Lunging for the first time!

Well, this week has been eventful.

This stressful fun started Thursday, when my mom saw an ad for a 22 inch tall 7 month old palomino colt for $100. Mom loves small mini's and so she, naturally, called. We scheduled a time to deliver and he got here yesterday at around 1:30pm, at first glance, we thought he was tame and nice. Then, we realized he definitely wasn't.

First off, he's wild as a mustang. You get near him, he's gonna buckle those knees in fear and run and kick. That's okay, I understand. This is his first day away from mama, he's a baby, he's in a new place with new people, he's barely been touched. Alright, that's fine. But the condition that his feet are in? No. Not okay. I haven't gotten pictures yet but I will later and post them. They look like sleighs. He can't relax and prop one up because they are so long, he's constantly fidgeting and in weird positions because of them. He has never had a farrier out, ever. He's obviously never had them picked, lifted up or anything at all.

But we looked passed that and kept going.

He's never had a bite of grain, which is normal around here.

What really got us is this....he is absoloutly crawling with lice. It's everywhere. This poor baby is in misery because of lice, and we're having to do treatments. We're over-joyed with him, really. He's not 22 inches tall, but he shouldn't mature to be over 28 inches. He's really nice and a beautiful color, he has an underbite which is common with mini's that have dwarfism in their genes, but that's the only sign of it so he should be fine health wise. He needs to be wormed and we need to get the vet out soon, and the farrier will be out as soon as we can possibly have them here. Mom named him "Little Horse on The Prairie" AKA Half-Pint. :) (but I'm calling him Wilbur because his whinny sounds like a pig.)

Did I mention he was wild?

You can't see his hooves well in this but you can tell that they're long.

On another note, I went to the barn with training in mind. I haven't ever lunged Red. I'm assuming that my aunt lunged him before but it's been about 5+ years if she even did, so I wasn't sure what to expect. I had never lunged a horse before either so I was iffy about it, but I did it anyways. My step-dad, Jeff, came out with me this time so mom could spend more time with Half-Pint and get him settled. Red walked down and straight into the round pen and seemed eager to work so yay for that!
This cutie knows when to be good, especially after a stressful day!

Jeff stayed in the roundpen with him while I went to get my stuff, when I got back up there, Red was hamming it up and smiling for the phone camera. Adorbz.

Tried doing it with the lungeline first but Red seemed confused over it and honestly, so was I, so I unhooked it, threw it in the middle, and got him going with the whip. I can't even express how good of a mood Red put me in. He was perfection.
Screenshot from a video, but goodness I love this horse!!

I swear, he did everything I asked and then some. Changed directions with me pointing, stopped with a simple "woah" and walk/trot/cantered with vocal cues. I wish I had some little jumps to put in there because I think he would've done whatever in there. He was in a really good mood apparently and stayed really active and wasn't too lazy.

I kept him in a trot for the majority of the time because it's good for muscle building and I want more muscle on his hind end and topline, after being off trot/hillwork for awhile, he needs the extra lunging time and trotting. He's in good shape but I'd like just a little more.

Trotting like a champ.

We worked for a solid 35 minutes with nice slow walking in between for a break and I dropped the whip and stood and let him join up, within 10 seconds he was following me around and joined up absoloutly perfectly. We walked around for awhile, worked on some simple stuff like backing, sidepassing and picking his feet up since he's always stubborn with that. He also backed for the first time EVER for me. Obviously if he HAS to back, he will,  but it's not a fancy, nice back and yesterday, he did a super fluid looking back with a simple hand signal and was copying my movements pretty well. Sidepassing is still rough but it's getting there. Once he was 100% joined up with me, I started working him lightly again without the whip. Just did the pressure and release, pointing motion, without the whip near us and he did it perfectly again, so after a few moments of cantering, I stopped him and ended the session on a good note and gave lots of treats.

 He's still in great shape, as I said before, but I still have some improvements that I want to make. Our current goal is to lunge more, maybe do a 20 minute session once a week if at all possible (Oh I can't wait to have him home, lol!) and do more hill work/trotting under saddle. I want more muscle on his topline and midsection and maybe just a touch more on his hindend. His chest is looking great so his front half is in good shape, his butt is still pretty muscular but from having a different riding schedule than before, he's lost just a little bit. I don't think it's noticeable to anyone else, lol.

I got some videos of trotting him and join up that I'll have uploaded soon.

The new farrier is coming out on the 29th for the big horse's and Cowboy, we may try to get Halfpint's hooves trimmed before if we can find someone to do it on short notice. Hoping to get a ride in sometime this week and maybe another lunging session on the weekend or vice versa!


  1. When I was 10 I got my first pony. When we got them they were pretty much just like your mini!! Over grown hooves... (From the pictures it seems ours were longer but I don't know) basically starved, I mean you could see ALL of their bones and count their ribs, terrified of flyspray and humans. When we finally sold them, they loaded into the trailer like champs and hurt to watch them do that because they had grown to trust us so much. I miss them but some of our relatives have them and we will get to visit them hopefully soon! Good luck with him!!!

  2. Congratulations on your achievements with Red! I remember my first time freeworking a horse and it felt great :)

  3. That's a very cute little mini! He's a lucky guy! Red looks great. Very relaxed :-)