Monday, June 2, 2008

Chicks and Foals

I went out to check my chicks after Sunday School and found two had somehow gotten in the waterer and drown. I had considered it a risk but really didn't think that they could get up that high. So I went from seven chicks down to five. I haven't been out there yet today to see if anymore have hatched.

My husband has been working a lot of hours and hasn't had any time to spend on the things that require his attention, like fences, mowing, hoof trimming and horse training. He decided to spend some time with Badger our grullo stallion yesterday and that somehow turned into an all day fiasco that left us both in pain.

Badger is five years old this Spring and has never been broke to ride and we have never used him as a stud yet. He is a beautiful animal and a real sweetheart to handle.

The DH had groomed and saddled him, longed him and worked with him for awhile. He then decided to turn him out in the lot that we have the mares with foals in, so that he could run and get some exercise. We have been keeping him in a small lot where he really can't run and play. In order to do this he had to put all of the mares with foals in Badger's lot which should have been a simple thing to do.

The three mares and two of the foals went right in when he opened the gate, but Ruby was not going through that gate. We spent three hours trying to get her in, she is getting old enough to have some independence, so just following her mother was something that she didn't feel compelled to do.

All of the foals should have been handled more than we have had time to handle them. When my husband carries hay out to them he always tries to spend a few minutes petting the babies but Ruby has never let him touch her. She sees him rubbing and scratching Sapphire and she is curious, she wants to be brave and walks up to him but so far he hasn't been able to pet her. He would have liked to just given her time to warm up to him but she forced his hand yesterday.

We tried everything to get her through that gate and believe me when I say it was hot and she can outrun either of us. Which is pretty easy on my part because I can't run at all. But I could keep her moving and we finally just exhausted her. When she was hot, tired, out of breath and longing for a drink, we brought her mother back out and she followed her through a different gate. She actually won that round, because we never did get her through the gate she was suppose to go through but we will make sure she goes through it at some point.

By keeping her mother moving and not allowing her to nurse we managed to get her into our round pen that isn't actually round right now. Then with gloves and a lasso, he roped her. She is one big girl made of nothing but muscle, and by this time she thought that she was a wild mustang that had never been touched by human hands. We did handle her a lot when she was born but she has forgotten all of that.

She fought hard and long. She is very strong willed and for awhile I was not sure who was going to win. He finally got a halter on her and we brought her and her mother to the barn/house and that is where they still are this morning. We didn't get our feeding and milking done until after we got home from Church last night, when all of that was done, he brushed her all over and we petted her but she still doesn't like it.

I am going to spend some time with her today, as soon as she loves us as much as Sapphire does, we will turn her out and go to work on Garnet but I don't think he will be much of a problem.
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