He's finally here! First horse. - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 31 Old 11-27-2015, 10:29 AM
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Michigan, USA
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Lovely, lovely, lovely! I also believe that "bonding" is overrated. To me, a good partnership, a quiet, willing and obedient horse IS bonding.

I worried about that myself and found when I quit trying so hard to bond and just concentrated on working together, I ended up feeling the bond. We know each other, what each of us expects from the other and it is good. It took me a year but is a nice feeling.

P.S. Arabs have a particularly long lifespan. I have a friend still lightly riding her 32 year old. In Arabs, 16 is the new 8.
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post #12 of 31 Old 11-27-2015, 10:37 AM
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Alberta, Canada
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He's a lovely, honest looking guy.
Arabs and known for longevity, so if he's been well looked after (and it looks like he has) you'll easily have him for another 16 years.

Sometimes I wrestle with my demons. Sometimes we just snuggle.
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post #13 of 31 Old 11-27-2015, 01:54 PM
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: North-Central California
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He's beautiful! Looks like several of us have recently gotten new horses! I'm so happy for you and I know you'll have a wonderful time together. Congratulations!
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post #14 of 31 Old 11-27-2015, 05:51 PM
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Canada
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He's gorgeous! Congrats! We are also building a barn, but since it won't be ready until next summer, have decided to board after we fell in love with a delightful Arab called Harley (see avatar). Luckily, we have found the perfect spot at our neighbor's house.

He is technically my daughter's horse, but I love him just as much as she does and look forward to getting a second horse once the barn is ready! I honestly was not looking for an Arab when I started looking for a horse for my 10 yr old daughter. They just seemed too high-strung for a child. But when we met this one, we knew he was the right horse. Almost two months later, I thank my lucky stars for being lucky enough to have found this guy.

We found it easy to bond with him (and btw, he is 14, closer to 15 really). Ground work was especially useful since he is a very affectionate horse and likes his head and neck scratched and even hugged. Arabs are really amazing in so many ways and you are very, very lucky to have found a horse through your boyfriend's mom rather than have to deal with unknown sellers. I predict you and Berry will fall in love in no time. Have fun and keep us up to date with lots of pictures!!!
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post #15 of 31 Old 11-28-2015, 03:34 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Eastern TN
Posts: 697
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Let me start by saying thanks so much to all of you for the words of encouragement and the lovely feedback. I've very much enjoyed reading your stories and I'm happy I can finally share mine! :)

I definitely would like to think this little guy has a very long life ahead of him, he is going to be with me for the long haul. I already can't imagine him not in my life, I'm already so attached, haha. By looking at him I wouldn't have pegged him to be 16. He moves so freely and I can't wait to get a video of him in action. :) The barn owners today were going on and on about how lovely his movement was.

So an update. Today was the first real day I got to spend time with him since he arrived the day before Thanksgiving, we were hosting, so there was barely any time to spend at the barn, I love this barn, but being it is 20 minutes away it's kind of a trip when a tight schedule arises. My father is really enjoying this whole thing so I invited him to come with me, and we headed out. Spent about 2.5 hours solely with Berry with no interruptions.

Apparently when the BOs moved him into the larger pasture this morning (he is still in quarantine/alone for another few days), they said he was a bear to catch. Wilma (my bf's mom, and Berry's original mom) said that he was doing that at the farm that he had been at for the last year (not under her supervision), but she hadn't had a problem catching him herself. When the BO got the lead rope on the back of his neck, he let them halter him and it wasn't a problem.

I took into consideration he still is new here and I'm still new to him, so I took it very slow. I got my lead rope and halter, draped them over my left arm and got into the pasture with him (it's probably a couple acre pasture). As soon as he saw my me and my father, he started walking towards us. He came up to us and we began petting him and gently greeting him; all the while him seeing the halter, I never once attempted to touch it with my right hand and just kept petting him.

I wanted to see if he'd follow me, so I said his name and to come, and he started following me, no where near my heels, just politely following to my right side. Whenever I'd stop, he stopped. My heart swelled. He listened to verbal cues so well, which I was verrry happy to find out. Also, he only needs a very gentle tap whenever you need him to move, back up, or turn his little rump. He's very sensitive, and considering I try to ride with a very light hand (I'd actually like to really focus on leg cues with him), I'm pretty excited. A lot of my lesson horses over the years have had hard mouths and I just... HATED having to use excessive force if for whatever reason they weren't responding to leg or seat cues. So definitely wanting to focus on leg and seat cues with my boy. Eventually I want to be a bitless rider, but that's a longer term goal of course. ;)

I gave him some more neck and side rubs, talked to him, walked a little away from him and let me follow him some more, then finally he gave me his head (he didn't want to at first but I didn't push him, he never once gave me his butt, and never once tried to run off). Took about 20 minutes of me wanting to make him associate the halter and me to nice things, so once we got in the barn, he actually enjoys being groomed, I gave him a really nice, hour long groom (just brushing). His eyes were completely closed at one point and he may or may not have dozed off. He's just. my dream horse. Even if he's rusty under saddle, I don't mind, as far as on the ground he makes me so happy.

