Sunday, May 15, 2011

New Mustang, week one

Week one has brought lots of visitors and lots of new experiences. Sage and Chinook now have their very own grass pasture (not enough to feed them, but enough to keep them busy), and they have spent several hours romping around it.

Chinook is getting very good at using his mouth to sample everything from trees to the fence.

Sage has been a bit more lively. I'm sure the weight of a foal was a lot to carry! I see her trotting and cantering a little bit more now.

Chinook is already getting big! As you can see, his little legs have straightened out and he's gaining muscle. Which is not surprising, considering he runs all the time!

He likes to give his mom kisses, but he also likes to bite and kick at her when he wants to try to steal her food. She has a hook over feeder that if I don't place high enough is always getting raided by the little gremlin. In order to give Sage a bit of a break, I try to work with Chinook at feeding time. And by "work with," I mean basically play with for ten minutes and "train" for one minute.

He always gets his halter on at each feeding time, and he's gotten especially good about it. His little green halter is almost too small now, though his purple rope halter is still a little big. He's learned to yield to pressure side to side and now will somewhat reliably walk forward when asked. I pick up all four feet each day, and of course it's rough, but as long as he is happy and being nice, I'm not going to care that it's not perfect. He's too young for that!

Other than learning how to lead, he's been out in the pasture with the other horses for several days. They seem to have figured everything out, and it's a good humbling experience for him to have to deal with the other horses. He's very respectful and does the foal's submissive biting/chewing gesture.

He's also been in the trailer! I had to pick up another ton of hay because of the rainy weather, and since I had the trailer hooked up, I worked a little with Brandy on loading and relaxing. She was very good; I just have to be more persistent about it and work with it more often. I figured that I would see if Sage remembered her lesson from December, and of course she did. She stepped right in to eat some pellets and Chinook followed her. Overall, although he can be kind of a brat sometimes, he's been a very good boy.

These two are going to be darned good trail horses in a few years!

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