The Yearlings

(As opposed to The Yearling, a 1938 novel written by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings.)

By Patty Wilber

Spurs Zan Lace (Lacey) and Longshot are yearlings–at least until Jan 1, 2012, when they officially become two year olds.  Horses all “age up” on Jan. 1.

Both are American Quarter Horses.

Longshot was born Sept 25th, 2010 (I think) so is actually just over 1 year.  Lacey was born May 25th, 2010.

Foals are really cute.

Lacey, less than 12 hrs old.

Longshot at about 3 days old

 Although Longshot did have that contracted tendon.

You can see the curled left front pastern.

Took care of that with IV tetracycline injections in the neck. Tetracycline causes the tendons to stretch, allowing the leg, with the help of splints, to uncurl.

Ugh! That splint was kinda awkward, but he's still pretty cute!

Lacey was born at the Murnane Ranch and lived there until she was about one as I don’t have a great place for a really little one.

Unfortunately, she got a small puncture wound in her pastern that was colonized by Streptococcus zooepidemicus.  The infection moved into the joint capsule and required surgery and weeks of antibiotics to cure.

Check out her mane (for comparison later). Note how much her color changed from her foal coat, too! But she is still a buckskin!

Wrapped the right one!

Once she recovered, she moved down to the valley for the remainder of the summer to an irrigated pasture with Longshot, his sister Squirt, and their mother Megan. There were some nice photo-ops down there, but I never brought the camera.

They came back here in October.  Lacey is a very relaxed personality and she is willing to go along with pretty much anything.  Haltered her up and led her into the trailer.

Longshot is also a very relaxed personality. Not much bothers him.  But not much seems to motivate him either!  His dad says, “Maybe we should change his name to LongEars.”  (Mules–with their long ears–have been known to “refuse to participate” if they do not think something is in their best interest.)

After we’d loaded Lacey, we loaded Squirt and Megan.  No one left but Long…Ears.  It took more than 30 minutes, and it was not all that pretty, before he “elected” to get in.

A friend told me that they do not photograph any foals after six weeks of age, because they start to look…not so cute.  Their parts grow at different times and they are out of kilter. If absolutely necessary, they will wait until the coats are slicked out and then hire a professional photographer to do the job.

How's this for fancy and well done!? He is a 1/2 Arabian 1/2 saddlebred! Now compare to snapshots of the shagsters below! Good thing mine are not for sale!!


This picture was taken last week.. Not looking so cute now! But her mane is amazing! (Plus the hay in her mouth is a little cute.) Notice her color has changed again. These sooty buckskins are like that.




Who grooms these shaggy guys anyway? Well, me, but not all that often!

 Thought I better work on that trailer loading thing as Longshot may have to go home one of these days.  So, I haltered them both and led them to the trailer.  “Led” being used loosely, as neither has had much structured handling (except messing with their buggered up legs!).  It took me a long time to actually GET to the trailer.

In went Lacey (simple!).  Not sure she is trained to trailer.  She just does every time because she is easy.

I got Longshot to the trailer gate. Figured we’d be good if he’d at least show some interest in loading.  He sniffed… and looked… and walked right in!


Ought to try that again. 

Got out and got right back in.  And did the same three days later, even without Lacey in ahead of him…  No idea what changed his mind about trailering!

Next up for the two is ponying (probably off T or Penny), and a bit of improvement on their ground manners.  Longshot, for one, has learned how to make his neck into an immovable board.

In about 18 months, I will be thinking about starting to ride them! (And by that time they should be starting to look like horses!)

About BlogPatty

Here's the skinny: I have a thing for horses. They make sense to me. I have a small horse training business (it's a "boutique" training business, not because it's super fancy, but because the horses get a lot of personal attention). I also go by Dr. Wilber, and teach biology full-time at a Central New Mexico Community college.
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