Monday, January 6, 2014

On the Lunge - Francie Update

Many of you know that my 21 year old horse, Phoenix, was a horse I rescued from abuse at the age of three.  He was quite a project, being so scared of humans at that point that his entire body shook when I tried to pet him.  I remember when I was trying to teach him to work on the lunge line (a long rope that hooks to a halter or bridle, and the horse moves in circles around you, learning commands this way and getting out energy) he was a little crazy.  I took to wearing gloves, because he'd start bucking and running, and would drag me around the pasture and several times blistered my hands, or yanked the lunge line from my hands and took off running.  He fought me for months over having his hooves cleaned.  And he broke more halters than I can count by setting back when learning to be tied.

In comparison, Francie has been easy (so far).  She only fought me for a couple of days over having her hooves cleaned.  Now she's happy to comply.  She thought about setting back once or twice while tied, but always cleared her mind and then moved forward as I spoke to her reassuringly, before breaking any halters.  She learned to cross tie quickly - and while nervous the first couple of times, she now stands nicely in the cross ties, allowing me to groom her. 

I also started her on the lunge line.  Just doing short little lessons - ten minutes or so.  At first, she was confused.  She didn't want to move away from me.  She wanted to be with me.  So she kept trying to turn in and come to me.  But she's picking it up now, and she doesn't buck or take off running the way Phoenix did.  Her circles are choppy, and sometimes she gets confused and tries to switch directions, but she really seems to have a good head on her shoulders and she definitely wants to please me.

You can see how stunted her growth is in this picture. The vet doesn't think she will grow much more.  Fortunately, she seems to make up with personality what she lacks in size.  I really enjoy bonding with her.  I know you might look at this picture and think she looks a little rough - but seriously - she looks fantastic compared to how she looked when I brought her home over Thanksgiving.  The change is remarkable. 


As for the horses down the road, their owners have agreed to allow me to arrange for the gelding of the stud colt.  This is excellent!  I will also be having some vaccines done at the time the vet comes out, thanks to the donations from generous blog readers.  What a great way to start 2014 for these needy horses! 

38 comments:

Sunnybrook Farm said...

You are doing good with these horses, I can see a difference in her. I can't remember if I showed Dusty to you but you would like him, he is huge but is well behaved. If I could just get him to where I could plow in a straight line.

Buttons said...

Oh Lisa she looks wonderful you are doing a great job I am so happy to know such a loving kind hearted generous person like you. HUGS HUGS B

SweetMarie said...

You're an angel! Happy...happy..joy...joy!!!

Sarah Frederick said...

Aww so cool! I have always loved horses and she is really pretty :)

Monkeywrangler said...

Wow, Lisa! She looks so much better than when you first posted her picture. You are doing an outstanding job with her. If she proves too small for you to ride, perhaps she could be trained to a small cart, and of course for the boys once they are skilled enough to ride.

Lynn said...

oh my she looks beautiful, what a great post Lisa-and fantastic news re gelding-!

Laura Lee said...

She's so cute and just looks like such a happy young horse--and 4 white socks :) how old is she? That's wonderful about the owners leting the vet come in to see the other horses.

Gail Dixon said...

Such a heartwarming post. I don't understand some of the terms, but I know these horses are blessed to have you helping them!

Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell said...

You have such a kind heart and I'm glad you're able to do these wonderful things for the horses. You rock!

Sandra Morris said...

Glad to hear she is coming along so well!!

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

These updates on her progress make me so happy! She sounds like a sweetie.

Tina Fariss Barbour said...

She's so pretty! How wonderful that you two are bonding. She will always know that you rescued her, Lisa. I don't understand all the terms you used (I've never been around horses--I need to learn!) but it sounds like you two are working well together and she will only get better.

Jeanne said...

How lucky she is to have found a wonderful home. And glad that she is going to be a bit easier to work with!

Out on the prairie said...

looks good size for the boys to ride

Valerie Boersma said...

She's a pretty little horse, Lisa! Just recently my dad was telling me about Rosie, the Jersey cow his family had when he was a boy. She'd had her first calf when she was too young, and so her growth was stunted and she was very small. One day a man came by and offered to buy her because he thought she was the cutest cow he'd ever seen and wanted her for his own farm.

I can't wait to see more pictures of Francie in the coming months, and more of your wonderful old photos from your grandma too:)

TexWisGirl said...

she's an adorable little girl. maybe after you get her settled down and trained, she'll be perfect for some boys to ride in future years. :)

mail4rosey said...

I'm so happy things are working out nicely!! I love your heart for horses, and you sound like you really know what you're doing! Wishing you continued good luck!

cobie en bas van Es said...

dat is wel heel mooi werk

Lady Lilith said...

I am amazed. Your dedication to the horse really payed off. I know some may see a damaged horse, but I see the love you put into it.

Chatty Crone said...

Wow you are such an amazing gal.

Our Neck of the Woods said...

I love hearing updates on her! You are so good with your horses. I can't wait to see how far she comes with your guidance and love :)

Michaele said...

I seriously didn't know you knew so much about horses. Good work.

Tiggeriffic said...

Thanks for letting us know how she is doing..You are like the horse whisperer ~~ very gentle ~ very loving and patient...Good Job~!
Come Spring the boys are going to have a good time being with this horse..
Have a great day~! ta ta for now from Iowa:)

Barbara said...

Yay! I'm so happy that she's healthy! You saved her life.

Sally said...

Such a heart warming update, Lisa! Her story reminds me of Hunter's Zipper. Lots of love all around. :)

Michelle said...

You are doing some wonderful work.

endah murniyati said...

You have do a great job for your horse

A View From A Brown Dog said...

Oh my gosh Lisa this is so wonderful! Both of our horses are rescues and came from severe neglect as well so this hit my heart hard. Our most recent rescue was a few months ago.

I am so happy I popped in today and saw this. I have no doubt Francie will have an amazing and healthy life filled with love and Joy by you and your family.

Tweedles -- that's me said...

We are so thankful that you came along and were able to help the horses!
We love this update!
love
tweedles

Linda said...

I'm glad there are people like you!

LE CHEMIN DES GRANDS JARDINS said...

Comme il est passionnant de lire ce billet où je lis ta passion pour les animaux et en particulier,tes chevaux. Je pense que beaucoup d'humains pouraient prendre exemple sur toi pour comprendre que c'est avec l'amour et la passion que l'on fait avancer le monde et non par la brutalité et la guerre.
Je te souhaite une très belle année, et d'être heureuse auprès des tiens et de tes animaux comme tu le mérites.
Je t'embrasse bien amicalement.

Roger

Rob-bear said...

Glad to hear and see that you and Francie are getting along so well. And that she is learning the basics.

All creatures respond to love. It's really quite wonderful to learn of your progress, together.

Blessings and warm Bear hugs!

A Quiet Corner said...

The progress you've made with Francie and the neighbors is heart-warming, Baby Girl...something only you could accomplish!...:)JP

Nancy Claeys said...

Seems I missed alot over my break... I'll need to backtrack! :)

Sonya @ Under the Desert Sky said...

So glad she's improving!

Busy Bee Suz said...

You've had Phoenix for 18 years? Wow.
I'm so glad to read this update on Francie…it warms my heart that you are putting in the time to give her a better life. YOU are wonderful. Surely both the horses (and your next batch down the road) do appreciate the kindness you are showing.
XO

Lexie Loo, Lily, Liam, and Dylan Too! said...

She looks great!
You have a big heart!

Maggid said...

I think you are some kind of super-angel . . .

awesome stuff!