Friday, October 29, 2010

Update on Takoda's Spanish Mustangs

Lots of exciting news of late for Takoda Spanish Mustangs Australia.  Here is a long overdue update!

The weaning of Lacey is going far better than I could ever have expected and Scout is loving this new chapter in her life.  She is located next door to where I am living and I take her and Kiowa out walking at least once a day.  It is very clear that she desperately wants a job to do now.  She is eager and responsive when we go out and yesterday she was reluctant to go back to the paddock.  She seems eager for adventure and I am thrilled to get to know this new side of her.  

I have decided that it would be best for her to go to a trainer for 4 weeks as I do not have the confidence to do her the justice that the trainer would.  She has a strong need to understand clearly what is asked of her and she really wants some consistency right now.  She will go to Wayne Williams for her training.  He has trained a couple of horses for me in the past and the results speak for themselves.  He lays a very solid foundation and gives clear direction in his training and I know this is what Scout is asking for right now.  It will be hard for me to let her go however I will be visiting her every week during this time.

Lacey is doing really well and I have taken a step back from handling her all that much right now.  She is living with Sienna who is a strong lead mare and seems to be priming her for the job in the future.  I decided that I want to just leave them to it and not interfere for the next couple of months.  I visit them twice daily to check them over and feed them.  Lacey is looking fantastic and is bright and happy which is very encouraging.

Grey Feather and Sahara reunited at the Little Cayuse Ranch
Grey Feather has left Caballos De Destino Ranch in South Dakota and has gone back home to the Little Cayuse Ranch in New Mexico where she will spend some time settling in foal.  She is booked to fly to Australia in March next year all going well with the pregnancy.  She travelled really well on the trip back and was very happy to be reunited with her buddies.  She seems to have a growing group of admirers in the USA also.  She really is a striking filly and I am so fortunate to have her come and join us in Australia.

Neosho at The Cayuse Ranch
Neosho was transported to Free Horse Farm and handled the long road trip and ferry ride perfectly.  He really is an amazing horse and I am so thrilled by his kind and calm temperament.  He has had time to settle in and his training will begin this week.  

Shadowhawk - 4 months old
We have another new addition for Takoda Spanish Mustangs named Shadowhawk.  He is the colt born to Renegade Shadow x Little Dove that I visited in the USA this year when he was just two weeks old. He is a high quality colt with impeccable conformation and a bold and personable temperament.  He will live with Leslie at Twin Hollows for the next few years while he matures.  He is a really special colt that has a strong presence and grace about him even at such a young age. 

On the home front, I have finally found a place to move to that will be a wonderful home for me and the horses.  We will be moving to Kingaroy either the end of this year or early next year.  The horses will have 160 acres to call home and I am hoping for this to be a long term solution to the ever-transient life we have had to live over the past 3 years.  Exciting times all around !

Friday, October 22, 2010

Weaning a yearling!

I had tried to wean Lacey a couple of times over the past 6 months or so but each time was to heartbroken to continue the process and within a day they were back together.  I wanted to let Scout wean Lacey herself however at 14 months old there is still no sign of Scout doing that and despite all the feed they are getting it is clear that Scouts body needs a break.  I really don't like to have to make this decision for them as I do not feel it is my place however I had tried everything else to help Scout put weight on to no avail.

I went to the paddock with the intention of loading Sienna and Scout and bringing them home with me.  I had put up an electric fence on a vacant block a couple of doors down ready for the process.  I turned up at the paddock and the mares all came running down to greet me.  Sienna is a real problem loader due to her troubled past and I intend to spend a lot of time working on that with her once we have settled into our new place at the end of this year.  I have a friend that will be making me a trailer similar to the ones they use in the USA in that it will have two stalls so the horses have a lot of space and will not feel as claustrophobic as they seems to in a 2 horse straight load.  

So it turned out that I did not have the length of time necessary to have Sienna load and I don't like to pressure her or me with a time limit.  I did get her on the float however I did not want to shut the tailgate and take off.  She needs more time to settle so I let her go again and loaded dear Kiowa who takes everything in her stride and takes on absolutely any task asked of her in a calm no fuss manner.  Kiowa is an omega mare in that she is always bottom of the pecking order and gets mercilessly picked on.  Scout in particular is very rough on her.  She used to bite her daily in the same spot on the rump and chase her at a flat gallop around the paddock.  One day I decided to intervene as I felt so bad for Kiowa and I found it fascinating to notice that Kiowa filled an essential role in the herd.  Scout was very distraught not to have her there and was calling for her even more than Sienna and Lacey.  I realised very quickly that they all, including Kiowa have a need for her to take up that position.  If I leave Kiowa alone with Lacey then she is essentially the lead mare in that little herd and she is not at all comfortable with that role.  Even when I have taken Scout out for a walk, Kiowa gets very upset to not have her there also.  So I put her in the float and she waited patiently until I loaded Scout. 
Scout contented in her new paddock
Scout and Kiowa have settled in very well to the new paddock and I have also seen Scout grooming Kiowa and vice versa.  That is something I thought I would never see!  Scout is handling the weaning process very well and has become very affectionate with me also.  She calls to me and comes galloping down when she sees me and sticks to me like glue whilst I am in the paddock with her.  This is quite a shock to me as she is a mare with a very distinct personal boundary.  She usually values her space however that seems to have shifted for the moment.  Kiowa is very relaxed also and I am very surprised at how well they are taking the change that I have so dreaded.  
When I go to the paddock to feed Sienna and Lacey each day, Lacey will come galloping down and look at my car and the road waiting for Scout to return.  I feel really bad for her and am looking forward to the day when they can all go back in together.

I am however really enjoying getting to know Scout all over again.  It is wonderful to see her so content and settled in this new situation and I am loving the time we are spending together right now.