New horse owners
We are new here... please forgive me, this post will kind of be all over the place, as I don't know where to start. My wife and I are the proud new owners of two rescue horses, Daisy May and Atticus. Daisy May is a 15.1 hand 24 year old QH chestnut mare, and Atticus is a 16 hand 17 year old QH flea-bit gelding. These are our first horses - we've always wanted to have horses and now we have the property to do so. Neither of us has much experience with horses, but we are learning a lot, and things are going pretty well with them. We have them at home, where they are kept in a 45' diameter corral with a run-in shed we built that is 12x24 on 1.4 acres adjacent to our house. We are in our late forties and early fifties and live in Southern California.
We will be starting riding classes soon (we both have ridden before but no formal classes). Aside from that, we've learned quite a bit by reading a lot, talking to other local owners, watching tons of videos, and working with our two new friends every day.
We've had them five weeks now, and through a lot of patient work with them, we have been been progressing and they are now comfortable with us catching, brushing, haltering, fly-masking, blanketing, saddling (loose), and leading within and outside of the corral. We have measured for front cinches and will pick those up soon to continue our process.
When we picked them up from the local shelter, they were a little thin, their hooves were very long, and the mare was very skittish. They are now gaining weight - they look much better, hooves look good, and Daisy May is no longer skittish around us. We have another vet visit next week, and another farrier visit the week after. The shelter, just before we picked them up (they were both taken from the same home where the older gentleman could no longer care for them), thought that the mare might be pregnant (not from our gelding obviously - they also had stallions at their previous home), and had an ultrasound done but was inconclusive, and everyone thought that the vet who checked them at the shelter had done a blood test and so we were all waiting for the test results... well, it turns out after waiting four weeks for the results, the vet had never got around to doing that blood test before we picked them up. So our vet when he comes out next week will be doing a palpation pregnancy check.
I know that 10 different people in one room will have 10 different opinions on feed... so I'll just touch on that; we are feeding them an orchard/alfalfa mix with a little bit of 4-way filler, and they've been gaining weight. They are on slow feeders and have access to hay pretty much all day and night, averaging 6 six flakes per day per horse (3 in the morning and 3 in the evening - some days there will be a little leftover, some days not). We will be switching to all alfalfa hay soon, with with a similar 3 or 4-way filler. They are also being given a supplemental rice bran oil mixed with Nutrena Triumph Complete once a day which they absolutely love.
The mare seems to be the clear alpha horse between the two, and get along very well, except when she's hungry lol,
Aside from the fly masks (and fly traps), we just picked up some Pyranha fly spray that seems to work much better than the black bottle stuff we had been using prior, and they don't seem to mind getting sprayed with this as much as the other stuff (I don't recall the name).
Anyway, it's been a mind-boggling (but fun) learning and tremendously rewarding experience so far, (mucking stalls and all!) but we are having a lot of fun, we love our new buddies and look forward to the years ahead of what will be I'm sure a very interesting and rewarding new path in our lives.
We've been lurking here for some time, reading and absorbing as much as we can, so we thank you all for the help you've been without even knowing it.