So...in a couple of weeks (hopefully going to find out exactly when on Monday) I'll be getting a foster horse who I will be fostering until she gets adopted or the end of the summer (maybe beyond, depending on a lot of factors), whichever comes first.
Hopefully I'll be meeting her next weekend and get an idea of her personality for myself but in case I'm advised to buy/make something by your guys, I'm asking these things now.
Anyway, this mare was rescued, with her 18 month old filly (unweaned), about a week ago. She was owned by some people who really didn't know anything about her or how to care for horses so they had no idea about her training history (she's 10).
According to the rescue I'm working with, she's a super sweet+calm mare. I guess she just loaded right on to the trailer when they pulled up to get her and according to her old "owners", she is broke to ride.
They're going to tell me everything they know and have found out about her when they drop her off/when I meet her (from the sound of it, they know very little about her history) and I requested that they check her for tying skillz. Otherwise, nothing is known about her.
I'm just really not sure where to start with her. I'm allowed to do whatever I want with her and I can put however much training I feel comfortable with, on her. She's pretty skinny right now so getting her chubby will be the first order of business (no testing out her undersaddle skillz until then).
Lacey's so good these days that I can't even think of things a horse might not be good at. I mean, it's been 4 years since I had a vested interest in a relatively unhandled horse.
I figure that I'll keep her in the little "paddock" area (basically the size of 4 stall runs put together) for the first day or two to assess how she is about being caught so I'm not chasing this skinny rescue all over 5 acres when she decides she'd prefer to not be caught by a stranger (right now she's living in a stall at the vet hospital, being taken out for 10 minute grazing sessions in a field the size of 4 average stalls put together) a couple times a day
Then, I figure picking out feet is going to be the first "test", if she's ok with being touched all over (I assume she is since the lady I'm working with described her as "sweet" and "calm").
Touching her udder would probably be a good thing to find out if she's ok with/desensitize her to that if she's not...
Maybe lunging would be a good thing to explore/teach? Only at a walk until she's chubby, of course...
I'd also like to find out if she ponies/teach her if she doesn't. Lacey is a great pony horse and it would probably be great for Lady (the rescue mare) in all kinds of ways...
Once she gets fat, I'd love to test her out riding-wise. I'm figuring that how she is about everything that has come before that (I figure she won't be fat enough to ride for at least the first month I have her) will tell me how she will react to that. I'll try her out with a saddle and bridle+snaffle first, some lunging with those things, then move on from there. I'll probably be asking you guys TONS of questions before I try that though!
Beyond those things ^^^, I really have no clue what might be an issue and how to prepare for it. With Lacey, I just kinda jumped in with no idea of what I was doing and miraculously survived. However, with Lady, I'd like to be slightly more professional especially since the goal is for her to be adoptable by someone great.
I'm pretty confident in my ability to deal with whatever but I'm a preparer, I like to have a game plan before the game starts.
So, after that long winded description of this horse, for those of you who have taken rescues/fostered/worked with horses where the past was unknown (and anyone else who has thoughts!), what are things I should prepare for and are there any "tricks" for finding out how much a horse knows?
Anything that I just have to have?
I'm thinking about getting one of those tie blocker rings because even if the rescue determines she ties, with horses there's always a chance that they might decide to not tie.
I feel like a round pen might be ideal but I'm not rich, no can do in that area. Haha
Basically, my goal with this is to help this mare get back on the best track of life she can be on. I love training/tuning up and Lacey's pretty much been taught everything I can teach so this is going to be super fun for me!
Of course, you just know that this mare is going to be a ridiculous piece of cake, 100% broke, the best horse ever, and I'm going to get to do nothing.