Saturday, January 5, 2008

On the Fence

I've been having a really hard time deciding whether or not to sell Callisto. Out of all my horses, she's probably my second favorite (after Char), and I've watched her grow up from a weanling, so I'm really attached to her.

Plus, she's grown up into a magnificent horse in the past couple of years, and I think she's going to be really high quality. Her movement is beautiful, her temperament mild, and she's already 15.3 hands at 2 1/2 years old, so she's going to have plenty of height.

The only drawback to keeping her as a broodmare is that she's gray, and some people don't like gray pintos. Considering the rest of her good qualities, that's a pretty minor drawback.

But if I keep Callisto, someone else has to go on the sales list. I'm thinking of maybe selling Scylla instead. Scylla is also a gorgeous horse with beautiful movement, I just haven't quite bonded with her as much as I have with Callisto. Scylla has the advantage that she's already pregnant, and she's already trained to ride and drive. Of course those things make her more salable as well.

The disadvantage of selling Scylla is that she's a matched team with Char, so if I sell her, I'm breaking up the team. Not that I'm ever likely to drive them as a team, but it's nice to know I could.

I'm really "on the fence" about this decision. I have several people inquiring about Callisto, and I'm not sure what to tell them. I went out today to take some video of Maggie for a prospective buyer, and decided to take some video of Callisto as well so that I could study her movement more closely, thinking maybe that would help me decide.

While I was filming, Callisto decided to give a demonstration of what "on the fence" really meant: She tried to jump out of our 5.5' tall round pen---and only made it halfway over. Amazingly, I caught it on video!

Despite what you might think, watching that video, she was not jumping out because she was scared or upset. She was just being willful and trying to avoid working.

You see, when she was a baby, she successfully jumped out of a couple of fences, so now she thinks she can jump anything---and she tries it whenever she thinks it will get her out of having to do something she doesn't want to do.

Obviously I need to do a bunch more training with her to break her of this naughty habit, but we were just trying to do a quick video of her moving in the round pen today---we didn't think it was going to end up being a rodeo!

In the video, you can see poor Ken, bravely waving the baggie whip in Callisto's face to try to head her off and turn her back from jumping. But she's not in the least scared of the baggie whip, so she ignores it and keeps going.

Notice that when she slides back down off the gate, she manages to unlatch it with her leg, and it starts to swing open. If Ken hadn't been there to close it, she would have gotten out and her plan to escape from doing work would have worked, at least temporarily.

I love our Priefert brand round pen. It's very high quality. But their "horse proof" latch is not at all horse proof. I've had at least half a dozen horses unlatch it and escape. Now if I'm leaving a horse in there for any length of time, I chain it shut, because I don't trust the latch.

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