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

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Tanya R.

Love the pictures Sandy! He looks great!  So glad to read an update on him :)

Denise From MN
Such a handsome, manly gent he is!  
Yukon and his three ladies,not a bad life for a gelding. Laney and Yukon just finished their trip around the pasture at a trot/canter doing a neck/head dance as they went. This seems to be almost daily event for the two of them.Two big black horses playing in the snow enjoying each others company. Nice to see. Laney did not play at all in pasture till Yukon came.I am so glad Yukon is here. At first Yukon only played with my husband "helping" David unload the large square bale, cutting the strings, separating the flakes and Yukon favorite part fluffing the hay. Those flakes are heavy but Yukon is up to the job and the ear rubs he gets from David for payment for his helping are not bad either. Now he is playing and hanging out with all the ladies and Yukon is the center of attention.

 I do not know if this a new thing or old but Yukon puts his head way up high when being bridled. At first I tried a different ways to bridle him but always got his head way up there.  I have been working with him using a bit less bridle last week and have had some better response with him. The best part for him is the rubbing/scratching behind his ears. He seems stressed by the bridle and it is the one he came with. This is what I am working on.

Still working on the bridle thing,treats help! The bounes is Missy, she is there and showing him how it is no big deal!  Later.

Hi Terry - here is the note I sent Sandy when I saw your posting.

Bridling was an issue he had when he was young (I suspect because he was so tall) but we worked through it by teaching him to drop his head to poll pressure, rewarding him with treats and scratching/rubbing his head and ears.  The less I worked with him the more I saw it, but it always went away over time.  Some days I made the decision that if all we did that day was bridle successfully, then that would be that, and have him take the bit, remove it, take it, remove it over and over until he got so impatient he would reach for the bit and take it easily.  The vet said his teeth did not need floating last spring, so that could potentially be an issue now, but honestly I just think it is his size and a dominance issue.  He was difficult to even halter when he was young, which is one of the reasons I started learning and practicing natural horsemanship. 

His bit is gentle, and he has never been ridden with hard hands, so I think its just a dominance issue.  Treats always helped turn this around. 

Sorry I forgot to mention this when I dropped him off, but it was never much of a problem for me for more than a day or two after long gaps in riding him, but it was a problem for the young woman who worked with him last summer.  


Debra, thanks for the information. I do want you to know how I view Yukon , he is a wonderful horse, his manners are excellent, he picks up his feet and holds it there no fuss, easy to halter and lead,respects my space(has not stepped on me, not even once) and seems to enjoy being around people. The bridling issue is such a small thing to me (I grew up with tall,massive, horses 16.2 and up) but I have the winter to use it to get to know him and him us. Yukon is a gentleman. I thank you for allowing me to be a part of his life.

Some new pictures of Yukon from a ride on our beautiful 50 degree day!  It was fun though messy with all the melting.  Sorry they aren't the best pictures but they were taken with an old cell phone.

There are some big ice patches around the farm so we stuck to riding in the arena where it was just slushy snow.  Yukon is definitely improving at bringing his head down for the bridle.  He was a gentleman under saddle for me.  He walked around to my hearts content which was wonderful for my ever expanding baby belly!  I skipped riding my mare because she has a tendency to be frisky during these warm spells as we come to spring and I didn't want to risk a frisky buck.  But Yukon was great!  He didn't try any spring fever craziness and was just a wonderful ride.  My husband also went for a ride on Yukon for the first time.  Though we suspected it, we didn't know until this ride that Yukon definitely doesn't like "green" riders.  My husband Bryan hasn't learned leg aids at all and Yukon was determined to stand like a statue until he got the correct leg aids to move forward!  It was quite humorous to watch!  Bryan did finally get it right and had a nice walk around with Yukon.  It was funny though he leaned a bit which mom and I laughed about because Bryan mentioned that Yukon wasn't walking a straight line for him.  We told him when he leaned his legs and body had actually moved into position to ask for side passing which Yukon did beautifully!  But wasn't quite what Bryan was after!  It was very entertaining and educational to see.  Though Bryan will mainly ride my mare Missy while I ride Yukon since she is more forgiving with leg aids, we may just have him ride Yukon occasionally to work on his riding skills.  Yukon definitely likes precision in his leg aids.  Wanting to ride again in a couple days, but we'll just have to wait and see what the weather man does with all the snow expected.  If no ride we'll at least get to enjoy some love time and carrots for the kids.   

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Denise From MN
What a smart, good boy. He looks great!

Thanks for the update and pics Sandy!  Sounds like you guys are really having a great time!  You two do look great together. 

mel d

Happy to hear Yukon is doing so well. Also nice to see riding outdoors :-)


What a great update!  Glad to hear he is working so well for you, and a bonus of training for the hubby...smile..Good boy, Yukon!!

