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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Lakota’s Journey started on November 27, 2019, the day I met you.

You are a bitter/sweet situation. The bitter part is that I am getting you to take the place of Icebreaker my perfect horse. The sweet is that I get to train another horse to be my perfect horse.

I can’t go own without writing about my feelings for my very special horse that I had gotten at 18 months old, trained myself, along with the advice of a professional trainer. This horse that you were going to have to take the place of was my perfect horse. We trusted each other completely. He was truly one of the finest Tennessee Walking Horses in our area. He had a super nice rack and running walk. He was the fastest around and in my younger days that was very important to me. I rode with my husband and a bunch of guys who would leave me behind as they rode off on their fast smooth gaited horses. That was until Icebreaker.

I will never forget the first time I took Icebreaker to Wranglers Camp (Land between the Lakes ) in Kentucky. My husband with his friends and their super nice horses and me on this young colt who had only about 60 days of riding at that time. He was very pretty even then and he was still in the gangly all leg stage the twh goes through as a 2-year-old. I was proud when I saddled him up and we started on the trail. I remember how rough he was. Everything hurt on my body including my teeth as I tried to ride with the others. Poor Icebreaker was still trying to figure out his gait and wanted so badly to keep up with the older more mature horses. I wasn’t going to let him tire himself out he was still a baby. He didn’t know it, he wanted to go. A course my husband and his buddies love teasing me and had to let me know what a mistake I had made with this young colt. I should have gotten an older horse already ready to go the “distance”. That is not what I wanted. I had to remind myself to be patient he was going to be fine, he just needed some time. The pride that I felt earlier was starting to fade away. Icebreaker was rough, and I had to take it easy with him. The one thing that he did have going for him was that he was a pleaser. He did everything I asked of him and probably even more but I was very cautious with him. Just like I will be with you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Another experience I had with him when he was turning three years old, we went to Buzzards Canyon, Ky. There was a group of about 20 people who loved to trail ride as much as I do. The professional trainer that I had been working with to help me train my other horses was on the ride that day. I couldn’t wait for him to see how much Icebreaker had learned since the last time he had seen him. We started off the sun was shining, a beautiful Spring day. The place we were going was on private property and we were promised that the caves and the scenery were worth the long drive. Now, the trails were all grown up and actually the person that was upfront was really making the trails. I remember how excited I was when we started off and the other riders were having trouble getting their horses to go through some of the tight difficult places on some of the trail. Icebreaker would do whatever I asked and even had to lead the trail in some of the really tight brush-covered areas. He was already becoming a big horse for a three-year-old and he didn’t have any fear.

We were riding for about 2 hours when the sky started turning black, the wind started getting up. The trail boss and the only one that knew the area said to follow her that we were going to a cave to get out of the rain. We all took off following after her and we picked up the pace to a running walk. Now, this is kind of rough because of the thick brush, low tree limbs, and some rocky trails. The wind was starting to literally blow limbs and leaves into our face. I remember trying to put on my poncho and the wind was flapping it every which way. Icebreaker just kept ongoing following the other horses. I remember hearing someone behind me yelling but couldn’t make out what they were saying because the wind and the rain we're getting louder and louder. When I turned around to try to look, a sticker bush caught my poncho and it was pulling it off. I fought to hold on to it and keep up the crazy, and dangerous pace.
I remember seeing the cave that we were heading for. We had to go down the valley and across a rocky deep ditch to get into the cave. Icebreaker was the second one in the cave behind the trail boss. I got into the cave just in time to see one of the horses come in without a rider. I remember grabbing the horse's reins and screaming for my husband to go back and look for the rider since he was the one right behind me. He was heading back for them when we send them coming up on the back of another rider. We all made room for each other in the cave. I remember how well Icebreaker did with all the horses as we went inside this cave to get out of the rain and wind. Now, we were starting to notice a waterfall starting to form over the edge of the cave that we were in. We all were taking pictures and going on about how pretty the waterfall was. Feeling lucky, we were safe out of the wind and rain.

The rain was really coming down hard, and it was getting louder and louder. I was starting to get nervous as horses were started to get restless and some were starting to become upset. I remember petting Icebreaker and telling him how good he was as he seemed to be taking it all in stride. I felt him calm down as I was talking and petting him and it was helping me to calm down. Then the trail boss said, we were going to have to leave the cave that the ditch was filling up and we didn’t get out we might get trapped in it.

