Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Libby today

You can't tell by looking, but Libby had a big adventure and learning experience just before Cliff took this picture.

I've been ponying her alongside Blue for almost a year, here on our place. Today I decided she was ready for a longer trip into the big world: I saddled both horses and we rode along the highway and down to the Missouri river bottom. I'd guess our trip took us about four miles, round trip. Because it's pretty muddy down there, I didn't rush the horses. We were gone an hour and a half.

So now Libby has experienced cars going past us (no problem); crossing railroad tracks (no problem); a man using a chain saw beside the road (no problem); a German Shepherd coming out of nowhere, barking (she simply jumped in surprise, just like she did when a nearby cow stood up later).

Ten days ago I couldn't pick up her hind feet at all. Today after our ride, Cliff and the grandson trimmed all four of her feet, and she only pulled one hind foot away, one time.

Working with Libby has been one of the most rewarding and gratifying experiences of my life.

Of course, after such a long workout, both horses were starved.

In answer to Midlife Mom's question in the comment section: Libby is mine. I got her because she was cheap ($150), a Foxtrotter like Blue, and friendly. I would NEVER attempt to break a horse for anyone else; in fact, I've never done any horse-training before. It's her good nature that has made this process so easy for me. She wants to please. If she does something wrong, it's because she doesn't understand what I want. Her previous owners said when they sold Libby's mom, the little filly was wild. They cornered her in a barn, managed to put a halter on her, and forced her to lead... behind a tractor, I think. Sounds cruel, but it worked; when I went to look at her, she was the first one to come up and meet us in the pasture. Her previous owners have emailed me saying that if I should decide to sell her, they might be interested. They've followed her progress in my blogs.


Midlife Mom said...

She sure is doing well under your guidance! You should be proud. What will you do with her once she is all trained? I can't remember if she is yours or that you are training her for someone else. My guys go back to the stable tomorrow. I have been upset all day. I always dread taking them back not because they don't get good care because they do but I miss having them here and being able to just walk out the back door and go see them. Tonight they got extra big carrots when I put them to bed!

U.Lee said...

Hi Donna, noticed your comment in Puteri's blog and your profile pic on a horse.
My animal sign is a horse and I sure love horses. Love Pintos, Paliminos, Arab stallions and those huge Belgium working horses.
I sure envy your life with horses and the wide open spaces.
Happy trails to you, Donna, UL.

Ann said...

She is a beauty!

BarnGoddess said...

your horses are looking good!

Libby did wonderful for her first time out. Of course, Blue is an excellent teacher.

Ive used Scooter hundreds of times ponying young horses, it is the best way to get them out and about.