Midwest Horse Welfare Foundation, Inc. ----Discussion Forum

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Oh this adoption is such great news!  Congratulations!!
Dakota is freshly trimmed and received a dose of ivermectin this evening.  He is all ready to go.  [smile]  
[rofl]  Saturday can not come soon enough!  We will see you right around two pm.  Draco Dakota already has his next farrier visit scheduled, and we are eagerly waiting for him to come home!

Scott: MHWF
Hi Sophie, Dakota got his feet freshly trimmed last week, de-wormed last night...so he is going to be good to go.
How did his vaccines go?
The vet just left a short while ago, the vaccination boosters were uneventful, he was a perfect gentleman.  He had to have a combo shot with West Nile in it as well because the vet didn't have just the flu/rhino separate.  
While we do not like doing the strangles vaccines at all, he did get his intranasal strangles vaccine today also to comply with the boarding facility, and now we hope he does not get sick from it.  If he does get sick from it, we will have to delay pickup date.  There is less likelihood of him getting sick from the intranasal, but it still does happen from time to time.  Fingers crossed he doesn't!  [smile]  
I'm so glad to hear he did well- I would not be super thrilled with someone shooting something up my nose.  However, this does give me hope that I can get a script for the booster and administer it myself next time.  I really hope that he doesn't get sick from the vaccine.  Hopefully, since it was the intranasal it will be easier on him than the IM injection.  When you get a chance, email me the proof of vaccines, so I can get them to Claudia by tomorrow.
I appreciate it so much, Scott, and please let me know if you think he isn't feeling well!
I will be keeping a close eye on Dakota and will definitely let you know if he isn't feeling well and develops a fever or anything along those lines.  I just came in from outside and he is currently eating normally and acting normal with no local reaction to the shot or anything.  

I will warn you, while he doesn't care a bit about shots, he did really "giraffe" for the intranasal vaccine and the vet who did it is 6 feet tall, so I am not sure how well that is going to go for you on your own.  You can work on that before the time comes for the booster if you are going to booster that yourself.  

I believe Scott emailed the vet info to you already, and if not, it will be in your email inbox soon.   [smile]  
I caught a couple photos of Dakota headed down the freeway to his new home. (sorry they are not great I just snapped them with my phone.)

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That is so cool!  What are the chances?!  
Draco is doing great- we spent the day with him, hanging out and doing ground work. I absolutely love him. He is as sweet as it gets. Needless to say, he is quite distracted by his surroundings, but was responsive and gentle nonetheless. The one issue we had was when we picked his feet- he was a real brat about lifting them, and it took a while for us to get the job done. But, in the end, we got it done (and no one got hurt!). Everyone who sees him questions that he's an Appendix QH. We've heard Halflinger cross, Rocky Mountain cross, etc. I couldn't care less, honestly- he is my dream horse, and we are going to have a ton of adventures together. Scott and Karen- you're the best!

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Glad to hear the trip went well and safe and Dakota/Draco is settling in well.  Sounds like he is going to make you work for a few things, like his feet, and hopefully he learns quickly that you are in it for the long haul.  Thanks for the update, Sophie!  

I am going to share a couple of pictures of his dam here, Elsie, who is an Appendix/Quarter Horse, and you will see where he gets some of the smutty coloring from.  She is an absolutely beautiful mare too, you can see where Draco gets his good looks from.

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She is so pretty. She has the same delicate baby muzzle that he has.
Draco and his mom are both beautiful, and I think it is extra special that Alyssa helped find both of them such great homes by putting extra training on them.  [smile]  
Jenni O.
Don't feel badly, Sophie, Pea can still be a pain about getting her feet picked if she's distracted. So happy Draco finally found his very own home.
i just caught myself thinking about this special boy again... i sure do miss him and am so happy he is in a home of his own; even if it isnt with me. i would love to come visit him sometime and am always here if you have any questions about him that scott and karen cant answer.
Thanks for all the work you've done with him, Alyssa! I am just loving him- he is so fun. I love his curiosity and spunk.
Both my son and I have been on him bareback, while the other leads. We don't want to push him too much, since there is so much going on at the barn. He's been just wonderful.
If you have any tips for tying him, and getting him to stand still, let me know [smile] so far, that's been our biggest obstacle.
My first horse, Diablo, was a thinking horse with a lot of spunk. He is the standard I hold other horses to, and frankly, many of them seem dull compared to him. Not so with Draco! I absolutely love his personality. I couldn't ask for better.
Alyssa- if you're ever in the Twin Cities area, come visit him!
Once he fully trusts you, you will see a whole new side of that horse that you will love even more. Just be consistent and firm, but not aggressive when giving corrections. If he wants to move around, then make him and don't let him stop until you want him to. He does very well with positive reinforcement, so make sure you reward him when he's good and does what you ask. When you get a chance, can you share some pictures?
I love this horse SO much.  We finally got all of our new (stuff!) tack on him, and spent the day riding around the arena. He was absolutely perfect. Alyssa sure did a nice job. He is funny- an angel to ride, and a devil to tie!