Jenni O.

You look good together.  Funny to hear how people think a horse is doing something they don't want, when in fact that is what they are asking the horse to do.  Yukon sounds like he might be a good teacher.

Had a wonderful day yesterday scrubbing the kids down as they begin their shedding!  Laney is always ahead of the game for shedding out and it shows in her picture!  Everyone else is barely starting to shed but enjoyed being scrubbed all the same.  Had a full bag of carrots to treat everyone with as well and they were eagerly received!  I'm so looking forward to seeing Yukon shed out of his winter coat and showing off that beautiful build!  He's coming along nicely, building up and filling out his back end.  I've slowed from walk/trot to just walking now as my belly is getting rather heavy to be bounced all around.  But he is doing great with our ladies and their antics in pasture are definitely making up for my slower pace under saddle.  They are starting to get spring fever and are running everywhere chasing one another, kicking up their heels and all around goofing off.  Can't wait til my baby's here and I'm healed so Yukon and I can really get out and have some longer rides with more variety in pace and terrain.  Til then though his gentle nature and easy going attitude are working wonderfully for me!

1st picture is of Laney after a good scrub with the shedding blade.  Nothing like a good scrub down to bring all the dirt to the surface!

2nd picture is of Lucy playing peek a boo over Laney's back end

3rd picture is of my mare Missy-not an adoption horse-next to Lucy waiting patiently for their turn at the carrots

4th picture is of Yukon being very eager for his share of the carrots.  He was first in line and insisted everyone else waited their turn...indefinitely!  He didn't get his way. :o)

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Very nice ph otos... I look at the jackets on the humans, and then the LEANING of those hungry for some carrots!!! Yahoooo
Jenni O.

Geez, he's huge!  It still amazes me.  Love the photos.  I can't wait to see pics of him once he has shedded out too.


Very nice pics of everyone!  Thanks for sharing your herd...and ditto what Jenni says...smile..He's huge!!

Wow it's been a bit chilly for this time of year!  brrr. 
Well, we have my cousin up from Chicago for her week of spring break.  She has been taking riding lessons for a few years now and has been eager to get in some serious riding outside of her lessons.  The kids were more than happy to help her out!  Yukon is her absolute favorite now!  She had never been on such a large horse but she has fallen in love with his sheer size and lovable personality.  Here are a few pictures of her and Yukon having a good time in the arena. 

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OMG! *Yukon* is BIG & BEAUTIFUL... look at that mane and tail a blowin... Sitting on his back would have to be like sitting in a Lazyboy recliner, then!! Easy comfy ride.... some people have all the luck, and it seems that *Yukon* was enjoying the time in pasture with someone along for the ride.... nice p hotos.
mel d


Denise From MN
Love those big, beautiful boys!
Well, Yukon is loving spring and is starting to catch up with our ladies in the shedding business.  He is loving going out for trail rides around our farm and getting out of the arena.  Unfortunately I can no longer take him out until after my baby comes as riding is becoming very uncomfortable.  But my husband and parents are enjoying him for me and keeping him busy.  So I've just been sitting on the sidelines enjoying watching his gorgeous movement. 

On a side note, we did start noticing Yukon losing weight despite eating very well and regular wormings.  So the vet came out yesterday for annual checks on everyone and said that Yukon's teeth were in pretty bad shape, and that he had some nice sores on his cheeks and around his gums.  So we had his teeth floated, and hopefully we'll see a big improvement from that.  We all did have a good laugh though...while Yukon was getting his teeth floated he decided to sit down on the job!  My mother has a picture of it on her camera and I'll get it loaded on the computer as soon as I can.  Until then I hope everyone is enjoying the warmer weather and hopfully the rain will slow down so we can all get out with the kids more often.
First picture: Lucy next to Yukon. Yukon really seems huge next to her!
Second picture: Yukon sitting down on the job while the vet floated his teeth.

Michelle S.
Yukon is so beautiful, love the pictures.  He definetly looks like a big boy. 

I was just wondering, what is that leather strap on him just behind his head in the riding pictures?
Scott: MHWF

I didn't notice it until you mentioned it, but I really have no idea. Maybe Sandy can hop back on here and tell us what it is. It looks like a neck strap, but is way too high on the neck to be a neck strap.


The strap you see high on his neck is for when we are working with him at a hitching post.  He is so strong he would just lean back and snap the halters.  That is a very heavy duty leather strap that we put on him so when he decides to lean back he ends up pulling on his poll first feeling that strong pressure.  He can't break away then and get away with the pulling and getting free. (at least so far since we started using it)  We haven't used the strap the last couple times we've had him out and he hasn't pulled back either, so we are hoping the problem is solved, but only time will tell. 

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