Saturday, November 14, 2009

Assimilation

On Thursday I went out to the barn to give Jasper his 50 pound bucket of supplements, the the herds were still segregated. My two were out in the 20 acre pasture, and the other 6 were hanging out around the barn/feeder/waterer. The problem with this is that the barn is at the end of a long wide chute, and I figured my 2 guys wouldn't stand a chance against Jake, the mean old boss gelding. So after they got done eating (Alexandre gets a little bucket with a handful of complimentary oats and a bunch of big rocks in it) I led Alexandre down the chute and into the barn area. Jasper follows him like a shadow, and I shooed the other horses away and led mine to the water. They drank and I guarded them until Alexandre decided hay was more important than safety, walked out of reach, and Jake chased him out of the barn area and back into the chute with Jasper right on his heels. Norm, the barn owner, said that he was going to move 2 of them up to the new pen that he had made but hadn't done it yet. I sighed, decided I'd just lead them to the water every time I came out, and they would have to eat pasture grass until some switching around could be done.

I was home for about 20 minutes (a 30 mile round trip) when Norm called from Yakima or somewhere at his daughter's volleyball tournament, said he was concerned about my guys not getting near the food/water, and told me if I wanted to I could move Jake and a buddy to the new pen. Or he could do it this weekend. I of course drove straight back there and caught Jake and his buddy the pinto. The pinto is 4 and huge. Not so much tall, but wide. And as it turns out, not real halter broke. If I had to do it again, I would probably lead them one at a time and take a lunge whip to smack pinto when he planted his feet and refused to move forward. Eventually though they made it up the big hill and into the new pen, had a fit over the 2 horses next to them until Jake got snapped by the hotwire fence, then all was well.

I am happy to report that today my two were standing under the shelter with the remaining four. I wouldn't say anyone is friends yet, but just being in the same area is an improvement. The four that are left are so uncertain what to do without their aggressive leader that it seems quite calm at the moment. Lots of ear pinning and threatening, but these guys take 3 steps and stop like normal horses. It snowed this afternoon and I was thinking that it might be Jasper's first snow.
Muddy around the feeder, but I noticed today there was a load of bark dumped there. Note how Alexandre eats off the top instead of pulling the hay through the slats like everyone else. This way he can get giant mouthfulls and inhale as much hay as possible in the shotest amount of time. Nevermind that there is hay 24/7. Will he figure this out? No, no he will not.

I, however, wasn't able to watch Jasper in possilby his first snow because I went out to Post Falls Equestrian Center to watch Jessica Wisdom teach. She has a training facility in Yelm (Yelm is pretty much in the middle of nowhere near Olympia). She is now my favorite instructor (dressage at least) becaue I actually GET what she's saying, and have SEEN the improvements in the horses and riders that she teaches. She's also quite entertaining. She says a lot of things that are pretty funny, mostly when she's trying to describe something. I guess her students at her barn in Yelm are putting a book together called "Words of Wisdom". At one point we were all standing in the aisle of the barn watching her ride a grey mare doing haunches in down the long side, and the mare was not cooperating. Under her breath as she camly went by we heard her mumble "c'mon mare, it's not fu**ing rocket science," which sent the onlookers into fits of giggles. I was so impressed with her last month when she was here I asked if I could be a working student for her for a couple of months. How cool would that be? Unfortunately she doesn't have room right now but until I get a job I'm going to keep asking.

I'm thinking about riding again. I didn't want to stress one out by leaving him behind, but now that they're semi accepted into the herd I feel I can take Jasper away it will be OK. I don't think I can take Al away, I'd be afraid that Jasper would try jumping out or something. I really need a friend to come out and ride Al with me...!

4 comments:

Kate said...

Glad they're finally in with the herd - it's hard sometimes when there's one too aggressive dominant horse. Our herds are pretty balanced right now, which makes things easier.

achieve1dream said...

If I lived closer I'd come ride him for you!! :D

Serena said...

i totally volunteer!!

Michelle said...

So glad that things are settling down a bit. That must have been stressful, worrying about them not getting food/water. At least the owner is open to working things out.