Mea Ola's Place

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  • I love Rowdy's smile from the March 2 post! Thanks for documenting Mea Ola's Place for the forum, VA!
  • You're welcome. I'm planning to go up there on Thursday, so will get some more pictures. Friday is Spider's actual birthday and I'm bringing him a stuffed toy monkey to play with. He's going to be 3. He's very playful and sweet, but still a stud. Now that they are moved, I guess they'll be scheduling his surgery soon.

    Rowdy's birthday is in May. He will be 2. He's already 15.1 hh, pretty tall for a Morgan. I love his smile, too.
  • Here's a video Ann posted when they had a surprise visit from two people with Family Horses, the place where Gasston came from. Maybe Gasston feared they were there to take him back with all the recent changes going on. Rowdy looks confused. "What's happening? You didn't come to see me? Not me?" And Gasston is thinking, "Who are you? I don't know this person. Never saw this person in my life." (turns away) hahaha It's interesting also that Drummer is totally not interested at all. Guess he's over his displeasure at being stalled next to a donkey. hahaha.
    https://www.facebook.com/OperationHorseRescue/videos/997256803698222/

    Family Horses are going to bring some burros for adoption to the Open House on April 24th.
  • Had a nice visit up at Mea Ola's Place today. I really got in some exercise! Walked all the way to the back of the 10-acre lot and then did it again as I accompanied Mea Ola to the back. She's being hand-walked for exercise and also was allowed to stop and eat as much grass as she could find growing along the way during the rainy season. I think she didn't miss a blade of grass. The rest was various weeds, which she wasn't interested in.

    Also got rather battered and bruised when I wasn't careful enough watching Rowdy play with Gasston in the round pen. The little twit bit me really hard on my upper left arm and I have a black, purple, and red bruise to show for it now. haha Such an innocent look here:
    Image and video hosting by TinyPic
    and after I kindly gave him yogurt!
    Image and video hosting by TinyPic Pictures by VA_in_CA, (Ann took the 2nd with my camera) 3/17/16.

  • No more yogurt for that bitey guy!! Yikes!! Horse bites can really hurt, so I'm sorry he got carried away in his play. I'm glad you got to go there and visit and help Mea Ola find the best grass! Horses are such a spirit lift.
  • That they are!
  • KMMKMM Member
    I hope Ann figures out to nip his biting in the bud. Pun intended. It is a dangerous behavior. I am sorry he got you VA.
  • KMMKMM Member
    He is obviously an untrained young horse in many respects. This kind of behavior has to be addressed, and quickly.
  • KMMKMM Member
    edited March 2016
    Play is no excuse for a horse to bite a human. I did not mean to break double post rule. Feel comments were added information.
  • Rowdy knows very well that biting is unacceptable behavior, but just as with humans, knowing a rule and obeying a rule are not the same thing.

    As Ann hoped, I did "get on him" a bit for it and he looked abashed. His high spirits temporarily got the better of his education. The whole experience of the move was very hard on all the horses, which surprised Ann. They only finally got the last of the stalls constructed at the new site so the original herd is all reunited, but there are some new ones in the mix, so they are still not over the strangeness. I was warned, but didn't jump out of the way in time. I thought it was funny because I thought it would never happen to me. Pride goeth before a fall and a bite.
  • Oh, poor Rowdy probably felt terrible. Lol! One of my dogs is like that. She knows what she should and shouldn't do, but when she gets excited it all goes out the window. I'm sure he'll make it up to you. He is so gorgeous!
  • Earlier in the day he gave me a hug, which was very sweet. He is gorgeous at 22 months. Can you imagine how splendid he will be at 4 or 5? Ann plans to teach him to pull a cart to be driven. Their other full-blooded Morgan--Merlin--was a champion in those sorts of classes. He was rescued from an auction by a friend of Ann's who happened to be at the auction with a friend of hers who had gone to buy a horse. Ann's friend was a Morgan breeder and show-er and she recognized Merlin from his glory days. Isn't that incredible luck for Merlin? The friend outbid a kill buyer to get him. He now has Cushings disease, but it is controlled by very expensive meds and diet. He's a tad shorter than Rowdy, but looks beautiful in summer. Rowdy looks beautiful all year, especially compared to the way he looked at 9 days old::
    Image and video hosting by TinyPic Picture from 1 June 2014 , Meo Ola's Place facebook page.

