Riley is a 6-year-old gelding, 1/4 Arabian, Pinto. Link to adoption application: http://www.equineadoption.com/applicationpage.htm
At the beginning of June 2018, MHWF took ownership of and responsibility for a herd of 13 horses who have had little to no training and minimal handling over the years, and we are calling them the Lucky 13 herd. Riley is one of the Lucky 13 horses that was a stallion up until 6/14/2018, when he was gelded. Riley has had no training at all. Thanks to Scott and Kellie M., and Veronica, adopters of the donkey named Spice, Riley left for his new foster home at their place today on 6/24/2018. Riley is super sweet, shy, but sweet, and one of our favorites. Thank you Scott, Kellie and Veronica for taking him in and giving him a great place to stay and learn! You can follow Riley’s progress here on the forum.
Thank you Scott, Kellie, and Veronica!! Riley is a sweetheart! Looking forward to watching him learn and come into his own!
What a nice looking horse and a nice bunch of people willing to foster. Kudos to all of you.
Well Phase 1 of the Riley Project has been successful!!
I spent some a few hours out in the pen with him yesterday trimming weeds and getting things all set for him. After he settled in some, he drank a bucket of water and was having fun playing in it and splashing with his nose. It was awesome to see Veronica sitting on a bucket when she took him his grain last night and he was basically eating out of her lap, dropping feed on her head when he snuffled her. And he seemed to be love the brushing and attention.
He actually trailered pretty well, a little dancing but no explosions or dented trailer or injuries. When we stopped and checked him, he came right to the window. He came out of the trailer nicely and trotted off, snorting at everything. Within 10 minutes he had rolled and (
if you hadn’t noticed in the pictures) promptly removed the halter. ( hmm, well ) So he is currently naked. Which was cause for some panic when he decided that he wasn’t interested in staying in the fence. (I believe he didn’t care for the bulls across the road.) I will forever be grateful for the Horseguard Fence, it stretches, not breaks. And is tape, so no wire worries. So we got it tightened up and changed fencers to a stronger model and we now have peace of mind, and no more fence testing. Veronica rode her horse in the arena next to the pen Riley was in and we thought he would come to investigate the “other” horse, he watched from the other end but was not interested in investigating, I wondered if it was that he thought it was Semper (Buddy is a Sorrel) and would get chased or beat up. Oh, and we don’t think he’s ever seen a dog either. He didn’t know what to think of ours.
Scott went out to check on him last nite before bed ( I think he likes him too) and took him a chunk of apple- had to save it from dinner for him (lol) and he went out this morning and was proud to announce that he had eaten all his grain and that the apple was gone. He was quiet all night, seemed content at bed time.
He was friendly this morning, came right to me and I scratched his neck and loved on him some. He followed me to the hay and was still having breakfast when I left for work.
I’m really pleased.
So now we’re on to Phase 2 😉
Kellie this is downright wonderful to hear! Thanks to all three of you for investing in Riley your time, love, and dollars to provide him a "jump start" in learning the skills he will need for a successful new life. Kudos!!!
Just a quick update before I pretend to be working for the rest of the day, lol.
This is amazing, something I didn’t expect to happen, all 3 of us are working with Riley! I thought that I would be doing most, Veronica and I on some and didn’t really know how Scott was gonna feel about the whole thing, but he’s out with him also a couple times a day too. Gets him to eat grain out of his hand while hanging the halter on his wrist, J I go out every morning before work for a few minutes and spend more time when I get home, every day he gets attention.
He comes up to us now on his own, eats well, seems to like our hay and the grain must be ok too, it’s in the lean-to and he goes in and eats in there now. He’s beat the crap out of the little mineral salt block I gave him. It’s in pieces. Scares us when we can’t see him and he’ll poke his head out of the lean to, like “Here I am!”
Veronica has been able to pick up both his front feet and mess with them. She said he didn’t even care. I was out with him the other night for over an hour, just sitting with him while he ate and brushed and touched, he definitely likes attention.
