Miss Scarlett: January

Follow AQHYA member Tara Osburn as she raises her AQHA Young Horse Development Program filly.

By Tara Osburn
The American Quarter Horse Journal
February 12, 2013

Tara Osburn and KT Docs Mamba, aka "Miss Scarlett"

Learn how Tara came to be a participant in the AQHA Young Horse Development Program in her first blog, “Meet Miss Scarlett,” and then continue reading with “The Early Months.” (Tara Osburn photo)

Editor’s note: Tara Osburn received KT Docs Mamba, aka “Scarlett,” in fall 2013 through the AQHA Young Horse Development Program from AQHA Ranching Heritage Breeder KT Ranch. The following report is what Tara and Scarlett have been up to in the past month.

January was a pretty fun month with Scarlett.

She is still learning how to eat grain, so she doesn’t eat too much of the Nutrena Safechoice I feed her. But she drinks a lot of water, which is good, and she enjoys her mineral block. She also eats three to four flakes of timothy hay per day, as well as a flake or less of alfalfa, which is her absolute favorite thing ever – she whinnies as soon as I start to walk to where the alfalfa is! I also dewormed Scarlett in the middle of the month with oxibendazole.

Scarlett recently outgrew her blanket. It took me some searching through our tack room to find one that wasn’t too big for her, but I found one. She has gotten so good at putting on and taking off her hood and blanket – she’s a total pro! Right now she is super-fuzzy underneath her blanket, too. I take it off and her hair is all laid down, but she is so fluffy. When I’ve been brushing and petting her I can tell she is starting to get ready to shed, which gets me excited to see what she will look like when she is all shed out!

On my birthday I bought Scarlett some red rubber bands and I braided her hair with them. She has a very nice long mane; I think it will look really pretty someday when I show her in reining or cutting classes.

I haven’t thought up too much new training for Scarlett. I think it’s best if I just continue her in what she’s already learning, with the intentions of making her superb at it!

  • I longe her once every one to two weeks, and I lead her all the time.
  • I pick up her feet for practice whenever I think about it.
  • Every once in a while, I will take out the clippers (without the blade) and get her used to the noise and vibrations. She’s getting pretty good with the clippers! 
  • I have taken Scarlett into the arena with a plastic sack and sacked her out all over, and she was really good; she even walked on the sack a couple of times. 
  • I give her a bath occasionally and she gets tied up often (if the weather is nasty I often tie her up while I clean her stall, not usually for more than 15 minutes at a time, unless I go brush her).  
  • I’ve been into taking her on walks recently, as well!

The only thing we need to work on with her leading is that Scarlett likes to walk nice and close to me, but she isn’t terribly bad about it. This summer, I plan to bring her with me on trail rides and ponying her so she gets the experience.
I got curious the other day and decided to measure Scarlett to see how tall she is. I wish I remembered to do that when I first got her – I always told myself I would, but it never came to mind while I was in the barn. She is about 12.1 hands now! She’s about the size of my ponies; one of them is 11.1 hands and the other two are 12.1 and 12.2, I believe. I love watching Scarlett grow and see how big she has gotten. Looking at pictures of her first couple days with me, I can already see how much she has grown. It’s exciting, but at the same time saddening to think she won’t always be my little baby. Luckily for me, though, she isn’t going to be too tall!

Scarlett is getting to be a very playful little girl. I sometimes have to scold her a little when I lead her to and from her pasture after she has been inside for a few days. After I corrected her a couple of times, by about the third day she stopped trying to do anything, like run ahead and buck a little, and now she is all good again and is very obedient to walk right next to me.

When I turn her loose in her pasture, Scarlett usually decides to run and buck and rear around her pasture, which is extremely adorable, if I do say so myself. After she is done with that, and if I am still there, she walks over to say hello and begs me to play with her. Whether I am inside or outside of her pen, I will run to one end of her pasture and she will race me and buck and play and chase me. She seems to just be a ball of energy – she definitely gives me a work out!

For February, I am hoping Scarlett will start to shed out and I will have my trainer over to see her; I hope to take Scarlett to a show in March. I’m not entirely certain that we’ll make it to a show in March, but I’m sure that when we go she will be the star of the show. Yet, it would be nice if Scarlett had a little bit of competition: The last time I went to a schooling show, I brought my pony to show in a halter class and she won the class because she was the only one! (My Quarter Horse gelding, who is not a halter horse, ended up winning the grand championship).  

Other plans for February include getting Scarlett in perfect show condition so when I find a show I can go to, I will be able to put her in the trailer and go! I also plan to bring her in and out of the trailer to get her used to it again; I would have done it sooner, like after I got her, but I feel like now it will be a better experience for her because she trusts me more and she follows me anywhere. When all else fails, I can bribe her to come in with alfalfa!

I have many thanks to AQHA and AQHA Ranching Heritage Breeder KT Ranch, who bred Scarlett, for this amazing opportunity. And thank you to you, the reader, for following our story – I hope someday you will get to meet me and Scarlett. Who knows – maybe we’ll see you one day at an AQHA world championship show!

Learn how Tara came to be a participant in the AQHA Young Horse Development Program in her first blog, “Meet Miss Scarlett,” and then continue reading with “The Early Months.”