Mustangs Part III


I just set up the game camera in the pasture—I’ve been wanting to do it for a while, but other things kept pushing it out of my mind. Unfortunately, the best shot I have are us cleaning up the pasture and Cav from a distance, and an extreme close-up of me while I was setting up the darn thing!

But I do have some other pics:

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Had a lovely day yesterday, too: 64 degrees and sun in the afternoon, but with a crap ton of wind! Up to 35 mph! Part of the fence were blowing, as well as the greenhouse, but everything held. I let the horses into the south section, which has grass, while I cleaned up the other one and the barn and trough.

Wow. Can’t skip days, that’s for sure, although in my defense, everything was covered with snow this past Saturday.

They had a great time, and of course THAT’S when I should have had the camera set up! Chestnut and Cav were racing around and Cav gave a few little bucks. Too cute! He was really feeling those oats . . .

I’ve been hand feeding Cav, holding the bucket for him during the first half of breakfast or dinner. We’ve progressed from his fuzzy little forelock all the way down his face, his cheek, and just yesterday, his neck and mane. I can’t really say he “loves” it yet, but he rarely startles anymore.

I’ve been working on his right side, simply because that’s how he arrives at the bucket. Last night, I moved to the left.

Well, it seems that scary things are on the left side! Even things that are becoming normal on the right. Just another problem for which to find a solution!

Cody, on the other hand, is still wary. She answers my whistle when I come outside in the morning, and she now stands facing the house instead of giving me a butt view. Little things . . .

Yesterday, when I was feeding Cav, she could see her bucket about ten feet behind me. She rested her head on Cav’s rear and watched, then finally circled around to her own bucket. ‘Bout time—when he’s done with his, he generally aims for hers, and he’s gotten a nibble or two on his ear for trying, too!

Here’s the biggest difference in personality/trust: I opened the gate just a little this morning, so Chestnut wouldn’t come through. Cav came right on in and started grazing. Cody stopped short and looked at me, ears up, waiting. I opened it a bit more and moved back as far as I could, about an arm’s length so I could hold the gate, and she trotted on through. Silly horse.

This morning, we started de-worming. I finally got an answer from the vet on dosage that made sense—no more of this “10 mg per kg of weight” nonsense. That part I could figure, but how to measure it out was beyond me. Sigh. Anyhow, we’ll do this for five days, then wait two weeks and repeat it. It’s pellets that go in their food; I can’t really tell a difference between that and their feed. Hopefully, they can’t either!

I’m increasing their grain, too, a little at a time each day. Cav is halfway to his full ration, but Cody is a bit behind. Slow and easy is much better than overfeeding, especially for horses who’ve never had grain before. Having a third arm would help! That way I could put her bucket down and hold Cav’s AND keep him from wandering away to the unattended bucket . . .

They’re both spending half a day or so in the south section of the pasture, alone most of the time. Chestnut gets her turn too, but she’s much less bitchy when she’s been separated from them for a couple hours. The grass and the ground there is better, but of course, it’s closer to the gate and the road. And with this wind lately, well, we’re doing a little fence maintenance, just in case!

 

 

Work Wednesday—Almost Here!


Late yesterday morning, I received pictures of our new horses! In case you haven’t seen them, here they are:

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I spent the rest of that day basically jumping around the house; it’s a good thing almost all my work was done for the day! Well, except for the finishing touches: 003

And of course, the neverending saga of putting additional screws in the fence. Thankfully, the sun finally came out around 2:30. More or less.

My assortment of halters, ropes, and, inexplicably, a book called “The Backyard Cow,” arrived mostly unscathed, and this weekend we’re taking delivery of 50 or so bales of hay.

A lot of work? Yes. Cold? Yes.

But not nearly as cold as the weather in South Dakota, where the horses are coming from . . .

I’ll write more on Friday, but my horses are coming from a rescue that’s under court order to adopt out a certain percentage of the herd. The deadline to apply was November 30, which was about two weeks after I first heard about it.

The remaining horses are going to auction December 19-20, and yes, some will likely be sold to kill buyers. Again, more about this on Friday.

Now, I jumped at the chance to own a couple wild mustangs—come on, who wouldn’t? But I’m also rather practical. Most of the time. Okay, some of the time. But our intentions were always, once we moved out here, to get a couple horses.

I don’t think this is exactly what my husband had in mind . . .

Those of you who came out about a month after we closed on the farm will surely be wondering what the heck is wrong with us—the place was a wreck before you all came out and helped with clean-up. And we’ve done a few things since then.

We’ve been seeding the pasture area, spring and fall, and we’d always planned to put in the fence this year when the weather turned a bit cooler from those nearly-forgotten summer temps. We stepped up the timetable a bit after agreeing to work with a neighbor’s horse, and having her live here for a while during training, but neither he nor we were in a rush.

Then I saw the adoption site.

And here’s the problem—a lot of folks think, “Wow, free horses!” and they’re off and running. Sure, I thought that too, but 1) I have space and 2) I have facilities for horses and 3) I can afford to pay for transport, feed, vet, farrier, etc. And, well, 4) I have experience and quite a collection of tack and tools gathered over the years.

But some of these adopters, gosh, I really wonder if they know what they’re getting into. Some are sending their adoptees to be boarded; some, at least on social media, indicate little knowledge or experience; some can’t afford the hauling fees—how can they afford to board or feed the animals?

I understand that they’re saving the horses from a kill pen, but still . . . On the other hand, those in charge of approving adoptions presumably went over the applications and did give approval. So perhaps all is well.

I only know that were things we had to do before the arrival of our pair, and yes, we’re doing them. Probably will even be finished days before they arrive. Really, we only moved up the date, not the purpose.

In a nutshell, these horses are coming to a home where they’ll have plenty of hay and grain, shelter, vet care, and their very own people—none of which they had in South Dakota.