He’s picked a spot in the far corner of the pen that he stands in. I guess because he can see everywhere from there. He will meet us though when we go in the gate, or wait for us to come to him. Last nite, Veronica was riding Buddy in the arena again and Riley got to pacing the far end of the fence again, just running figure eights. He got himself all sweated up and would stop and blow once in a while. He kept an eye on that strange horse. This seems to be what he does when he’s agitated. He would not go anywhere near that end. I got him to calm some by going out and standing in his way so he had to go around me, and every so often he would stop by me, and I could touch him. And I did get him to follow me ½ way across the pen. But we wouldn’t go any closer. I would think he would want to make friends, He was whinnying at them when the farrier was out on Wednesday. I’m thinking he figures like with Semper, he’ll get picked on again. So we’ll just keep that a slow process.
I did get a nice greeting when I went out and had my coffee with him this morning, so he’s becoming a little more vocal.
I'm so glad good people stepped up to foster these horses. Love the updates!
I love the updates too. It will be interesting to see how Riley comes along once he settles in some, and it will be fun to see his progress.
A note and couple of pictures from Veronica. Thank you Veronica!!! This is so sweet and heartwarming!
"He likes to be scratched behind his ears.. and hugs" Attached Images
7/17/2018: Update from Kellie. 😉
PHASE 2: I wanted to do an update on how things are going, I'm going slow but sure, he's a thinker, and very smart. Having this time off due to the mess in Sun Prairie ( my office in still non access) has allowed me to spend extra time with Riley, so I get to go out and spend time multiple times every day.
So, last week we got the halter on,took away the original blue one,(I think there was a smell to it, he did Not like) after working with the rope halter all over his body for a few days he let me put it on with no fuss. I was so happy! Since then he's managed to get it off multiple times, and has been good about it going back on. So, this week we introduced the lead rope, once he figured out it wasn't going to tear his legs off, he's good with it. We went from "don't you come near me with anything rope like" to "Oh is that all?"
We're working on having him follow his head each direction and giving to pressure, and he's learning to back up.
Still scared whenever another horse comes out, he runs non stop pretty much till they are gone. So that's phase 3! He greets us every morning with a nurr hurrr, and i think he really looks forward too getting attention.
It's been awhile since I updated, so here goes.I have to admit I'm not spending as much time with Riley as I would like, or I think that he would like. He thinks people are maybe pretty o.k now.
He whinnies now when someone goes out.
He gets time every evening after work, at least a half hour and more on weekends. We been working slowly, at his pace, and it's paying off, I think. The halter is now no big deal, I can take it off, and put it on with no problems. Hang it over his neck, around his neck, he doesn't care. When we work on leading, he does better if he is next to you than if you are ahead of him, each time we walk farther. He likes to be with you. He does well flexing and moving from pressure when I turn him towards me and touch his hip.
Some days I go out and just sit on a barrel and ignore him, he comes up and sniffs my shoes and my leg, and then pushed his head towards me to get his ears rubbed, he loves that!
As for feet, he's doing very well, he is figuring out how to balance when I pick up a foot, I've been leaning so he has to shift his weight and he will now lift all 4! Now we are working on holding 'em up.
Tonight's adventure was a saddle pad! "Oh my! That thing on the gate is gonna eat me ALIVE!!" He ran away, so I left it and went back awhile later and tucked it under my arm and walked up to him. I guess it wasn't too scary after all. He sniffed at it, so I held it out folded and he stuck his nose in it. I rubbed him with it, he didn't care, so I put it on him! He couldn't have cared less, he walked around, so, I made it fall off. He did a fabulous ninja move and went back to eating. Wasn't sure when I tried to put it back on, but after he smelled it again, it was ok, so he wore it for a few more minutes. I may be working a lot slower than most at this, but he's coming along so gently.
The only issue we are really having is his fear. He spent most of his time at first, at the opposite end of the pasture, I had thought because of his being able to see everything from there, but now I think it was because he was afraid. He's better now. I was out of town for a few days and since then he hangs out at the closest end and in the lean-to. I would like to think he missed me!
His reaction to other horses is still to run away, and run, and run figure eights. He is getting a bit better, he will now trot mostly, and come half way across the pen and watch for a couple seconds, and he's off again. I tried introducing Monty, the pony, on the other side of the fence. He was having none of it. Poor Monty called to him multiple times, I think he felt bad that Riley ran away. So, we will continue to expose him to others in hopes that he will figure out they won't hurt him. Maybe try Spice next, how could he be afraid of those ears!?
