and he had to be shown who's boss. Wow, I feel incredible. It the most fun I have had for years. As I get more capable of walking I'm more determined with Wildairo's training. I can't lead him very far because I walk too slow and I don't want to teach him bad habits like pulling.

It's become very clear he treats me differently than anyone else. He wouldn't let Brad put his halter on but has no problem when I do it. Also, when he was acting up on the end of that rope, and I yelled at him he really seemed to pay attention and looked right at me and calmed down. I thought it was wishful thinking but afterwards William said to me, "Wildairo was waiting for instructions from you when he was being bad". I used to yell "NO" at Wildairo when threatened to bite, strike or charge at the fence during those first weeks.

I didn't know I was capable of moving so fast let alone holding on to a wild horse, but I did it! My ankle is painful still, some days more so than others, so I'm always aware that it fragile and I try to be careful, but today was what life is all about, fun and excitement! I LOVE MY MUSTANG!

I was sitting in my lawn chair watching Wildairo and Brad was working on the baler the other side of the shop and it was very noisy. When he used a air nozzle to blow thing's out, the sudden loud noise made Wildairo take off around his big corral, he was having fun, but what struck me was how quick he is. He goes from 0 to 90 and he's so agile as he spins and bucks. Before I left him for the evening I made sure he'd introduced himself to the electric tape that's keeping him away from the rock wall (just in case). The introduction went well, Wildairo keeps far away from the 'biting' fence now. We opened up the alley way gate and his old corral gate so if he gets frightened in the night he can run home.




Friday, August 8, 2008

Operation Incognito

Yesterday William and I went in disguise to visit Wildairo. William had his shirt pulled up over his head and I wore a huge straw hat and walked like low to the ground like an ape. We didn't say anything so he wouldn't recognize our voices. I opened his gate and expected him to at least snort about a bit, but he walked away from him beloved 'big bucket' and right up to us.

Operation incognito was a bust. I thought he'd snort about and I'd say a few kind words and he's start to understand that he's OK no matter what people look like. I guess we'll have to round up some real strangers.

William recalled when Wildairo spotted the farrier his eyes came out on stalks like a cartoon horse. That's just what he looked like! William made another observation; even though Wildairo was scared out of his wits, he ate every baby carrot the farrier gave him before freaking out. The farrier would give him the carrots, he'd eat them and then panic and run away. I'd bring him back and the farrier would give him some more carrots which he gobbled down, then he'd freak again.

Wildairo would walk through the gates of hell for food. I twirled the big straw hat on my hand and he watched very entertained but keeping his distance. He jumped a tiny bit when I touched his nose with it, but then I dropped a carrot inside it and right behind that carrot was Wildario's lips to grab it. He was frightened of the hat but not enough to ignore the carrots.

When we were talking to the farrier right before he left, Wildairo stood there with us staring at him as he munched and slobbered his apple. He dropped a chunk and that's the only time he took his eyes off the stranger and it was to pick his bit of apple out of the dirt. He watches those carrots like a hawk and if I drop one he'll pick it right up. I gave a baby calf one the other day and Wildairo stomped his foot in protest.

He's a greedy little Mustang. He got fed six times Sunday because every time he saw one of us he'd pretend like he was really hungry. Every week I buy him a 2 pound bag of baby carrots, 7 apples and a few bran muffins from Safeway. I'm not giving him grain because the hay this year is really good. I also pick him handfuls of grass or dandelion leaves in the meadow. When Foxsun is in with the herd, I give him have some of the carrots and he loves them too. He won't eat baked goods though. Wildairo will try anything.

Another thing I thought was odd about Wildairo's encounter with the farrier, he never threatened him. As I've mentioned before, Wildairo was very aggressive when he first came here and wanted me to know he could defend himself if I tried anything funny. He's a very amusing horse and I hope the new Mustang will be as much fun.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Wildairo is a Mustang and proud of it.

