Thursday, May 22, 2008

The process from advertisment to horse in the stall...

The story starts with Fritz. He is my 18yo hannoverian. He is perfect. I enjoy riding him, but somehow when you always know that you are going to have a good ride, it leaves me wanting more.

I have been searching for a cremello mare for months. I was considering breeding for a cremello foal, but the cost was prohibitive AND I felt I would be ultimately responsible for his/her life. So, I continued to search the classifieds. At the bottom of there was a text ad for a perlino broodmare. The price was right and the sellers seem to be in a hurry to sell. We emailed and I learned that she has been out in a broodmare band for most her whole life. I learned that she had two foals. I chose to have her vetted. The vet reported her sound and not pregnant. The vet reported that she was "a broodmare" as if that explained all I would need to know about her. I chose to go ahead and purchase her, bring her from MN on a four day trailer ride to see what I would get. It has been a great adventure.

I bougt two PMU mares a few years ago- the definition of halterbroke for them meant that someone had gotten a halter on them before running them into the trailer. I was hoping better from this mare.

She traveled for four days, while I studied and reviewed Ttouch, Tteam, Bach's flower remedies, homeopathy and John Lyons methods. I formed ideas about basic skills horses' should have and the sequence they can/should be taught in. I used Double L transport, Louie Velasco, he's a great guy and did very good with her along the way. I didn't know what the first day would bring...

Drifter came to the barn after I had left for work. She was quiet getting off the trailer. She was NOT quiet when the barn staff tried to worm her- in fact she struck and jumped on one of them. She was on the road to being booted out of the barn before I even got to meet her. Everyone was told to say away from her and I was warned that she doesn't trust people.

She was standing quietly in the stall, she was facing people. I cracked the door open and stuck in my hand while I talked to some other boarders. She sniffed me and didn't turn away. I thought this was a great sign. She stepped back and I came into the stall. She stood still and I reached for her. She tensed her neck and raised her head, but she didn't move away. I immediately began doing Ttouch on her. I did the abolone TTouch- hard to believe I even know the name of it, but that's what I did. She relaxed.

I touched her mane, her back, her neck. I got my grooming kit, dressage whip, leadrope, camera. I snapped a few shots of her dreaded mane. She stood quiet. I began to comb her mane, unravel her dreaded hair. I talked to her. I told her she was pretty. She sniffed me and stood very still. I touched her front legs and stoked her hind legs with the dressage whip. She didn't kick out, so I touched her legs. She has two HUGE scrapes on her hind legs that are swollen and infected. She let me tie up her tail, she let me clean her wounds...

I was able to back her up, turn her in her stall and asked her to move away from me. I took her out of her stall and lead her up and down the aisle. She was nervous, she stopped frequently, but moved forward from cues from the dressage whip, she was a bit bargy, but she tried.

I am smitten and she is on probation...

My plan:
lead her around the farm- this will be necessary for the staff to be able to turn her out
treat her wounds- soften those scabs, treat with homeopathic ointment (calendula)
wash her tail- it is gross and I think I can wash it in a bucket
teach her to pick up her feet
I will continue to use Ttouch to gain her trust and Tteam to teach her better leading skills.

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