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Kaimanawa's @ Tumai's.

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    06-17-2007, 09:10 AM
Thankyou Kristy
Yep I do have my work cut out for me, but I hope that someday she(the mare) and I will be the best of partners. Thankyou for your encouraging words!

Day 7. Sharon came to see her horses today and appologised to them for not seeing them earlier and spent some time sharing space, cleaning there yards and seeing to there feed and was rewarded for her patience with an approach from her wee mare who we both agree is older than two and has had a fairly hard life.
Milly (sharons name for her) perhaps could have been vetted out in the muster process as her legs are not in the best of shape but Sharon is willing to give her a chance and that is good enough for me.........I watched Sharon from afar and she has restored my faith in humans.......she was kind and patient and non demanding of her horses, she did not expect her horses to let her touch them and was rewarded for her nonconditional ways. It has constantly amazed me this week at the way in which these horses have responded to being treated respectfully and kindly. Sure they are terrified of us and each one has a panic button we could push and over or through the rails they would go, but on the same hand they are inquisitive and downright nosey and I believe would never approach us if they felt threatened by us.
John and Prue came today as they do everyday and I look forward to seeing there car pull up the drive and everthing is dropped to watch John work......................He has named the black mare Desert Road Breakout and Prue has named the chestnut Buttons and Bows, I love these names and I think they suit them. Breakout has some fire in her belly and shows some real spunk and can spin on a dime, John says that if he were riding her his foot would have touched the ground! I told him that if I were riding her I would have filled my pants! Anyway he worked with Buttons and she touched and chewed his communication stick, what a breakthrough!
Buttons is a real sweetie and more laid back than the other two mares so I can see why John went to her first....If he has the confidence of Buttons then she will lead the confidence of Breaker, very clever I thought but still always following a respectful and kind way of working with them.
I had my time with my mare, first with cleaning there yard and then with feeding.....both her and Buttons were really cheeky and stretched there necks longer than horsely possible and snatched a mouthful of hay whilst I was still holding it and then just as quick took off to the other side of the yard as if the devil himself were after them and then stood there totally confused as I was left giggling like a silly school girl. Everytime I get an approach of sorts I become stupidly excitable and its going to be my downfall as it seems to scare the crap out of them.
Ok so after they had eaten I alpha'd my mare into the next pen, cool and calm, no tension and just asked her to stand in our already predetermined space of about 6 metres apart, my goal was for both of us to calm down in that arrangement facing eachother with her breathing calmly (not the big nostril flaring thing) and for me to slow my rapidly speeding heart. I'm looking for a resting hindleg from her and it wasn't until I could feel my own legs starting to cramp up that I saw her start to shift her weight, back and forth on her hindlegs and slowly she started to lower her head and there it was a resting offside hind, YES! So I hobbled out of the pen as I had gone all stiff and left the gates open for her to go back and she chose not to race back to the others...Yes another breakthrough, she is finding her confidence alone. Now this will make you laugh, when I was excitedly telling John about what had happened of course expecting to be showered with self serving praise and glory all he said was.......good job! And then Prue said Good for you!
I laughed too, it was there way of saying stay grounded!
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    06-18-2007, 08:52 AM
Today was a terrible day for me as the truck arrived to take Sharon and Heidi's horses home....they took it all in there stride as we followed them quietly through the race and up the ramp into the truck, over and done with, within a few minuites and I desperately wanted to scream out "Let Milly Off". Me and Milly are freinds and I want her to stay with me! Crooked legs and all! As I have fed and cared for these horses this week it was always she who was happy to see me and her gentle nicker went straight to my heart. I stalked away from the drive as they readied themselves to go with tears streaming down my face, I did not want them to see me, Its not fair! Why couldn't she have been assigned to me! Out of all the horses that have to go I will miss Miss Milly the most.
I couldn't really cope and realised I needed to get out for the day, so of course seeing to all needs decided to give horses the day off and myself too. One of my daughters sings in a school choir so decided to go to the night concert in Palmerston North (closest city to us) and listen to my baby sing like a nightinggale and I was glad off the lights being turned out.

Throw down your guns and your weapons of war,
Throw away your hateful words and thoughts,
Throw to the wind your superiority and perpertration,

Wash away from your hearts and minds that we are the better race,
Wash away the blood we spill of the creatures that roam this earth,

Look to the horse I say, for I believe he is the king of this world,
Look to the horse I say, for I believe he paves the road to peace.

