To enter into the ‘doma’ or horse-breaking process, horses need to be in great condition, both mentally and physically. The La Piru ponies arrived between Christmas and New Year, and needed some time to settle into their new surroundings. The contrast between the flat land, heat and recent swampy conditions of Santa Fe, where Riki’s Las Marias breeding operation is located, and their new home in the rocky hills of the Sierras Chicas could not be greater.
In addition, the harsh weather conditions this season in Santa Fe, with searing heat and torrential storms, has made keeping livestock extremely challenging, and the horses arrived a little underweight, with some ‘rain scald’ on their backs and their hooves suffering from the constantly wet ground.
Taking all this into account, along with the sheer stress of the journey and change of surroundings, Jumi and Lou decided to leave the ponies to relax and recover for their first month. This also allowed time to get to know their characters, and treat any minor ailments. All of Riki’s horses are beautifully handled as youngsters, meaning they arrived relaxed and confident around people, easy to put head collars on and work with.
The horses have put on weight quickly with the rich summer grass, and their coats have started to shine. With their rapid improvement, in February the work will begin in earnest.