Monday, July 26, 2010

After working with my pony for a week, I have discovered that he is the ORNERIEST pony ever!!!! He certainly has the determination to survive in the wild! It's taking a lot of energy and willpower to not let him win. I work with him hours each day to hammer it through his head that I AM THE BOSS. I use different exercises to control movement, speed, and direction. We are making progress, slowly but surely. One thing I can definitely say about training right now -- IT IS HOT OUTSIDE!

He has had no trouble learning to eat his grain, and he is always hungry. It takes some horses a while to get used to new food. Not this guy! He seems to be in very good physical shape.

My horse was captured up in Wyoming in November last year. Wyoming has a large mustang population. The horse's freezemark is smeared and not legible, but his adoption paperwork shows where he came from.

Here's some information about freezemarking from the Bureau of Land Management website. It states that a freezemark can smear if the animal moves when it is applied. I imagine that's exactly what happened to my colt's freezemark!

"The BLM uses freezemarking to identify wild horses and burros that have been gathered from the public rangelands because of overpopulation. Freezemarking is a permanent, unalterable, and painless way to identify each horse as an individual. It is applied on the left side of the neck. It follows the International Alpha Angle System, which uses a series of angles and alpha-symbols that cannot be altered. The mark contains the Registering Organization (U.S. Government), year of birth, and registration number.

The technique is simple and completely painless to the animal. The left side of the neck is shaved and washed with alcohol, and the mark is applied with an iron that is chilled in liquid nitrogen. The hair at the site of the mark will grow back white and show the identification number.

In addition to the freezemark on the left side of the neck, sanctuary mustangs are marked on the left croup with four inch-high Arabic numerals that correspond with the last four digits of the freezemark on the neck.

Although every effort is made to apply freezemarks that are legible, occasionally freezemarks do get blurred. This happens when the iron is applied: the animal moves and all or some of the identification number cannot be read. It can also be difficult to read some freezemarks because of the color of the animal."
(See wild horse and burro adoption program for more information.)

This colt is a great horse. He may be stubborn, but there's one thing he has not yet realized -- I'm more stubborn than he is! With patience and many hours of hard work, we will get the job done!

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