Peep – While this girl’s registered name will be Bit-O-Wy Blonde as that is the name she was given during her initial processing by Mitch Wilkerson and crew in the Nevada BLM pens, I call her Peep. She arrived on April 1, 2009, and as I worked her I called her “sweet-pea” which morphed into “sweet-peep” given that Easter was right around the corner and this was shortened to Peep.
Working with Peep has been educational and fun. I have not been and still do not consider myself a trainer; however, I have been working on training my own horse for a number of years and frequently work with the weanling/yearlings. Because of this and because we wanted to have a Damele range curly, we adopted Peep, and I get to train her.
It is definitely different working with a 4-year-old wild caught horse than it is working with a younger model, yet the principles are the same. To date Peep has had a minimal amount of training/handling as the weather turned to monsoon season as she arrived. I would find a day to play with her in between rain storms. So, she would get some round pen work when the pen was dry enough and then it would be another week or more before the rain would quit long enough to get another session in. Even with this sporadic interaction, Peep progressed beautifully. She understood turning to face me, she would follow me around the corral and would let me rub her all along her right side. At this point, we decided we wanted her bred to Mellow and as the weather was still wet wet wet (very strange for Cheyenne), and as she has a slight defect in her right front hoof from an old injury to the coronet band (which does not seem to affect her soundness but we wanted to get her more exercise and drier conditions) we decided to turn her out for breeding season with Mellow and a few of our other mares.
The next time we had Peep in was post breeding season and 6 months post her round pen work. At this time, we decided we wanted to remove the BLM tag from around her neck. We expected it to take several tries/refreshers. However, I put Peep into the round pen and when I walked in with her, she immediately turned to me, walked half-way across the pen to me and then let me walk up and scratch her. While she was nervous -remember this is a 4+-year-old wild mare who has had about 15 hours of work and 6 months back out running free – she tolerated/trusted me to reach up with both hands and remove the tag. So what we expected to take days took less than 10 minutes. And our impression of this girl was solidified. We feel she is solid, sensible and a high-standard curly both in disposition and confirmation.