When it came time to return him to the pasture, he stopped every few paces and didn't want to continue back (was getting dark). I verbally asked him to come without adding any pressure on the halter, and he seemed to be okay with that, and moved forward. I found out the reason why he was stopping, he didn't want to go back into the pasture, but he didn't give a fuss. He watched us as we walked away, I was hoping I'd get to see him run and play, the little tyke I'm sure rolled later after I left.

So Wilma never had issues with rain rot before, or at least not to the extent that Berry currently has on his rump (thanks to the lack of proper care he got at the situation he was in before we got him back). She has taken care of most of what he had on his withers, but his poor little rump and right side is littered with it in spots. My trainer told me to get Banixx, but I couldn't find any in stock locally, so I ordered a 32oz bottle off of Amazon and it should get here Monday. I can't wait to get it knocked out because I know it has to be bothering him.

Here's one of the very many pictures I got today, pre-groom.
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post #16 of 31 Old 11-28-2015, 07:27 AM
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Canada
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Awww... he sounds so much like our Harley! I just love his head. I may just be a Arab lover for life. I have to say that I learned to ride on a grey Arabian mare when I was a child so even though my horses were mostly ponies and then a Quarter Horse, I always had a soft spot for Arabs. They are so incredibly smart and sensitive. The way you describe him in the pasture is exactly how our Harley behaves. He's so curious, loves people and will follow us around without a lead rope even though we've barely had him two months. They are certainly easy horses to fall in love with! I know not everyone thinks your horse should be attached to you like a dog, but I think Arabs have a special personality and as long as you can be firm with him when you need to (they will also test you), it can only help increase the bond.

My daughter is the one who mostly rides Harley (I admit, I sneak rides in when she's at school - he's a dream on trail rides!) and had the same experience as you. For four years she rode lesson horses with hard mouths. So it's really a big change for her to ride Harley who requires a light touch. It's an adjustment, and even though my daughter wants to jump, which will require full contact, for now, her coach is having her ride with very loose reins and teaching her to turn and even stop without using reins at all. It's all in the seat and the legs. Harley is well-trained and knows all the cues, so it's almost too easy with him, but if you try to turn your body in the direction you want to go, he may start turning with very little rein.

Oh, and we were previously boarding 25 minutes away so I feel your pain. Many nights, we didn't go to the barn because it was just too far. Like you, my daughter was working with her coach there (had been for a year) and I wanted her to get used to Harley under the same coach. So after about a month and a half, we decided to move him to our neighbor's house. She even has an indoor and had her own coach coming in so we are trying her. So far, I'm very happy with my decision. We are there all the time and Harley has WAYYY more room to run on their large property. So I hope you find a happy medium eventually, but really, 20 minutes isn't the end of the world to give you peace of mind that Berry is well looked after. And eventually, you will have room on your property for him. Will you be looking for a companion horse for him? Not only is that good for him, but you can also use the other horse as a guest horse if you want to go on trail rides with your friends, boyfriend, etc.
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post #17 of 31 Old 11-28-2015, 07:49 AM
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Where the red fern grows....
Posts: 1,293
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What a pretty boy he is, congratulations. Just a cautionary note on pulling a horse trailer, forgive me if you have pulled a trailer before...but when you get one, ensure that the truck you are using is correct for the trailer and take the trailer hitched to it out without the horse in it first. Get use to the feel, sway, movement of the trailer attached the vehicle your going to use first.

I pull a 24ft stock trailer with an F250 and did the above, as there is A LOT to think about when the horse is actually in it. One thing I did practice a lot is stopping well before the stop sign or stop light, I pay very close attention to traffic as you will have people suddenly stopping in front of you or pulling out in front of you or tail gating you and the trailer.
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post #18 of 31 Old 11-28-2015, 08:33 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2014
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Congratulations on your sweet boy!
Keep us updated, please!
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post #19 of 31 Old 11-28-2015, 08:53 AM
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Gulf Coast
Posts: 2,383
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Congratulations! He's gorgeous!
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post #20 of 31 Old 11-28-2015, 12:08 PM
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 387
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Congrats! He's very pretty. Enjoy your new horse.
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