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Red & Romeo - from Knickerson's killpen    Horse Rescue Updates

Started 8/10/07 by drafthorsemd; 9 views.
In reply toRe: msg 19
drafthorsemd

From: drafthorsemd

4/10/08

Red and Romeo are doing great.   The more we get to know them, the more realize they weren't saddle broke at all.

RED is living in a 70 ACRE field at one of our foster farms nearby.   His foster "mom", Martha, rides him as much as her schedule permits.  He is ready to adoption now but only to an experienced rider who understands he needs more training.   He doesn't understand what leg pressure means and it confuses the heck out of him.   

RED has been to a riding clinic and several lessons and now that the weather is nice, he should be getting out and about more often.  

ROMEO is a more challenging case.  We found a quiet horse-whisperer kind of trainer late last fall who has alot of experience with wild & fearful horses.    He took Romeo but about a month into it, the trainer got hurt (with another horse) and sent all his outside horses home.   Romeo came back a little bit better, but he's still not safe for hoof care.  

If you're interested in meeting or possibly adopting ROMEO, please contact Equihab and they'll put you in touch with Martha to get an appointment & directions. 

Since then Equihab has been looking for a very experienced trainer who understands fearful horses.   We can't seem to find anyone willing to take on a horse some might write off as "dangerous".     He wintered over on my 15 acre farm with Sasha and three other horses.

Equihab's Board of Directors discussed his situation.  He cannot be abopted out like this.   His formal status now is "long term resident".   

Since no other trainer is willing to take him on (without wanting thousands of dollars, no guarentee of success, and no promise they wouldn't hit him),  I'm stepping up to the place.  He's going to be my project.    My problem is that I have such little free time, but I'll try to get to him several times a week as soon as we get a break in the weather.    I plan to use a positive reinforcement only based approach.  We already know hitting/punishment doesn't work, and the NH horse-whisperer trainer didn't get too far, so NH may not be what he needs right now.   I am going to use a method called Operant Conditioning but choosing not to use any punishment.    This way if he does make a mistake, he doesn't get whacked, and he can learn to trust.   (A few mistakes are a normal part of learning)   I suspect a lot of his issues connect back to a core problem of a distrust of people & being worried someone is going to hurt him.   I will keep you posted on how this goes!

I have told Equihab's board that if we cannot retrain him and/or we cannot find him a suitable home in the next year or so, if all else fails, I will personally adopt him.  This way he's not a long-term burden on the Rescue and nobody is at risk of getting hurt.  (He and I have an understanding, and I've never gotten hurt by his kicks)    I just don't want to see anyone else hurt. 

Anyway, that's about all the news.   Otherwise both boys have been healthy, sound, and happy.   They both live turned-out and both have all the hay they can eat... what more could a horse want?  

I brushed Romeo well yesterday and if I had a helper I would've gotten photos to share.  He's looking good now that his winter wool is almost gone.   :-)

  --May

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