Now, I was scared. I didn’t know how Icebreaker would do going through the water which looked like it would be to my saddle. As I looked at how much the ditch had already filled up, I was terrified that he wouldn’t go through it. All the other horses had been through creeks and rivers before, but not him. Trying to keep my voice as calm as I could, I said let me go first since my horse was the youngest and if he couldn’t go through it we would all stay back together and wait it out. Laughing and cutting up like it wasn’t a big deal. The professional trainer came over close to me and asked if I wanted him to ride him through the waterfall and ditch. No, I wanted to do it.

Now, normally I would have realized it would have been better for Icebreaker to follow another horse but I was in a panic. So, I immediately started to go under the waterfall with him before I lost my nerve. I was also thinking that I didn’t want to have to swim and I wanted to go through it before it gets any deeper.

The waterfall was so loud, it was hurting my ears and I knew it had to be hurting the horse's ears. I started thinking about hurrying up and get Icebreaker through it to protect him from the loud noise. I think worrying about that helps me to forget my own fears. I remember my husband riding next to me, as we went through the waterfall and the ditch that was now filled with water. I remember feeling Icebreaker quivering and me talking to him and reassuring him it was going to be okay.

We got across the ditch and moved out of the way for the others to get across, my husband got off his horse and help me and others to take our boots and different things off to empty the water out we were soaked completely through. I realized the water was up over the top of my boots. We all were laughing and saying how exciting that was. The rain slowed down to a drizzle and the wind had stopped and the sky was clearing up.

We were headed back to our trailers. The pace had slowed down and I was feeling very proud of my young boy. We headed back quietly to the trailer. While we loaded up the horses, the guy that was the professional trainer told me how well he thought my horse done today. He stated that not just the waterfall, creek situation but his calm behavior the whole day through the rough trails, steep hills, taking the lead when several others wouldn’t. He never hesitates when I told him to do something. How he stayed calm when the loud noise of the waterfall had most of the other horses in dismay and had to be circled or the riders to get off and hold them. He said that I should be proud of this young boy. The ride home was very quiet as I thought about all the things that happened that day and my young fellow took care of me. I plan on you doing the same.

solidIcebreaker is a beautiful horse, I know it, I have heard it over and over again from everyone that sees him. As he got older, he filled out to have a very nice confirmation. He learned to rack with a perfect headset, tail up in the air. Although he has never had any special shoes he lifts his front two legs up high as he racks down the trail. His gait fondly got smooth as he built the muscles and figured out how to collect himself up. He loved to show off when he knew people were watching him. I even took him to school to have students sit on him and get their pictures taken on him for a fundraiser. I swear he knew he was getting his pictures taken because in all the pictures with the students it actually looked like he was posing. There were four horses there that day but the line was extremely much longer for this 16 hands golden dappled, palomino with the long white mane, tail and four white socks and blaze face. He looked absolutely beautiful as I remember the pride of felt that day.

Icebreaker became a great trail horse and he learned how to follow a trail. Now, when you become an expert trail horse you will be able to stay on the trail when it is covered with leaves, snow or grown up with sticker bushes and brush. You need to know that I don’t have any sense of direction, my family and friends say that I could get lost on a trail in my backyard and they are right. I have a friend that rides the Shawnee National Forest in Illinois a lot. I started riding with her there. These trials are a challenge for several reasons they are not marked well, and you have to walk around narrow, steep, rocky cliffs and canyons. My friend knows the trails very well but her horse doesn’t like to lead. So I am usually upfront with Icebreaker because he likes to lead. She will always tell me the way to get to spot that we are going to but she likes for me to figure the way back. She likes to tease me because of my lack of sense of direction. Now, I know that Icebreaker will always be able to figure his way back to camp no matter where we are at. So, I always let him take the lead back and when we come up to a place I am not sure I will let him choose the trail. He always picks the right one. One day she made the comment to my husband that I am learning how to follow the trails now. I have never told them it wasn’t me, I am still as lost as I can be, but yes Icebreaker knows the way.

