Tuesday, March 2, 2010

My first BLM foster mustangs...

The BLM has a program similar to the TIP program, except there are no restrictions on horse ages, colors, etc. I take the horse home, have 90 days to find an adopter, and in the meantime halter gentle them to get them ready for a pen that does not have to meet the 6 ft height requirements.
In this case, a couple was talking to someone else and they asked if I was able to foster the horses until they got their pens built. So I did. Originally it was one horse, but we all know how that goes....one likes one horse, one likes the other horse, so let's do the logical thing - GET BOTH HORSES! Ha ha! It is a win-win situation for adopters and horses.

So, I now have two mustangs here to work with. The barn area is muddy, so we dragged panels to the front yard as a temporary pen. I have enlarged it once, and will enlarge it again now that I know how I am going to do this.

When we got home it was dark, so we backed into the front yard and pulled out a few panels so they can get out of the trailer. I have since added more panels so they can move around, but now I need to get them off the rock to work them.

We hooked the panels up to the trailer so they could use that as shelter for now. I threw hay in there because I wanted them to go in and out and know that the tin can sound it makes every time they move is okay. It has worked great!

Both boys are 4 yrs old and geldings. The darker colored one is a pinto, and he has been named Thunder, which is appropriate because he has a little lightning bolt mark on his nose. He hopped in and out of the trailer a lot - I think he likes to be tall.
The palomino does not have a name yet. The adopters, Beth and Terry, are talking about coming to visit, so maybe Terry will think of something once he can see the personality of the paly.

Head shot of the palominio...he is a cutie!

Both of them are curious when I move around the pen, or drag stuff around inside. They snort, but they both check it out. Thunder is more bold so far - it has only been a couple of days, but his thinking reminds me of Wyoming.

The sun was not my friend in this shot, but you can see the lightning bolt on his nose. When I look at this guy, I see a traditional Indian pony from way back. I can't wait until we get friendly enough to start touching, because I am going to work on getting those legs cleaned up. He has 4 white legs that are just begging to be shown off.

Thunder was comfortable enough that first morning to leave his butt in the trailer while he munches on left over hay - and I am in there with them.

We had to move big bales on Sunday, so I left big gates open so I did not have to run back and forth. Batman and his posse got out into the front yard, which is fine, and he is all excited because he has more mustang friends. Batman loves mustangs!

Last night I had some daylight and spent a long time in the pen with both of them. I rubbed both of them all over with my lunge whip/stick, and touched the withers of the palomino. He was not keen on it, but he tolerated it okay.
Thunder does not hesitate to sniff on my hands, and he wiggles his muzzle around and tests the waters. I moved my fingers around to try to touch around his nostrils, and as long as I was soft, he was fine. He was not ready to be touched, but I did stand right next to his shoulder. Do you know how hard it is to stand that close and not reach out? IT IS HARD! :-) But I did it...just stood there until he reached his head around to sniff me. Once he did that, I walked away giggling to myself. I love this part!

The days will be getting longer, and after this weekend I will have a lot more time to do what I want to with them. By the time I am done I want them leading nicely, I want them to let me handle their feet, and I want them to trailer load without asking twice. We will take walks and walk over and around things, and of course lots of touching.

Chris Jamison has been helping people with mustangs for a long time, and we are lucky enough to have her and her husband Phil in our lives as friends. She had worked both horses in the round pen at the BLM adoption and had already touched the palomino. Thunder was facing up to her, but I am not sure if she got to touch him or not. Chris had already taken that first contact edge off, so once these guys get used to me and I spend time with them every day, they will come around quickly.

Gotta head out to feed now...

Have a great day everyone!
Until later....Karen and Tripp

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