I know that Sharon is kind and good but I pray that she understands that Sweet Milly must never be trained to other than what she is and that Sweet Milly must never be burdened with mount and most of all that Sweet Milly must never be broken.
    06-21-2007, 06:02 PM
Green Broke
Hi Tumai, I've also enjoyed reading your journals. Kristy's right its like a novel and so beautifully written.

Have you heard how Sharon and Heidi's horses have settled in, especially Sweet Milly. I'm so sorry you had to part with her.

I hope you are ok.
    06-22-2007, 11:43 PM
Thanks for your message Meggymoo! I do like this forum as it has a lot of diverse members who all have one thing in common....You all care and like me are not scared to stick up for the so called underdog.......being kind is a virtue that doesn't come easy for some and I am privileged to be part of this community and whats better it was just what I needed to give me a kick in the pants to get me out of my feel sorry for myself mood! Thankyou for your kind words!

I have since heard from Sharon that Milly is destined to a life of love and pampering and her job will be Paddock Boss/Aunty...she will train Milly to saddle, but only to establish respect and trust..Sharon thinks she is special too and I feel very confident that she will have a good life and of course that makes me very happy Heidi is going well with Mickey blue eye's, I hear that he approaches to be haltered and is leading well. Heidi has now turned her attention to the other colt which at the moment is proving difficult because he has not had as much attention on him, but I trust that she will be patient and he will think she is not so bad afterall. Sharon has worked with her filly who has already had the vet as I had noticed a little lameness over the week they were here and then on the day they were trucked to Heidi's it all came to a head with me thinking there was an abcess brewing in there. However it was found that she had old and new scabs the whole way around her coronet which in turn was slowly becoming infected. I did wonder if this had happened at my place but the vet thought it had been present in the wild as well and the stress of being mustered flared it all up. It was found to be mud fever and not a stone bruise which I had originally thought.......so on the bright side her handling was fast tracked to help her out and not only halters but picks up feet as well!!! She is on the road to recovery with antibiotics and daily foot baths in epsom salts. Mud fever is common in New Zealand and especially in Pahiatua where we live because of our high rainfall and muddy conditions, Its a pain in the back but something we tend to live with! It presents like rainscald/rot but appears on the legs and is painful and can get nasty if left alone....so to manage it most of my horses live on hills out of the wet.....ha not that we have many flats where we live.
Anyway it is good to hear that all is well with Heidi and Sharons horses
    06-23-2007, 03:07 AM
Day 9...which was Tuesday here....I'm playing catch up again!
My colts much to there disgust have gone through there quarantine after being paste drenched and it was time for them to go out to the paddock. They had come to that greiving stage in weaning where they just sulk. They don't care about anything and almost don't care about food....almost. I decided that Jack the welshie should be paddock uncle rather than Tu as Jack is older and far more sensible and as those who have welshies will know, there lives are governed by food so would be a great rolemodel for teaching the colts to forage within the confines of the paddock. Welshies are beautiful and very clever but total and utter gluttons and will quite happily eat themselves to death literally! So I had to think how am I going to combat this problem.....the temp is hanging around 0degrees celcius so the cover is not going on this winter and the paddock they are going into is a steep hill with a very small crease type valley in it so to eat he must climb around the hill, I decide that will be ok so long as I put him off and yard him for a few hours everyday....I think it will be good for the colts to wing it alone regularly to help them become more acustomed to being without an older horse. Ok plan in place, I was a bit worried that once the colts realised they were in the open that they may have kicked up there heels and ran for the hills so I put them into the smaller paddock before there final destination and they trotted around like a pair of siamese twins.....what a scream, they looked so funny and cute as they trotted along side by side and both jumping identically at anything that looked remotely scary......so funny!
In all my excitement I realised that I hadn't even haltered them....goodness what a duufiss(my kid speak when someone does something stupid!)...so yep I cheated......armed with leads and halters and an armful of hay I set out catch them and yes food is a great motivator and as soon as they spotted me they came trotting and it was very easy to halter them and a colt in each hand I lead them to there paddock...a wee bit unerving as they both felt the need to prance along tossing there heads about....one consolation at least there not sulking!
    06-23-2007, 04:38 AM
Day 10
