July 8, 2011

 I hope you will enjoy checking back here regularly for progress reports on this fine little lad. I'll keep you posted on his training and life in the herd.

Sweet Grass Jake was foaled June 9, 2011. He's a Tovero colt by My Painted Black Jack, a black and white paint owned by Glenn Miller of Hillsburgh, from legendary North Dakota ranch stock lines of Adios Amigos and Flying Fawago. His dam, Sweet Grass Tatti, is a bay and white paint who has proven herself in the show ring and on the trail. She is the reigning three-time champion at the Rockwood Trail Trials (scoring 985/1000 in 2011) and was High Point Open Trail with the Ontario Pinto Horse Association in 2008. Jake is her first foal, named after our neighbour. 

Tovero is a combination of Tobiano and Overo markings; Jake will be registered both Paint (which reflects his QH bloodlines - Paints are just QH with too much white for QH taste!) and Pinto (which reflects his colour only, not his bloodlines).

He had his vet check at one day of age, checking his heart, lungs and eyes, as well as receiving his tetanus shot and vitamin e/selenium supplement shot. I treated his navel for two days but it was good and dry after one, and I dewormed Tatti on the day she foaled which my vet had advised, since he believes it reduces the foal heat scours that the foal experiences at around 10 days of age. (It did.) We passed on the IgG test since Tatti didn't even as much as wax up before she foaled, let alone lose any colostrum, and Jake nursed well and often in the first 24 hours. I still check her udder at least twice a day to make sure he's nursing well.

So Jake's going to be a trail horse, but right now he's learning to respect the other members of the herd. He's out with Uncle Cody, a.k.a. "the Rock", and he's learned a few lessons about manners from him. Cody's also the only herd member that Tatti respects and that's kept her from becoming a giant Ogre. I tried turning him out with the ponies but his mother is a little protective, to say the least, and she's much faster than poor Gypsy! Ouch.

All he's learned from me so far is that he's not welcome to rear up at me or bite me. I gently return his  from feet to the ground or dislodge his teeth from my sleeve and cradle him in my arms until he settles down. So far, so good. He's been on all of the trail obstacles in the yard, including in the trailer, as he explores his new world. He's very independent, often in the shed by himself with his mother nowhere near.

It's time to think about putting a halter on him to get him ready for his first hoof trim at six weeks. Our yards are set up so that we haven't had to lead him to his pasture, so we can halter train him at our leisure. He will not have a halter left on him at any time, since foals and youngsters have a tendency to get their heads into places where they can sustain serious injury. I've seen too much there.

Check back soon for our next Jake's Journal entry.