Saturday, July 31, 2010

Some updates on the yearlings

I thought my mom should get her brief moment in the spotlight. This is Amanda's horse that she's with. Amanda was unable to come out for a while so we were just making sure her horse didn't go back to being wild. She gave us some awesome bracelets in return. Thanks Amanda!

Yes I realize the video swerves all over the place like there was an earthquake. My camera skill will improve with use...

Mr.Cohn and Amanda's mustang. Doesn't Amanda's mustang have a gorgeous head? It's very refined.

I think this shot speaks for itself...

Lunging (Flashback 2009)

Here's some early lunging work with Allegro. This is what evolved into part of my freestyle with the turnbacks coming in and preforming it at a lope while walking forward. Of course it was much improved by then. :]

About adoption

Diane Ward, Current Issue Paper

Adopting and training Mustangs

Adopting a wild horse is not something done trivially. The BLM has a tested and accurate way of determining whether or not someone will be able to adopt a wild horse. The list of requirements for adopting a wild horse by the BLM include: “Being at least 18 years of age (Parents or guardians may adopt a wild horse or burro and allow younger family members to care for the animal.); having no prior conviction for inhumane treatment of animals or for violations of the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act; demonstrating that you have adequate feed, water, and facilities to provide humane care for the number of animals requested; and, show that you can provide a home for the adopted animal in the United States.”

The way you actually adopt a mustang is to

1. Complete the Adoption Application and mail it to the BLM office serving your area or,

2. Complete the on line Internet Adoption Application.

The BLM will then contact you during the application review process to verify that your facilities meet the minimum requirements for the number of animals you want to adopt. Also if you're adopting the BLM requires you to sign a Private Maintenance and Care Agreement.

Actual training techniques differ among trainers, whether they believe that the horse should be “broken” just after arriving, or prefer to “gentle the horse over a longer period of time." Many trainers use a combination of both methods for their horses. It’s important to have some horse experience if this is your first adoption or first attempt to train a mustang. Kero Davidson, a 2009 Gatorland Extreme Mustang Makeover Trainer, suggests “Getting in contact with someone who has successfully trained a wild horse!”

Most people that have trained mustangs agree that they differ from domestic horses, especially in the earlier stages of training. It goes from the little things like not knowing that grain is actually food, to the larger issues such as believing all humans are predators. Gena Wasley, 2009 Western States Extreme Mustang Makeover Trainer, says "A horse born outside of captivity finds everything about life with humans foreign. This is not a GREEN horse." With just adopted mustangs you may be the first person the mustang has actually had any meaningful contact with. That’s not usually something you can say about a domestic horse.

Keep in mind the horse is essentially wild. If you let the animal go, on say, fifty acres, even with a halter on, you will probably never catch it again. It may be a good idea to have a “babysitter” horse with your mustang when you release it to its new environment, maybe kept on the other side of the fence so the mustang knows it's not alone. Horses are herd animals and look to the herd for safety. Jesse Peters, 2009 Gatorland Extreme Mustang Makeover Champion, suggests "getting a tamed/trained horse to partner with your mustang to help be a good leader for them as they adapt to the new environment."

Before you start under saddle work it’s unanimous to begin with groundwork. What you do on the ground preps the horse for under saddle work. It's here that you desensitize the horse and teach it to move away from pressure as well as assert yourself as something it needs to respect. "Always remember you can't teach a scared horse anything. Use a lot of passive body language to build trust." is what Cohn Livingston, 2009 Gatorland Extreme Mustang Makeover Trainer suggests. If an animal gets scared it will turn to instincts and lose the consciously thinking part that you need for training.

Marsha Hartford-Sapp, 2009 Gatorland Extreme Mustang Makeover Trainer says "Enjoy your horse! There is nothing as special as gentling a wild horse, and having that horse trust you completely. The bond is magical. Take the time to appreciate your horse's unique outlook and experiences."

for more information:

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Big Mak

It looks like he has a mohawk. I have to say he doesn't look bad, in fact I think he looks pretty good.And I don't think all mustangs look good. -_-

The sweat shows she's been working hard.