Thanks to some words of wisdom from other Mustang owners I realize Wildairo's behavior is pretty normal for what he's been through in his short life. He had a whole year of being a wild Mustang living with his wild herd in Southern Oregon. Then he was chased by a helicopter into a trap. Men chased them with whips with plastic bags attached. He was separated from his family and ran through chutes to get worked over with shots and got branded. He's been rolled over on his side on a table to get his feet trimmed and to be gelded. He's been hauled at least twice by being chased into a trailer. When he arrived here he got out of the trailer sweating in fear.

I feel really honored that he trusts us. I look forward to the day when he understands I'd never let anyone in near him who'd try to hurt him. He's part of our family and he and his herd mate (horse with no name) will be taken care of, protected and loved for the rest of their lives.

When Brad came home from work there was just enough light to take a few pictures of Wildairo having his feet picked up. Most of the pictures were too blurry to publish.


Brad picked up his feet several times on each side. Wildairo wiggles about a bit and his balance isn't all that good yet. Brad said Wildairo tried really hard not to step on him. Also he never tried to kick .

As we said goodnight to Wildairo after the three of us made a big deal petting him and telling him he was a good boy, Brad was saying something about giving him a gallon of Budweiser just before Jeff comes back. Ha ha. Wildairo would drink it all down because he's a wild one alright.

Putting the wild back in Wildairo.


I have a wild mustang in my corrals!!!

Today for the first time ever Wildairo acted like a wild horse. He was as sweet as pie when I put his halter on and hooked his lead rope.

Then he saw the stranger!

My little donkey eared horse became a fire breathing wild Mustang just because this stranger in chaps approached him. It was worse than I ever imagined. I have rope burns. If I was a drinking girl I'd have a drink around about now, yes siree.

Imagine if you catch a completely wild horse and try to touch him for the first time, that's what Wildairo was like today with the farrier. He gave him some carrots and greedy boy gobbled them up, he stood wild eyed as the farrier scratched his neck and even started to go all wiggly with his lip. But then he remembered 'stranger danger' and flew backwards in terror. Wildairo was terrified! He couldn't understand why the rest of his little herd, William and I didn't flee with him. I'd limped over to him to bring him back and he was relieved to see me and follow me back like a good little boy, then he go wild eyed again at the farrier.

I have never seen anything like it. He has bonded completely with us and trusts us but he as wild as the day he was caught with strangers.

Even if Jeff the farrier had managed to grab a hoof there's no way Wildairo would have held still to be trimmed. Jeff asked if William could lift his hoof up and I told him no because William is not a horse person, all he does is pet him and cuddle him. William wanted reassurance that Wildairo would be OK if he goes without a trimming a bit longer. Jeff said he was in big need of a trim and was growing long in the toes which would eventually make him sit back too much on his heels and it would cause tendon damage over time. Or he could knock a big chunk out on the rocks. Jeff didn't think it was a good thing to tranquilise him because it teaches them nothing.

The way Wildairo (I wish I had called him Cuddles now) acted I think Jeff thought we hadn't spent any time with him. He said we should just work with him a bit more and pick his feet up. I told him he lets Brad pick his feet up. Brad picked his feet up last night while Wildairo stood there with no one holding him. I concluded he just needs to get used to strangers. Jeff had other appointments and said he'd come back when Brad was there and they'd work on him some more.

If someone from the BLM came out to see him they would come to the conclusion we'd put him in a corral and hadn't touched him since. My gosh, what if he needed the vet? It doesn't matter how well be behaves for us because he will never trust strangers near him at this rate. Help! I need words of wisdom right now. I have never ran into this situation.

On a brighter note, Wildairo looked so very pretty when he was on high alert with his neck arched and his eyes big. He didn't try to strike out at anyone and once, when he took off in a blind panic, he carefully dodged past William and swerved to avoid knocking me over. He's a good boy he was just very frightened of the farrier. At least I don't have to worry about somebody stealing him, especially men in chaps armed with rasps.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Wildairo puts up with me.

Adoption update;

I haven't heard from the BLM yet and I have no idea when #7915 is coming up here. Having extra time is good because the corral improvement turned into a big project. We took out the old wooden fence posts and put in sturdy ones made from old irrigation main line. I sent a halter and lead rope down to the Burns corrals for our new boy. I'm not sure about him wearing the lead rope for a 357 mile trip but I sent it anyway and I'll let them decide.


