Thursday, October 30, 2014


I really thought I would blog more now that I have a mustang to gentle and train. No such luck though. Mostly it's lack of time. I am still working more than intended, but it's okay because no matter what, I don't work over 40 hours a week. And it's only temporary.

Anyway, Luc is coming along slowly. He is an interesting one. At first glance he seemed so easy, because of his busy curiosity, but he gets overloaded easily, and backslides sometimes. He is easy to read though. If he's uncomfortable he walks away and starts pointlessly fidgeting with a spot on the ground, or the corral rails.

He has less of a tendency to put himself in the corner and stick his head through the fence now. I make a lot of noise when he does, to discourage him. He will pretty consistently turn and give me both eyes when I ask. In terms of round pen work, we have kind of done something similar, very slowly and only until he faces up, which is usually after half a trip around the pen, if that. Just to regroup and come together again.

It took me over an hour to put a halter on him on Monday. We'd done it plenty before, but suddenly it was totally not okay with him. I had to keep my cool, and be patient and persistent. And I finally ended up using food to keep him busy while I slipped it on.

Leading work is coming along well. We are still not moving totally smoothly, he has certain spots where he sticks or rushes forward, but he responds well to direction changes. I asked him to back up last night and he was clearly not ready for that. We had to go back to easy stuff and lots of praise to ease his worry.

I wonder how much of his interesting mix of insecurity/boldness come from growing up without the lawful and calming influence of a mare. Obviously he had his mom and other mares until he was weaned, but since then has been running around with a bunch of teenage boys. I wouldn't trade him, but I think growing up in a holding facility is not near as beneficial as growing up as nature intended, whether it be in a wild herd or on a farm.

I have to get ready for work. Hope you all have a grand day!


Keechy said...

I think you are, right, that sort of upbringing would affect his socialising and coping abilities. He's not only had no herd structure, he had little exposure to new things or terrain. I think the BLM needs to address this, by having those young ones out on bigger pastures with some different land features, with maybe some old girls to lead them and teach them manners. Growing up in a pen will stunt their thinking and physical abilities.

Andrea -Mustang Saga said...

I don't know how they could afford to have that sort of holding facility. Some of them are lucky enough to be born on a long term holding facility that's on natural terrain - a private ranch that has cotntracted with the government to hold them. Luc came from a facility that has thousands of horses and has gotten a lot of bad press. I think the funding just isn't there, and there are too many horses.

Luc and I will work through these things. Maybe in the end he'll be even better, since I'm providing a structure he hasn't had. I wonder what will happen the first timtiI take him into the trees... :)

Keechy said...

Perhaps once you have done a certain amount of work with him, it would benefit him to go to a place where he could run in a big varied paddock with a mix of horses for a while. My sis is planning to do that with her 3 year old Irish Draft baby soon. Does them good!