Sounds like things are going well. I personally would much rather see people go slowly than to do things quickly. Your giving him a solid foundation in which he can build upon. These little things that might not seem like much to some people are actually big things. I like how you set the pad out and let him explore it on his own terms. I think a lot of us wishes we had more time to spend with our horses.
Yeah. Don't compare your progress to other's too much. Horses are individuals and I think going slow and covering all the basics in the beginning pays off farther down the road. If you do the foundation work well, things often can go more quickly later on. And if not, who cares? He sounds like he's making progress. I feel badly for him though, that he's so scared of the other horses. Hopefully in due time. Good luck!
In Riley's previous home he was pastured with another stallion who was very obviously the boss. Most days, Riley could not even get in the barn for water. It will take time, but he will figure out that not all horses will bully him.
I applaud you for taking it slow and letting Riley's opinions about things influence what you do. It's sad that the presence of another horse is not a comfort to him, but with your help, he'll figure it out.
I agree with Scott. I have a horse who was bullied and attacked by another horse, and it took her quite awhile to learn to be ok with other horses...but she did. Now she is almost TOO attached to her pasture mates...LOL Progress is being made. You should be very proud.
Thanks all for the words of encouragement! And a Big THANKS to Scott and Karen and MHWF for giving me this opportunity. He’s an awesome horse.
I’m thinking Riley is helping me as much as I’m helping him. It’s been learning for the both of us, and I think there’s a mutual respect and genuine enjoyment in spending time together. I’ve never been concerned that he will hurt me, and I believe he has gained the confidence that humans won’t hurt him either. He really thinks people are pretty ok now.
I thought I would share a couple of pics we took last night, it was so nice out! J
Riley is coming along , showing how smart he is. Last week he met a saddle, I set it on a laid down barrel with the cinch by it, he did a lot of sniffing, and picked up the cinch and promptly dropped it on the ground. Like ” EWW What is That!??” It didn’t faze him much one he inspected it. I carried the saddle around by him and on both sides so he got to see it from every angle. Rubbed the cinch on him and set it on him. I left it out there for a couple hours. He was good with it. Next step is to see how he does with the saddle touching him….
We are doing well with leading, he‘s been leading around cones (They are big orange ones, which he plays with the plastic rings from an old swimming pool game I dropped on them) he gets bored easily I think and after the first 4 -5 rounds he loses interest. So we adventured out of our comfort zone, and out of the pen to the arena area. That took some blowing and snorting and sniffing. The tractor really wasn’t scary, and he led nicely considering he’s learning “space” and “pace”. Whoa is becoming familiar, but still needs practice.
He seems to be warming up to the other horses if we are riding, he will come to the fence. But just leading another horse he still runs off. I led my Standardbred into his pen on Saturday and that had the same effect as leading a horse outside the pen. Riley was having none of it. He stayed at the opposite end running figure eights. Oh well, we’ve time. I’ll keep trying.
Last night was an evening of firsts, he lead around his first barrel pattern in the arena! He turned very well, he was in the pocket! And didn’t knock!! LOL, ok well, he
did walk the pattern!
So then we left the fenced areas! We walked on the driveway, past the scary shop, woodshed and vehicles where we could see the barn. And he had all three of us giving him attention and later showed Scott and Veronica how well he’s doing on the foot work.
The picture in the driveway was our first foray out of any fenced area. He was uncertain and a little antsy, but respected the halter and Whoa really well. He was looking at the other horses. Didn’t take off running and listened to me. I was very impressed! He was a very good boy.
The other pics are just him picking up his feet for me. Veronica was holding him.He has issues with the right rear for some reason, but with a second try he does pick it up ok. Now we are working on holding them up. The first thing I do is lean on him and say “Balance” and he moves the weight off that foot, and I did get all 4 picked up and picked out last Saturday. I was SO excited!!! Nope, he wasn’t tied or held on Saturday, the lead was looped over his back. I’ve been doing stuff at first that way so he knows he’s not being forced.
