Thursday, July 4, 2013

The Prince and I

I've been spending time with Prince, something I really haven't done since I brought him home last November.  At that time Prince's condition was so poor all I expected out of him was to eat, rest, heal and eat again.  About the time Prince started to feel better Elvis came on the scene, followed by moving Elvis home and finally restoring peace to the pastures here at home with all three of them now living here.

With harmony in the pastures the time has arrived for getting some hands-on Prince.  I'm told Prince's past includes being a pick-up horse and years in the high country. He also did a stint as a 'lesson horse' in his later years, followed by his last job as a trail horse for a novice rider prior to coming into our lives.

Prince toys with me when I try to catch him.  He walks away as I approach.  I walk, he walks.  I walk some more, he walks some more.  Eventually he gives up the game and stands quietly waiting for me to catch up and put on his halter.  This game is getting shorter (i.e., less walking) each time I catch him.  It will soon end as he realizes, as all my horses do, that being caught is a good thing.  For Prince it includes some light work, a good grooming session and ends with dinner.

Dinner now consists of soaked Orchard Grass pellets and grain (which includes his Cushings pill).  I've got beet pulp but wanted to slowly introduce the soaked grass pellets first.  Prince loves his wet food and slops it right up.  I can already see he has filled out and his coat is getting glossy.  I will hold off on the beet pulp at this time.

It has become apparent that Prince's last owner allowed him to get away with some bad habits (which probably include the game of being caught).  Everything I do with Prince I find I need to do twice.  His way and my way.  His way is slightly naughty and definitely disrespectful.  My way is gentle via ground work, yielding, leading, backing, etc.

Prince is no fool, once we do it my way he gives up and there are no further issues.  I can almost hear him say, "Ok, you win.  You've won my respect and I won't test you any further".  I believe that at one time Prince was a well trained horse because he actually knows this stuff but doesn't initially want to admit it.  I look forward to taking him back there.

Bob watches us from the gate.  He is a one of those one-on-one horses.  I am his one human - he trusts like no other.  Prince is his old pasture pal.  Bob is our audience while Prince and I go through our daily steps.  As for The Kid?  Just like a kid, there he is on the right - happily eating without a care in the world.

I'm really enjoying this time with Prince and look forward to working further with him and bringing him back to the horse he used to be!


  1. Lovely post and photos ! They are all looking great and very happy ! Thanks for sharing ! Have a good day and Happy 4th of July !

  2. Keep up the good work; this type always leaves a lasting impression, which makes for better horses in the long run.
    B ionic Cowgirl

  3. Prince is a diamond in the rough! :D