Cimmaron is a wild mustang from the ranges in the USA. She was brought to Ontario and continued to be a wild horse out on a several acre pasture with some other horses including another wild mustang. Although she would see people filling the water trough and tossing hay, she was never tamed for the majority of her life.
She had her hooves trimmed a few times by being tranquilized and sedated to the ground so that her severely deformed hooves from over growth could be trimmed. I started working with Cimmaron last year and was able to halter her, and groom her.
Heading into this year Cimmaron's owner and I really made an effort to get Cimmaron tamed so she could be trimmed without tranquilizers. I've been working with her for an hour once a week, most weeks.
It's been really exciting because now I can approach Cimmaron pretty easily, she will take carrots from my hand, I can halter her each session, she knows how to be led with the lead rope, how to yield her hind quarters, and she picks up each hoof for me to clean out.
Last week I did a session to prepare Cimmaron for the farrier to come up - I wore a head lamp which was a little scary for Cimmaron at first. I brought my own farrier tools and hoof stand. I was able to rest Cimmaron's hoof one at time on the stand and use the clippers and file on her hooves without any complaints or worry from Cimmaron.
Cimmaron has certainly come a long way and is now much more tame but she still has some more room to come before I would call her training complete - she still gets nervous the first couple times as I switch from left side to ridght side of her body to rub her, I still have to halter her slowly or I will overwhelm her and cause her to run away, and Cimmaron is still wary of new things.
I know she is making great progress though because we have already accomplished so much and Cimmaron gets better and better every week - now it only takes me a few minutes to halter her, she leads much better, I can rub her all over, and pick up all hooves - as well each week the tasks get easier and easier. She actually stands really patiently for me to clean her hooves - much better then most trained horses!
Tonight is really exciting because Kaileen, a natural barefoot trimmer, will be coming up to try trimming Cimmaron's hooves. I will start by getting Cimmaron's halter on and some basic desensitizing exercises to get her ready, and then Kaileen will try to take over and trim her hooves like a normal, tamed horse.
Cross your fingers for us for good luck!!