    Here's my favorite baby picture of him at about 3 weeks and after his first treatment for the sepsis and physitis. He had to have had a strong will to have survived the odds that were against him so relentlessly early on.
    Image and video hosting by TinyPic Picture from 16 June 2014 MOP facebook page.

    Even as a baby, he had that perfect Morgan head and neck.
    Image and video hosting by TinyPic 2 June 2014, 10 days old, from MOP facebook page.

    Here's that beautiful head 13 months ago, 22 Feb 2015, age 9 months, showing that he has a kind eye for one so young.
    Image and video hosting by TinyPic From MOP facebook page.

    Can you tell I've forgiven him?

  • KMMKMM Member
    Has Ann helped you to be Alpha with Rowdy; I don't know if you handle him or how much you get near to him , CA. I assume Ann or staff are around? He sounds like a young and happy guy. I assume he has been gelded. Please stay safe and good luck. With age, and I include myself here, we cannot move fast enough or react quickly enough at times to horses, especially with those at free in paddock or field.

  • She's pretty careful with me and I am careful with the horses. I have only been inside two corrals (Rowdy's and Nani's) when Ann is in there, too and has invited me in. I've known Rowdy since he was 3 months old, but I only see him about once a month or sometimes a longer time between visits. But he knows me and had given me 3 hugs, including one yesterday--before he bit me, little twit. I was just too overconfident because he has never done so before. He was in the round pen, and I was outside, but my arm was partly inside.

    I've always loved horses, but don't have much actual experience with them except for a year-long class I took one night a week at the base stables at El Toro, CA, when I was stationed there. We learned horse care as well as riding. But that was 50 years ago.

    Yesterday was the first time I got to hand walk one of the horses. It was Mea Ola, who is the lead mare in the herd. She tried a few power plays with me, but I was able to let her know who was in charge. No big struggles, or anything, just a willingness to move away when she was crowding me, or to stop when we needed to a few times.

    Rowdy was gelded, yes, when he was about 9 months old. Spider hasn't been gelded yet because things keep coming up. Hopefully it will be done soon, although he is a very sweet boy and doesn't act studly very often. He's interested in mares, but doesn't try to get to them. But it has to be done soon before he gets into obnoxious behaviors. His corral is right next to Gasston's (the donkey). He is in the end corral, so no one is on the other side. All the other horses in his area are males. Rowdy is in the stall beyond Gasston's. One of the horses across the "aisle" or drive is a 20-year-old stud who is pretty mellow and what Ann terms, "an easy stallion to keep." He was donated to MOP by the former owner of the ranch. He's really beautiful. See p. 3 near the bottom, for picture and discussion of Drummer. He and Spider are within easy sight of each other, but neither is bothered by the other. Drummer's corral has geldings on either side of him. This has been good for him because he has always been very isolated before. He has Porky and Captain next to him and they all get along well. I think Drummer gets solo turnouts, though, in the round pen. Spider gets solo turnouts, too, as a carryover from the caution they have to take to assure that he doesn't hurt his newly healed pelvis in rough play.
  • It's a curious thing @VA_in_CA but the answer (and I know you probably weren't exactly looking for one) is in your own posts. ;)

    Like you've said, the herd is all discombobulated from the move and only recently have they been brought back 'together' again. Rowdy is a young horse who currently is at least 2 - 4 steps down the pecking order. Remember horses have a keen sense of smell, he can smell two stallions even if Spider and Drummer aren't acting very studdish.

    Then there is Mea Ola herself and I suspect Sassy is ranked just beneath her mom. Toss in Mr. Volt and the new horses and Rowdy is, quite simply, feeling uncertain about his place in the herd. Even if he's not in an actual, physical herd with everybody.

    So he's expressing that through being territorial over *HIS* space and you encroached upon it with your arm INSIDE his territory.

    A horse, raised by a mare would have given you a number of 'soft' signals to back off. A swish of the tail, light pinning of the ears, quick flick of the head, physical shift *towards* you. All 'pressure' body language that means "Hey, back off this is my space, show me respect!" Well before he actually bit you hard enough to bruise. That's kinda a last resort measure for horses.

