Clark (called “Ziggy” by his foster home) came to MHARF as a stud colt during a recent March 2022 Pine County humane case (approximate age 2 years). He has now been gelded and is currently in a foster home working on ground manners. Here are some updates from his foster person Carol on what they have been working on as of Sept. 2022:
- Learned how to use the automatic waterer after being shown just once (maybe he had one before?)
- Learned how to stand in the back corner of his stall until being asked to move out (I cannot tolerate horses that rush stall doors, so best to learn from the beginning)
- Learned how to pick up all four feet, and will stand quietly for the farrier
- Knows how to wear his fly mask, but really doesn’t like having it put on, and can get out of it as fast as you can get into the house
- Learned how to have fly spray put on, though he does best if you spray and rub with your hand at the same time
- Will stand quietly for grooming, being tied using a blocker tie ring (if you know what that is, it allows the rope to feed through in case of significant movement or spook). I have not done a hard tie yet, though I do not think it will be an issue
- Can be touched / rubbed / scratched all over, including his boy parts, without objection.
- Can have his tail gently pulled
- I can toss a very long rope all over his body, including around his front and back legs while he stands quietly.
- I can swing the long string on my “handy stick” or whatever that thing is called, against the ground next to him, and all over his body, while he stands quietly.
- He has walked right up to my riding lawn mower when it was running and put his nose on it
- He stays home alone while I ride my horse (his only friend) out on the road, and for the most part does very well with it. Sometimes will call out, and once was very upset when I got back, but he worked through it.
- I take him away from his only friend into the arena to work, and down the road for a walk, and he does well with that.
- I can jump up and down next to him, putting weight on his back with my hands and he doesn’t care.
- He will not bite or kick, and he no longer strikes out.
- He did extremely well with my very high energy 9 year old niece who was in the pasture with the horses, and she was jumping around and touching him all over etc.
“Some other interesting information. Ziggy is extremely fast, and very agile. He is very playful with my large draft, always bugging him, using a snaky neck, rearing, kicking, pushing around. Not sure where he will fit into another herd, though one very bossy mare would probably do him a bit of good. Ziggy will need someone who is willing to impose rules. Rules are very important for Ziggy, as they are with any horse this young. Ziggy is a joy to work with, but when Ziggy is upset, he can be a very big handful. Ziggy can buck! Very, very big bucks.
I have worked with Ziggy on a lunge line a bit, at first he was a train wreck. A bit more work and he was starting to respond to voice commands for walk and trot. Strangely enough, he is very forward in the pasture, but it’s hard to keep him going on the lounge. Regardless, when Ziggy gets pushed hard, if he’s going to object, he’s going to run to the end of the lunge and buck hard. I haven’t had time to really work through that. He’s not mean, just throwing a tantrum. He always has to work until he’s respectfully responding after he does that, so again, I think it’s just a phase to work through.
Ziggy is truly a sweet, friendly, kind, very smart horse. It looks like he will be small, I believe the last update I sent you said he was 55 inches tall at his withers. He has filled out very nicely, lots of muscling on his rump, and his feet have grown out very nicely. Very good strong hooves from what I can tell. He will need someone who can remind him who is in charge, but I really think he is going to make someone a very, very good horse. It’s hard not to just love on him all day long.