Following is the first of our monthly news updates on training our young horses for life at the Circle Z. We breed 2-5 mares each year, and with this comes many hours of teaching and loving each and every one or their babies. Our wranglers are all experienced to differing degrees in training horses, and I have asked them to share their thoughts on wrangling and training at the ranch. Enjoy!! . . . Diana
“Howdy, my name is Kelly and I am in my third season as a wrangler at the Circle Z Ranch. Our guests know me as Wrangler Kelly. It’s hard to describe what my actual “job” is, at it is certainly not the typical career path. Some of my daily duties include picking up horse poop, cleaning trails for our guests to ride on, cleaning the tack for the horses, picking up horse poop, picking up poop, pick up poop. It might sound like a “crappy” job, but everything else I do as a wrangler is pure fun: I get to play with horses six days a week! It’s not all roses, but my roses don’t have many thorns.
My first season working at the Circle Z, we had two fillies born; their names are Mima and Lavina. At first, they lived in the “mare pasture” with their moms, so I didn’t get to see too much of them. That was OK, because it’s important for the little ones to just be with Mom, and not fussed over too much by humans. Besides, I was busy learning trails and horse names. Not an easy thing at Circle Z–with over 100 miles of trails and over 100 horse names!
My second season at the Circle Z Ranch, I helped with halter training these fillies, first saddling and just basic gentling of these little ones. The fillies are both of the Quarter Horse breeds. Lavina is a reddish-brown color, called Sorrel. (If she were either a Thoroughbred or Arabian breed she would be called Chestnut.) Lavina is very active, and has not had a whole lot of interaction with people. I prefer to train babies with this disposition, as they tend to have fewer bad habits.
Now little miss Mima, on the other hand, is very pretty. She is a Palomino in color, which is a golden colored body with white mane and tail. I have a saying, “pretty is as pretty does.” Mima is a spoiled little brat. Everybody sees and wants to touch and feed the pretty baby. So now, she treats humans like they are horses. She will nip or grab to see if you have a treat. She will bump into you to make you move out of her way. She is basically LAZY.
My professional background is the racetrack, so I prefer to train horses that are a little more lively. But as luck would have it, I ended up with the job of training the lazy baby. And I love her. I will talk more about progress with Mima in my blog post next month. In the meantime, take a look at this video, only my third time in saddle after doing ground work.