    Now Rowdy was raised by hand and Gasston, and while Gasston was better than nothing I don't know what sort of body language he might have taught Rowdy when it comes to pressure. Since Gasston was physically smaller right from the start, he might have defaulted more quickly to his teeth with Rowdy than a mare would have, so Rowdy might do less 'signaling' before going that route.

    Here is an adorable video of a young foal (brat colt!) getting taught personal space manners from Mama. ;)



    See all the warning signals she gives him, and the little brat keeps pushing till she finally gives him a spanking!

    Anyway, long story short it was good that you got on him about his behavior being unacceptable, he still should not resort to teeth with a human. But given the circumstances, it sounds like he just wanted to clarify that his corral is HIS space.

  • Thanks, Zenyen. Very interesting videos. I watched a couple. Hadn't thought of Rowdy as being territorial about the round pen. Ann says he was pissed on Thursday in the afternoon because it was getting close to feeding time and he was hungry, and in what she calls a "pissy mood." She says he can be a brat at times. They'll get him straightened out soon. Things should start settling down now, too. Some of the others are being pissy, too. Ann still hasn't quite found the best place to put Romeo, her own horse, he was being bratty. And she has to move Mea Ola to where Gypsy and Rosie can see her or they come unglued. So funny.

    Yes, Rowdy is the low man on the totem pole. Gasston can still boss him around. Whenever he meets a new horse (new to him) he still clacks his teeth. So cute. Now that he has Walker next to him he may start having a horse to actually play with, it seems. They're about the same size, too. I noticed, now that you mention it, that when Walker had his head over the fence into Rowdy's stall that Rowdy had his ears back. In the picture, it seems Walker has respected that signal and pulled his head back on his own side. Rowdy has never been stalled next to a horse before. That could be unsettling him a bit. Formerly he only met other horses when he was in the arena and they were in the stalls next to the arena, or they were in the turnout beyond the arena fence.

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic Picture by VA_in_CA on 17 March 2016 at Mea Ola's Place

    Thanks for your input. I always feel like a giant question machine when I go there. I don't want to annoy Ann by asking too many questions at once. lol
  • Thanks for the very interesting discussion, VA and Zenyen. The video was very cool to see how Mama was teaching her youngster. I am studying herd dynamics and trying to figure out how all the behavior works in my OTTB's herd of three. It is interesting and very fluid at this point. The mare that he has bonded with in the four months at this barn is going to be leaving in a couple of weeks and I think it will upset him. The other gelding and Sugarfoot do not seem to get along very well and do a lot of rough-housing/horseplay. And there is no way to know who is coming in to take the stall of the mare who is leaving so it will be interesting!
  • Oh, how sad. It's kind of like the way the slaves had no say as to who stayed and who left. The owner class didn't realize the slaves had feelings and emotional ties to their friends, lovers, and families, just like "real" people. Many horse owners have no clue that horses also have emotional ties, so it is sad when a horse that another horse has bonded with is "sold down the river," so to speak. The cruelest are the auction sellers. Mares and their still nursing foals are separated on the spot as they are driven off in different trailers, if lucky to friendly people.

    Sometimes good results happen. Hopefully the horse coming to replace the departing mare in your barn will be a good fit.

    At Mea Ola's, Little Man, kind of the lonely man left out, didn't have a special friend in the herd. They sometimes put him in turnout with Volt, but that wasn't really the best for either, Volt being a good 15+ hh and Little Man about 11. He looks kind of like a Welsh pony. When Carmen joined the herd, she was put in the stall next to Little Man, who at the time was housed way in the back. They became friends, and now they are both in stalls next to each other, and among the main herd again. Ann says they have bonded, which is great because they had both been lonely in their former lives. Here are a couple of pictures of them.

    Little Man (foreground) and Carmen with 2 volunteers at MOP
    Image and video hosting by TinyPic Image and video hosting by TinyPic Pictures from Mea Ola's Place facebook page 19 March 2016

    Ann has been seeing to it that all the horses are walked around the property so they can understand the new layout and they can see where everyone is. She hopes she has everyone in their permanent locations now.

