Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Rascal the Teacher

Saturday the little wranglers from the Permaculture Farm down the road came over for a horse lesson. Ki has been brushing Rascal and learning some of the basics in the round pen. Rascal is so good with him, standing quietly engaged and attentive. At 8, Rascal is showing a  level of maturity that is quite different from even a year ago. I cringe when I think of those who start riding and even showing 2 year olds. They are BABIES!  They do not have the physical maturity, the balance or the emotional maturity to do as they asked. I wish so much that people would give their horses time to grow up!
Here is Rascal at 2 and a half.. such a baby.. Uncertain and into everything. At 3 I got on him a few times and we did some walking for 5-10 minutes. He was unbalanced and unsure.

Ki is 9 and used to handling tools on the Farm, he is so very tuned in to the horses, noticing everything. Like how relaxed the horses muscels are.. the way the hair forms cowlicks, and what direction feels best for Rascal to be brushed. He holds the rope so naturally, giving Rascal room to move.
 Up and down the driveway they went.. Ki leading Rascal better than many people I see at fancy shows!
I think he was pretty proud of himself!
Niah likes Shaman.. she brushed him a bit, but he is so furry and dirty it was a huge job!
She too has been learning about backing the horse and teaching him to stand and circling. Shaman is a firey guy, but sweet with the kids.

Naturally she wanted to lead a horse too. Shaman had different ideas.. like grass, but she did really well and he only got an a few quick bites. Niah is crazy about horses and even though she is only 5, I know this is a child who will ride!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Ranger from Beatty's Butte HMA

Ranger is our BLM Mustang from Beatty's Butte HMA in Oregon. It is the largest herd in the state with tremendous genetic diversity. Ranger happens to be very Spanish but different than the ways Shaman is Spanish. Ranger is longer backed, with a curly mane, large eye and fine bones. He is more like a Passo Fino  Shaman is like an Andulusian. There are many gaited horses that come from Beatty's Butte. But, Ranger is not gaited.  My friend Tracy from Mustang Diaries has just gotten a Beatty's Butte horse too. Ranger traveled a long way with his buddy Rascal to come to our farm on Orcas Island. Someday we hope to do some back country riding with those two, east of the Cascades.

Ranger picked Ken out at an Adoption in 2003 down in Burns. He's the alpha horse here even though he's the smallest of the bunch. Unfortunately between Real Estate Sales and building homes and managing our farm, Ken has not had much time for Ranger.  I have worked with him some over the years, but really had my hands full with riding Rascal and working with Shaman, and then of couse Black Elk.

So, the big news for Ranger is that he has a new friend. It's a heart connection between Sarena and Ranger and they are building a relationship. Sarena is working on leading and having Ranger pay attention to her body language..they both seem to be enjoying the game.

Sarena is new to horses and new to Natural Hormanship but she's a natural! Of course Ranger is a pro! 
As for me, I am happy that Ranger has a new friend, today she actually got out all the  witch knots in his lovely long wavy mane.