Thursday, October 1, 2009

A Little Bit about Doc........

Since we've been "talking" about Doc, I thought maybe I'd tell you all a little about him besides his name and his pedigree. As many of you know this is my first ever half-Arabian foal. The only other foals I've raised have all been purebred Arabians. While Doc is like them in some ways he's very different in others.

I can't say I really noticed the difference right from the start. He not only looked just like a purebred Arabian foal in those first days, he pretty much acted like them. It wasn't until the first time he got turned out when I could see him really move that I realized his butt was very much quarter horse.......and his attitude was a tad bit more laid back than I am used to......
but overall he pretty much reminded me of my Legs' babies and grandbabies.

It wasn't until the first time I attempted to worm this foal that I realized another important difference. Keeping in mind that no foal likes to be wormed, I've always been able to finagle my way to get the job done pretty much by myself. I'm pretty adept and maneuvering my body in such a way as to block off any escape route........then slip the tip of that tube in, squirt........and we're done...........well, that was until I met Doc.

I assumed my usual position to trap a month old foal which he tolerated pretty well. I thought I had things under control until I tried to stick the tip of that tube between his lips. Doc was very offended by this intrusion..........and in the blink of an eye I was on the ground........wondering what hit me............and trying to figure out how I could capitalize on being down in on the dirty stall floor entangled with this colt.

I did imprinting with this colt. I spent my time keeping him down until I decided he should rise........all of the stuff that is supposed to "teach" them I have control. Doc was there for that lesson..........but he must have forgotten it. Being on the floor with me did NOT mean he was sticking around. He struggled to escape. I screamed for Dave to assist.........and Doc got Dave down on the floor with me while he promptly vacated the premises through the open door.

The point of this little story is............Doc is much stronger than a comparably sized Arabian foal. At least at one month of age he was. I have had to rethink how I do some things because I really do hate ending up on the floor like that. Besides it's not good for him to learn he can escape.

Now when I told this story to the people from JusWen Farms (the owners of The Mighty Oak) the response I got was that the Oak babies are usually very good minded just like Oak. Well, I'll be the first one to tell you, this colt has a great mind. This happened because I thought I could get away with shortcuts.

I've been so busy and had spent practically no time with this colt. I tried to muscle him through something any horse or foal would fight. I made the mistake of thinking I could handle him just like my other purebred foals at that was totally about him being stronger.

Then because I pulled this stunt, Doc didn't trust me. When I'd enter the stall, he'd flee behind his mother. I've seen plenty of fancy footwork in the stall as this colt used all his talent to escape me. Believe me I've seen some pretty awesome rollbacks and even a spin or two, not to mention the sliding stops as he realized I was cutting off his escape.

I'm not going to tell you I spent a lot of time working with this colt once this worming incident happened because I haven't. As long as he was healthy and didn't require my attention, he didn't get it. Working and showing has taken top priority. I figured I get caught up with Doc after the show season quit.

That philosophy was just fine with Doc...........after all he didn't trust me much. If he went through a day without seeing my face, it was fine with him. He wasn't particularly fond of other humans either, after all, they might be hiding a tube of that icky tasting crap!

None of this has bothered me. It's all been typical baby horse stuff. If you don't put in the time, you don't get the in your pocket kind of horse. Everything I saw told me we'd be just fine whenever I did the time.........

To be continued.................


  1. Isn't it fun watching the heritage show itself in their way of going? For the longest time we had performance horses...rail babies; Slow & smooth, that's what we wanted - smooth lead changes and transitions, quiet and clean. Then...we got our little cutting horse bred youngster, we wanted to do cow work eventually.
    OH MY GOSH!!! What fun watching him on the lunge line (when he was being bad - BTW he was only 1) he would swap ends so fast it'd make your head spin. I just had to giggle and imagine riding that roll back and reverse that was so fluid that I thought I had imagined it the first time I saw it.
    It is truly amazing how different a horse can be bred!!!
    MiKael, have fun with your little reiner prospect!

  2. Stories about the babies are always so cute! It's hard to imagine being hurt and taken out by one since they are so adorable! It seems his personality is starting to take hold. Good luck showing and when you get to Doc, good luck there too!
    I'd like to invite you to be in my contest. Details at