Just to prove it, I can tell you about a time we were riding at Mammoth Cave in Kentucky. We went with a group of people that said they knew the trails. I know better to ever trust these guys again. We drove all day to get there, and we had about 2 hours of sunlight lift. They wanted us to see this spot that was about 20 minutes away. It would be great to stretch our horses out and the whole ride would take about an hour that will give us about 10 minutes to look over this bluff and rest before heading back. Great plan, wrong. We were an hour and a half into the ride we haven’t found the bluff yet. Different ones keep saying they thought we were going in circles, of course, I had no idea. My husband has a very good sense of direction said that we were. The two guys that “knows” the trails were arguing with each other. It was starting to get dark and the woods are really thick with leaves this time of year and it wasn’t a full moon. I was thinking that I didn’t want to be caught in the woods in a strange place after dark. I noticed every time we passed this one place and the guys would go straight, Icebreaker acted like we should turn that way. Some horses turn or may even through a fit to turn back to camp, trailer or barn. Icebreaker is not like that and it's hard for me to explain but I can just read him as he can read me. So when we passed a spot again and the guys went passed it, I told them that I was going that way. My husband agreed with me and the others followed because of course, it is best to stick together. I immediately could tell that we were headed the right way, Icebreaker collected up we got into his beautiful rack and we got out of the woods right as it was getting dark. We came back a different way then we went in. I had never been there before but I knew Icebreaker would get us back to camp before it was completely dark.

When Icebreaker was around 6 years old we went to Honey Creek Campground in Tennessee. It was with a bunch of women and we were having a great time without our husbands. Icebreaker was now very strong, fast and a very big show off. I love to let him get into his gait and lead the trail he was very fast and we often would have to get so far ahead and wait or ride back and meet up with the others but we didn’t mind. He loved to move out as much as I loved letting him. This particular ride we had been out for about 10 hours and we were almost back at camp when we came up to this big boulders on each side of the trail end saying Honey Creek Campground. Now, these boulders were very large but Icebreaker has passed things like that many times without any problems. For some reason this time he started snorting and hesitating which is not like him. I don’t let my horses get away with things like that (keep that in mine), so I reassured him that it was okay and lean forward for him to go on. Usually, that is all it takes. Not this time. Other riders were catching up with us and they were trying to make their horses go on. One horse reared up another turned around and then I notice that they were headed back the other way. I heard someone yell at me and waved for me to follow them and they pointed at another trail. I was getting tired, thirsty and had to use the bathroom. I could see the campsite just a few feet after the boulders. I wasn’t sure but I was thinking the other way it would take us about two miles back around the camp. So I decided that Icebreaker will have to go on pass those boulders. I started petting him and calmly tell him that it was okay that they weren’t going to get him and tell him what a brave boy he was and spurred him to let him know that he was going through. I have very seldom had to spur him so he knew I meant business. He went through it quivering and snorting the whole time. I felt him tense and very nervous as he continued to snort louder the whole time we were passing through the boulders and even for aways up the trail. Now, the need for the bathroom made me decide to get him in his next gear and stop this silliness and I gave him the signal to step it up and he did. I was very proud of myself for going past those boulders, making it to the bathroom in the nick of time. I already had my horse cooled down, his saddle put up and relaxing in a chair with a big glass of tea when my friend rode up. I was wanting to brag on how well Icebreaker did going through the boulders but instead was feeling very stupid. I found out they were yelling to tell me that there was a black bear in the woods beside the boulders. I never did see it. I learned a valuable lesson that day. I learned that I should trust Icebreaker when he is trying to tell me something isn’t right. He is not a spooky horse and he is willing to please no matter what. I should have realized that it was something other than the boulders that got him upset. I should have done a better job of listening to him. I promise that I will pay close attention to you and try my best to figure out what you are saying to me.

Now these stories have led me up to you, these are helping me remember all the great times I have had with Icebreaker and there are so many more that I will share with you as time goes on. You have big shoes to fill.

When I realized that I have to start preparing for a horse to take Icebreakers place was two years ago. I started riding one of my other horses for one whole year. I have been trying to give this horse a chance. He is a nice horse but he just isn’t Icebreaker, I have been very depressed ever since.

Icebreaker and I have way over 2 thousand actual miles together within our first three years together that was tracked on a GPS. So I know without a doubt. I stopped tracking it after we had reached 5 thousand miles. We have traveled to many states together and are true partners. So when I have to stop riding him, it has seemed like a part of me is lost.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
So I have decided that I need to find another colt and trained him to be as close as Icebreaker as I can get. So the search for you was on and although it has been a very big challenge I found you.

