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Sunday, March 29, 2009

Wildairo needs haltering 101.

I screwed up. Wildairo should have been handled more over winter. I have been feeling really bad this winter because of the sarcoidosis I have, plus the cold really got to me this year. Foxsun didn't help by chasing Wildairo away from me, but still, I should have tried harder with Wildairo. I should have spent the times I was out there divided more equally between the two mustangs, instead I spent most of the time with Echo because he's so sweet and easy to be around.

Here's Wildairo in the rain.


Over the last week I have been spending more time with Wildairo and softening him up by just petting his face, neck and giving him a back rub. Yesterday, when there was a break in the pouring rain, I decided to put his halter on and failed miserably. I got him to the point where I could easily touch the top of his head while holding the scrunched up rope halter. When I went to put the halter behind his ears I found he was too tall and I couldn't do it. I fiddled about and by that time he said he had enough and backed away from me. I tried again and he backed away quicker. That's when I really screwed up. I decided I'd put his lead rope over his neck to hold him still while I haltered him but I was very clumsy in doing so and he ran over to the gate begging to be set free.

I ended up putting him in 'lock up' so I can more or less start from the ground up. Once in the small pen I touched him with the bamboo pole like the old days. He shied away from it when he saw it. He'd never done that before. But then he quickly remembered it was the 'scratchy stick' and held still while I scratched his itchy spots.

I notice he's not focused on me like he was when we first adopted him, instead he's looking out towards the sagebrush that Foxsun disappeared into.

I have a issue with Wildairo's size. He seems huge to me! I know I lost some height because of my spine thing but to me Foxsun seems to have shrunk and Echo is still dinky. Could Wildairo have grown that much? When I first saw him with his wild bunch in the BLM corral, they all looked like ponies with their shaggy manes. I remembered telling a man there I didn't think any of them were going to get to be over 14.2 and he agreed. Once home in our pen, I realized Wildairo was already over 14.2.

I wish I didn't get disheartened so quickly. I have been trying to tell myself he's still a 'little handled barely gentled' mustang and not dear old predictable Foxsun.

Meanwhile Echo and I are making great progress.


Linda said...

Yeah, definately, don't get discouraged. The whole winter has passed and you are kind of starting anew, but with a Spring fresh horse. We've taken some steps back, too. But until the day I get an indoor arena (which will be never) I can't do much of anything in the winter with snow and ice--now mud. So, it's little by little. A little grooming, leading, haltering and unhaltering, picking up feet--until Spring is solidly here. You'll have a lot more time this summer and he'll probably come right around. He was a real sweetie for you last year. :)

arlene said...

Thanks for the encouraging words. I forgot all about how most horses act in the Spring because old Foxsun is always the same no matter what.

I don't know what it is about me that gets feeling so discouraged so quick. Not a good thing at all and I have to try to change.

Cheryl Ann said...

Arlene, our former trainer got a mustang who was part draft as her training 'stang a couple of years ago. He was HUGE! Remember, sometimes the wild ones breed with domestics and they can be large! Our two seem to be small, especially Scout. Small, compact, but a great little turner! Man, can she run and turn! Scout was the most mistrustful of ALL our horses, but now she's a real "love bug". He'll come around once you can start working with him again!

Lea and her Mustangs said...

Arlene - please don't get discouraged. Bad weather makes them a little goofy. Mustangs grow until they are 5 so perhaps he has grown in a year. You will do better when the weather quiets down. Hang in there.

arlene said...

Thank for all the encouragement. It's wonderful to know I have a knowledgeable support group out there.

I'm not sure how tall Wildairo is, probably not that big. I seem to get more intimidated now I'm older.

I suspected mustangs were slow growers because they eat so poorly while they are wild and get a late start.