Prince George is adoptable from the ARL Rescue Ranch. He is at Field Day gaining skills to plump up his resume for a new life in his forever home with a new partner. Interested parties can contact me or Judy Hand
Prince George has been at Field Day exactly two weeks today. He started out the day in his paddock, where he approached me even before I came into it to catch him. (I took this picture of him from the arena, before he saw me.)
I’ve had him on two, 4-pound feedings of Purina Ultium for two weeks, actually a little less than that, because it took me a few days to switch him over, so let’s say a week and a half. Ultium costs about 50 cents a pound, so at 8 pounds a day, the relatively large amount he needs right now costs $4 per day. Over a week and a half that is about $40. For that amount, half of what most people pay a month for cable or cell phone, this horse is adding muscle and cover. In another two weeks, we’ll be able to tail back the amount of Ultium fed because we’ll only need to maintain. When the right feed is provided, with proper nutrients as well as the necessary calories, it doesn’t take long to get most horses really looking good and having a chance to perform well. A quality feed simply gets results more quickly because it provides not only calories, but all the other minerals and nutrients needed for proper muscles, bones, tendons, hooves, eyesight, metabolism and probably about 80 other things I haven’t thought of because I am not a horse nutritionist. Purina has tens of nutritionists who are constantly doing research and feeding trials, so I don’t have to overthink it. I just get the results of all their work. Priceless.
Meanwhile, the training continues. I warmed up today and just when I was getting done with that, Megan Clements came out for her lesson and horsie fun. I solicited her to video tape a few minutes of our ride and she was kind enough to agree. The short, raw video is an interesting example of a horse learning his balance. Just yesterday I introduced the concept of yielding to the rein by asking gently in small walk circles. Because it is a new concept and his muscles are not used to him moving over his topline, he has a tendency to come above, then get behind, the contact. He has moments of some pretty decent work, then his muscles get tired and he throws his head or falls slightly sideways in one way or another or breaks gait or gets a wrong lead or even puts in a buck – all minor difficulties to be expected of a horse clearly finding his balance traveling in a new way, and gaining strength. It makes as much sense to punish a horse for these things at this point as it would to punish a human baby for losing her balance when learning to walk. In both cases, it is appropriate to focus on the positive and encourage effort, rather than punish. It is difficult for a horizontal horse to balance a vertical human on his back and it flat out takes practice and muscle.
He is willing and sound. The rest tends to work itself out.
Here comes the video. The “Red/Green Show”-sounding lawnmower in the background is dear hubby Jay, working hard while I play with horses. Bless him. So, without further ado, Georgie’s 2 week anniversary ride: