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Mirror KB Appaloosa Horses

Raising an orphan filly

p. 2

MKB Southern Tempo


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October 15, 1999 - The lump on Tempo's jaw did open up as a sore as we had hoped and has healed up nicely. She is 14.1 hands now and is still going through her gangly yearling stage, which is really okay with us...as long as we aren't showing the youngstock at halter we prefer the horses don't mature too quickly, feel its better for their skeletal system to mature at an even or slow rate rather than putting on mature weight and build too soon. We still haven't had much time to work with any of the horses very much - we've mostly been busy cutting firewood so the house will stay warm this winter but have also kept busy with our photography and writing for equine publications - but back to Tempo....she is loading into the horse trailer very well and has no problem backing out, no fear of the drop off (we have a step up trailer with no ramp). Also right now she is acting as a teenage baby sitter for the 1999 foals we are weaning. She is so good with them and they seem to really look up to her.

February 15, 2000 - Well, the months are sneaking by us rapidly. Snow is deep so all of the horses have been on "Snow Day" vacation since December. We love the snow but are anxious to get back out to play with the horses. As soon as we can this spring we'll start working Tempo in the round pen, but won't rush in to starting her under saddle since she won't be 2 years old until mid August. She's 18 months old now and has really put on a spurt of growth in the past few months, standing 14.3 hands now, but still sporting a lanky Thoroughbred type build. Just about every evening elk have been quietly stealing down off the west ridge or from along the river in their quest to pilfer hay from the horses, moving in such elegant silence as they drift out from the collected cover of the fir and spruce trees. The horses mostly show disinterest in the band of hay thieves and seem quite willing to share their bounty with the elk.

April 23, 2000 - Spring is finally here. Our last snow flurry hit us on the 14th of this month but now the ground is firming up and the pastures are turning green. On March 10th Tempo was dewormed with Equimectrin and on April 3rd we gave Tempo her spring vaccinations, which she is very good about. Then on the 17th we trimmed her feet. She could be better about having her feet trimmed, though she really istn't too bad either. We've been too busy to do much round pen work with her as yet though did work a little bit at loading into the horse trailer. She loads very well but was a bit hesitant to step out at first, that sudden drop can be frightening. But she is doing quite well. Oh, we removed the cribbing collar several days ago and have not seen her even think about cribbing...still we'll keep an eye on her and if we see her take up the habit again we'll put the collar back on her...but so far so good.

May 10, 2000 - We've had a little bit of nice weather in between the many rainy days so have spent some time in the round pen with Tempo. We usually bring into the corral three of the younger horses and tie them so that they each must patiently wait their turn to be groomed and have their feet handled. Our training sessions also include some sacking out (though we don't do this part while they are tied). Once we move the extra horses out of the round pen we will do some general round pen work then lay across her back to introduce her to weight. As she is not quite two years of age yet we don't plan to start riding her yet but we want to introduce her to the idea of a rider on her back. (We usually don't start riding our youngsters until they are about three years old). So far she shows no concern, what so ever, to a human flopped over her back. Before we turn her back out to pasture with the rest of the horses we often do a quick lesson with the trailer. She loads into the trailer very well and now is quite comfortable at backing out too.

July 7, 2000 - Tempo is doing well in the roundpen. We have been longing her once in a while with the bareback pad, to introduce her to the feel of a girth. We also sit on her back and sack her out with our bodies...flailing legs and arms over her back, rump, and up her neck and over her shoulders. We've not asked anything of her except to be calm with a person up...which she is. We've also given her a few short rides in the horse trailer...though nervous about the movement and the sound of grating gravel under the tires, she is doing well.

June 3, 2007 - It has been a good long while since we last up dated Tempo's page. She has grown into a beautiful mare with a very friendly and respectful disposition. She has been doing well as a riding horse, though we haven't had much time to ride her far from home.  On February 11, 2007 Tempo had a bout with colic. Though she didn't roll, she would lay down, get up, then lay down again. When offered a pellet treat she wouldn't eat. We gave her a dose of Banamine, which seemed to help to some degree, but still she wasn't right. After tryin' another dose of Banamine and not seeing much if any improvement in her we decided to take her to the veterinary hospital in Kalispell.  Of course it was a Sunday evening so we had to schedule an emergency consultation with the vet. The next trick was to get her loaded into the trailer which we hadn't practiced with for several years. Well, Tempo walked right into the trailer with no problem so we were on our way...for a one and a half hour long trip to the vet. 

Unfortunately we had managed to drive only about 6 miles from the ranch when an oncoming drunk driver plowed into us. The drunk driver was returning to Libby after a day of Ice Fishing on McGreggor Lake. Evidently he'd been imbibing in alcohol most of the day and had additionally stopped for another drink or two at the Kicking Horse Saloon before heading for home. From witnesses, before ramming into us on a curve along side of the Fisher River, the intoxicated driver had been driving on the wrong side of the road for at least a mile.  Then after hitting us, and leaving his front left wheel and axel behind, he continued on down the highway for another mile and a half!

Surprisingly Tempo weathered the wreck in very good shape even though our one ton GMC pickup and the gooseneck trailer were both totaled.  In fact ,Tempo did not receive a single scratch from the ordeal!  Kim, who was riding in the passenger side was unhurt so she climbed out one of the truck windows and rushed to the back of the trailer to check on Tempo. The trailer door had been jarred open, but the tail bar was still in place...but there was no horse in the stall. Panic stricken, Kim looked back down the dark highway expecting to see a horse down in the middle of the road. Seeing nothing, she half heartedly called out Tempo's name, then from inside the trailer, in the opposite stall from where Tempo had started out, a horse nickered..."Here I am." Evidently Tempo had fallen then somehow managed to get back to her feet on the other side of the stall partition!

Luckily our wreck happened close to neighborly ranch owners, Will and Sue Vincent.  While Kim stayed at the scene of the accident, Will lead Tempo to a stall at his place and checked her over and also watched for more sign of colic...which there was no longer any sign of, of course! That fall to the trailer floor must have done her some good. Anyway, Tempo stayed at the Vincent's ranch until Kari was back home from the Kalispell hospital. Will brought Tempo home for us as we no longer had a truck or trailer to haul horses. True to Tempo's trusting nature she only hesitated a little bit before loading into Vincent's trailer, which she of course wasn't used to at all. We are very proud of her!

Kari with Tempo...In the daisies

Up date on Tempo

October 6, 2012 - Tempo is 14 years old now. Though we have not had a whole lot of time to get her trained as a finished horse, she is a pleasure to ride so we wanted to share a few more up to date photos of her under-saddle. As you can see from the photos below, Tempo has matured...puttin' on weight an' muscle as well as has roaned out quite a bit since we last shared a photo of her.

Tempo under saddle

Tempo under saddle

Hope you enjoyed Tempo's story. If you have any questions on raising or handling an orphan foal please feel free to contact us.

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