Taking a brief break.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Day 2 (Flashback to 2009)

O_o Hope I have not completely confused anyone by switching back between the yearling challenge last year with Allegro and this years yearling challenge (which I am not in). I'm going to label last years from no on "Flashback". Hope that will clear it up.

I seem to have a lot of pictures of just desensitizing. But I assure you that's not all that happened. I just don't have pictures. I would love to have pictures of when Allegro jumped the fence and ran for it on day 2, or when he got away from Rachel and slid under a golf cart, or when he kicked me in the knee at TN and ran into the crowds stands. But I don't. :/ Use your imaginations!

This is kind of a neat picture since Rachel and I are both in it. That's Rachel working on Cohn's mustang in the background.

Mr. Cohn and Rachel.

Information on Mustangs

Part of my job as a youth representative is to do research on the Mustangs, and write papers about them. Anyways I thought I'd post some of what I've been writing about on here, as well as sites for more information.

What is often referred to as “American’s horse” did not actually originate in America. The American mustang is a descendant of domestic horses brought over by European explorers in in the late 15th and 16th century, so although they did adapt successfully they cannot be considered native. These horse herds have been added to since then by western explorers, and as recently as the mid-century, horses have continued to be released to the mustang herds. The mustang can be linked back to the Iberian horses, which were horses native to the Iberian peninsula. Modern Iberian breeds include the Andalusian and Garrano. The original Spanish horses also included Arabians and barbs ancestry. Because of the varied breeds the mustang is combined from, mustangs have a wide array of colors and differing physical assets depending on the herd and region they’re chosen from.

Based on the latest data available, February 28, 2010, the Bureau of Land Management estimates that approximately 38,400 wild horses (about 33,700 horses and 4,700 burros) are roaming on BLM-managed land in 10 western states. Since wild horses have virtually no natural predators and their herd sizes can double about every four years, the BLM must regulate herd size. If the herd size was not regulated, the herds would consume the natural resources and eventually cause a “crash“ in herd numbers. The ecosystems of public rangelands are not able to withstand the impacts from overpopulated herds, which include soil erosion, sedimentation of streams, and damage to wildlife habitat.

As for the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act, Section 1333 of that law mandates that once the Interior Secretary "determines...on the basis of all information currently available to him, that an overpopulation exists on a given area of the public lands and that action is necessary to remove excess animals, he shall immediately remove excess animals from the range so as to achieve appropriate management levels.” The BLM removes thousands of animals from the range each year seeking to achieve the appropriate management level of 26,600 wild horses and burros on Western public rangelands. That is 12,000 fewer than in the 1800’s. To help ensure that herd sizes are in balance with other public rangeland resources, the BLM removed 6,413 wild horses and burros from the range in Fiscal Year 2009. The Bureau placed 3,474 removed animals into private care through adoption in FY 2009 -- down from 5,701 in FY 2005. Since 1971, the BLM has adopted out more than 225,000 horses and burros.

The BLM has over 30 years of experience and employees and contractors use state-of-the-art techniques to gather horses ensuring the most humane treatment of the animals. The entire practice of gathering is very humane and the mortality rate resulting from helicopter-driven gathers is usually less than one percent. In 2009, the number of direct fatalities (out of more than 7,500 horses gathered) was 0.53 percent. When some indirect mortality does occur it’s usually associated with older horses in poor to very poor condition. These already weakened horses would likely die on the range if not gathered and are examined by staff professionals and veterinarians. They are euthanized if they are unlikely to improve or do not respond to treatment.

The BLM Director, Bob Abbey states the purpose, and one of the priorities of the BLM clearly: “The Bureau of Land Management’s top priority is to ensure the health of the public lands so that the species depending on them – including the nation’s wild horses and burros – can thrive…”


Friday, July 16, 2010

First day, pt 2

Rachel's smoky black gelding just out of the trailer. He's big, very broad chested, heavy bones. Much thicker than Allegro, and far broader than the other yearlings. I think she may call him "Big Mak".

More fighting.

