Monday, October 23, 2006

Our first day with Libby

After Libby's spending last night in the pen alone with Blue, we decided to introduce her to the two horses that are boarded here, this morning.  Sassy did just fine with her.  Tude's behaviour, however, was terrible.

He chased Libby around and around the pen, trying his best to bite her as they ran.  When we were finally able to get him near the gate, we got him away from her.  So the three big horses grazed in the pasture, and Libby was in the pen alone most of the day.  They'll all come to an agreement eventually, but I'm going to take it slow.

I've found out some of Libby's adolescent quirks now:  She is easily caught, but very touchy about certain areas of her body.  I could brush or pet her head, her chest and neck, and her shoulders just fine; but her attitude is very hands-off about her legs, belly, and butt.  If you touch an area she doesn't want touched, she'll squeal and threaten to kick.  Don't worry, folks, this old lady isn't going to push her luck.

I have all the time in the world, so I simply intend to daily groom the areas she doesn't mind having touched; hopefully over weeks and months, I can work down and back to other areas.

Long-time readers of this blog are already aware that I know when to cut my losses.

I put her in the box stall for a couple hours and let her munch alfalfa hay, and gave her a little grain.  I was cautious about approaching her in the stall, but there wasn't any problem with that.

Right now, I've put Sassy and Blue in the pen with Libby, leaving Tude outside to watch over the fence.  Later I'll take Libby to the box stall for another hay-eating session, turn the three big guys out for the night, and tell all of the critters good night.

As I said before, I am not a horse trainer; and if this doesn't work out, I don't think it will be a problem to find a home for this very bright filly.  I'll do all I can not to ruin her for somebody else.

Comments to be answered:  from: hestiahomeschool
"Oh, she is a little beauty, and has such a sweet smart expression. Does she foxtrot?"  Yes, Arick was making her go in a circle yesterday, and she does foxtrot.

From Asteryth: 
"She is are going to have so much fun. Just one thing to remember though... If you've always had geldings, mares can be a bit of a challenge on some days. With geldings you don't have any hormones to deal with, even with studs you have a pretty even keel.. But mares cycle and some of them (not all thank goodness<g>) can be a -little-cranky during certain parts of their cycles! But, if you realize what is going on it isn't usually much different."  Yep, my first horse was a mare, and Sassy, the one boarded here also.  Believe me, I know about their silliness.  I truly prefer geldings for that reason.  Keep an eye on me, lady, and tell me if I am doing the wrong thing!

From csandhollow: 

Has she had any training yet? She must lead and load, you got her home. Has she had any ground work other than that? We had Brook on Belle at that age. "  She leads great, and doesn't walk or run away when you go out to get her.  She was cautious about stepping into the trailor, but really didn't fight it once her former owner stepped up inside and encouraged her.  Since she's so touchy about her back, I won't be putting anybody on her very soon.  My grandson Arick will probably be the first to get on her, but that's six months away.  I may try working her with a lunge line later, but right now I'm just getting her used to her new home and her new owners.
Okie-dokie, time to go out and re-arrange thehorses!  


deslily said...

you sure have your work cut out for you... but i know it's a labor of love!!  I hope she works out!

madcobug said...

Tude is being mean to the pretty baby. Hopefully he will stop that. Sounds as if the previous owner has already spent a good deal of time teaching her. I bet she is beautiful doing the foxtrot. Helen

nerves05 said...

She is a beautiful horse, i love there color. that deep brown...
I hope she will fit right in soon.

Take care  ;-0

mumma4evr said...

she really is a pretty horse!!

astaryth said...

Have you ever done any long-line (some people call it ground driving)? You can do practically everything from the ground AND at a safe distance.... By the time you finally get on it is just a matter of them getting used to your weight and leg cues! I've seen people with a lot of time to work have some really good luck with that system...

tc01hm said...

I had a fiesty little burro that could not stand to have his legs brushed. My ferrier suggested that I brush him with a broom. It did the trick. You can keep your distance and the brushing action feels good. You do have to start slowly on the areas that they wouldn't fight and keep the stick low so as not to threaten.

tendernoggle said...


magran42 said...

A new adventure for me...Looking forward to seeing the progress.

creekscout said...

When you're rubbing the areas she doesn't mind having touched, gradually start going further back.  If she gets frightened, return to an area she doesn't mind.   Then repeat the process again.  And again. And again.  You should be able to progress further back each time you work with her.  Use the lead line to gently toss all around her - over her back - around her legs.  Remember to first let her see and smell anything you are using.  

regkayhor said...

My daughter told me to lool at you web page.  I am so glad to get to see the progress with Libby.  She is a little hesitant when you try to touch her back legs but she does come around.  She did try to give our ferrier a little trouble but she did fine after the first time.  We have used a lunge line on her and she does pretty good with that.  If she doesn't work out for you I would consider buying her back from you.  As you already know I only got rid of her because I have too many horse and not enough time.  
P.S. She has never offered to kick.  Good luck!!!

hestiahomeschool said...

Oh, that is so cool that she foxtrots. :-)  It is such a pleasant gait.

Try brushing her belly gently with a lounge whip while feeding her carrots and stuff. She will grow to associate getting her belly and legs touched with food. It really works.