Sunday, July 4, 2010

Owyhee Preschool

Sunday July 4 2010

The kids start preschool early in Owyhee.

These golden babies you're seeing here (LJ Owyhee Crystal, left, and LJ Owyhee Flint, right, both foaled in April) are from Rick and Carol's Lost Juniper Ranch next door (as is yesterday's LJ Owyhee Topaz), sired by their stallion LJ Owyhee Moonstone.

There's no slacking in education when you live on the crick. Carol starts working with her youngsters right away, at 1 - 2 weeks old, to get them used to handling, and to start getting them used to responding to pressure, from the rope, and the human hand.

Here LJ Owyhee Flint goes into the schoolhouse with mom for a preschool lesson.

The teacher approaches.

The Rope Lesson.

This is one preferred method: instead of using a halter and putting pressure on the head, a rope is strung around the barrel and under the chest, in between the front legs.

A little pull on the rope, a little pressure on the butt, asking Flint to move forward.

Lots of head rubs - don't want a head-shy horse.

Move the hind end away from pressure.

Move the front end off pressure (pressure is pushing Flint toward Carol)...

...and release.

Never too early to pick up the feet.

Front pressure (step left) and hind pressure (step forward).

A butt rope.

Neck rope asks Flint to step left, butt rope asks him to step forward.

Picking up the hind feet with the rope.

Picking up the front feet with the rope.

Good baby! Lesson over for the day.

A comfort meal...

...followed by a nap. School is exhausting!


  1. Nice series of photos - I've never worked with foals so it's all very interesting to me.

  2. Lovely to see someone handling a foal so well and so soon. That's the way to "make" a good horse.

    Love the picture narrative. It tells so much...but the ending is the best. A nap. *G*

  3. I love working with babies. They are so darn cute and smart as whips. Nice series of pics.

  4. Great photos - I miss having a baby to "play" with *sniffle*. I always scratched Taya's tummy when picking up her feet; it made her more than happy to pick them up and easy to lengthen the hold time as she got bigger. I noticed you have a pint-sized spectator stationed outside the pen. Allel-Aliel-Allil PFFT! Mimicry in horses fascinates me as a training tool; I use it with ours too (and I never can remember how to spell that doggone word :o)

  5. Awww!! I love that bay mare, she is such a sweetheart. Can't wait to see the kiddos in September!

  6. Merri, i so enjoyed this, such great pictures and i love babies.

  7. Each yeare we look for foals for Margaret to look at Merri. I too enjoyed the picture essay.

  8. This is great! I'm so curious about working with little ones - but way too green to even try. :)

  9. Those foals are the prettiest colors!


  10. Bonito potro, pero el manejo del cordel me parece demasiado temprano, ya que por un accidente con el roce del cordel, puede quemar al potro y a la manejadora, ya que no lleva guantes protectores.
    Y las quemaduras por roce en los caballos son perennes.
    Saludos de Gabriel