I got Wildairo a big bucket for his hay and salt lick. What I really like about these wild horses is everything is so new to them. When I put the bucket over the fence his reaction was so comical. In his usual fashion he stood his ground, but his ground was some distance from the bucket and he stretched out his neck and nose to sniff it. I dropped baby carrots in the bucket and the sound concerned him but not as much as those carrots going uneaten. He had to put his head right in the bucket to get them and was ready for that bucket to give him trouble but decided the carrots were worth it. Now the big bucket had become his most cherished possession.

Wildairo's feet are way past needing a trim. I've been very worried about the farrier being able to pick his feet up. I have picked them up and when he pulls away I can't continue to hold on to them because I'm doing good just to be able to keep my own balance. I had Brad pick his feet up while I sweet talked him and fed him carrots. He wasn't happy about it but he didn't get silly. Tomorrow our local farrier is going to trim Wildairo's feet and I'm so worried. I've always prided myself on having well behaved horses and I have no idea what Wildairo will do when a strange man approaches him and tries to grab his legs. I shall give the farrier carrots and apples to feed him because I have noticed Wildairo doesn't care who he takes treats from. Here's a picture of me 'catching' Wildairo to put his halter on. He had his head down eating, ignoring me, all I did was crunch on a carrot and he was mine.


I tied a big rag onto my whip and tortured Wildairo with it. The first time I put it on his back he gave a little tiny buck but didn't pull away too hard. A slight tug and he could get away from me so I think the 'Be Nice' halter works well. He thought a mountain lion might have been trying to jump on his back and to confirm his suspicion of cats being about, our cat Muffin walked along the top of the corral fence. I let him go so he could investigate but she ran off when she saw him coming.

Here are some pictures of Wildairo having a rag waved about him.






Final humiliation.

Followed by a good scratching.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Lazy hazy days of summer.

These pictures were taken when the cows were in for water and to chew their cud. It's hazy with smoke from distant wildfires.


I started my own 'type' of cattle about 20 years ago. I call them Smokeys. If they are born a solid smoke color with not a spot of white, they always grow horns. If they are born with some white they are always hornless or 'polled'. The Smokeys have proven to be very healthy and wean very big calves. One draw back is they are also very intelligent and quickly figure out how to get to greener pastures. But I think the biggest difference in the Smokeys is their more friendly dispositions than Charolais.

Here they are licking up some glycerin and molasses. The glycerin is a by product of my husbands biodiesel business. We have fueled our pick-up and our cows thanks to biodiesel.


The cow in the picture below is called Levin. She was the first and only calf born this color. All the other cattle were white and mostly Charolais. She was almost a clone of her grandmother, our herd founder the famous #11. All Levins calves are big intelligent Smokeys. Levin was born fearless of humans which is unusual for a range cows. Her bull calf standing in front of her is a Smokey/white and polled.

The famous #11 had to be put to sleep after giving birth to her last calf in 1991. #11 had a prolapsed uterus and a dislocated hip and couldn't get up. She became so bad with arthritis it was very hard for her walk that last winter. In March she had managed to give birth and that last calf was Dandylyons who became the long suffering 'wife' of a Morgan horse.


In these pictures Foxsun had just found his old cow wife, Dandylyons hiding from him trying to have a snooze in a corral. Horses eat most of the day but cows like to spend half the day chewing their cud and day dreaming about eating again. This leads to many problems in a inter-species marriage. After 17 years they have learned to compromise. He'll let her rest and he'll have a little graze off on his own. After awhile he comes back and bites her bum to get her up on her poor old feet then cuts her from the herd and heads her out to graze. She gets less rest than the other cows but she looks very good for age, so having a personal trainer must be doing her some good. I've seen Dandylyons get frantic and leave the other cows to run mooing for Foxsun, when she's lost sight of him for too long. When Wildairo first came here he seemed a little embarressed to see such going on's. It'll be good when gets a 'normal' equine to keep him company.


William has to try to hold them back so I can take pictures.



Mean while back in the corral, Wildairo had an itch.