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Discussion Starter · #82 ·
Went out to feed this morning to find Lola with a nail sticking out of a hind foot.

Promptly caught her and got my SO over to help. Lola has been really good about having her feet and legs handled, but ouchies can change that. The nail was in the side of her frog, only in a half inch or so and then bent over so it hadn't been deeper. SO was able to get it out fairly easily, and it only bled a little for a couple minutes. Unfortunately, that was the end of Lola's good behavior.

I gave her a quick dose of bute and tied her in the alley way of the barn and brought Penny in to stand in the adjacent tie stall to hopefully help be a calm influence on Lola. She absolutely wasn't having us handle that foot any longer.

Instead of battling it out and trying things until something worked we just ended up getting the help of our friend who is living on our place as he has experience and tricks galore. He did as we would have and put a rope on that back leg and let her kick until she would hold the foot nicely and then he would set it down. After about 30 minutes of jacking around and Lola being uncharacteristically naughty, we were able to get the foot washed and the tiny hole rinsed with Epsom salt water and then packed with unpasteurized honey and wrapped up in a gauze, vet wrap and duct tape boot.

Penny was a superstar, and did exactly what I had hoped for: ate her hay, and was completely unbothered by the happenings around her.
 

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Discussion Starter · #84 ·
Yes, I'm pretty sure I've dug deeper in a foot to get to an access than how deep that nail was. She's hardly sore on it today, still has her ductape boot on. Will leave it for another day or two, or until it falls off, whichever comes first.

Also I am happy to report that today Willa approached me in the pen while I was checking Lola, sniffed me and then allowed me to give her some scratches on her head, neck and chest. I have yet to be able to do this in her pen, I've done it across the fence several times but never while in her "space".
Pretty big stuff!
 

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Discussion Starter · #85 ·
Still super busy around here, using Penny and Martha a lot to tag calves, pair out heifers, check cows and bring heifers in that need assistance calving. Really impressed with Penny's confidence on a cow, she used to be the tuck tail and run kind but lately she's ready to fight 🤣 She watches the cow and doesn't get anxious and ready to bail in close quarters or when a cow comes at her.

Pulled two calves yesterday, was in my PJ's for the second one cause I was just there to feed my bottle babies!

Next week I'll be heading back to my parents place for a week or two to help with pairing out and branding there.

A couple pictures of my girls from yesterday:

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Discussion Starter · #86 · (Edited)
Had some time to work on the young horses again today.

After a failed attempt to take the wrap off of Lola's back foot two days ago, I put in another good effort and got it today. With the help of a soft rope around the leg and a lot of patience, she let me slowly cut it off and then I managed to just rip it the rest of the way off without getting kicked. After the wrap was off, she allowed me to handle the foot without protest. Can't tell that there was an ow on that foot except for the odd misstep on hard ground today.
Pictures of the drama queen:
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I also worked Willa today. She didn't let me walk right up and catch her in the roundpen, I had to work her each way a little and get her on the same page as me first. Once caught, I worked her on a few of her sticky spots while leading and then brushed her out and returned to some of those sticky spots and some other basic things.
Then, I let her loose in the roundpen with Lola for a while to do other stuff. When I came back, I turned them each out one at a time. Lola first and then Willa.
Not a big deal for Lola, she doesn't care where you lead her but for Willa who hasn't been led by hand out of a pen much, little different story. Had to go through 3 gates and past picnic tables and other junk by the barn. She was very careful with every step and was a really good girl even when Lola was running around like a banana-brain. A couple still shots and pictures of this good kid"

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ETA the video:
 

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Discussion Starter · #88 ·
In preparation for taking Martha and Penny out to my folks place for a week or two to help out there, I put the Squigg in with the little girls and their pony (the pony has actually been Squiggs little pal for the last two years).

I first turned Squigg in with Willa and the pony, knowing that Willa is the boss of the two young girls and also acts older than she is, and has a more sense than silly for her age. Lola has more silly than sense some days! Willa and Squigg squealed and squawked at each other and were fast to accept one another. I let them relax and graze for 45 minutes or so before adding Lola to the mix. Aside from stirring everyone up to go for a run and a buck, that went really well too. Wasn't long and they were all licking a salt block and grazing together.
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While I was babysitting those 4, Penny got her 2nd hobbling lesson. She's taken really well to hobbles and knows that she can easily move her butt around and make tiny steps with her front feet to get comfortable.
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Discussion Starter · #89 ·
No pictures, but things have been going well here!
Both Penny and Martha are a joy to pasture sort pairs with. 3 of us hold the cow herd up on a fence line and take turns going into the herd to bring out a cow/calf pair and take them to an adjacent field.

