Welcome to Fern Valley

Here in central Alberta prime farm country,my husband Martin and I work together raising beef cattle and Appaloosa horses. Fern valley appaloosas have long been known for their quality of temperament conformation and color.I have recently rediscovered a love of writing and have published 2 collections of poetry. "Telling Tails" and Tails Trails and Campfire stories" . I look forward to a future spreading my wings as an author and as a horse woman .

Friday, 25 January 2013

Run for it?

Two in a row thinking posts! maybe you better run!
I have been  known in conversation so  say I don't run. I wont even run from a fight !
That said , under the right circumstances , I can and do run, pretty darn fast too . But it is a rare occurrence.(too old too arthritic, too lazy)
Especially with horses, if you run to them or after them ,it ends badly ,if you run from them?
it ends badly.
First thing  to remember , you will never  no matter how good you are or how hard you train you will never be able to run faster than a horse. That's  just the plain hard truth .

With horses in general, they run we walk. Or we stand still . When we  want hem to come to us , we should not chase them , a hard to catch horse is a lot harder once he has you running after him. rather keep him moving till he wants to stop, then move him some more , and then stand and release pressure . Does it always  work? yes and no sometimes it seems to take more than we have to give ,but does running after them work???

And then there is colts running at or after you , as counter intuitive as it may seem DO NOT RUN ,if you run, you are doing  two very dangerous things, 1) you are  turning your back on something that can hurt you  2) you are responding the way a submissive herd mate or playmate would , and they will give chase. which leads me back to the " I don't  care how good you are or how fit YOU CANNOT OUTRUN A HORSE"

What brings this train of thought? Harley, who thought it might be fun to give chase to Martin this morning. Martin stopped and put up a hand and Harley veered away and stopped, but if he had run from him...
You ever raised an only colt?? They can be wonderful , and a lot of fun. But they don't learn  herd dynamics without a herd. You become the herd and being a herd mate if you run they chase.Stay  ahead of this , be the herd boss and stand your  ground . Teaching an only is not the end of the world but it takes a bit of  doing , and some extra management.But i can be done and done well with patience time and consistency .
Harley is doing well, living outside full time now with his little shed and a larger paddock . Also has daily turnout to rip and tear in a larger area, close to the girls , who are at least over the fence  giving him some stern lessons in manners. It looks like Andee will make a good babysitter and as things progress he may have her in with him for  company  in time. Meanwhile he is doing OK, and actually standing nicely to be haltered and returned to his  pen at night.
So are there reasons to run when dealing with horses? yup but not many . emergencies  happen , run for the phone to call the vet , or to the gate you forgot to close. Or as I said a long time ago, to the house if you are in a hurry . "If you are in a hurry , hurry home YOU ARE DONE"

That is all for now , hope to get out and take a few pics soon . And for those who are not on Facebook, I have an update on Maggie!
meanwhile, stay warm and safe my friends


Janice said...

I know what you mean about the colt alone. Cody is becoming a bit of a handful...I guess he thinks because I'm smaller than him he gets to be boss.....he's finding out it's not so.He gets to run with Jazz during the day and she's teaching him some personal space manners :)

Crystal said...

Funny you should say that cause at feeding times lots of the time I will run (well kinda jog/skip) out and they run up to the fence. It always surprises other people when my horses don't spook when I do that though, lol. but I get too cold in the winter to walk slow and so I hurry. And they know its feeding time so they are a coming.

But different story when gonna catch them, no way I can outrun a horse (not even close!) and quite often works better to walk backwards away from them , I dunno why but it seems to draw them closer.

GoLightly said...

Great post, as always. Kudos to Martin for having that instant good sense. A charging colt is "cute". For about a micro-second.

LOL at the Manners Mob of Mares. Go get 'em, girls!!

Hooray for Maggie updates, I did see that on FB!

Poor Harley, though, all alone-ded. Does it make it easier, or harder, to have more than one foal in a year, FV?
For you and the babes?

Never mind, I think I know the answer. Hard to say? Less poop, of course...

Sherry Sikstrom said...

you know it GL, always easier with 2, supposed to have 4 next year, that should be interesting

sally said...

Your post made me think of my mum (who dislikes horses). When we were kids my sister and I had a horse each and the lived in the firld behind the house. My Mum would go to feed the chooks and the horses would chase her thinking it was a game. No matter how many times we told her not to run she always would ....so yes WE had to move the horses much to our disgust. We still laugh about it.
hope the cold of winter isn't proving too difficult. Stay safe and warm

Shirley said...

As you know I have raised quite a few only child foals, Nitro being the latest, and teaching them manners from day one is part of the program around here. I try to treat them the way a mare would, instant ugly for biting striking or kicking, and it usually only takes one firm reprimand for them to respect my space. I totally agree with the not running, and like Martin did, stand my ground. One of Beamer's play tricks is to gallop away from me, and then turn and gallop straight for me, kind of like a freight train bearing down on me- he always turns when he's well away from me. For someone who didn't know him, it would probably scare them, but I believe if you move to get out of the way you might move right into the spot the horse was planning on heading to, and they never, never, run into you at full speed on purpose. Not even a colt would do that- but a colt might veer and do a fly-by kick, so if they run towards me I get big and loud so that they turn away at a good distance.