Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Join Me

Day 1~ I want so bad for her to love and trust me, but have to use my better judgement and NOT dare think about rushing her. I only have 90 days to get her from wild to broke. So Sunday morning I get up and am thrilled to go and work with her. Begin "gentling" her, so to speak. I arrive at the barn and go into her round pen and all she does is move away from me. I advance and retreat, for at least 30 minutes and while I can get closer to her, she still looks at me as if I'm a horse eating human.

I finally grab some hay and hold it in my hands for another 20 minutes and she finally got the courage to came and check me out. She inched her way closer until finally she was eating out of my HANDS!!! She sniffed at me and continued eating.

While I was AMAZED at our progress, I was also beginning to panic. "What if I can't gentle her?" or "What if it takes too long?" I am an over analyzer you could say.

Day 2 ~ Yesterday was AMAZING! I begin some round pen work with her John Lyons style. Watching every move she makes, every ear twitch, lip movement, snort, EVERYTHING I'm watching. Within 10 minutes she is turning and facing me, I advance and retreat and when she turns her head away to look out of the pen, I move her on. She can NOT ignore me.

The feeling of the lunge whip lightly (and I mean LIGHTLY) touching her is enough to make her BOOGIE! HOWEVER, she NEVER kicks, strikes, bites, or freaks out on me! She's curious and cautious... Again though, within minutes, she's used to it . Is this mare really that smart?? YES she is! She finally just stands still while I use the lunge whip to give her scratches on the shoulder, withers and back.

Lesson Number 1 Learned~ STANDING and letting this lady touch me with this long arm thing is wayyyyyy easier than me running!!!

I begin again with a shorter and different colored whip. Again trying to simply rest it on her shoulder. But it's new and she's on the move again. She finally stops and turns into me and puts her head out. I hold up the whip and let her sniff it and touch her withers with it and begin to use it as her personal scratcher! She is wary of this new "device" and moves on and stops several times, before stopping for good and letting me touch her all over with it. While I can't personally get that close to her, my "extended" arm can.

She turns in again and sniffs the whip, only this time going all the way up to my hand and arm!!! She stands quiet and sniffs my hand more letting me gently touch her muzzle. She moves on and comes back to me for more sniffings! Each sniff getting longer and more comfortable. I am elated!!! and decide this is a PERFECT end to day 2!!!!

Lesson Number 2 Learned ~ My hand is not SCARY :)


  1. That is so awesome! Good for her! Good for you!
    How long does she stay with you? (maybe i was born yesterday-im not too sure how the challenge works time wise)

    Lets keep having those updates! Can't wait to hear more of the progress :)

  2. Great job with Acacia! This is my first time working with a wild mustang too - it'll be great to watch your progress! So far, my mare Sangria has been lovely to work with as well!

  3. She will be with me for 90 days until we go to Sacramento for the competition.

  4. Oh how exciting! Just curious though, what happens to her after the competition? Do you get to keep her, or does she go back into the BLM?

  5. she gets auctioned off in Sacramento, and I do have the option to buy her back :)

  6. Can't wait to see more pictures of her!

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  8. Whooops.

    Acacia thinks you smell gooood. Maybe start smelling like an apple or something:):)

    Or maybe you already do?


  9. One trick that I used to use with wild ones is to just spend a couple of days in the pasture reading a book and eating apples, throw apple core over shoulder, just wait....
    Sounds like you have a great beginning going. Of course I also had an old 'teacher horse' that I would brush and love on and feed treats to, as the wild baby creeps closer and closer to see what the other horse thinks of that.

  10. Oooooooooh another great tip Kestrel!

  11. kestrel is amazing, isn't she??
    Where you BeeN, girl??

    Loving the descriptions.

    Maybe take a bath with apple juice:)

  12. Hah, reminds me of the Lavender Lady! She had a little Arab cross mare that didn't like her much, and someone had told her that horses like lavender so she doused herself and went and sat in the hay pile. Little mare bit a chunk right out of her....guess they like to eat lavender. Hey, I darn near bit the twit myself, so couldn't blame the mare!
    Been looking at property down in Absarokee! Wildly exciting, beautiful country, nicer weather than here.

  13. Congrats on the great start with Acacia. This sounds like it is going to be a great experience for you!