You can see his brand in this picture.

First day, pt 1

This is Jessi's mustang--a gelding. As you can see Cohn is carefully unloading him. So far he doesn't have a name.

You can't see it in this picture but Cohn is wearing gloves. Always a good thing for someone to consider to when there may be sliding ropes involved. Again this is Jessi's gelding.

Amanda's mustang putting up a fight. Now the reason for the gloves becomes apparent...

New Mustangs

Today we picked up the Mustangs for Rachel, Jessi and Amanda.

This is a picture of the facility and the mustangs in the background.
A mustang trying to escape from the chute.

He's about to try to halter the horse in the chute.
The way you receive wild mustangs (because they can't be handled) is they're run into chutes (this is where they put on the halter for you if you want it on) and the run them into the trailer. At this point you better be quick to shut the doors.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

First look at the yearlings

We visited the Mustang pen where the Pickup will be for the Mustang Makeover in TN. Here are the pictures and my thoughts on it!

Most of the horses were bays, sorrels, blacks, or duns. I didn't see any palominos, roans, whites, paints in the yearlings. In a way that's a good thing. When it comes to the auction the colored ones almost always go for more than their brown counterparts, also in the ring it just makes it more equal since no one will have the "flashy horse".

These mustangs also looked in good weight and health, and most of them were pretty nicely put together too. I only saw a couple I wouldn't want to draw. They were also bigger than when I did it too. Some of them were as big as Allegro is now, and they are yearlings. Maybe they had more draft influence? They were fairly stocky.

I'm not kidding when I say we petted them. -_- This is the sort of mustang you see in the freakin' movies. You know the ones that walk up to you and want to be loved on and give you kisses? We found them-- they're here! This by the way is my sister loving on number--I think  it's 6109. That's a pretty nice head on that mustang. Hey if the person who draws this mustang reads this be sure to tell me!
Me and number 1567.

The herd moved up instantly to say hi to us. Most friendly mustangs I've seen so far! Allegro is friendly now but heck you weren't getting close to him then!

It looks like this batch is made of cupcakes (I bet just because I said that tomorrow they are all going to act like the crazy wild animals they really are.)

The pick up is tomorrow. I can't wait to see what we drew!

PS  This was really not open to the public yet.  We had to sweet talk our way past the guard.......

Friday, July 9, 2010

Day 1, part 3

We did this multiple times, but it looks like we were making process here.

Voila! That's what we did the first day.

It was interesting trying to feed the mustangs. We put their grain on top of the hay so that when they were eating the hay they would also eat the grain, so they would learn to eat grain.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Day 1, part 2

Allegro is released into the round pen. I'm doing some lunging work in this picture. That is Rachel to the right of the picture messing with Cohn's mustang. My family, and the Livingstons were watching and yelling lots of advice, and um...other things... They're very verbal.

Here you can see the lunge whip.

Working the draw after lunging him for a while. He got a little closer than this but not close enough to make any real contact, such as touching his forehead or shoulder. After running around lunging him I had to take off my jacket I was getting so hot. :]

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Day 1, part 1

With the deadline nearing for the mustang pickup dates for this year's TN Extreme Mustang Makeover Youth Edition, I thought I'd post some pictures in chronological order of what I did throughout last year's Mustang Challenge. Here's some pictures of Allegro after we just got him in the trailer.

 You can see in this picture his tag. Ans some of his brand on his left shoulder which has information about him as a mustang. They give the option of haltering your horse for you with one of your own halters when you arrive.

You can see his warts in this picture. Not to worry, we eventually managed to get rid of them. The horse in the other stall of the trailer is Cohn's mustang who was picked up the same day. He looks suprisingly calm...But I assure you he stampeeded like a bat out of hell. (if that makes any sense)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Dark eyes

A picture of Allegro's eye. I thought I'd share it because it looks so dynamic. One of the things I've always loved about Allegro (and a lot of other palominos) is their dark eyes. It gives them such a neat look. For Allegro having such dark eyes makes it so he rarely gets that white-of-the-eyes crazy look.