Thursday, August 4, 2011


        Suki, Little One, Moonbeam (Missy) back end of our neighbors property the morning of the move

My intention when I adopted the herd was just to leave them be, free on their own and just feed them.  But reality and herd dynamics set in. I learned it is common for  the lead stallion to kick out the young stallions from the herd at a certain point.  Thunder sent Little One and Suki out at different times, and they found a safe haven in the back end of our neighbors property where they lived for over a year. Then after the old mare died her son, Sweetie was kicked out and ended up at our place all alone but safe.  Soon after Moonbeam (Missy) was also kicked out and got hurt in the process as she went through a barb wire fence and ended up at some kind neighbors who kept her safe until we could get her back inside the fence.  She then joined Little One and Suki.  (It is not common for a stallion to kick out a yearling mare but it is not unusual). Naturally Little One and Suki started fighting over Moonbeam ( who by the way can hold her own with the guys) so Little One ended up with marks on his body.
Enough!! We just want all these horses to get along!!  So after much soul searching it seemed, that the wisest thing to do was to bring the 3  pintos home from next door where they could join Sweetie and they would also get more daily attention from me and my friends.  We also made the hardest decision which was to geld the 3 stallions so they would get along better and so we would not end up with too many more foals as much as we love them.
The rest of the herd is still living next door on the ocean side.  The herd there consists of Thunder the lead stallion, 2 mares one of whom is about ready to give birth any day and a filly, Little Lady, born last May ( scroll down to see recent pictures of her).  All is calm over there now and Thunder will still keep making babies as we cannot fix him as he is too old.
So how do you get 3 wild horses into a trailer so they can be moved??? And in order for the vet to geld them they needed to be halter trained and who is going to do that in the kindest way???   

                                                    KATHE SMOTHERS

I met Kathe last year and  I knew she has had experience with wild horses as she has adopted and trained 8 mustangs.  She is an incredible horse trainer who studied with  Buck Brannaman the original horse whisper. You can visit his website to learn more about him and get the link to the new documentary"Buck" at
Watching Kathe work with the pintos was one of the most profound, inspiring and awesome weeks of my life.  Her easy deep communications with horses, respect, love, kindness and gentleness towards them was very apparent.  I am delighted she is part of the Point Arena Pinto family! 
Kathe brought her own geldings to help with the pintos.  Apache was very helpful during training in the round pen as you will sewe in the photos below and Moonbeam enjoyed flirting with Blue!

                                                      THE MOVE

With Kathe's expertise and help from some friends we got the 3 pintos into the trailer in less than an hour!  It was a  very moving (no pun intended) to watch these graceful animals enter the trailer without fear and in a calm manner due to Kathe's gentle approach and  technique.
The more challenging part turned out to be getting her truck and trailer up my steep hilly dirt road!  Since her truck is not 4 wheel drive, we found a friend who had the right kind of truck and he thought the right kind of hitch.  The hitch was not a match for the trailer but he was brave enough to put a chain on his truck and pull Kathe's truck and trailer up the difficult hills.  Amazing day!!!

I am so happy these beautiful horses are finally home.  They are a little stunned to finally be back at the old homestead!


Needless to say Sweetie was ecstatic to finally have his friends home especially the mare Moonbeam!  Here he is frolicking with her.


The final outcome for these 4 horses is that they will be running free again in the meadows on our property but we will be able to walk up to them and put a halter on them in case they need to see the vet or if they break through the fence and we need to catch them easily. An additional plus is that we can touch them and give them lots of love!!  As mentioned earlier the other task is to get the stallions gelded.

In order for all of this to happen Kathe needed to work with them in the round pen.  I love the photos below, she has the 3 stallions going around the pen in sync and her only tools are a rope and a flag.  The goal this day was to be able to touch Little One, so he has the rope on his neck.                                                   

SUCCESS !  Little One experiences positive touch for the first time in his life!!

A few days later Little One and Suki were successfully gelded and are recuperating nicely with lots of love and food.  However, poor Sweetie will need to go to a vet hospital as he will require surgery since he has an undescended testicle.  We hope to schedule this for September when Kathe will come back and transport him.  At that time she will continue the training for haltering and leading all four horses.
I am deeply indebted to Kathe for all her help, expertise, and  big heart; and also for teaching the horses, me  and my friends her gentle technique so the pintos will remain happy horses!

My Favorite Photo of the Year

This is my favorite photograph I have taken of the pintos this year so far.  This shot of Moonbeam was taken very earl in the morning at the back end of our neighbors property about  6 weeks ago.

The Herd

I took these photos of Little Lady last week.  I had not seen her for a few weeks since I was busy with
the pintos at my place.  She has grown a lot, she has very long legs so we suspect she is going to be a big horse.  I love watching her run.
The herd next door running when they see us bringing them food.  Mama must have been lagging behind as she is not in this shot.