~ The Chronicles of Zoot - Sharp Dress Man ~
I was actually thinking of creating a blog about all of this. I might some day while it is all still fresh. Some of you may know my husband and I had been looking for a couple of horses for around a year now. We had some criteria. We were looking for fairly young and at least saddle broke with good manners. So between 4 and 5. The reason for this age range is neither of us are youngsters and I knew with good care and decent genetics it was possible that this age range would carry us through until we couldn't ride any more. These two horses we picked would be it for us. Barring unforseen accidents or sickness that couldn't be helped of course.
Well long story short, we looked at a LOT of horses. Some expensive, some cheap. We set a limit on price as to what was reasonable for what we needed. We weren't buying a horse that cost more than our car. We had no use for that. But none of them really "did it" for us. Hubby did find one that he liked a lot and would have come home with us but the timing we couldn't get down quickly enough. That horse ended up being sold but in the end it was okay. While a bit of a downer, that horse ended up going to someone who would work him on a ranch using him for what he was bred for. For us, our horses will be pleasure horses. Endurance trail down the road, possibly the ride across Florida and different things like that. No showing for us, etc.
We kind of stopped looking at that point. Then one day I decided to open up Craigs List to see what was out there and WHAM. There was this ad for a 1/2 Arabian 1/2 Paint with a picture that made me stop. I couldn't tell you what it was but for me, if I pick up the phone to call, I need to see it through because something is telling me to. So we did. I put up a thread in the conformation section of the board looking for input. Had made an appointment to see him. Once there, it basically was all over. He came out and loved on us. Hubby took to him immediately and since he's a novice, I knew I had some things to take into consideration. Zoot was much younger than what our criteria called for. He wasn't even two yet. BUT, plus on his side, his temperament and his willingness were apparent. AND nobody had been on his back, ever. We are aware he's not perfect. No horse is. His faults aren't huge but they are there and we were okay with that. We aren't showing so temperament is our first consideration and this boy has it.
I knew we had a long road a head of us. A brief private conversation with hubby on expectations and how this needed to go lead to the writing of the check, a bill of sale with the contingency Zoot would be tested for HYPP and only purchased if the results were N/N. All ended well and Zoot came home two days before Christmas.
He's been with us about a month now so I figured it was time to give some updated photos and let you all know what we've been doing. He's not been put into any hard work or lunged or anything like that. This first month was a "get to know you" month. We all got use to each other. He is learning manners when it comes to feeding time. He's learning to stand patiently for putting his halter on and removing it. Learning cues to lower his head and keeping out of our personal space unless invited. He was already pretty good with grooming and picking up his feet so we've continued with that routine. Hubby is doing great with him! He picks things up quickly and has a natural affinity for all animals. He's definitely not an idiot around horses he just needs time. We've set the boundaries, agreed on what's what and he's doing wonderful for making sure Zoot stays respectful around him.
I'll shut up now and give you some pictures! Here's Zoot, formerly known as "Niles".
Errrrr please excuse the hay falling out of his face. He has the remnants of his breakfast on him!
Game on and holes!
Yeesh - these last couple of weeks have been horrid with work. Hubby is getting to spend more time with Zoot than I am LOL! Basically things are pretty status quo. We are continuing to work with him on manners, leading, touch all over. He's a bit overly sensitive about his head so more concentration is needed there. Hubby identified a pretty large hole in his training today. Zoot doesn't like things coming up over his head. Can't figure out why we hadn't noticed this before. I guess we've always approached from the side and slide things up his neck and onto his face. Coming from a different angle, he definitely doesn't like it so more work needs to be done there. Thankfully hubby found it so we can fix it! AND the cool news is, we should have a round pen shortly which will be easier to work with him in. Hubby's got the design down how he wants it now we just need to get it done.
Here's a few shots of Zoot from today. He had his game on for a while! :lol:
Back to manners
WOW - what a couple of weeks! Hubby got his new boy and Zoot now has a friend. Poor guy was definitely lonely. He spent the first 24 hours up Dorado's hind end! Poor guy couldn't get a drink without Zoot having his face all up his backside. He was very, very good about it to say the least. I was impressed.
