Hattie & Pearl - "the ladies" - were rescued together from an owner who kept them locked in a barn for most of their lives and used them as brood mares. They were never trained, even to wear a halter. In fact, they had to be herded into the trailer to come with us, and hauled loose. When they first arrived, if anyone tried to get close to them, they would run away. After a few short months, however, they have learned to trust, and now when you call them they come running toward you! They are sweet, gentle giants. They love being groomed and are always happy to be met with a treat.
Hattie & Pearl have been going through consistent training and have both accepted a saddle and bridle and have begun to prepare for under saddle training and driving work. Unfortunately, Pearl's training was interrupted as the focus moved to helping Hattie deal with stomach cancer. They were very herd bound and it was difficult to separate them. Hattie ultimately lost her battle with cancer in March 2017.
To help with Pearl's adjustments, we rescued Gryphon, a yearling Percheron, in the summer of 2016 to join the family here at Finally Home. After Hattie's passing, we have worked to introduce Pearl and Gryphon. Things are looking good for them so far. Meanwhile, we also started working on Pearl's training. She is a gentle spirit and has quickly learned some basic groundwork. We are excited to see how far her training can go.
As of April 2017, it took her a few weeks to build new routines and make some new friends, but she's doing really well! Pearl and Gryphon are great friends and love to groom each other. Pearl is polite and sweet, easy to lead around and groom - well that mane is never easy to groom, but she stands nicely and seems to enjoy the attention. :) Her groundwork is coming along nicely. We're working on building up her endurance and hope to be riding her by this summer.
June 2017 update: Wow... Pearl is doing GREAT! She's come a long way with her groundwork. She's responsive and eager to learn. She's also coming along with desensitization - she is so much less spooky and is easier during turn in. She's making progress with her endurance and we are still on track to get a saddle on her this summer. Can't wait to start riding her!
Dec 2017: We've been riding Pearl! Her groundwork is really coming along. She still doesn't know what to do with a bit, keeps her lips and tongue working the entire time... but she accepts the saddle and is getting better at steering and trotting. It's so much fun to ride her! She's so high off the ground. We've also learned that Pearl and Gryphon have made a swimming pool in their turnout... they love to play in the mud!! Much to the chagrin of our volunteers who groom them.
Spring 2018: Pearl continues to make progress. Her attitude is so cooperative now. She's polite, willing and really easy to handle for such a big girl. We started riding her, but she is not a fan of the bit. We are taking it slow with her to keep her trust. Her groundwork is getting better and better. She's been helping train new volunteers as well. When newbies learn that they can control such a big horse easily on the ground, it really boosts confidence. Pearl has a great attitude and she is a really sweet horse. She likes being groomed. Unfortunately, she still loves mud and hates baths. That's next on the training plan. :) She's started betting more comfortable with the farrier. We are working hard to get her comfortable with holding those big feet up to help out a farrier.