Now that classes are winding down for the semester, I finally have a little more time on my hands (at least until I actually start studying for finals) and managed to take some time out of my day today to go and see mr. Pogo at his let down barn.

He has come really far from his life on the track - Once a scrawny little thin skinned man, now a hairy, hay-bellied beast...can't forget that he is covered in burrdocks as well and clearly enjoying his turnout time :) With that being said, he never really had the track mentality, I am not sure he spent enough time there to really understand what it's all about. It was great to come into the barn walk into the stall and instead of seeing this wide-eyed creature spinning circles and attempting to buck (which he never actually accomplished successfully) he was sleeping, head down and upon my arrival buried his head in my chest (and not to bite, either!)

One of the many things I have learned from my older TB gelding, Ozzy, is that persistence is key - I bought him when I was 11 years old, and he was DEFINITELY not the best match for me (he was practically feral, just off a round-up out west when a ranch closed down or so the story goes) Anyway, I annoyed the crap out of him - the last thing he wanted was this little girl kissing him and hugging him and climbing all over doing the baby talk, etc. the typical little girl and her pony stuff. Now, however he is the most tolerant creature, and although he would be embarrassed to admit he enjoys the smothering (or at least tolerates it, for me).

Long story longer, I try and implement the same "little girl" tactics on every horse I work with...luckily for me at this point, Pogo loves the primping and pr0dding (it took 20! minutes of careful yanking to clear his gorgeous forelock of burrdocks, and he took it like a champ!) and of course the good scratching under his blanket. He was good about picking his feet, and working around him loose in the stall and even responded to poll pressure. All is going great in Pogo-ville, can't wait to start him doing real horse stuff!

Pogo 12/11/11 - About to turn 4, he's a bit awkwardly built...hopefully that will change with work and proper muscling
The boys are both settling in to life off of the track. They are minding their manners and learning to chill out a bit. Pogo and Ryker have met, and are now turn out buddies, probably a first time being with another horse for either of them in a very long time. Even with the buddy system, the ditch is still a scary monster in the middle of the pasture.

In looking for the right horse to start for this project (and believe me there were MANY) it was crossing my mind how different these animals can be. I have worked with many track horses, either on their way to training at the breeding farm or fresh off of the track after they are injured or retired. Things like, loud noises, music, people running, giant tractors, cars, etc. don't phase most, but a tree in the wrong place will most definitely be the monster with the teeth that is most certainly out to get them. It's always the things you would think would set off the "hot, crazy horse" that they don't think to look at and the everyday natural stuff (that they actually are not very well exposed to) that frightens them.

Anyway, I am trying to keep things being posted until the boys get here and hopefully get some faithful people that will come and check out our blog and comment too!!! Hopefully this week I can go over and get more pictures. Rest assured, there will be many more stories and photos come January when we start this gig!