Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Three Down, One to Go

Just when I think I'm doomed to an endless string of bad luck, something finally goes easily.

Because of how difficult Glory has been when I've worked with her in the past, I've been putting off doing more halter breaking training with her until a time when I could have Ken there with me, just in case she got too panicky and I ended up needing help.

Ken had time to come out and help me this evening, so that was my chance. We went out to the weaning pen. I snapped a lead rope onto Libby first and led her up and down the paddock with no problem. Then I snapped the lead rope onto Glory.

I was expecting a fight. I thought she'd crash around, rear up, try to spin away... all the typical tricks foals tend to play when they are first learning to lead. But no. With only a very little resistance, she led up and down the paddock almost as well as Libby did. My main difficulty was that Libby kept crowding in, trying to get attention, and kept getting in the way.

Well! Since the training session went so much easier than I'd expected, I figured I might as well get Ken to help me move Boo's filly, Penny, into the weaning pen with the other two. Ken led Boo into the paddock, and with only a little hesitation, Penny followed. Then we led Boo back out the other gate and returned her to the pasture with the other broodmares.

Penny fussed, of course. After all, it's her first time being separated from her mother. But she didn't throw nearly as big a fit as the other two did their first times. She didn't crash the fence, and she didn't whinny much. She just trotted ad cantered back and forth a lot. If you want to see, here's a video of her first few minutes in the weaning paddock.

Now the only foal left to be weaned is Grace. I've been in no hurry to wean her, since her mother Char has a tendency to get fat in the summer. Nursing the foal has helped her stay a little slimmer than she was last year.

Besides, Grace is so huge and growing so fast---she's easily a hand or more taller than any of the other foals---that I figure she can use the extra nutrition of her mother's milk for a little longer than the others.

Also, Grace has always been a little more dependent on her mother, emotionally, than the other foals.

Not like Penny, who spent the first hour of her life wandering all over the pasture in every direction EXCEPT towards her mother. We had to keep going after her and pushing her back to her mother, and she'd immediately toddle off again in some other direction. Independent little thing!

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