Then the first week in November, I came across this picture of the buckskin colt, he was four months old and was out of the bloodline that I was very familiar with as well known show horses. Every time I pulled up the information about the buckskin colt, this blue roan kept popping up on the same page. Now, I didn’t know a whole lot about the pedigree of the blue roan’s sire’s side but the dam’s side was very well known in the show ring. I have seen them several times in my Voice Magazines ( for Tennessee Walking Horses). I started to research both colts pedigree and found out everything I could about confirmation, gait, disposition and even called people that owned some of the horses that were listed on their pedigrees. This is something I have done frequently before I buy a young horse. The more that I talk to different people about the two horses pedigree, I found myself leaning more toward the blue roan that was five months old. Your owner had you and several other very nice colts. He was a very honest person and very knowledgeable about horses and I was very interested in his colts. So I decided that a trip to Sikeston, Missouri during my Thanksgiving break.
I usually don’t believe in a colt to leave his mother until after the first year. When I talked with your owner he agreed OK that is what he usually does. This time the situation was different. He had recently had two strokes in October which left him unable to attend to you and the other colts like he usually does. So he had just put you up for sale that day. I had a notice set up on my phone to let me know when a colt comes available with certain qualifications and one of your owner's colts met the qualifications so it texts me the message. I was actually checking on another colt when he was adding you to his website. I called him immediately. We talked about several different colts and I was interested in a couple. Now, I usually look for golden palominos that look like Icebreaker. You didn’t but you had everything else I was looking for. You have those wide, gentle eyes, the appropriate confirmation of twh and your owner said that you could rack along beside your mother all day. I like that.

On the way to look at you, a couple of friends went with me. On the way there I warned them to make sure that I pick a colt that would make a good horse. I was afraid that I would see a colt and let my heart take over my senses and I wouldn’t pick the right colt. We went over all the things that I wanted out of a colt. You had to have a good temperament, you have to be willing to allow me to touch and pet all over you. You had to have gentle eyes, your teeth and legs had to be straight. You shouldn’t turn your butt toward me. You shouldn’t be spooky. You should be curious about the list when on and on. I didn’t want you to have the big old twh head.
I knew all the colts he had for sale were halter broke and that was all. He said that he had done that before he had his stroke. I am still leary of you being so young. In the past, my colt has been around 18-24 months old. I never had a stud colt on my place before.
We walked into the barn and there were several colts installs. I glanced at you and our eyes met. I felt my stomach do a flip, but I walked passed you because I really was there to look at the buckskin. His pedigree was supposedly better. I looked at him and then the palomino colt which my friends thought that I would get. He was nice looking. Then I went back to you. I walked into your stall the first thing you did was turned your butt to me and walked away. That is a no, no in my book. I stood there and talked to you. You came back to pass me and stood two hand distance away from me, I continued to talk to you very softly. I didn't move toward you, I just stood there. You went past me again to the other corner and came back around and stopped a little bit closer to me. You need this several times and each time you were a little closer but your butt was still to me. I could tell you were curious. You had your halter on, and your owner said just grab his halter he will be okay. I didn’t want to grab your halter, I wanted to see what you would do just like we were doing. I was trying to learn about you as you were trying to learn about me. I continued to talk to you as my friends watched. Belinda said I think he has a parrot mouth. I looked at you and said it looks like the foundation Tennessee Walking Horsehead. She reminded me that I didn’t like it. Yes, I know. I kept standing there. You actually backed up within hands reach, I touched your butt and you briskly walked away in that circle to the other side. You waited a shorter amount of time and you came back again. I petting your butt again you stood there a little longer and then the circle again. I noticed each time I was able to pet you closer to your head and you were standing there longer. Belinda started checking out the other colts while Juliah the one that knows more about horses stood there and watched our bond. She smiled at me when she saw me pet you from butt to head as you finally stood there and let me do it. She said he’s the one, isn’t he?

Your owner asked if I wanted to see your natural gait. I did but wasn’t sure how to see it. He suggested that I lead you back in forth the length of the barn. We shut the barn doors just in case you got away from me and then I led you out of your stall in the barn and we went up and down the center of the barn. I have broken my leg a couple of times so I am not able to run just walk fast. You followed me very easily no pulling or tugging. I was pleased. We did that several times but I really couldn’t get a clear idea of your gait. Your owner said we could take you outside to a play area he had for the colts. Juliah fixed the gates up and open the barn door so we could let you out. He wasn’t able to walk so he would tell us what to do. We let you out in the field, and you did your thing. Your head was arch high and proud with the tail up in the air with a beautiful natural gait. I had the biggest grin on my face. I heard the guy ask my friends that were standing at the barn door was he hitting his lick. Juliah, who knows me well and knows even more about horses said I think she’s found her colt. We had you run straight at me and then away from me you were perfectly straight no swigging your legs. Your confirmation was great for a colt. We checked your teeth, a little bit of an overbite. I took a picture of it and sent it to my vet and asked his opinion. He said that it was very little overbite and you should grow out of it. That you were still so young.