Both mares can read a cow really well. It takes a lot of work for a horse to be able to run to a cow and cut or circle it out in a pasture. While we don't run the cows, there's always one that thinks she needs to go or not go and takes off at a trot or even a lope and I have to boogie from wherever I'm at to get caught up to the cow. And then for the horse to be able to come down and be sane enough to ride quietly into the herd again after doing that fast work.

Penny has really gotten sharp on cows, sorting cows off of calves in the branding pen she's on the ball, watchy and doesn't balk at being on close quarters with momma cows.

Penny is just a perfect sweetheart to drag calves with. I didn't get to use Martha to drag calves as she got kicked by another horse when I wasn't watching and has a little ow so I've given her a few days off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #90 ·
Unfortunately, being so busy right now does not allow for a lot of picture taking. I wish there was photos of all of the branding and sorting we've been doing lately, it would be really cool to see. Going to pair out another small bunch (10-20 as the vaccines come in 10 dose bottles) this afternoon to get done this evening with just mom and dad, and maybe my fiance will be around as he is buying a bull from someone local to here and has to pick it up tomorrow AM.

In addition to being kicked last week, yesterday morning Martha tweaked the same front leg and was quite lame on it. The wound from the kick only had swelling the first day, and didn't bother her at all, so I did wrap it and used her to pasture sort a couple times and dragged calves with her. She didn't want to stand and hold the first 3 or 4 calves we brought in, but I was able to keep her more or less faced up and the rope tight while she wiggled around and then she settled down and held calves like an old pro. There was a few calves at the end of the branding that were sneaky and pretty big, so we opted to just head and heel those ones. I had never used Martha for any of that kind of roping before, but she tracked right up to heel a calf, and I even headed one with her too, without fuss. Must have stepped in a hole or stuck it somewhere it didn't belong. Cold hosed it twice yesterday and slapped a bunch of Sore No More and Dynamint on it and she seems less sore walking across the pen today. Haven't been able to get a close look yet as we shipped cows out at 6am.

It's a bummer that I won't be able to get some valuable miles and hours on her while we are out here working, but it's good for Penny too.

On the day we did the bigger branding, I rode Penny to round up and sort. Rode her the whole day straight up in the bridle, even sorting and roping. It was a big step, and she was nice nice nice to ride! Especially to sort! She's no cutting horse where you can just drop your hand and she goes to work, but she's light and watches a cow like a hawk, ears pinned and loaded on her hocks ready to jump one way or the other. No complaints what so ever with her this last week, she's a good egg.

These are the only pictures I have from the last week. 🤷‍♀️

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Discussion Starter · #92 ·
We got home yesterday.

Overall, I was very pleased with how both mares worked over the last 2 weeks. Martha unfortunately didn't get the miles I wanted her to get, from being kicked and then 4 days later doing something else to the same leg and being lame for another 3 days. I rode her for a light gather on the 2nd last day.

Penny started to get grouchy branding at the home pen I think, 4 afternoons of dragging calves in the same pen got to her I think and she progressively got more cranky about being there. We helped friends brand on Sunday, and she was more her regular steady, enjoyable self there. I received a number of compliments on her actually! After branding on Sunday, we went back home to pair out 52 to ship out the next morning. For part of it, I ran a gate and pet my horse rest but the cows weren't pairing up well and mom and dad seemed to be getting frustrated so tossed a saddle back on poor Penny and went to help. Apparently, if my timing is right, she can perform some pretty cowhorse-like down the fence kinda moves! I do not like having to run anything down while pairing out, if things go well I find I don't usually have to work anything faster than a trot, but by the time I got there the cows had been run back and forth along the fence too much and were pretty worked up. A couple had even gotten away with turning back on a horse just before the gate, so they needed a little harder of a push.
A 4 and a half hour trailer ride yesterday and today they get to rest!
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Okay, I’m wayyyy late to the party. I freaking love the dog videos though!!! I’ll catch up eventually, but I made page one!
 

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I decided to see what was going on currently. Lol. I’m sorry that Martha got kicked! Cash is out right now too... we have a branding tomorrow for the neighbors and I will either use Zeus or not go. Big girl is sick...

Queen isn’t as good at hobble breaking! That mare is like Zeus and can travel anywhere. She doesn’t worry about it and thinks it all through. I tied an extra rope to the hobbles and held on, but she would rear up and hit the end and then just stand there for a bit and come back down. If I tie her hind in like I did with Zeus she’ll be able to travel like he could that way too. Lol. Stinking smart horses.
 

