Hi-ho Hi-hope...

...outsi-ee-ide we go! What a wonder-filled day the first outing was, and continues to be. After Hope's first brief encounter with the wild outdoors, she has been turned outside every day with Cierra.

We decided to set up panels in the upper pasture, where we can see all the horses from inside our house. It takes two people to walk Cierra and Hope in hand. There is partial shade briefly in the morning. Turnout time and length varies depending on variables. 

Hope has been handling the outdoors very well. She completely surprised us by how well she walked in/out in-hand!! Especially the first few days. Brad said it was as if she puffed her chest out, proudly walking past the other horses to show them she was a big girl.

It is not the easiest walk to their paddock. There is varied changing terrain of concrete, gravel, grass, at an incline/decline. There is also lumpy freshly dug dirt ('er sand) from removing trees to create a new entrance to the upper pasture. Sometimes Hope gets sticky feet for a bit in that area (yellow arrow).

We walk between trees, and under a canopy of branches. Through the pasture, to their moveable paddock. We have already relocated panels once to a new spot with fresh grass in the pasture. 

entrance/exit to upper pasture

view from the concrete barn patio)

The tall pasture grass must tickle and the urge to run is 
real. We also walk past the big horses calling out at their gate. The first few days they created a lot of energy. They want to be in the lush upper pasture and meet the newcomer.

you are leaving us here?

exploring the new digs

view from our deck

calling her fan club (16 sec)

testing out the footing (24 sec)

As you can see, Hope does stretch her legs in the paddock but doesn't get the zoomies like she does in the indoor arena.

sassy pants kicked her mom (25 sec)

I went back inside for my camera. Hope kept coming over to me. That doesn't work well for taking photos with a long lens! There were also weird pockets of half shade and sun. Not to mention the constant fencing. I consider all of these outdoor photos as memory photos.

Hope has been doing well with daily haltering, but it is still tricky to get on. Once she see's mama start leaving the stall, she usually gives into our ask and stands still-ish. For now it stays on during turnout, but not in her stall. We are almost past evasive moves and insta-backing. Almost. 

first turnout day

Cierra was sooo happy to be outside!

It is close to impossible to take unobstructed photos in a paddock. R
egardless, I took a few more photos with my camera on their second turnout day. 

second turnout day

what Koda thinks of them eating lush grass

Hope at almost 6 weeks old


stretching and leading

On May 15th Hope was 5 weeks old. I did not take any good photos of her from the 14-19th. This stretch of days was all about getting her to give to pressure/lead. The goal was to be able to walk her out/inside safely, in hand. We did not want to do the "baby will just follow momma thing" for various reasons.

It was also about getting both horses to do something besides stand at the indoor gate. 
Especially Cierra. Brad started light lunging, just to get her moving a little. It also provided a visual for Hope on how Mama behaves, as well as a distraction from attempts at eating sand.

What I did take was video snippets of Hope's progression. She is a very smart cookie! I helped with leading Cierra. 

Day one:

morning stretch
5/14/23 (20 sec)

first lesson was early evening
5/14/23 (37 sec)

5/14/23 (28 sec)

5/14/23 (11 sec)

a lot of progress for one day
5/14/23 (27 sec)

Day two: Brad continued short sessions of working one on one with Hope. 

our son helping lead
5/15/23 (26 sec)

Day three:

more stretching
5/16/23 (34 sec)

more leading
5/16/23 (45 sec)

We did more stretching and leading inside on the two 
days that followed. Hope's first time outside was short and sweet:

what is this green stuff?

It was sweet to see how quickly Hope came around to Brad's sage communication! She is now being led in/out of her stall, like a big girl.

Hope could not have behaved any better

Disclaimer: The way Brad works with Hope may not be the way everyone would teach/train. I encouraged him to forget the (edit) endless video training chatter (edit, edit) and do what you know from past experience having/working with foals.

This has been an unforgettable experience! My heart is full of hope.


three turned into five ~ 2 of 2

If you missed it, and want to catch up on my catch up post (ha!) the first half can be found here.