Now, I also did something else that I have never done before. Your owner said that he hadn’t had a vet out to check you out or have health papers done. I have never bought a horse with a vet check or heath certificate. My friends looked at me and said what are you going to do. I asked him what was his policy of returning horses if I found out that you wouldn’t work out. He said you can give me a check, and I will hold it for 10 days and then you can let me know. If you return him I will give you back your check and if you keep him I will send you his papers. My heart was doing all the thinking for me. One friend who loves horses and cares a lot about me was letting me know that she thought I should wait. The other one that knows me very well and knows a lot about horses, animals in general. She actually trains horses, zebras, and camels. She looked at him very carefully, checking out everything while I stood there and petting on him, now touching his ears, legs and everywhere I could reach. She said she liked how calm he was, she liked his eyes, she didn’t think his head was that big he was going to be a nice, built horse he has large bones and everything she is noticing is positive. So I wrote him a check and said I will call you after my husband and vet checks him out.

Juliah went and got my truck and backed the trailer to the barn we loaded you right up. I had put some hay in the bottom of the trailer for you. You smelled in and after a couple of minutes or less, you jumped right on in there. The only problem was the trailer mat and slipped a little bit and got caught on my trailer door and I couldn’t get it shut. We kept fighting with it. I was scared that I was going to have to leave you there because I couldn’t get the trailer door shut. My friend got up in the trailer with you and petting on you until I could get the mat fixed. You let her pet on you while you continue to eat the hay. She got out of the trailer and I shut the door. You put your head up in the trailer and watched as we drove away from your mother and everything that you had ever known. I wondered what you were thinking.
I was very excited and nervous as we drove off. Juliah decided she went drive since all I wanted to do was to watch you. This was a long trip for you it was several hours. You seemed to be doing fine, you would eat hay watch the vehicles go by. Especially when it got dark and they had their lights on. I could see your mane standing up and your ears as I watched as we went down the road.
We pulled into the barn and Bob, my husband met us. I had the stall all ready with fresh bedding, hay, and water. The other horses ran to the fence to check you out as I took you out of the trailer. You stepped out looked around. You had several obstacles to go around before you could get into your stall. Golf cart, lawnmower, wheel barrel, and saddles. It didn’t seem to bother you as you followed me into your stall. My friends told you bye and wished me luck and I thanked them for going with me. Bob was checking you out, comparing you to his own blue roan. You made it, you got his approval and he hasn’t even seen your gait. I was feeling good.
The next morning, I was awake before daylight which is normal for me. I am used to getting up at 4:00 am. I put my barn clothes and boots and went straight to you.
You didn’t know what to think. You stood a little way from your stall door where I had your stall top door open so you could see out. I open the door and walked in with the hay, talking to you ever so softly as I put it in your hay tub. I checked your water and you hadn’t drunk any. I was a little concerned. While you were eating your hay, I rubbed all over you and continued to talk to you. Next, I got the curry brush, dandy brush, and your mane and tail brush. I brushed every spot on you, and you let me. I even rubbed your ears and picked up your legs with no problem. I was so excited. I wanted to let you outside but the temperature had dropped overnight and it was raining. I had decided to stall by other horses up. So I went and got them and slowly introduced them to you with your stall window shut. The only one didn’t do well was Icebreaker and he laid his ears back at you. I was wondering if he knew that you were supposed to replace him. I corrected him and he smelled of you again. I let him know that you were a baby. He acted like he understood but decided he was more interested in his stall and his fresh hay.

