The babies are all doing well in baby school. Working babies is one of the most fun things ever.... I'm not sure which I enjoy more, working my schooled horses or playing with the blank slates. Sure, the babies do dumb baby things with regularity, but the feeling of developing them just the way I like the is super rewarding. I wish I had gotten my hands on the mules when they were newborns - the difference in their reactions and Pax's reactions to new things is 100% different. Obviously part of that is due to their mule-ness, but Pax's completely trusting nature and total relaxation about basically everything I throw at her definitely has something to do with being reared from a little tiny tot. The one thing she can be slightly weird about is the inside of her ears, which I attribute to me not working with them enough. I think I've moved pretty far beyond stripping the hair out of ears... they need that hair, even if they are showing. I'll snip off the old man hairs or put on an ear bonnet, but I don't think I'll ever clip ears again unless it's for a HUGE show somewhere.
Pax has been wearing saddle pads with regularity since she was little (and once, a saddle and girth!), but she wore a bridle and bit for the first time the other day. She opened her mouth to pick the bit up by herself, and then was completely unphased after her preliminary baby-mouthing of it. She went and just kept on eating hay.
She'll need to wear a bridle for the 2 year old in-hand FEH classes next year, should we choose to do them, so no time like now to start getting her used to it!
|Everybody loves the sweet iron snaffle|
Sriracha continues to get better and increasingly friendly. She also has developed a bit of a spicy attitude that matches her name - she's pinned her ears and snapped at me once or twice in the field, when she comes over and doesn't feel like she's getting the attention she deserves. That doesn't fly around here, which she is also learning.
She now picks up all four feet, and I've trimmed all four as well. She wears a harness and is lunging and learning her walk-trot-whoa commands. I like being able to teach them lunging myself, as they learn to actually walk and whoa on the lunge. She has also worn a bridle once, which she'll do more of in the near future.
Look at this creamy ear.... what a funky color!
|He might be smokey black... his mother was a buckskin and his father was a zebra, so who knows really?|
Fun fact about donkeys and a lot of hybrids: they don't have rear chestnuts! Some of them do, but many don't. Out of my four, only Sriracha has tiny rear chestnuts - the rest do not, and their front chestnuts are wide and fat like a donkey.
He's so easy for a zebroid! He definitely has some zebra moments, but he's more like a horse than anything for the most part. He's even easier than the mules - he takes corrections really well, and figures things out ridiculously fast. I know he has been lunged in a roundpen, and worked in long lines, but I do things a little differently in that I don't turn my horses when lunging - I stop them, manually turn them, and then send them off again. He tried several times on the lunge to hit the brakes and turn himself around, but it only took a few corrections until he got the point, stay on the circle! He is completely fine with the harness, and has worn a bridle three times now.
|What is this crap in my mouth|
I still can't get over how friendly he is. Here and there, he'll show a little zebra, but for the most part he always comes right over for scratches and kisses. He likes people and he wants attention, which is so rare for these guys. I intend to keep fostering that in him, because I don't want to lose it!
|Alas Pax is still the boss.... nobody can oust her as top boss B.|
The Zu won't do much lunging, as he's just a babe, but wearing a bridle is important as he'll also be learning more about long lining and steering with a bridle. And look who got back to work yesterday - Lendri! She's been off for two months, seeing as it's just been way too hot and I've had too many others to work. She picked up right where we left off with no problems whatsoever. She's about ready to start dragging a weight!