She’s such a beautiful girl. Comes right up and is friendly whenever I want her to. Takes a bit of cajoling at times, I’ve learned that she absolutely responds to the crossing her body access asking her to follow me even if she’s way out in the pasture she will come to me. Because of her now low rank in the herd and Mijo’s higher rank I think she’s going to be the one to start first. Her injury seems to have changed her personality as well as her herd rank. She’s more apt to hang out with me at the fence. The other day she was there at the fence and I was trying to touch more than just her nose, which has become comfortable for me to go in from any angle... I touched her nearside cheek, no problem, but when I moved to the off-side she nipped towards my arm. I said, “I’m not food! You can’t eat me!” I sent her away, snapping my eyes to hers sternly, hands on hips shoulders square, eyes on eyes...she went away. Today we were back to rubbing her nose and I didn’t attempt to rub her cheek.
The catchpen is the next project, this homesteading stuff is no joke. The gates to the orchard are all in now and look amazing!
I started a Facebook page for Mijo so I can post videos and pictures of them and our progress if you want to search Medicine Hat Mijo, his stuff will pull up.
These horses are so amazing I really want to help them be all they can be!
Real fast, two sides of the catch pen will be up tonight, one side is. Also it’s in a location they are used to coming in to, so it’s progress however slowly. Wish I could post pictures.
I’m getting more relaxed around them, as they are around me and we have an almost regular routine of when they come for water in the mornings and evenings Mija, Mijo, and Mateo are regular visitors. Bonnie has been feeling rather standoffish to me but absolutely chose our son (16 years old) as her human. Just like Mijo did with me at that age! They are amazing creatures and I’m tickled to be able to see and learn from them.
I have to tell you, I really drink in your words.... just so you know I really do listen and try to put into action what we talk about.
They are so curious about everything, not fearful, more like a kid, “what’s that, and is it good to eat?” Even the pipes that lay on the ground, they want to smell, taste, paw, and then they finally lose interest.
With two sides up, right now it’s like an extension of the existing fence they already accept. Mijo seems to be cautious, but Mija has already figured it out that she can be on the opposite side and Mijo can’t snark her through the fence. That came last night when she came to be with me the others had all basically left, she came back. She hung out there a long time with me, I had a trail of carrots leading her to the exact same spot we always meet, just now there’s a big wooden fence there. She lets me stroke her face and as far as her bangs but I don’t often get invited past that. So when Mateo realizes she might be getting something they aren’t he alerts Mijo by starting to come back this way, both ended up over there, soon as they did... Mija bails to the other side of the fence away from them but nearest me. Mateo tried to reach over and bite her but she fended him off easily. You could just about see her smirk... I was laughing.
The guys always say when they are working the horses will come up and see what they are doing and get attention. They end up shewing them off, we don’t need them around the work areas and of course they don’t get around the noisy things like chainsaws.
I think this pen in particular will be hers, at least at first because she seems more like she tries harder, and needs a place to get away from the boys. I’m told they (Mijo) runs her ragged, and she doesn’t like them close to her. This is apparent, she stays back from the herd, in the back and sometimes separate from them, doesn’t seem to bother her to stay at the fence long after they are out of sight.
I will leave it open absolutely and we’ll see how they sort it out for themselves, they are big panels and take time so it gives the horses plenty of chance to see it and acclimate as it’s going in.
It’s wonderful to watch them.
The catch pen isn’t done yet and we’re still meeting at the fence. I try to see them everyday a couple times but it doesn’t always work out. Just going to bide my time til the pen is done and then see how it works out. She let me touch her fringe yesterday a little and she didn’t mind the hand but she did try to bite it once. It lets me reach over where I can’t with my arm. Not going to push it but just try a bit. Then when she wants to go, she goes and it’s ok. She keeps coming back and that’s what I’m holding onto for now :)
Wish me luck!
I've been following your endeavors with great interest. I don't have any advice or some such for you, but I want you to know that I am rooting for you. :)
Best of luck with the catch pen!
Ps. A famous Swedish alpine skier (Ingemar Stenmark) once commented on his "luck" to a reporter: "It's weird, but I find that the more I practice, the more luck I have." ;) ;) ;)
A blissful day....