Blue boy was the one that was interested in you, he wanted to play with you he is 6 years old and very gentle. I spent four years on the internet trying to find him. A woman from West Virginia had him. I was her husband’s colt and he had just died. He has become an awesome horse. He is beautiful and is a great gentle trail horse. He’s not are smoothest or fastest but he is solid .
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Blue boy was the one that was interested in you, he wanted to play with you he is 6 y

Blue boy was the one that was interested in you, he wanted to play with you he is 6 years old and very gentle. I spent four years on the internet trying to find him. A woman from West Virginia had him. I was her husband’s colt and he had just died. He has become an awesome horse. He is beautiful and is a great genhttps://www.horseforum.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=1000815&stc=1&d=1576459665tle trail horse. He’s not are smoothest or fastest but he is solid .[/QUOTE]
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Nice journal. I am wondering why Icebreaker had to be retired? And at what age? The riding in your area sounds amazing.

He fell in a whole the last time I rode him. He stumbled around for several minutes trying to get his balance and keep me seated in my saddle. He pulled out his sternum, pulled a bunch of muscles in his hip, back and neck. The chiropractor had to come out three times to adjust him. It was recommend that I didn't ride him the rest of season and let him mend. Then when he was given the green light to ride. I have to take it very easy with him and let him build back up. This made me realize that he is not as young as he wants was and that I need to start getting another horse ready. I usually ride 6-10 hours a day on him. He is 20 years old, the trails are not easy and we like to move out around (is comfort speed) 8-10 miles an hour. So I had to make myself start riding some of my other horses.

He is not retired yet but knowing it is coming, I decided to start preparing a young horse for when the time comes. I will start back working him up this spring but I have to do it slowly. I do have other horses and I will work them up to the strenuous rides that we usually take . It's just when you have one that you have ridden so long and he responds correctly to your slightest move it is hard to ride another. I have been riding one of my younger palominos. He is a little horse 14.3 which I like getting on and off of him. He has a wonderful smooth rack but after we have ridden a couple of hours, I have to take him back to camp. I have to ride two different horses to do what Icebreaker used to be able to do in one ride. My husband and I ride a lot. I usually ride everyday, I have a camp about an hour away from my home that is in the Shawnees National Forest which included Garden of the Gods, River to River Trails and many others. The fact that I am not getting any younger, I feel like now is the time for me to start training my next forever horse.
 

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Thanks for the explanation on Icebreaker. I think as horse people we have all had that special horse - and then one day you realize they are getting older. There is a certain amount of fear/unknown in starting to ride another horse and feel the same level of comfort. It took me 3 years after my gelding passed away to really fall in love with the horse I got to replace him. My TWH is lovely to ride and a joy to be around. She does not rack and our rides are probably much slower than the speed you ride at - we do not gait up and down the steep hills and ravines. I am familiar with the Shawnee - my Uncle was a park ranger there for many many years and lived in quite a few different towns in S. IL around the park. My daughter actually goes to SIU in Carbondale IL and has spent some time at Shawnee (not with her horse)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the explanation on Icebreaker. I think as horse people we have all had that special horse - and then one day you realize they are getting older. There is a certain amount of fear/unknown in starting to ride another horse and feel the same level of comfort. It took me 3 years after my gelding passed away to really fall in love with the horse I got to replace him. My TWH is lovely to ride and a joy to be around. She does not rack and our rides are probably much slower than the speed you ride at - we do not gait up and down the steep hills and ravines. I am familiar with the Shawnee - my Uncle was a park ranger there for many many years and lived in quite a few different towns in S. IL around the park. My daughter actually goes to SIU in Carbondale IL and has spent some time at Shawnee (not with her horse)

