Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Yes..... we are here. I know many have been checking on us. We had kind of a rough start with this little mare we named Hooper Hannah. She had an injury when we got her, but seems to be on the mend.

If I remember correctly the first day I worked with my new little Mustang filly was the 8th or 9th of Dec. A neighbor friend of ours drove us down to Burns Or. where we picked up our new wild four legged project. Fortunately the roads were good with no story line adventures.

I had them put one of my rope halters with about a 15 ft. lead rope on my new draw to make things a little quicker to get her halter broke. I used a saddle horse and within a half hour she gave me her face, but she was very leery of anything behind her eyes. After two days of her dragging the lead rope through the corral and creating a muddy, heavy cable , twice as big around as what we started with, I took the halter off and just roped her each day 'til I could halter her without roping her. Hannah learned to face up to me real quick, but she was extremely mistrusting as far as anything else and very protective, and she fired out with those hind feet quite often! As fearful as she was of me touching her anywhere on her body, a flag waving around on both sides of her wasn't concerning. It took me a month of fairly steady work with a lass rope and the lead rope and also stick, string, as well as flag to get to where I could pick up Hanna's hind feet without her trying to nail me.

When I first got her home and began working with Hooper Hannah, I kept hearing a squishing sorta sound almost every step. It took me about a week and a half to figure out just where and what it was. I started noticing an abscess smell and couldn't tell where it was coming from. Then one day I saw where it was draining high on the inside right leg. I decided I better teach her to lay down so I could get a look at what was going on. When I did lay her down I could see up under the pit area there was an open wound 3"-4" long. GREAT!!! I drew a Mustang with an injury of some sort! I didn't know how much or if I should work with her on the ground or if I was gonna be able to ride her, but I figured, well, she hasn't been lame one step, so I just as well keep doing what I'm doing 'til I get her loading in a horse trailer good, with me being safe in the trailer with her so the Vet can check her out.

About 4 weeks have gone by since I first got Hannah to where I could haul her to our Vets about 35 mi. distance. We had some nasty weather for awhile, so hauling a horse trailer on icy roads was not on the top of my list. When we finally got her up there, we decided that Hannah had run a stick or something up the inside of her leg and it had broken off in there. What we were hoping was that whatever it was that was in there came out when the wound drained. If not, it would not heal and would have to be surgically probed and removed. Tim, our Vet, advised me to just work with her normally, so that was good news. At this point the wound is almost closed and we have 4 weeks 'til Albany, so thankfully it looks like there is nothing else up inside .

Hannah has slowly gained trust in me. She does have a little temper. The initial contact everyday is concerning for her. When touched on her back, neck and hindquarters she still bows up and gets very hard periodically. She ain't a people horse yet..... but someday!

In comparison, I was able to get on Tina Turner, my Sacramento Mustang by the 10th or 12th day. I think I did not get on Hannah 'til probably the 5th week. I'm not going to get on a scared horse and something that's still very kicky. Just not a thrill seeker anymore! I want my first ride to be very uneventful and boring..... to just walk out, bend and flex both directions and build on that each day.

The majority of the first 2 weeks of riding are at a walk and gaining a nice soft bend to head and neck, moving hind end away, and stepping front end across. Then get the horse to start bending around my leg. After this is accomplished, probably after 3 or 4 days, I start getting some lateral movement.

My new stang and I spent a few weeks in my 40'x40' riding area inside my barn. Our first ride outside was when I went to help the neighbor ride through his feedlot, pulling a few foot rots and doctoring. I used another colt first, then I got on Hannah in a small pen and she felt real good. She wasn't worried at all about the calves on the other side of the fence that were coming over to check us out, so I decided to ride Hannah on the back side of the feed lot and along the river. Things were going real good, so I helped put some cattle that had been sorted in sick pens . I'm thinking that she's doing so good, I just as well help ride a couple pens. Hooper Hannah did surprisingly well with the cattle, even those running by us, walking up behind us, snorting and running off. We have helped three more times in the feedlot and Hannah is progressing each time Her main concern is other people.

I need to get her around people a foot and horseback as much as possible. Anyone coming up to her still needs to work at touching her face and petting her...... 4 more weeks!

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