Archives for posts with tag: horses

Mojo is my scared boy.  He has been with me for around 10 years, and yep we still haven’t got it right!!  He knows I am a safe place; he just can’t get past his fear and come to me.  I had to use pressure to keep him out of the corners this afternoon.  He wasn’t really paying attention, just wanting to escape and get to the other horses.  After a while he was going around me quite nicely, a bit closer than I would want, although better than trying to get away.  He looked like he wanted to come in a couple of times, so I asked.  After a while he relaxed and I was able to walk parallel and ask him to come in, then I crossed his midline and he followed me.  I made a happy memory and realised he actually already has that with me.  He has shown that he is a real smoocher and when he allows himself, loves cuddles.  What a great day.  Life changing!

 

SESSION 2, DAY 2

This morning I spent half an hour with Mojo.  I was able to get him to listen and keep out of the corners.  We worked in the large paddock, completely at liberty.  He had plenty of room to move away from me and he utilised the entire space.  In a smaller area, Mojo is more keen to come in to safety, reminiscent of horsemanship training with ropes and a stick.  In the large space he is more empowered and also unlikely to come in, at all, even when I ask.  At the end of our time, I chose to go to Mojo.  He was happy with this, and I created a happy memory.  This is a horse I cannot catch in the paddock, so to be able to walk straight up to him, he being relaxed, is a great milestone!

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I have three horses here on my wee farm.  I made the tough decision to lease my rescued Standardbred, Banjo McGregor about a month ago.  I have issues with the racing industry, both ‘the gallops’ and ‘the trots’.  One, among many, of the reasons for this is the way horses who are too slow, past their prime or broken down are basically thrown away.  Many end up as pet food, but some are rescued.  My Mojo was a rescue, and some years after he came to live with me, I was compelled to make the eight hour round trip to a little place called Coleambally in NSW to collect another unwanted Standardbred.   This one was apparently, “Too good for the dogger!”  I was horrified! I borrowed a neighbour’s horse float and set off, armed with a great deal of paperwork, as it was at the end of the Equine Influenza outbreak in 2008.  Banjo floated brilliantly and was very easygoing, not even batting an eyelid when he met his first pig!  Standardbreds, in general, are known for their placid temperaments and can make fabulous partners with their humans, excelling in many disciplines aside from harness racing!

Banjo as a 2yo meeting his first pig.

You can see Banjo is in racing condition here on his first day at Baringa Park.  His coat was liver chestnut and he was 14.3hh.

Banjo as a 6yo just prior to his lease about 3 weeks ago.

As you can see, the horse above is totally different from the young 2 year old who first arrived here.  His coat is a rich chocolate colour, due to grazing on our re-mineralised pastures.  He now stands at a massive 16.1hh, and has learned how to be a horse in the past 4 years.

So later today, I am going to collect my horse.  It has been a difficult time for us both, being separated, and as things did not work out for him at his lease home, Banjo is coming home! 😀

I have loved horses since I was a little girl.  My Dad bought my first pony, Scamp, when I was twelve.  It was the happiest day of my life – period!  Scamp was the love of my life, my pride and joy, and we were mates for twenty five years.

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Here is Scamp, as I  saw him when we first met.  The year was around 1979 and he belonged to a riding school.


So how does this indulgence of owning and loving horses fit in with a simple life with a goal of self sufficiency?  For me, well I cannot live without horses in my life, it is that simple.  If I need to justify keeping horses on our small farm, then I can sum it up in one word. Poo!  Horses poo, and they poo, a LOT!  This manure is fantastic for the soil.  Because we are completely chemical free, and only feed our pastures lime minerals, seaweed and worm juice, we have very, very healthy populations of both Summer and Winter active dung beetles.  Why not use the manure on the garden?  Well, one must be very fast around here, in order to grab the poo before the dung beetles have turned it into the earth! 😛

Today, the horses in my life are Mojo and Fabrice.  Horse number 3, Banjo McGregor is currently out on loan.  His fantastic capacity for teaching humans, being utilsed elsewhere for the next 6 months!

ImageFabrice is a grey Welsh/Arab and Mojo, a bay Standardbred