I’ve been putting off turning out Ransom with the herd for quite some time now for multiple reasons. First of all, I wanted to feel confident enough in how tame he had gotten. If he became hard to catch in the bigger pasture with the herd, it’d be extremely tough. I needed to get him to the point where he was easy to halter and lead. While he’s not 100% perfect on the halter yet – his feet tend to get “stuck” and he is still a little fidgety but not dangerous or bad at all – he’s safe and good enough now. The second problem…Blossom, our donkey, is now bagging up and due to have her baby any day now. I was stuck between two problems. She’s very attached to Ransom and loves her job as a protector. She gets uneasy when her two boys (Halfpint and Ransom) are away from her, but I’ve also been worried about having her foal with Ransom in the same area. She’s still 99% wild and I can’t just leave her in a stall or lead her into another area. But lately, as her pregnancy progresses, she’s cared more and more about herself and being comfortable rather than being with her other buddies. She’s very uncomfortable right now and I think she’s thankful to have the pasture mostly to her self other than at night when Halfpint is with her.
So, Ransom got turned out today. He’s been wanting in with the herd for awhile now, paces the fence and just sits there staring at them. I’ve been a nervous wreck over it, dreading the introduction even though they’ve met and known each other through fences since December. I hate seeing them fight and trying to establish a pecking order, but it’s something that has to happen. Things went very, very well. They all ran around for awhile and then after about 30 minutes, they had settled down nicely and Ransom stuck with Halfpint. After awhile Ransom came over to me and I walked him around the bottom pasture as well, he’s great about following me and seems to be far more interested in me rather than the herd, which is great because I was really concerned about that and if he would just revert back to being hard to catch after going back to living in a huge area with different horses. Obviously he wouldn’t lose everything I’d taught him, but you never know how they’ll react to different herds and situations. He went in every stall, found every water trough and found the salt blocks.
This is the first time that I’ve really been able to see a good amount of Ransom’s movement. He’s not a particularly active horse and doesn’t do a ton of running around. When he spooks, he normally just trots away a step or two and is done. I was insanely impressed with his movement. My mother, our boarder and the boarder’s husband was also there and we all nearly died when he came trotting around the pasture for the second time. I would’ve loved to have gotten a good video. Praying that I can get that sort of trot under saddle. If he can do it on the ground, surely he can do it with me on his back with the help of my dressage trainer. My mother, who is known for being quite picky with horses, particularity my horses and geldings 😉 has been bragging on him all day and even agreed that he could end up turning out to be a fancy, fancy big horse. Here’s hoping.
He is able to lift himself up much and use his body so well for such a young dude with no experience. I can’t wait to get on his back and see how much of that we can recreate.
I took him to the arena for the first time ever this evening to eat and then introduced him to the lunge whip. I definitely will be needing my trainer’s advice as I teach him how to lunge, the cues, how to get him to respond properly and etc. He was completely care free with the whip, paid it no mind at all, and I got him to “lunge” at a walk around the arena twice. Just simple things for now, getting him used to all of the minor details. He checked everything out, the barrels, trot poles, mounting blocks, didn’t seem to react to anything. I haltered him, did some groundwork on the lead and he was excellent.
I checked on him earlier this evening and he was eating hay peacefully with the herd, and I’ll be back up to check on him in another 30 minutes or so. Perks of living walking distance from my horses. 😉
He’s kind of a big boy now…in with the rest of my crew!