Monday, July 4, 2011

The Appy Diaries: Day 2

First off, the new kid finally has a name, Orion. I'm calling him Ry, but Anita and Jerry may be calling him Ori. To each their own, at least he has a proper name now! 

Ry actually had the day off today, but I was talking with Jerry this morning and he was telling me how friendly Ry was when he had visited him in the field. Jess had posted a picture of me driving him yesterday and called him "My new love." Someone else, maybe Shannon? had said something about how attached I am to him already.

I, of course, get hopelessly attached to all the critters that come through the barn, but I guess the reason I'm liking him so much already is because of his personality. He's very curious, he always has a visible thought process going through his head- its fun to watch and see what he's up to. When I put the driving lines on him yesterday and asked him to walk off, he was VERY excited to show me what he knew. He drove right out the gate of the roundpen into the pasture and way polite and responsive the whole time (not to mention fancy! He points his toes when he's round!!).

He was standing about five feet away from the waterer yesterday staring at it hard. I'd propped the ball down for him, but it had popped back up, so I went out and pushed it back down to make sure he could drink. He took a long drink from the open side, then went to the other side and pushed on the ball. Drank from the open side, pushed on the ball... back and forth. He finally walked away with almost a shrug.

He's been a bit of a loaner in the pasture but buddied up with Pumpkin yesterday for awhile. They were both grazing alone at the end of the pasture and then decided they ought to go up to each other. They sniffed, groomed on each other a bit then walked off together and grazed. Shortly thereafter, Ry was laying down and having a good roll. He was obviously looking for a buddy to let him feel safe enough to lay down.

It made me think of the others, when they got here.

Paisley was so malnourished and completely apathetic to human interaction. We would feed her and go in to scratch on her and she would step away from her food like she couldn't even stand to be around us. She never did anything WRONG, but she had no desire to make friends, either. She was rideable, picked up her feet, stood in cross ties etc- she would barely take treats. She obviously had been treated badly and didn't expect anything good or plesant to come from people ever again. The real turn around I saw from her is when I was able to start trail riding her- it was the only thing that would get her to go forward, too, otherwise she would stand stock still or go backwards. The day I finally got her to CANTER, I cried. She decided to do it on her own, I was so excited!

Paisley's Craigslist picture, May 2008 
Pai, Jan 2009, no longer apathetic to people....

Brandy was practically feral. She knew what treats were, understood what leading WAS, even though she didn't see the point of it, stood tied, and picked up her feet, which was great, but obviously didn't NEED or WANT interaction with people. I couldn't catch her the first couple weeks I had her. She had been started the year before- I think they said 30 days training but she'd bucked the kid off a couple times. When we went to see her it was quite obvious she didn't remember any of her training, she was wary of us, the saddle pad, the saddle... she had "wild eyes" and a glaring look. We arranged a 30 day trial on her so I could start her and see what we had. She came along pretty well but still didn't really seem to care for me or my plans at all. I rode her once or twice before our 30 days were up and when Anita called to say "It's day 30, keep her or bring her back?" I gave some really serious consideration to sending her back. There was nothing much about her that gave me warm fuzzies and she hadn't shown me anything to be excited about... but I still said "Lets keep her." There was a long time I didn't really like her that much, I'd say it was a couple months before I really started to understand her. She liked having a job (JUMPING!) and now she has the sweetest, kindest eye...
Brandy, October 2009, when we got her home.  
Brandy, March 2009
August 2009, first 2' jump school!

Brandy first BN, Aug 2009

Shasta was a little different. She was actually pretty well trained, just hateful. She'd been living in a field for a couple years with two geldings and had no interest in human interaction since she had her herd. She would try to kick if you got near her, IF you COULD get near her. Something made Anita and I decide to take her and we loaded her up and brought her home. I put her in the roundpen for about five minutes when we got her home and out walked a brand new horse. She was sweet and met us at the gate- we couldn't get her turnout buddies out because she was SO in your face. She took to re-training quite nicely and moved along really quickly! She ended up being a lot of fun to have around... who would have known from the beginning!?

November 2009

March 2010
It should be fun to see what things amount to with Ry. I'm anxious to get on him but certainly don't plan to rush things!


  1. Poor Paisley ! She sounds exactly like tinyPony ... except that tiny would also freak out and buck like a banshee at random moments. It took us nearly a year to be able to catch her in a field, and if she was in a stable, it would often take 30 minutes to get near her. Poor little booger. I will send you a more recent pic of the ShastaPony - Rebecca is out and about All the Time with her and they are just perfect together.

  2. Lauren, great tales.... LOve Dad

    Like children's first days of school..... ha ha