Things have been going well with both Saint Croix and Midnight Cowboy. They are adjusting into their new home and getting more comfortable and familiar with the routine and their surroundings.Jovi has been a bit jealous about me spending time with another horse. In the last week I have taken him to a night ride, and also did some more Ride and Tie training for the upcoming R&T than I plan to take him to at the end of the month.
Both of the new horses seem to handle new things rather well. Saint Croix is initially more reactive but is also more quickly accepting of new things. Cowboy is pretty chill overall and has been great when the other two horses leave him home alone.
I have now taken both horses out for walks through the neighborhood and out on the trail. They handle it well going either alone, or with Jovi for company. Both horses are lovely movers. Cowboy is still a bit butt high but is only barely 4 so still has more growing to do.
So for the first week and a half these are some of the things that we have accomplished:
Leading out to the trail and back and handling barking dogs, bicycles, traffic, baby strollers and newly resurfaced roadways.
Longing lessons, both at liberty alone and together and on a line. Today I free longed (at liberty) all three horses together – Jovi, Saint Croix and Cowboy. They all remained calm and respectful of one another and didn’t get wound up or excited. They have already worked out their hierarchy with Jovi being the lead horse and Saint Croix being the most submissive. Saint Croix and Cowboy have bonded really well and often eat together side by side.
Leading through gates and stalls (initially they weren’t sure about some of the new things)
Tying on a hitching post and on the trailer ties on the LQ trailer. While tied eating out of hay bags and drinking from buckets like they would have while camping overnight somewhere.
Picking up and doing light rasping on their feet. Cleaning out any floppy frog bits.
Having both horses on the trailer while I worked on Jovi’s feet with the air compressor running the air angle grinder.
Fly spray. Saint Croix is accepting a bit faster though Cowboy has made great progress. Something we’ll just keep working on a little at a time. They say Pigeon Fever is going around so it is important that I keep everything sprayed.
Leading through some of the obstacle course – over the little bridge and through the railroad ties. Sometimes the horses have their own preferred way of going, lol but they are getting the idea.
Saint Croix has been leading behind me on a singletrack trail with lovely manners. They are both good eaters and are enjoying eating as we go down the trail.
I have fit Renegades on both horses and they were fine with the boots. Both horses have nice sized feet for their size.
I’ve also measured them with a weight tape for height, girth circumfrance, cannon bones, etc. Saint Croix turned 8 in June and is 13.2, 7.25″ cannon bone and 4.6″ wide front hooves. VG Midnight Cowboy turned 4 in June and is just over 14 hands, 8″ cannon bone and 5″ wide feet. VG Ben Jovi is fully mature now at 9 and 14.2, 8″ cannon bone and over 5″ wide feet. The weight tape gives an estimate on their weight and puts the two new ones at 750-800 pounds which seems about right.
Both horses are completely fine now with putting a fly mask on and off while they are loose. Totally fine with velcro noise. Both are easy to catch and halter.
Lots of other stuff going on – they have seen me drag the fields with the quad twice now, seen the lawn tractor, my dogs running about, the neighbors llamas, baby strollers, the hotwire fence (is on, as they found out!), a squeeze of hay got delivered and each horse has been left home alone. It has rained so they have seen an umbrella several times. Neither horse is worried about my longe whip with a plastic bag on the end – they also love getting their hineys scratched with the pitchfork.
In the next week I hope to fine tune their longing skills and start introducing them to loading in my horse trailer. Once we get the longing down on a line and at liberty then I’ll start to introduce them to neck collars.