Last week I told you that my plan was to work with Rojo from May onward.
I had been lax with Rojo due to work obligations that had totally overwhelmed me… but, it is now time to turn back to my horses for comfort, solace and my soul – and in Rojo’s case, hard work.
Rojo is my newly assimilated wild Mustang from the Carson City Prisoner Trained BLM Adoption program.
When I adopted him, he had 90+ days of training. During Rojo’s prisoner trainer demonstration at the adoption, his trainer could pick up all of Rojo’s feet, walk underneath him, stand on his back, ride him in all three gaits, and ride him without a bridle.
I was impressed! So was the crowd!
Tiny Rojo was the second highest bid Mustang and he is only 14 hands!
So, you get my point here… Rojo knows his way around at least one human.
Shortly after he arrived home with me, I could also do most of those things with Rojo, too…
And then I disappeared (except for feeding) and Rojo forgot all of his Human. Use it or lose it, as they say.
WHERE WE STAND NOW
OK, so I moved him a few days ago. I wanted him separated from his harem.
I caught him easily.
“Good!”, I thought.
Until the next day…
I don’t think he appreciated being taken away from his girls. He was pissed.
I knew this would take some time…
And today… well, I told myself that I had all the time in the world.
I would simply see how much we could do together without pushing him too far.
So, with my timing devices all buried, I ventured into his pasture to catch him.
CATCH ME IF YOU CAN!
R: OH NO YOU DON’T.
Me: Aw c’mon. Why not? You know you love me.
R: I DID love you. That is over now. You betrayed me and put me in this awful pasture – all alone.
Me: Hey, I’m a friend with hands that can massage you – remember how much you liked that?
R: DEVIL HUMAN with those DEVIL HANDS! You will NOT use them on me again! Ever.
Me: Look. My hands are touching your nose… nice, huh?
R: NO! (backing up) You will not not not put that hand near me because pretty soon it will have a halter in it.
R: Arrrgh! I’m running away now.
And, he did. Several times.
I simply walked with him – calmly. Singing softly. He couldn’t shake me.
It took about 15 minutes of tandem travel around his pasture before he stopped, turned and looked at me.
R: WHAT?!!! QUIT THAT!
Me: Just give up, Son. I won’t go away.
R (sighing): Oh awlrighhht. Put the darn thing on me. Sheesh.
And so it went.
I tied him and he pulled back.
I showed him the brush and he snorted and backed up. I backed up with him all around the pasture – until he stopped backing up.
He didn’t want his flymask – except he did… so he let me put that on him fairly easily.
He absolutely DID NOT want any fly spray or fly anything smelly. I understood and told him that we would address that later.
And then the biggest insult. He wouldn’t lead.
Yup. He decided that he didn’t want to follow me.
But, I remembered that Remi (also a wild mustang) wouldn’t let me lead her either. She wanted a reason to follow me. Why should she?
I figured it was the same with Rojo. Why should he follow me?
So, I decided to work on our bond.
I opened the gate to his paddock and took him onto the green grass.
Gee, no worries following me out there…
I sat there with him while he grazed. I sat there for an hour.
However, during that hour, I stroked him a lot. And then, when he wasn’t looking, I pulled out a few Ricochet Horse Wipes (no affiliation – in fact I think they discontinued this item that I use all the time…bummer. I keep them in the fridge and most of my horses love the cool wipes on their bodies.)
Anyway, he decided not to notice as I wiped down his entire body with the Ricochet wipes.
Funny how they are.
AND THEN I DECIDED
And then I decided to put some Shoo Tags on him because his pasture is next to our neighbor’s cows. There are too many flies … (yes, we use Predators and garlic but the flies are very strong on that side of the property).
I fumbled with trying to braid the little ring into his mane and gave up after the ring fell out about a dozen times.
What the? How in the hay am I going to be able to get this to stay? And, what can I put on there so that I can find them if they fall out (the tags are rather spendy and I didn’t want to lose them)?
I brought him to the tack room (he likes the barn) where I rummaged through my stuff to find these silly horse mane decorations with clips.
So I affixed the tags onto the strands and clipped the very tiny clip into his mane.
It fell right out.
I have no experience with hair extension clips so I was failing miserably.
But, I remembered that I had bought some alligator clips to use with the horses. So, I fished around in the bag and found the clip!
OK, how can I do this? After several ‘almost’ executions – with one failed attempt allowing a puppy to run off with my entire contraption – I finally got the somewhat chewed assemblage into Rojo’s mane.
Immediately, the flies started landing on it. Yup. Flies ON the fly tags.
I unclipped Rojo’s lead from his halter (I knew he would stay on the green grass) and ran inside to Google why the tags weren’t working at all.
Hmmmm. Mr. Google told me that I had them on backwards.
So, I went back out, reclipped the rope onto his halter (amazing how green grass can make him so accepting…) and removed the assemblage.
Amazing. I don’t know how they work, but as soon as I had those tags on the right side, the flies disappeared! Hmmmmmm.
We’ll see if it lasts.
Enough for one day.
Halter – on.
Flymask – on
Leading – sort-of
Grooming – with my hands
Fly spray – applied via tricks, yes
Funky thing in his mane – Priceless.
HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth… if you like this, please pass it around!
I know you have probably blogged about the fly tags. My kiddos pasture right next to a neighbor that his pasture is overrunning with way to many cows, and the flys are just unbearable! I think these tags would be the ticket.
I giggled the whole way through that ,I think you have one smart horse there he he