    I have better pictures of Little Man and Carmen back on p. 1 of this thread. near the bottom. That was back when they had first met. We were all hoping they could become friends. Carmen's probably 12+ hh, so we thought they would be perfect for each other. Yeay. It worked.
  • It is so cool that Ann is taking care of the horses' needs to know what is going on around them and making sure they are walked around to visually learn about the new place. She is such an awesome horsewoman!! I'm happy to see that Carmen and Little Man have bonded and have each other to keep them company. My hope is for Sugarfoot to get along with whatever new horse comes to our barn and not go into an intense anxiety state with the change, but all I can do is keep the rest of his routine the same. That means I better get off the computer and go back to the barn to turn him out after his breakfast!
  • Mea Ola's Place is planning two big events for next month to celebrate "Help a Horse Day." On April 23rd they will have a Horse Show, and on the 24th they will have their Open House. Phelan is an unincorporated place, but they have a Chamber of Commerce and they selected an honorary "mayor" who will be coming. There's to be a Ribbon Cutting ceremony and lots of amazing events including adoptions of BLM burros, and horses from various Rescues. Hi Caliber will be there, as well as various local vendors and veterinarians, etc. Here are the flyers for the two events. I'm going to be helping out at the Open House Day, hanging out near the horses to keep people from getting their hands and bodies too close to the horses. Having been bitten myself, I'll be more vigilant this time. (I did it last year at Rowdy's 1-year old Birthday Open House.) For the Horse Show, they have an official dressage court and a big arena in the back of the property. It should be very interesting.

    The enlarge feature doesn't work with tiny pic, so use the CTRL and far-right + key, or a magnifying glass to enlarge. Sorry about that.

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

    This will be a great event for everyone, especially kids. If any of you live in SoCal between Bakersfield on the north, the coast and the State Border west and east, and the San Diego area on the south, I urge you to come. Go to https://www.facebook.com/events/185321365189298/?active_tab=posts

    The place to sign up is to the right directly under the picture. Hope to see some of you there. It's a Sunday for the Open House.
  • VA_in_CAVA_in_CA Member
    edited March 2016
    Here is a hilarious video of a naughty horse who is very proud of himself. It was freezing there last night, ice formed in the water buckets, the wind was fierce (30 mph), and it was snowing. Here's the scene this morning. hahahaha
    https://www.facebook.com/OperationHorseRescue/videos/1011340158956553/
  • Haha! That's hilarious! He was very proud of himself. At first I thought there was something dead in there and was a little worried. He's so cute!
  • I did, too, but the sound track didn't support that idea. But then, that is a very dead blanket. It was a really nice one, with quilting and waterproof. He never had a very thick winter coat, and what little there was has pretty much shed out. I guess he's just hot-blooded. He wore it all winter though. I think he just needs more toys. (Oops forgot to post this yesterday.)
  • Here's a post from Mea Ola's Ann Kline last week. "What do you do with a 20 year old stallion that hasn't been ridden for YEARS? Well, you develop a relationship and climb on bareback with just a halter.(Not instructions for those without experience!) Love this boy...his name is Drummer!"

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic Picture and post from https://www.facebook.com/OperationHorseRescue
  • Here's an urgent plea from Mea Ola's Place for funds for an urgently needed rescue. PLEASE SHARE.


    "Rose and Holly need help! Please help us help them.
    I received a call last night from an old friend and co-worker, Vikki. She now owns her own business(Vikki's Pet Services), and part of what she does is haul horses. Vikki hauled these two horses over a year ago to a home near Acton, Ca. The horses were in decent shape and were part of a rescue situation last year. The lady that took them in was an elderly lady and she got them for her grandchildren to enjoy.
    Last November, the elderly owner was diagnosed with cancer and left the home she has been in since 1972, for treatment. Yesterday she was able to see the horses for the first time since then. Her sister helped her walk out to them. She was crushed and broken by what she saw. Obviously, no one has cared for the horses like they were supposed to in her absence.
    The owner is going into full time care, as she is in the last stages of her battle with cancer. The horses have to go now too.
    We need to raise funds for vetting and a couple of months of feed (at least $500 for each horse...they are going to need some serious care). Vikki will haul them to Mea Ola's Place on Monday.
    Please make a note that your donation is for Rose and Holly. You can help us help them here: http://www.meaola.org/#!donate-today-/nsbgs or our paypal email is info@meaola.org
    Please share!"

    Here is Rose:
    Image and video hosting by TinyPic
    Image and video hosting by TinyPic
    and here is Holly:
    Image and video hosting by TinyPic Pictures from Mea Ola's Place facebook page

    Please Share
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