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Discussion Starter · #95 ·
@Knave I've never hobbled anything in my life so I had to learn everything. Got some good tips on starring them out with hobbles to try to avoid them learning how to cruise around with them on. I'm sure some horses just figure it out regardless of what we try to teach them. I wanted Penny to be good with hobbles because she can sometimes be unfriendly to strange horses when I'm not riding her, so having the option to go hobble her away from other horses at a branding or whatever is nice. She spent at least an hour hobbled and grazing in the yard while mom and I got branding supper organized. She managed to move around a little but I think she has figured out that just baby steps will get her places and she doesn't need to "do the hop" 🤣

Also, our weather is insane. Monday it was 27°C most of the drive back, Tuesday was windy and warm, yesterday was a little cooler and windy:
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And today:
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It feels like November winter, and has been steadily snowing all day.

It's kinda funny talking about making plans to brand while it's snowing out...
 

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That’s a good plan! Queen is nasty to other horses too, but I never thought about how nice it would be to hobble her away.

I guess that Zeus unhaltered himself at a branding of the neighbor’s today. He bucked all around and then didn’t want anyone to catch him. Lol. This makes me laugh. Husband said he was laughing too. I wasn’t there.

It’s supposed to snow tonight and through the next couple days.
 

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Discussion Starter · #97 · (Edited)
Apparently mares make good livestock guardian beasts...

Had a decent sized black bear visit today, and he was trying to get through Penny and Martha's pasture to get to the Highland cows and their babies. I doubt that he was desperate enough to try to take a baby calf, more likely he just wanted to get across there or sniff around for bits of after-birth to munch on. He was a curious fellow, and either brave or stupid.

Each time he'd come down the hill towards the cows, the mares would take a big run at home and make a big circle to come to park their butts at the gate. The bear would take off up into the trees and then try to come down again and two mares would give him another fright. This went on maybe 4 times before the bear decided that this wasn't the place to be hanging around. The mares quieted down as soon as he was out of sight and continued on grazing, proud of their victory I'm sure...

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Some people's horses: scared of windy days, plastic bags and small dogs.
My horses: Chase bears
🤦‍♀️
 

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Discussion Starter · #98 ·
After a week of being turned out in snow and rain with no extra feed, I didn't think my horses would have put on quite so much weight, but they did 🤦‍♀️

Working on coming up with a diet pen for Penny and Martha, I'll probably have to move them to "our" house where there is some corrals, it's about a 1/4 mile from our house to the barn yard. The pens here are full of burrs so this morning I'll be trying to clean them up and fixing a few fence boards. It will be nice to look outside and see my horses for once!

Yesterday I rode Penny to check cows and then move 5-7 pairs out of the creek. They wiggled through the fence during the poor weather we just had. There is a lot of good shelter down there, so they fared well hiding out there. The calves had a hard time crossing the creek, but with some back and forth bringing their mommas back, most of them crossed without issue. I did end up just roping one and gave him no choice but to cross the creek. Penny was really good about it. The creek bank at that crossing is pretty steep on both sides and quite mucky, but the crossing itself is rocky/gravelly. I was worried that Penny would want to jump up the opposite bank (a week off to get fat and sassy does things like that...) but she acted like she has a brain. The calf crossed on his feet, I took great care to pay attention and slide rope so the calf didn't choke or get tugged off of his feet. On the other side of the creek, my SO heeled the calf and I took my rope off and we let the little guy up to join up with his momma.

Only pictures I have from recently are a couple of my bovine friends.

Pumpkin, who is holding her calf hostage... she's looked ready to calf for well over a week and just walks around with her tail clamped down🤦‍♀️
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And my only remaining bottle baby (the rest all got new moms), Stinky Duncan. He's half highland, and is finally putting on some weight and looking like he's actually going to try to live. His motor skills aren't the best, but he's getting some spunk.
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My husband and I worked a ranch with a river once. I remember swimming the calves across and the wrecks! It was kind of a fun time, because we were young and wild. There are no rivers here. Some creeks, and they’ll still give the occasional problem, but nothing feels like crossing the river.

I love the calf!!! Those are the cutest things!
 
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Discussion Starter · #100 ·
Willa had her first ride today, I was lucky enough to talk my SO into being the crash test dummy for me.

It went extremely well, she didn't get worried or scared at all. They just ponied her around a bit, turned each way and then ended on a good note. It was about as perfect as you could ask for. The video was in the first 2 minutes of her having someone on her back.
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I was going to work Lola after Willa, and use Penny to work and pony her and get tips from the guy on the sorrel horse.... but I had other commitments this evening and ran out of time. Lola simply got to stand tied nearby for a few hours this afternoon. She was extremely well behaved the whole time, hardly any pawing at all, and when she did go to start pawing she would just move her feet around a little and settle facing the fence. I was very impressed with her patience!
 
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