Miles & Minutes, VI

mustang milesThis month, Raechel Nelson made significant ground work and liberty progress with Alita.

Zita mostly was a little filly having fun.

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Miles & Minutes is generously sponsored by Redmond Equine.

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Since moving Alita to a larger and less restrictive enclosure, Nelson has made several significant steps of progress with the four

Alita contemplates her reflection

Alita contemplates her reflection

year old mustang. Her goal of riding the young mare this summer seems more and more within reach.

Here are some highlights of recent training sessions, as told by Nelson:

I was able to put another trim on her hooves. She is now brave enough to stand calmly. The first time, it was standing in fear. I was actually happy for that fear since it allowed me to handle her feet. But now she’s gained more confidence.

We’re still working on her bad attitude when I initially enter the enclosure to put a halter on her. She tends to put her ears back and try to move me out of the space. And she wants to turn away.

Recently, I’ve asked her to tip her nose all the way in toward me (when haltering) in order to get a reward of hay. I’m not a treat person at all, but this occasional strategy has modified her attitude and she now has a nicer greeting.

I’ve gotten her out on a lead line in the bigger pasture, around the house on pavers, through tight spots, and in the backyard to

Walking on pavers through a tight space

Walking on pavers through a tight space

graze. She was delighted although initially she didn’t like to put her head down while still on a leadline.

Watch video of Ali moving through tight spaces.

In the round pen, I’ve worked on hooking her on and having her follow me. She’s been remarkable. I was really surprised at her responsiveness and interest. It this my same horse? It was awesome.

I’ve worked on moving her hindquarters and front quarters independently as well as placing the line around the butt and asking her to give to pressure. She was initially a bit goofy about that, but eventually yielded.

Meanwhile, Zita has enjoyed living with an older mare and gelding. She leads and behaves well with a halter and leadline.

She has a lot of energy. I tried ponying her off Skeet (Nelson’s older gelding). It wasn’t too successful. She was a bit over-rambunctious.

In photo below, Zita enjoys turnout time with her mom. The little filly didn’t try to nurse and was more interested in playing in the water tank and doing kid’s stuff. Watch videos of Alita and Zita stirring it up here and here.

Alita and Zita churn out some energy

Alita and Zita churn out some energy


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