We have fun with him. He takes the halter in stride now, I can put it on and take it off like he’s been doing it forever. The dog, Skye (Border Collie mix) runs around all the time, He’s still not sure of Farley (Basset Spaniel) I think that he’s not sure what that is with all that body and short legs
He has had the lead rope flipped around his legs, flopped on his back, swung under his belly and looped between his ears and hanging in his face. He’s walked around with a saddle pad on his back, I lean on him, he gets hugged, brushed, sprayed,his mane and tail brushed. Oh and those rings on the cones I mentioned? He was wearing one on each ear last night. That we didn’t get a picture of, we should have. He let Veronica check out his teeth too, she played with his lips like he was talking. He’s quite the comedian! Lol
has come a long way. Even Scott said last night “ Are you sure this is the same horse we had to squeeze to get him on a trailer?” Speaking of which, I think I’ll move that into the pasture one of these next days……. - Kellie Attached Images
I figured it was about time for an update! And Pictures.
In working on the leading and walking/space & halter respect we are doing really well. He stays tuned in pretty well, even when he gets nervy. And doesn’t run me over.
We are making great headway on making new friends! I am very pleased with Riley’s progress in accepting the others and not running scared all the time. Doing a repetitive walk to meet and greet has been very successful. He’s been nose to nose with a few of his new friends across the fence, ( I didn’t tell them it wasn’t on) and I think he has figured out that the donkeys are ok too. Maybe he and Spice are comparing notes.
I am still trying to figure out the running whenever someone is being worked in the arena. I’m guessing that since he isn’t really afraid at this point that he figures that if they are running , then he needs to run too. As we wind up the summer grass, the others get to go out and graze for a few hours next to his pen, and he’s liking the company! Unless he sees us coming out, then he walks to us instead. He makes it hard to get pictures of him with them when he does that! He’s very talkative with us, greets us every feeding and always checks to see what we’re up to. Never runs away when we approach, and usually will follow along the fence when Scott takes the dog for a walk.
He’s being pretty mellow with everything we expose him to, walking around the buildings, between vehicles, with chainsaw noise & radios on (don’t think he likes the Polka music on the Beaver Dam station for the Barn Show though, lol). Skid loaders, tractors, trucks, starting the racecar, the weed eater, even the dogs don’t even phase him anymore. I have to laugh at the latest thing that does bother him though, the neighbor works his hunting dogs in the field across the road, and in training he yells at the dogs. Well, Riley doesn’t like the yelling. He gets all stirred up, snorting and running. The gunshots don’t even make him flinch, but he doesn’t like the yelling. He’s goofy.
- Kellie M. Attached Images
Riley is doing really bad, he hates me, he’s horrible to be around, throws a fit whenever anyone is near him, can’t catch him anymore, he rears, he kicks, bites, charges, bucks. Very food aggressive, ……… Uhm………Not believing that huh? Well, ok….
He’s awesome, of course, he was trying to get Scott to play yesterday I think, trotting along tossing his head, (Riley, not Scott) I’ve not been able to do a lot since dislocating my finger, so mostly he’s doing leading practice. We walk around all kinds of foreign scary stuff, He couldn’t care less about a tarp, and went up to the barn to see where the others are, across the fence he met everyone. Was going great, except for Tiny, he tried to bite him. Riley turned and let fly with both back feet. Didn’t hit anyone, but at least he was showing he could defend himself, and settled down to walk to get some grass. Never yanked on the lead or tried to take off. I was impressed.
We’re due to work on his feet so we’ll see how he does. I was going to have our trimmer do it, but Scott says he will.
I want to put someone in with him, but not sure who would be best. I’m just chicken I think.
I really want to progress and get him bited and ride him, which was my plan prior to the 5
th and my very ungraceful fall down the steps, but it would be better attempted with 2 good hands. I go back for x-rays again on the 26 th of Nov. We’ll see what happens while Veronica is home for winter break.
- Kellie M.
Nice job, on the finger and the horse! 😂😂 Not funny, I'm sure it isn't fun at all. But great progress with Riley. Good luck with the hoof trim. As long as nobody dislocates anything...
Oh I see a bit!! Sorry to hear about the finger, but really glad to hear how much you are enjoying Riley!
How tall would you guess Riley is ?