Well times, they are a changing! After his initial first day, Dorado decided he had enough of the young ones antics and has now established that behavior as being annoying! The rules have been laid down and Zoot, although surprised, has fallen in behind the older Mustang.
Problem being is Dorado thought it appropriate to try those tricks on hubby and me. So not happening! There's been two "religious moments" so far. Dorado has decided he doesn't like those much. Zoot, already having experienced these moments before wisely removed himself from the situation and headed off down the other end of the pasture. Smart boy!
Anyway, Dorado has now figured out there will be ZERO signs of dominant type behavior allowed from him when we are there. We are the king/queen of the pasture the moment our foot steps near it. Ear pinning, butt turning, bitey face and other such nonsense is just not allowed. Rushing for the feed ... not allowed.
The last couple of weeks have been just re-training of basic manners with Dorado. Zoot of course has been involved in this as a casualty of war :wink:. He stands nicely away from his area of feeding until we are ready. He did well before, now he's close to exceptional at it LOL! Our roundpen is SO close to being done but with our work schedules always colliding, getting those last few boards up and the gate finished have been a challenge.
All in all though, I'm pleased with them both. They are getting along well. Zoot is fine tuning some of his behaviors to be even better while around us and Dorado is quickly catching on to what is and isn't allowed.
A pretty pair, indeed! Hope you get your round pen done soon & work becomes a little less hectic, so you can enjoy your boys.
I love them both! That last picture is priceless. Looking forward to following their progress.
We have a coming 6 year old like Zoot at the barn where I board- he is like that incessantly annoying little brother to all the other geldings he's turned out with. They're all a lot older than him, and they'll take the biting and nagging for just so long, and then they tell him to buzz off. It's actually really funny to watch. He's a sweetie (all the horses at the barn really are, there's not a nasty one in the group), but even I want to just swat him away on behalf of some of the other geldings sometimes!!
On drinking Kool-Aid
Thank you Cacowgirl & egrogan for reading and commenting! Appreciate the responses :-)
We did finally get that roundpen done!
It's awesome. I'll say I never knew what I was missing in not having one. There's just so much more freedom to move about and signal my horse while watching responses that I didn't have before. Zoot didn't like it too much LOL! But he settled down and adapted to it and we've got some work under our belt now. It's not perfect, but neither is he or I so it's all good. I'm not in any race. Hubby's horse Dorado did better with it. But to be fair, he'd been in round pens before and Zoot hadn't. So we are learning to adapt to Zoot's needs while keeping Dorado's experience in mind when dealing with both horses. It's an interesting juggling act to say the least.
Now onto the drinking of Kool-Aid. As I've grown older I've realized I am best off NOT drinking in anyone's theories. About anything. Not just horses. I come up with my own stuff. However, keeping novice hubby in mind. I can't always do that. I also can't articulate well what I do or why.
He won a couple of tickets to see Clinton Anderson in Tampa. I'm always up for an adventure and I've never seen him except on TV so I figured why not. Let's see what this guys about for more than 60 minutes once a week.
Here's a couple of shots of what we experienced.
Talking to the crowd.
Working with a young horse.
Capitalism at its finest!! :-P
But truly, I enjoyed the weekend. Got some decent information saw some great equipment. Anyone got $1800 bucks for a Martin saddle? *holds out hands* LOL!
All in all I was pleased with it. Hubby drank the kool-aid. But in the end I decided that was okay. At least he picked someone decent to get information from. As long as he doesn't use it as the gospel according to CA and keeps his mind open to all things, I think it will be just fine.
I did find the man intriguing to listen to. He's not what a lot of folks make out of him AT all. He is quite humble and will tell you straight up there is a lot of folks that can train better horses than he can. He tells you he's not naturally gifted with horses. He tells you that you don't HAVE to buy his stuff. His niche seems to be being able to communicate to his audience in a way they understand and can retain. He's a no-nonsense type of man with a no-nonsense approach that usually makes sense and does get results. No horses were beaten, flogged, run to death or any other imaginary ill's.
So that's it for this installment. No kool-aid for me. But I do have respect which is about all one would get from me. Hubby has the kool-aid mustache!!! :wink:
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