Something that has been on my mind over the last few days is the need to let the mares out onto pasture...I know that no matter how much space and different yards and amount of food and water and careful and limited "handling" there is nothing better for the mind of a horse than to have space, lots of it and somewhere to graze. I comer that word handling as we havn't actually laid a hand on these girls but have gone into differing levels of join up and all of our girls knows us repectively and each has there own communication stick that they accept and chew or sniff at...I will add here that it never ceases to amaze me that when we ask them to sniff the stick initially they do so almost nonchalantly but then when we take it back and run our hand over it and then offer it back, the reaction we receive is very different, the mares are taken back by the change in smell, It brings home to me how sensitive and how so fine tuned a horses senses are. Each of them views me differently and I in turn have formed an opinion of them. Buttons and Bows the chestnut mare appears to be very easy going and cruisy, almost too cruisy....laid back and has been stroked all over with the commy stick and Prue is within two metres of her when working now...we wonder if she is the middle of the herd which brings me to Breakout the black mare who views me as the hired help or maid and watches me with superiority as I go about the yards topping up the hay supply and mucking out, I chat away to them all and she just stands there watching me carefully and snorting her disaproval of me, I think she is the alpha and a bit of a live wire but I can't help viewing her with awe....she is very beautiful. When John worked with her today he decided to step up the pace as she is choosing to climb the walls rather than face up to him so John sent her away and then finally after what seemed like an age John was crouched in the middle of the yard and Breakout was facing him with her chin touching the ground and accepted the commy stick lightly between her ears!!! I am so in awe and when I questioned John about it after, he divulged to me that she had been trying to tell him that that was how she wanted to do it but he wasn't listening and he said he started to think about how the Aborigines in Australia do it and then it all came to him...he said that he had never joined up with a horse like that before, but had watched the Aborigines do it in Australia and he said they crawl along the ground to catch the horse. All I could think was...Scary! Well now to my Rose, she definetly knows who I am, we have a predetermined space of four metres now and I can stroke her face, neck and shoulders with the tip of my commy stick but I am not allowed any closer but a different breakthrough is when I turn to walk around the pen...my little Desert Rose is following me and I daren't turn around and look for fear of scaring the life out of her but I know she is there...I can almost feel her breath on me and yes I am in love. Anyway back to the fact that they need to be on the paddock...I feel this way because I feel like we are holding them prisoner which in a huge sense I am because I have to teach them about our fences. My husband and I are farmers here in New Zealand. We make our living out of farming sheep and cattle on steep to slightly rolling hill country with about 5 acres of flat around the house and adjoining buildings and as much as it would be nice to have all post rail fences it is not practical nor affordable! So our fences are post batton and no8 wire which is high tensile (animals bounce off) with outriggered hotwire or electric fence, we do have two paddocks that are fully Deerfenced but no longer keep Deer. Yup not very horse freindly and extremely dangerous to a horse trying to go through it.....ok for my domestic horses as they know nothing else as the majority of NZ is fenced this way but not for three wildies that only know freedom and open spaces. So as you may have picked up, I'm the sort of person who likes to have a plan of action, so here it is....In the largest yard where the horses were we strung across one corner an electric wire and waited with our hearts vomitted out on the ground. The horses are inquisitive and all go and look....It is extremely hard for me to stay quiet so they don't associate my voice with the shock.....but one by one they do the inevitable and touch the wire and each one jumps back violently...that is enough I say and strongly tell hubby that they have learn't the lesson and he is to takE THE WIRE DOWN NOW! This may have been hard for some to read and believe me when I say that I found this THE most distressing lesson and am glad to say that I will not do it again. I do know from experience that once is enough for a horse and he will learn from one time that he must sniff at a fence and sense that it is electric or not....I am glad of the end of that lesson and retrieve my heart from the ground. You may ask why I did not let them learn the lesson in the paddock? Well imagine you are a wild horse and then suddenly someone throws open the gate and your first instinct is to run like the wind because you are free and you are galloping as fast as your heart will let you towards a full wire fence and you collide with it...........It does not bear thinking about.
As we throw open the gate and the girls cautiously step into a paddock awaited by my dear Sweetie my retired AngloArab that sinking feeling of shame that I have been trying to push away into the darkreaches of my mind suddenly floods into my eye's.....I have made this beautiful creature my prisoner.
    06-23-2007, 04:58 AM
Green Broke