After day two of haltering, Hope decided we were up to something. The smart little twerp wouldn't come anywhere near us when we had her halter in our hand. 


creating her own crazy

May 9th was her last halter-free day. At just about 4 weeks old. Brad wrapped his strong arms around Hope and secured her against a corner wall in the stall. Once she stopped resisting, I put the halter on her and adjusted the fit. The spunky monkey is still wearing her halter to this day. We had originally planned on taking it on/off each day. For now, it is more important to leave it on and get her leading. Both horses will benefit from outdoor turnout. 

say hello to Jingles

The first few days with a halter on there was a lot of head shaking and hardware jingling. That has since stopped. 

I forgive you Brad

Wearing a halter has not stopped her from being curious, spunky, sweet and friendly.


Our farrier trimmed Cierra's feet right outside their stall. Momma cared less that she was away from her baby and seemed to enjoy spa time. Hope was not as happy being left out of the action.

(8 sec)

Hope found her voice about a week ago and likes to talk to the other horses, and us humans. Her little whinnies are really cute!! I wasn't able to catch her early squeaks on video. Her voice already sounds more grown up now. Here she is running-n-jingling away:


(13 sec)


With Hope haltered, Brad could begin teaching her to give to resistance and lead. Stay tuned!


three turned into five ~ 1 of 2

My last Hope update was May 3rd. That means I have 15 days of photos, video's and changes to catch up. Yikes! Somehow, three weeks turned into five. SO many things have changed with little Ms. Hope throughout the past two and half weeks. Details get lost when I don't make note of them. Thank goodness for images & video, that remind us where we have been!!

Let's launch the recap!


Some days just lend themselves to more photo opportunities than others. I try to catch different scenes. Some moves are worth retaking, and have already changed or stopped happening.


locked, loaded & exploded

Whaaat? I am innocent.

We stuck to our plan and patiently worked with Hope and haltering. She let me put the halter over one ear, but not the other. Brad got it on both ears. We left it unlatched and watched her for a little bit, then removed the halter.

first day with a halter (May 5)

We have a problem with Hope eating arena sand. Constantly. She is always trying to grab a mouth full! Sand can give foals diarrhea and of course there is potential colic. We noticed her stool loosened and instantly changed up her game.

25 secs

Someone has to be in the arena vigilantly watching her during their entire turn out time. Usually I clean their stall, while Brad keeps Hope moving. We would love for their turn out time to be longer (and outside) and it will. Eventually. 

For now, this is what we can offer:


Brad haltered Hope a second time, the following day. She looked very defeated and unsure. No adjustments were made to the halter and it was removed before we left the barn for the night.

second day with a halter (May 6)

Sand eating has drastically changed quality time spent taking photos of Hope. I was trying to take a few photos each day, but that too has changed. Hope and Cierra spend a good amount of turnout time standing around by the gate doing lots of nothing. Hope is either getting in trouble (for eating sand) or nursing. Boring.

Once in a while she still busts out moves and makes us laugh.

who says horses can't fly

We took the cover off our equine ball. It made a fun pattern on the freshly raked sand. 

following the circle path

Hope is less than thrilled to be followed and called out when she trys eating sand.

(33 sec)

Hope at four weeks:


one month old

A few more photo's and halter progression in the second half of this catch-up post.


bad hair day

I walked outside between yesterdays sprinkles and felt something looking at me.


"Well, hello little one! Are you okay?"

At a distance, I walked to the left and then right. The little birds head turned to follow whatever direction I went. Thought perhaps it was stunned. The bird had strategically perched out of the light drizzle.

Something was odd about it's head.

There are two little tuffs sticking up on either side, above the birds eyes. I went inside to grab my camera, thinking no way the bird is going to still be perched on the chair. It stayed put!

With a profile view, you can really see the tuffs sticking out!

bad hair day or horns?

I left the little bird in peace and went inside. Trying to remember the name of the bird that has horns. Hmmm? My online search revealed this young bird doesn't look much like any of the images I found of Horned Larks:

"Juveniles can be confusing, they are messy looking, grayish brown with bold white spots and scallops on the upper parts"

(above three images are borrowed screenshots)

Maybe? I did find other images of baby Horned Larks online with a striking resemblance. However, I can't say for sure. The beak looks more like a different type of (house?) sparrow to me.

I find bird ID very difficult. Especially the juveniles.

What do you think? Horned Lark or bad hair day?

I am going with bad hair day.

Either way, it was a fun little Mother's Day visitor!