Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Some people are just plain mean.

I want to again, thank everyone of you who have been sending such kind and supportive comments about Spencer and his progress.

You make my whole year! You are all so awesome and it's been really fun going to your blogs and reading about your own wonderful accomplishements with your horses. There are so many very cool horse people in the world!!

Then today, I get this. I can't imagine someone would be dumb enough to post such an insulting comment and use a company name.

raystreeservice has left a new comment on your post "Getting Closer":

i can not keep from stooping to you alls level. i must say one is a camera hog and one is a hog . the one with the hat should not be in pictures. the flying monkeys have been released. " inside joke "

Well, I turned 53 a few days ago... I sure didn't need to hear that. But I'm sure this grammar-school reject is a super-model with loads of room to talk. And I know there are so many really cool people out there that outnumber jerks like this.

Anyway, for everyone else:

Yesterday, Spencer was finally turned out with all the other horses, mares included and he's doing great!

There was some posturing at first, but he's getting along really well. And since he's much easier to catch these days I'm not concerned about him being out with the others.

I'll up load some pictures (sans my face) as soon as I take them off the camera for those who are interested.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Getting Closer

Hey there! Spencer has been getting more trusting of me. It's been so fun playing with him. He seems to love the relationship we're building. He likes the play and the work and I feel like he just so wants to please.

So weird, how natural he is with the things I ask of him, considering no one offered him this type of opportunity that I know of. We were doing so well that I wanted to add this post about our progress, but there was no one around to take pictures. A post without pictures is kind of boring! So here are my attempts at getting a picture of the two of us together. Even funnier I think than a good shot taken by someone else!

What a camera hog!
He can still be a poop, but he's becoming less of a poop everyday. I had him jumping barrels, and he tripped up a couple times. I still haven't gotten to his hooves, but I'm getting closer. I can't imagine how he could move if he had good hooves under him. Well, soon we'll see!:-) I can brush him all over now, which was very scary for him at first. The brush was an object that he acted as if he had either never seen before or someone had beaten him with a horse brush!
He was so afraid at first! Or he'd become defensive and scare me!
But I picked out a very soft brush and once he's realized I'm not going to hurt him with it, he allows me to brush him all over his body. Just not when he's eating. I still can't get close to him during his meals, but that's coming. No rush.
I've just started sacking him out with a plastic bag. We'll be taking that very slowly considering it has caused him to leap in the air like a cat when I set it on the ground in front of him. He's a very large cat and I don't like being in the same zip code with him when he decides to pounce back down on the ground. Here's a video that I took today after playing at liberty. My little arena is too small for a horse his size. Soon I'll have my round pen put together and we'll be able to make more progress. Hey! Don't laugh at my silly voice!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

What's New With Spencer

We got back from our trip to Pagosa Springs on Tuesday. While we were gone, our friend who was critter-sitting for us, did nothing more with Spencer than feed him and offer him a carrot at the gate to his field from our back yard.

Since then, I've taken him into my small arena with me to start playing the Parelli Seven Games with him, (2 times) which is simply the foundation for a horse new to Natural Horsemanship.

He is doing so well, that today, I took him out into the yard to let him graze on-line. He really seemed to enjoy that. My being so close to him didn't seem to bother him at all.

Now when I go into his field, he runs from the opposite end (where there are other horses just across the road) down to see what I have for him.

When he leaves his paddock, he no longer just walks past me as if am of no importance to him as he's done in the past. He will actually stop and check-in with me to make sure I have nothing to offer before he walks away.

He still doesn't care to be brushed, but I think he is finally becoming interested in humans. So as his reward, you might notice something is missing from his face.

I was finally able to get that halter off today! And I'm not worried about how difficult it might be to get it back on.

I had some trouble getting if off before, because he'd try to bite my arm when I would reach up to untie the knot. And because it barely fits his head, the knot was at the very end of the head piece, making untying it difficult.

So he was patient with me today, to a point, and since I couldn't untie the knot out, he let me slip the halter off over his ears. That was nice because he hates his ears to be touched.
We have a long ways to go, but I'm getting a really good feeling that he's coming around, his testosterone is starting to settle out of his system and he appears to be gaining a little weight.

I kissed him on the forehead today. He seemed to like it, kind of. :0)

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Lost My Best Friend.

Well, Spence lost his buddy Forrest.

They had been getting along really well, even when I had them in the small paddock together. But a few days ago when they were in the play field, just the two of them, (always close-by each other) they got into a heated argument and Spencer won.

I was sitting here at my computer and I heard Spencer bellow... kind of like a pissed-off bull-elephant.

I blasted out of my chair to the back door to see them both across the field looking like two over-grown teen-age boys who'd just done something bad.

Then Forrest took a few lame steps. Spencer had kicked him in the flank and the stifle (not a good place to get kicked...by a pissed-off bull-elephant.

So Spencer went into time-out in the paddock and Forrest went back to the field across the street with his girls. He has 3 mares in with him now. Classy, Cricket, and Pearl.

(I hate to keep horses in solitary confinement.)

That goofy horse! He's been alone in his pasture since then, but he can see Forrest from across the street.

I realize, Spencer was simply asserting himself, but I don't know why there was a sudden need to do that after a week together. And Forrest seemed to be the one taking charge in a non-combative fashion.

We are leaving for Pagosa Spring, Colorado, for the Annual Parelli Savvy Conference tomorrow. A good friend will be staying here while we're gone. So he will be keeping a close eye on things.

When we return from our trip, I'm going to begin playing with Spencer in a way that he's never experienced and I hope to start getting through to him. He's healed up from his surgery and seems to mellowing (a little bit) so we'll see how it goes. Life for him is going to change.

Rich and I seem to be the only ones who can enter his pasture and he'll behave himself. But even if someone he doesn't know is near his gate, he gets a bit stinkery. I can see how easy it would be to turn a horse with his history into a one-person horse after what he's been through with other humans. Including being ignored for a couple years. With only an occasional new weirdo-human entering his field to chase him around for hours (and in one case - days).

But at some point, I've got to get to those feet!