| || |
I'm going to try and answer all your questions/comments. If I miss one, please let me know.
I couldn't tell you how long she's been off the track. I know she came down to Kansas from Michigan last November. Before that, a kill buyer's girlfriend fell in love with her, and saved her from slaughter. Anyway, when I bought her, I was told that she had been in a pasture by herself and not really handled since April/May. And she still paced the fence line that entire time. Sometimes it would be running, sometimes just walking back and forth, but she could see the horses in the pasture across the road and was not happy being alone. She lost a lot of weight and condition, so I have been trying to avoid completely separating them.
Onto my pasture issue. These are the only two horses there. It is one 10+acre pasture, separated into two sections (essentially), with one stall for shelter attached. There is a smaller, .5 acre fenced pasture outside the stall, which opens to a larger pen. Theoretically, I could separate them, but they would still have nose contact and such, because of how the pastures line up. It is not my property, so I can't do much in the way of electric tape (even though I'd like to). I'm a poor college kid lol
I can only see them around 3 times a week, so they are just on pasture right now. Buying hay soon, but I am unsure how to address the feeding issue. I know they need x/y/z in their diet (Animal Science major), just not sure how to do so without disrupting their system. I don't feel comfortable supplementing so much with just the 2-3 feedings a week they get.
She has been with him a month, so the stress factor is no longer there. I can catch her fine, and she's better about letting me lead her away from him, as long as we're just in the pasture
On tying her up- There is a pipe tying post in that smaller .5 acre pen. I tie her there, and ride the paint around the bigger pasture, so 1) if she breaks the lead rope, she still can't get to him 2) it is the pasture they both stay in, so I'm hoping there is a comfort level there
Leading her- I would agree, my word choice is poor. She does become more 'frantic' when away than just stubborn. In all the older pictures I've seen, they always had a chain on her, which I'm just not comfortable doing (until she has a major freak out/disobedience). I use a rope halter, and it works better than the chain. The whole trying to calm her down doesn't work. She gets even more frantic if I try to stop, back her up, and stand still. She just starts whirling around to see him, I try to make her listen by finishing the circle, backing, and petting her, and it doesn't help. She gets to the point that she is so set on just being with him, she can't/won't calm down
AND FINALLY (hopefully) the trailering issue. I have no ideas anymore on this. The first time she loaded in a trailer and I was there, she literally steps as close as she can with her front feet, then proceeds to move her back feet forward, to where it looks like she's standing on a box. And pulling, she gets resistant and freaks, goes up, and after that it takes quite a while to calm her down again. I've tried running a rope through the front of my trailer and around the side, so she can rear all she wants, but I have enough leverage that she can't move further away from the trailer. She has no response to the pressure to move forward, and she lets the halter get so tight that she cuts off her air supply. I don't think she has even been in such a small trailer, because she has no idea how to back out of one either. I try loading the gelding first, driving away a bit so she sees we're leaving, lunging her, putting a rope on her but and pushing/pulling from behind- nothing. And food doesn't work either. Any tips/tricks given to me have failed. I started just feeding her at the end of the trailer, so maybe she associates the two and can calm down? Other than that, no idea.
Thank you SO SO much for all of your advice, I will definitely be using all of these to work with her! Any other ideas/responses are also appreciated!