Category Archives: The Red Horse Diaries

Rojo. My first day of training. I’m calling it THE RED HORSE DIARIES. Entry #1.

I have decided to keep a log of my training with both Rojo and Wrigley.

Rojo’s will be THE RED HORSE DIARIES and Wrigley’s is already the WRIGLEY CHRONICLES.

Today, I am going to give you an excerpt from my day with Rojo.  Sadly, it is really difficult to take photos when you are struggling with a Mustang who is outsmarting you.  I should have asked HIM to take the photos…

Anyway, here we go!


Yuup, today was the day that the Mustang thumbed his hoof at me and gave me the ‘stang attitude.

I was told it would happen…

All the wranglers and even the wise old cowboy administrator at the Prison told me to keep up the training and to not let it slide or the Mustang will challenge me.  And when the Mustang does challenge me, make sure to kindly not let him get away with it.


Is Mustang attitude different than any other horse?  I mean, ALL of my young horses will challenge me at some point in the training.  Some more than others… but they all are obsessed with rank and foot movement.

I hear, “I am the boss of you”  and “You can’t move my feet but I can move yours…”, all the time when I’m training teenage horses.

Anyway, today, LOUD AND CLEAR, I got my first dose of Mustang Attitude…

Rojo tied to the trailer. "Talk to the hoof..."


I’d been gone for a week and before that, I had two days to make a lasting impression on Rojo.

Mainly, I’d been loving on him.

I guess it was good for him to feel welcomed and safe… and he did work really well on the day that second day before I left.

But, upon my return, Red had a different demeanor.  He turned his head away from me and acted as if he barely remembered me.

Silly horse.

So, I went through my routine to reacquaint myself.

Me:  Hey Rojo, I’m baaaack!

R:  And, you are…?

Me:  Me!  I adopted you and saved you from a life of drudgery somewhere!

R:  What life of drudgery?  I was a show horse in the prison system.  I was SOMEBODY.

Me:  Uhhh.  OK…  Let’s WORK!

R:  Let’s not.

Me (getting all lovey):  oohhhh booboogoogedybah mustangy handsomy booooy!

R:  What is WRONG with you?!  I can’t hear you.  (putting hooves in ears) LA LA LA LA LALA.

Me (wimpering):  You are hurting my feelings.

R:  Fine.  As long as it makes you go away.

Needless to say, it wasn’t going well.  He didn’t want to be caught and he didn’t want to work.

Finally, I put my hands on my hips and told him how ridiculous this was and he was a foolish horse who didn’t know what was good for him.

That, somehow, got his attention.  He let me halter him.


Yes, he was haltered.  But, that was about it.

He kept pulling back on the lead when he was tied to the trailer.  He wouldn’t look at me when I was looking at him.  He wouldn’t pick up his back feet.  He kept trying to snatch grass.  He would not follow any rope or lounge command correctly (don’t you hate it when you are giving them the ‘circle me’ cue and they back up and face you instead – on purpose.  Arrrgh.).

Rojo was being a pill.


I was pissed.

However, I know ‘pissed’ gets me nowhere.  So, I dragged my new Mustang up to the arena and became the leader.

Back, walk, sidepass, walk-up, back, halt, one step, back one, two forward, sidepass…  And I gave him no breathing room.  Do not pass GO.  Do not collect $200.  I was all business.

I knew he knew this stuff… and he knew that I knew he knew.

We circled, we longed – correctly this time – and jumped little fence posts.

Rojo:  Wait!   I want the Human Pansy Girl back!

Me:  She’s left the building.


At the very end, I asked him to drop his head.

Uh uh.  Nope.  Never.

I kept asking in a nice way.  I put my head down there.  I showed him what I wanted.  I visualized it.  I sent pictures.  I did it all.


Finally, I put hands on hips and said… “Y’know, I got all day….  I know you know this.  Let’s just be friends and be done for the day.”

And, with a huge sigh, he put his nose in the dirt.

I knew it!

I praised him like the Human Pansy Girl that I am and put him away.

And you know, I swear he watched me walk back to the house with a glint in his eye…

I wonder what tomorrow will bring…  ;)

I swear he was grinning at me as I left him... That was FUN!

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HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth... if you like this, please pass it around!