Sunday, September 9, 2012

Meet Starbucks

Yesterday a new project arrived, and I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to get back into writing this blog. 

Starbucks is a 14.2h 4 year old German Riding Pony, who has spent his whole life living in a field.  He is currently halter broke, and his only trip off the farm he was born was as a foal to go to his inspection.  He was rated gold premium by the RPSI and was the #2 pony foal in the country his year.  He's a fantastic mover and has lots of potential as a dressage or eventing pony. 

He's with me to be started and sold, and this is where I will chronicle his journey from a halter broke baby into a grown up riding horse.  Over the next few weeks he'll be getting his mane pulled, learning to tie, working in the roundpen, lunging, ground driving and learning to wear tack.  I'll be going at his pace and letting him tell me when he's ready to take the next step. If he's anything like his brother though, he'll be going around in no time!
He arrived yesterday afternoon and huffed and puffed as I showed him the farm.  He's a little bit nervous, but who can blame him?  We kept him in overnight since it was wet outside, and didn't want him exploring the fence line in the dark.  He's never been stalled before so it will take some time for him to learn to love that.

This morning I spent about an hour with him in the round pen pushing him around a bit, stopping to play, and even introducing him to a saddle pad.  At first he thought the pad would eat him, but after only a few minutes he couldn't have cared less.  The most exciting thing that has happened so far is meeting the barn cats.  He can't quite wrap his head around the idea of smaller four legged animals, and thankfully both Bob and Tabby are being very tolerant and letting him sniff them and play with them.

Tonight I went back out to work him again, and he was brilliant lunging for his first time, and even wearing a surcingle for the first time.  He tied to the hitching post, and stood to let me give him a bath and pull his mane.  He seemed genuinely interested in figuring out what I was up to, and happy to be hanging out with me.  I worked on tying the same way we taught our yearling, by wrapping the lead rope around the post and holding the other end, so that there is a little bit of give but no loss of control if he pulls back. It took a few minutes for him to figure out how he was still able to move, but after that he stood patiently and hung out while I fussed with him.  He does have ticks all over his legs and belly, so tomorrow I will need to get on those, but I couldn't me more excited to become a team with him, and unlock this fancy little guy's potential!

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