I received my Rank 1 at SIU at Carbondale . I have a campsite over at Double M run by Heath Mann. Are you familiar with it? You have a very clear understanding of what I am going through, when you mention the certain amount of fear/unknown when starting to ride another horse.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Lakota this has been a rough week for me, December 16-20th. The kids at school where very excited about Christmas and the lessons that I was trying to teach them wasn't important to them. Bob , (my husband) went to Kansas for a hunting trip with a bunch of the guys. I got up at 4:00 every morning so I could feed you and then let you out with Blue. Rushed home every night to try to have some time with you before he got to dark or to cold for me to stay outside. You did great, you are greeting me at the fence when I pull up to the barn. If you in the back lot with Blue and I whistle for Blue, you have started coming up with him. It won't be long that you will relate the whistling is for you to come to me. Blue is a good one for you to be with. He is very protective of you, and he has such great ground manners. You stand at the gait and wait for me to halter and lead you to the barn. You are learning the command to back up, to side step and to whoa as I walk you to the barn. You have learned to stand still while I take your halter off, you wait to I rub you all over before you go to eat your hay and grain. You stand while I groom you from head to toe. Paying close attention to rub your ears and your legs. I have left you out for 2 nights in a row, but got up several times in the night to check to make sure you were okay from the pasture monitors. You and Blue were laying up in the round bale of hay.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Today was an exciting day for us. I was able to work with you several times, On Christmas Break and the weather was perfect. High 50's for December 23. You did great leading, you are stopping on command. You loaded and unloaded without any hesitation. You are the youngest horse that I have every worked with and you catch on the fastest of them all. Today you learn to square up and start "parking out" at least understand the commands. You would back up with command. I would touch you at your shoulder with my hand giving you the vocal cue and I step you out into a parking stance. I was so proud how the different steps we have worked on as now come together. You seem to enjoy being with me. You run to the gate every time you see now. You follow me up and down the fence line when I walk Bentley (yorkie) up and down the road by your fence. You have learned to stand still and wait for the signal to walk to the barn and not try to rush to it, knowing your stall will have alpha hay and your Tribute grow colt feed. You really like the feed the best. You are one content young colt. I am very proud of your ground manners and when my husband, Bob brags on you. I hear him on the phone telling his friends how well you are doing. He also says when you are about 16 hands that he will probably be taking you over. Of course, I am hoping you will be only about 15 hands. The neighbors came over today to check you out again. They are impressed with how great your doing. He really bragged about how easy you are to catch and halter, he wanted to know my secret. I responded it's not a secrete you just enjoy people and like being around them. I am getting more fond of you everyday.
 

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I am familiar with Double M - our plan is to try and get down to the Shawnee this fall and bring my daughters horse so she can ride with us. I have to have both hips replaced (first one 3/6/20) so we have put off this trip because riding actively has been very painful.

Keep up the work with Lakota - when I worked with my last young horse I did a ton of ground work - side passing, backing up with hand commands, come to me when I am on a fence or mounting block and so much more. It made the transition to riding a lot easier for both of us.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I am familiar with Double M - our plan is to try and get down to the Shawnee this fall and bring my daughters horse so she can ride with us. I have to have both hips replaced (first one 3/6/20) so we have put off this trip because riding actively has been very painful.

Keep up the work with Lakota - when I worked with my last young horse I did a ton of ground work - side passing, backing up with hand commands, come to me when I am on a fence or mounting block and so much more. It made the transition to riding a lot easier for both of us.

Thank you, I am excited and enjoy working with him.

When you go to Double M. Let me know. I will try to meet with you. Ask Health were the girl with the Montana camper is on the hill he will show you. Caarshon keep me posted on how your hip replacement goes. I have friends just had it done and the pain level was so much better. The only problem they over did it. Be careful of that. The two I am thinking about both had a little set back because they over did it.


Good Luck and Merry Christmas!!
 

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Will do! I am looking forward to my hip replacement and have been warned about over doing it. I am 49 years old and need to make the replacement last as long as possible to I plan on babying it along. Hard to do when you have stalls to clean and animals to take care of. I will keep you in mind if we get to finally ride there this fall. So much depends on my hips!

Merry Christmas to you!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
hoofs trim today

Lakota today 12/26/2019 You will be getting your hoofs trimmed for the first time. I have asked Angie to do it. She is awesome and she is expert in corrective shoeing in this area. I am wanting to make sure you are off to a great start. I am nervous how you are going to act. I have been lifting your hoofs up everyday since I have gotten you. I tap on them and massage them. You have done great for me. I also have noticed that you are a little shy around new people. I am hoping you will take it all in stride.

I have butterflies in my stomach as I am waiting for her. I have already feed you and you are out getting some exercise before she gets here. I am hoping that you will be calm and ready to stand still while she works with your hoofs. :-?:
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Valuable lesson

I learned a valuable lesson with you today. Angie came out to trim you up and you acted like a fool. I have never seen you act like this. The colt who has been so easy to work with, was as skittish that you would have thought a mountain lion was after you. It is a good thing that she has seen you before you went so crazy or she would have never believed me how gentle you normally are.

She pointed out that the alpha hay that I am giving you was probably 18-20% protein and the Tribute growing colt was also high in protein. You were on a feed high. I had just gotten the new load of hay in. You had just started eating in on Christmas Eve. I was feeding you to much. I am glad she caught it. We decided for her to wait and come back after I have brought you back down off of the hay and grain. The hay is great for my other horses because they are ridden hard and are older and are use to it. You can't handle it. The changes that I was starting to see from you the kicking out at my brother-in-law and pulling away from my husband and now today the flight reaction when you seen Angie.