He is so much fun, and sweet. He is truly the perfect horse for me...  and I guess I have to share him a bit with Corey and the hubby!

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Jenni O.
So good to hear you are loving him so much, and doing stuff with him. Looks like you might need another horse...or two. [wink]
Hubby and I had a great night riding Dakota. He is amazing with leg cues- he'll turn and turn and turn. BUT... his breaks could be better. Any tips on getting a good "whoa?" I'm riding him with a full cheek snaffle, and I don't really want to give him a harsher bit, but I'm wondering if it would help. He is pretty good with one reign stops, but I'd love it if he'd stop with a gentle pull and the word. I am trying to make myself "heavy" in the saddle, and squeezing with my thighs- any other leg advice? I wonder, a bit, if he can't feel the squeeze, because our saddle is new and stiff... Alyssa??
Are Dakota's brakes bad when away from buds or coming back to the barn or just in general?
Most get tired of this one from me; groundwork and than more groundwork.  If he won't stop for you with that then being up on saddle will not be better in most cases regardless of bit.  JMO.

I am not one to talk really, my horse has great brakes but if I stop him and his friends get out of sight he can jump straight up in the air [frown]  He stops in the X dimension but can go in the Y pretty high.

Sounds like you are doing great though Sophie, long winter ahead to do all those lead, groundwork things.  Use all cues you have; body, verbal and pressure.  Once they get it you can take any 2 of the 3 away and they will still get it (so I try to work on in any case)  If you have access to an indoor this winter take full advantage, I wish I still did.  Last thing I will say on stopping; a very accomplished famous rider (that could ride with no tack or headset) that I met at MWHF and one of my riding heros, she using very subtle cues reminded us, you don't yell or scream woah but growl it, horses have very good hearing.  Let them feel your whoa as you also deeply growl it and use that body pelvic sit back thing to signal it.

Fun stuff and enjoy the journey
Hi Sophie, I've sent you a message with Alyssa's contact information so you can talk to her directly.  Dakota is a green horse who needs finishing, so going to a harsher bit would not be a good thing at all.  I know Alyssa will be able to walk you through a few things to help you out, and it will be a lot easier for you guys to chat now that you have each other's contact info.  
Jenni O.
No to the harsher bit. He is just at the stage where he doesn't know what you want. I am still working on this with Pea. She's great, although when distracted you'll notice things get worse again. Sometimes harsher bits at this stage cause them to rear. Sometimes they just confuse them, and make the horse move improperly. You might get a stop, but they're doing it clumsily.

I'm sure Alyssa can guide you through this. I'm just going to add my two cents for the sake of discussion. If her advice differs from mine, do what she says, lol.

My trainer had me cue for the stop by sitting deeper in the saddle, exhaling deeply, squeezing the reins, drop heels. Once you get the stop, immediately back up several steps. I did a lot of backing. It reinforces the stop. If he gives you a good solid stop, you can leave him alone. (The sitting deep thing, best I can describe, is done by thinking about tilting your pelvis towards your navel. Maybe someone else can describe it better.)

Practice practice practice at the walk, and ask when he's paying attention. Have some contact with his mouth before you give the other cues. You'll get to the point where you can sit deep, exhale, and he'll stop. Of course, once you trot or lope or are on a trail, you'll have to practice some more. Also, once stopped, vary the time before you move off again.

I think the two big things for me were the breathing and the backing, although all of it is important.

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