Black Filly - My 2-Week Wonder

The adoption climate in 2010 was dismal. The economy had tanked, foreclosues were at record highs, and people just weren't in the mood to adopt a Mustang. The only horses being adopted were the trained Mustang Heritage Foundation "Mustang Makeover" horses and the prison-trained saddle horses.

So the California BLM put out a call for volunteers to do more halter training. At friest I resisted. Actually, for a long time I resisted. Been there, done that, on to other things. In the late summer we converted our gentling pen to a chicken palace, becasue we didn't plan to use it again...right...

In late summer we had converted our gentling pen into a new chicken palace, since we didn't plan to adopt again...
In October I got a call from Califronia BLM: Would I take this one filly to get ready for the Cow Palace? The horse had been brought down from the holding facility for a volunteer, who was not able to take the project on after all, and she needed somewhere to go.

Well, okay, I said, feeling guilty for not having taken one earlier.

"Great", was the reply, "I'll deliver her tomorrow - Oh, by the way, the Cow Palace is in 2 weeks!"

My family was less than thrilled. Mike was super busy, getting ready for a big film shoot in Iowa at the World Percheron Congress. There was no way he had time to work with a wild horse just then. I promised him it would be my project alone, if he would just help me put some panels together.

She arrived on October 5, 2010.

By the time I got Mike out to take photos, most of the work had been done.

Using basic approach and release methods - asking her to move, offering her to stop and look at me, asking her to go again, releasing my "ask" every time she offered a good try, etc. - she responded amazingly well. I kept my sessions very short - seldom more than 15 minutes, and always quit on something positive. Each time, she was ready to try again, and to try something new.

These pictures were taken on Day 5. At this point I could touch her lightly all over, for brief periods.
DAY 6: Meet the halter rope

Day 10
Through the gate (training for the trailer)
Day 14: "Graduation Day"
Off to the Cow Palace!

Black Filly was used for several demonstrations, and she did very well, but she was not adopted immediately (due to her overbite). But the next week a woman who had seen her at the Cow Palace adopted her. She is now owned by Sydney Blankenship and being trained by Krista Koenig.



Evie has gone on to become an excellent trail horse, show horse, and trick performer.