More info on the 2 rescues Jesse & Esme...all ideas are welcome
I just wanted to post a little more about the background of the 2 rescues me & my husbands family got.
Jesse is about 14/15 yrs old QH, has a long rodeo circuit background (barrel racing & pole bending). He is friendly, laid back & quick on his feet.
Esme is a filly, half QH half paint. She had not been messed with at all til we got her. We have been working on haltering her, grooming, ground manners, leading, & we have been able to lift up her front feet. She starts kicking and bucking if we lift the back ones. We have picked the hooves & she hates it (only the back ones).
Jesse just doesnt care what we do to him, he lifts his feet & does whatever basically. He did have a bad habit of trying to stick his head in the barn uninvited because thats where I keep the food locked up and the hay. He never got in but he sure tried.
They were living in a round pen that was about knee deep in mud, poop, urine etc..no solid footing, no food or water in reach. They were skin and bones. Matted manes, hair and tails. Jesse loaded right up no problems at all when we went to get them, Esme on the other hand bolted and it took 6 of us to herd her up and load her.
I started them on a worming regimen. We are arranging the next farrier visit since my horse Dozer is due soon. Esme needs trimmed pretty bad. She was wobbly at first, but once we got her here on solid pasture ground she has built up strength & can now run with the best of them.
I was unsure at first about agreeing to take them in...because of their poor looks. I thought for sure their hooves would be rotten to the core, but somehow neither of them had any thrush or cracks or infection in their hooves. I didnt think they would be able to put on weight, but they have.
They look so different now. Esme doesnt act like shes as scared anymore, she comes right up to us. She is learning to be more independent too. She used to always be right up under Jesse, never leaving him & if he walked away she would whinny & freak out. That has basically stopped now. She seems to know we arent going to hurt her.
In general, I think we did the right thing by taking them in. We have even been able to saddle Jesse up and ride him in the round pen a few times. He lunges well also. Its been a slow process but every day they seem to win us over more and more. This is their last home. Jesse was passed around like a foster child for a number of year after his original owner got sick suddenly and died. His original owner was in the rodeo circuit for many years.
These 2 will live and die here as long as we can maintain them. No more passing them off to people.
I have found alot of joy in these 2 and my horse Dozer, even though I am by far no expert. They learn and teach every day. Its triple the work for me, but I actually enjoy it.
What suggestions do any of you have about further training Esme...as far as saddle breaking etc....and about her feet? I figured that Id get the farrier out here and see how he can handle those back ones before I go messing with them.
Have any of you rescued horses before? How did you come across them? How did it work out for you? What kind of background did they come from? Did you think it was worth your time and effort? Do you still have them?
My aunt took in a load of about 13 rescue mares from Ontario several years ago & managed to get them looking wonderful again. She eventually sold several as broodmares (they were all registered Paints & Qh's) and managed to work with a few with their training & bred them herself later on. It just takes alot of time & patience, especially if they are abused. The good thing with your case is the gelding sounds pretty good already apart from health & the filly is young.
As far as training advice goes for her back feet, i had a yearling who really liked to kick when touched on her backs (she wasn't afraid, just had an attitude problem lol).
I used a short buggy whip with a plastic bag attached to the end & spent several minutes over a couple days touching her back feet with the bag, rubbing it up & down her legs & shaking it like crazy until she was comfortable with them being touched.
Then i was able to run my hands down them & pick them up gradually for longer periods each time.
The good thing with the bag & whip is that it allows you to touch her in certain areas with control without being within kicking range.
Hmm good idea with the bag and whip. I read that a rope can be used to lift the back feet up also because it keeps the person out of kicking range as long as the horse is haltered with a lead rope on and held. Jesse is great! He's so easy to handle. I watched them run up the pasture yesterday am in the snow. I have no doubts that they'd both be dead or close to it if they were still at their old home. His worst habit so far has been being pushy at feed times. I think this is because food was so scarce for them before. The old owner only fed them 2-3 times a week in the pen. I've been working on breaking that habit by pushing him back. He has to stand and wait til I get done before he can eat. I try to keep him out of my space when not invited. I do the same with Esme. It's alot of fun when we all go out and work with them. My dozer who is an 11yr old appy went crazy when the donkey was taken out. He was a bully to dozer and made him so uptight. Having these other 2 finally in with him has helped restore some of his confidence too. He shows more dominance now instead of fear. I had a hard time even halteriing dozer when the donkey was here. It was a fight most of the time there at the end. Now it's much easier.
I believe they are very happy here now that they get food water and care. I wish I knew how to post some pics of them on here so people can see the difference in them. Anybody know how to do that?
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I've used a rope as well with horses that liked to jerk their feet away or kick.
I used a "catch rope" & looped it around the foot (or something that wont go too tight), then wrapped the rope around her shoulders & neck for leverage. She might have a little freak out & kick, kick, kick but when she stops, then you can wait a few seconds & let it back down.
Do it over & over until she gets used to the sensation of her foot being lifted.
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