So very little alpha hay for you a half a flick in the morning the other half and night. The grain amount 1 cup in the morning and 1 cup at night. She will come back Monday and see how your are doing. We will try again on getting you trimmed up. Today you just got use to her rubbing you down.

Thanks Angie for pointing this out to me. This hay was 3rd cutting from the top of the line alpha field.

This is a lesson for me and maybe will help some others. The weather had just warmed up the last few days, so didn't need as much hay to keep them warm. I had been informed how much to feed him for his size and with the weather being in the teens and the hay was from the first cutting at the time I was being advised on how much to feed. This cutting was the third and much better quality of hay with no change in the amount I was giving him. This was starting to cause many issues.

Thankful for Angie coming over and pointing that out.

I hope now you will go back to your normal disposition with the feed change.

:runninghorse2:
 

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Alfalfa hay is high in protein but growing colts do need a lot of protein. Protein is the building block of muscle development. A cup of grain morning and night does not sound like much at all. When we raised colts we fed a few pounds of grain each feeding and they always had grass alfalfa mix hay. Some part of the US can only get mostly alfalfa hay and feed it without issue. Check out other blogs for nutritional requirements for young horses. Sorry to hear that he has been unlike his usually calm self. One thing to consider is how he was fed prior to you brining him home. A comment I will make is one of the pics you had that showed his normally black made very reddish and dry looking. My TWH mare (who is black) and my daughters young TWH mare (who is buckskin) both came to use with mane's like that. It shows a vitamin deficiency usually. My daughters mare came from Nixa MO and was in good weight but was only fed grass hay. Once with us she was fed grain and alfalfa grass mix hay. She has really blossomed and at 6yrs old even grew a little and really filled out - and got a whole heck of a lot more spunky! So good nutrition may be playing a role in his extra energy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Today you went to the vets, (December 27, 2019).

I have been waited for this day to make sure that your legs were alright and you didn't have anything going on with your health.

You got a find report. Everything looked good, except you are very slightly sickle hock. The vet said that he really didn't feel it was anything to be concerned about just important that I am aware of it and the Ferrier trims you with this in mind. Your weight was good and you are growing very nicely.

Today your behavior was back to "normal" for you. You were well behaved letting the vet and tech check you over. You hesitated for just a couple of seconds because it was someone new but he rubbed you down and made all over you and you liked it.

They all bragged on you the vets, the tech and the young girl that came out to let the vet know about the patient he just had surgery on was doing.

I was pretty proud of you but just more confused about what had happen yesterday when you acted like Angie was a MOUNTAIN LION. I keep hashing over the events of yesterday. Other then the feed that Angie thought was the problem I just don't know. If you acted the same way today, then I would think you are coming into your self being a stallion. You didn't you are so well behaved. I couldn't ask for any better.

Gosh, are you bipolar?
 
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Alfalfa hay is high in protein but growing colts do need a lot of protein. Protein is the building block of muscle development. A cup of grain morning and night does not sound like much at all. When we raised colts we fed a few pounds of grain each feeding and they always had grass alfalfa mix hay. Some part of the US can only get mostly alfalfa hay and feed it without issue. Check out other blogs for nutritional requirements for young horses. Sorry to hear that he has been unlike his usually calm self. One thing to consider is how he was fed prior to you brining him home. A comment I will make is one of the pics you had that showed his normally black made very reddish and dry looking. My TWH mare (who is black) and my daughters young TWH mare (who is buckskin) both came to use with mane's like that. It shows a vitamin deficiency usually. My daughters mare came from Nixa MO and was in good weight but was only fed grass hay. Once with us she was fed grain and alfalfa grass mix hay. She has really blossomed and at 6yrs old even grew a little and really filled out - and got a whole heck of a lot more spunky! So good nutrition may be playing a role in his extra energy.
Yes, I remember with my other colts around two years old and they started getting the good grain and hay they came very spunky too. Even now, when they are not worked out as much they will start getting a little spunky and then I will make sure they get more exercise.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
It's been about a month since I have measured your height. You were 13.1 hands at that time. I measured you today 1/1/2020 and you have grown 2 inches. You are now 13. 3 hands. You will be 7 months old 1/12/. I am hoping that you will be about 15 hands. You are filling out very nicely and doing very well. I am very proud of your progress.
 
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