I'm so pleased they've settled with Sharon and Heidi, you must feel like a great weight has been lifted, knowing they are ok and well loved.
Your comment about Welshies was spot on, I have one and boy, if there is grass, hay or anything else around, its all he thinks about.
John sounds an incredible horseman. I can see (read) why you are in such awe of him.
I've decided you must have been a writer in a previous life, your journals, words keep me fascinated and eager to read the next installment. I'm sure if you were to contact a publicist, these journals would be a best seller!
    06-23-2007, 08:08 AM
Day 11 and 12
In the old testament God created the world and then he rested and so we rest and so do the horses or so we think....
The colts are starting to explore there paddock and when I take Jack away to be yarded they are distressed and so is Jack, he takes his job seriously but I know that it is better for his health and good for the colts to find some independance. Soon enough Jack will find the break from them a godsend as babysitting is taxing on the mind no matter what type of animal you are.
The girls on the other hand are exciting and heartstopping to watch. There paddock is adjacent to our driveway, and as John and Prue's truck pulls down the driveway they are all sent into a spin except for Sweetie who looks at the girls with disdain and looks at me imploringly as if to say "Do I have to look after the riff raff Mum?, they are so uncouth!" She is a lady is my SweetSage. Then of course there is the mail lady bless her soul who delivers my TradeMe purchases dutifully to my door, I say, who needs town when one has TradeMe? The internet is a wondrous thing!
Then there is I who delivers or taxi's the children to and from the school bus stop 4kilometres away 8.oclock every morning and 3.30 every afternoon. It must be amusing and terrifying all in one mixed up ball for that silly lady to stick her head out the window of the green beast (a Ford Falcon XR6 I might add, closet petrol heads we are) and tell us by name that its "OK ladies, no need to fuss".
And when I think all is lost our neighbour who does everthing very fast screams up our driveway in his bright red Ford courier ute with a load of our wayward sheep and screams back down without so much as a Hello that I notice the girls not even flinch but only look up as if to say hi, nice to see ya....what do you mean, you can't stay for a cuppa? So when my son who fancies himself as a Crusty Demon warms up on his horse on the driveway with his irritating noise I realise that no matter what the horses are doing they are learning.......it is both in my hands and out of my hands and quietly I am very proud of them.Jarod and his horse.The worlds bravest girls.
    06-23-2007, 08:49 AM
OK so here we are at Saturday and Hubby and I have just read your post MeggyMoo and he is now wondering how I am going to get my big head out of the room? Thankyou for your kind words!
Today has been one of those days where I have called the girls something other than Kaimanawa Babies.....I daren't say the word aloud! My darling Sweetie was hanging about the gate this freezing cold morning and I thought "oh she's hungry!" but on closer investigation I found that my darling was sporting a big guppy fish black eye So straight to the house I stalk and to the vet I talk.....Come to our place now...PLEASE! Somehow something has happened in the night and my big girl has been hurt and I am seriously not impressed! So it's fisty cuffs huh! Well we will see about that and I promptly remove Sweetie to some nice grass and when I go to feed the girls I don't fluff the hay! Take that I say as I leave the paddock without picking up the poo!
Debbie my favorite vet arrives about an hour later and checks my girl over and I tell her that those horrid girls did it....pointing at them accusingly! She tells them that they are horrid and does the eye dye thing and then tells me that its like a black eye and that she probably got a boof to the face but it will all be ok and administers anti inflamatory and leaves me with eye gel and granules to go with her food. I think it looks worse than it is but don't they understand that this is my girl.....Sweetie and I go back a long way....and I kissed the ground plenty in the first six months that I owned her, don't they know that Sweetie and I are TIGHT! How dare they play rough with my girl! And you know when I drifted past them with a bucket of yummy warm food for my Sweetie and I didn't fluff there hay tonite either, they new what they had done.................well ok maybe they didn't, but I did decide one thing, no more babysitting for them......they will have to make do with being home alone!
Sweetie is my precious girl and after many years of putting up with my bumbling and more so giving me a nice warm nape to cry into when I was frustrated with the world and guarding the bodies of babies we have let go of.........some things are sacred and she is one of them. I'm not mad at the girls as that's horses for you but you must understand that Sweetie is as important to me as one of my children......I love her.SweetSage the lady of Glenhyde.
    06-23-2007, 07:37 PM
Today is Sunday and I am very pleased at how much the swelling around Sweetie's eye has gone down and thought I would share some photo's with you all.
These are one day after initially happening, and already looks well on the way to mending.

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