One thing I have noted last night and this morning is they have prickly pear spines in various places, we pull them but, sometimes we can’t get close enough to pull them, if we’re going to harness them and more we’re going to have to be ultra sure there aren’t any spines. My plan is to work til I can get the long line comfortable around the other side of Mija’s neck and if we have to I’ll break out grandpas cane to pull it over and do a bowline see if we can get her comfortable and check her face over try to get her really comfortable with it and then work the harness rub her with it while we have the bowline tied. If she gets uncomfortable at all we’ll back off and give her plenty of time. I might call it right then and back the pressure off completely... go sit in the chair perhaps give her a treat, let her relax and when she comes over again we might do it again and if she gets uncomfortable we’ll take pressure off. If she stays comfortable well... see how we do ...lol
Practicing the bowline til I can’t get it wrong...
I posted some pictures on the Medicine Hat Mijo page on Facebook. We took some pictures with the good camera and hopefully I can process them soon.
This is all pretty amazing. My hope is to get the harness on her tomorrow but not a problem if we don’t but she’s learning in leaps and bounds. She knows it’s her place, and the others seem to accept that too.
Rain, rain, rain... got to see them for a minute the other day, Mija went in but I didn’t close the gate because of the weather. Finally should let up tomorrow hopefully and start drying out a bit. I don’t want her to lose her progress! Still, we needed this rain so no real complaint there.
Yes I went back to where she was comfortable, the herd didn’t move off like they had done before, i didn’t keep her long, she was restless. That was day before yesterday, and yesterday I kept her a bit longer but the herd seems reluctant to leave her now, I barely got to scratch back as far as her withers. Unfortunately now I’m not going to be able to work with her anymore as my situation has changed. I’ll never stop loving her and I will always pray that whenever and whoever works with her in the future does so violence-free, she deserves nothing less.
On a side note, Medicine Hat Mijo is now for sale, if any might be interested in him, he’s a superstar and will make someone a great willing partner someday, contact me at tara4truth @gmail.com.
I will always believe in Monty and violence free techniques with animals and people.
Thank you all for your help and support.
All the best to everyone,
We got nowhere to go but up!
I have read what has been written up to this point and have given it some thought over the last few days. Obviously, this is probably affecting your family Tara, but it sounds like your husband has stood his ground when it comes to your horses.
My advice to you is to continue to show up at the ranch to support your horses as Jo has suggested you do. Do not give up for their sake and also for your family`s sake. However, in the course of showing up at the ranch, do your best to keep the dialogue going between you and the grand folks. Remember, silence is a killer of relationships Somehow, someway , you need to communicate how much you LOVE THESE HORSES and that you want more than anything for your horses to be MORE than just running them in to feed them once a day. Share with them that your overall aim is to connect with the horses in that very special way that only dreams are made of. And tell them, if this sounds crazy, then your guilty because you believe with ALL YOUR HEART that you can gentle these horses with your methods.. You must be convincing. So Work on your preparation for such an exchange with the old folks, but try to keep the LOVE IN YOUR HEART for the grand folks. The more that you prepare for this moment, the more confidence that that will be behind the words spoken when the time comes. Do not allow this situation to go on, because nobody wins; especially the horses. If Jo can feel the tension 4000 mile away, it probably is much heavier up here in Wash. St.
Just remember Tara, if people describe you as being a little crazy, that`s a GOOD THING, because it affords you lots of latitude for your behavior. Ha Ha…
Do your thing girl,
You are both right! So right! Bud that made me laugh! I ended up going out this morning. I actually kept Mija longer than I have before, actually got a bit of a trot around looking for the herd as they started to move off, that was a first...
Then it happened again, daughter in-law goes out there into the field despite my significant other and I both tried to pause her... she wasn’t listening to us and gets the herd right back where I didn’t want them. So I kinda lost it and long story short ended up letting Mija back out after only getting a bit of rubs on her and some quality fence time.
We ended up pow-wow with the kids. I said what I had to say, as did we all, not the grand folks, just us and the kids. I the outcome I’ve no hope whatsoever with any kind of resolution with the kids or the grands at this point.
I did however make my point to the kids and hope that something sunk in. My significant other is more than skeptical about the situation but the grands have been asked not to feed our three in their yard. Hopefully they will respect our wishes.
The kids, I dunno if a single thing sunk in... time will tell. Taking tomorrow off for church and I’ll try again with luck on Monday. I’m going to keep trying, it’s my ranch too... you both have given me hope for it.
The horses have said they need me. Mija was in the corral before I even made it to the orchard! She is so willing to cooperate, I know she’s going to be an awesome partner, I know too she’s not let anyone but me get this close to her. Mijo doesn’t understand why I’m not working with him, but his rank in the herd isn’t making that real possible atm, it will come in time.
Thank you both so much for the confidence boost!
Will update again soon.