So I did a thing… I adopted a mustang. I was getting ready to bring my horse home finally!!! And of course he was going to need a buddy. So I explored a couple of options, i put in an application with Canter, I put in an application to adopt a donkey, and then I came across this mustang for adoption. He was really cute, and he had been with young man who did mustang makeover challenges, so I figured… why not?
I got a chance to meet him, and of course at the place he felt safe I could lead him around, pick up his feet, lead him around obstacles in the arena, the young man even had about 15 rides on him. So I committed. Got my BLM application approved, and then realized even though he was “gentled” I still had to meet the BLM enclosure requirements. So my $1000 horse suddenly became a $3000 horse after I bought a round pen. The lady at the BLM said that they often revert when moved to a new place. Boy oh boy was I glad I had the round pen LOL. I am pretty sure that if I had turned him out, I would not have caught him again for a while.
Meet Ranger. Ranger is a 3-ish year old adorable 14 hands-ish palomino that is cute as a button and still half feral. Part of me thinks I have lost my mind. I alternate between “I’m insane” and “it will have been worth it someday”.
I have advertised for board because I can’t take one horse out of the pasture without the one left behind losing their mind. I am ready to take in a boarder or two so at least the one left behind will have some company.
The mustang was delivered 5 days before my horse came home, and in those 5 days I was able to lead him up and down my driveway. I have a 1/4 mile long gravel driveway, so to the end and back is 1/2 mile. His feet are really long, so it’s been helping naturally trim them down and shape them a little. I’m a barefoot trimmer, and it’s killing me to see his feet as long as they are, but I;m still a ways from getting to do that. I was able to do a VERY rough trim on his front feet before my horse came home. I was able to do more while I was the only companion in his life. Once my horse “S” came home and he had a buddy again, it all changed. He follows S everywhere.
Taking him for walks down the driveway is a challenge now. S screams for his buddy, and R stops constantly trying to turn back. He does respond to pressure in the rope halter, but it’s constantly stop and go. At one point he reared up striking out at me with his front feet multiple times, rearing while stepping towards me on his hind feet. I have to admit, it scared me. It only happened on one of our walks early on after S came home, but seriously, I’m too old for this!
I have started clicker training, and for the most part, it’s going well, I love the concept of the +R training but progress is really slow. We are working on picking up feet, touching a target, dropping his head with poll pressure. There have been a few times when he has decided he wants no part of it and swings butt to me and backs up at me threatening. We are working on tying, also, which is another thing he did well before he came to me, but reverted to. He definitely know he is stronger and will use his body to try and push me around while tying.
I have no timeframe, I have no agenda to accomplish specific things on any time frame, and I have no ego in this. I am willing to throw a world of patience at this, but I need to maintain safety as much as I possibly can.
I plan on using this as sort of my “diary” on how things are going, and I’ll gladly take any input or advice from those who have been through this successfully! Pic of the cute wicked little thing. Oh and he thinks everything is going to eat him. Especially the lacrosse net near the paddock.