WILD HORSE ADOPTION!Journal 2
That's what the small ad in our weekly paper said. It wasn't much larger than 2 inches by 2 inches, but it caught my eye and I began to think seriously about it.
Having once had a beautiful palomino, I thought maybe we could check this out and find another one.
The truth is, I have always been partial to horses with certain colorings. palominos, appaloosas, and black & white paints. I know that sounds kind of stupid, but other colors have never really did anything for me.
The day before the auction, we drove an hour to get to the stockyard where the auction was to take place. This was the day we could view all the animals and make selections as to which ones we would bid on.
We walked out of the building and found ourselves on a catwalk overlooking the stalls. The first thing we saw were the burros. They were beautiful animals, but I was only interested in the horses.
As we walked along, I looked into the pens which held the horses. Halfway down the walk and still no sight of what I wanted. A little further and then as I glanced around, a mare looked up and caught my eye. Was she the horse I had envisioned in my mind? A gorgeous palomino? A beautiful appaloosa? Or even a pretty paint? Absolutely not!
She was a red sorrel with a white star and stripe down her face. How ridiculous! As if I would ever be interested in her! I looked away, but my glance kept returning to her, and every time, she was looking back at me!
We went down to the ground level where we were able to see the horses up close. As I passed each stall, there was always one that I liked but wouldn't want for myself. Until we came to HER pen. For some reason, unbeknown to me, it was that moment that I fell in love with a horse that I never in a million years thought I would like.
It turned out that she was a 6 year old mare. Now, the thing is, we were looking for a younger horse. So we choose a 3 year old as our first choice and HER as our second. She was very pretty and I thought there would be no way to pay the price she would probably get at the auction.
March 11, 2000
That night we had quite a bit of snow. We had to drive at least an hour to get to the auction from our house, and pulling a horse trailer would take longer on the slush covered roads. So we got up at 3:30 am, had coffee, got ready and went to pick up our friends, who were also going.
We got there at 7 a.m. and the auction was to start at 8 a.m.
When it started, there was a gentleman from the BLM who gave a talk to the people in the audience about wild horses, what to expect and so forth.
It was a very good presentation, although since I can't hear well, I was given a rundown later of what he had said.
They also had a man there who had adopted a horse and he brought the horse in to show just how much the horse had improved. That was amazing!
FINALLY, THE AUCTION!!!
They started with a few burros, and then came the horses. As it happened, SHE came in before our first choice. I kept waiting, but for some reason no one was really doing any bidding. So just before they were to take her out, my husband, Paul, gave the sign and he had bought her for the unbelievable price of $125.!!! Our friend, Alben, also had good luck in getting the horse he wanted.
We had to wait quite awhile before they got to load our new horses for us. We had to wait in line with the rest of the buyers.
But when it came our turn, both the horses got into the trailer with no problems at all.
Once we got them home, they both let the guys use the lead ropes to lead them into the pens.
March 12, 2000
The next day, we started working with them. It turned out that the horse Alben bought was pregnant! After quite some time she had allowed him to touch and pet her, and he felt the foal kick twice!! He was ecstatic!! They had said at the auction that there was the possibility of the mares being pregnant, but once he knew for sure, it was like he was just told he was going to be a Grandpa!!!
Now our horse needed a name, which I knew almost immediately was going to be "Lady Skye". There is a very good chance that she, too, is pregnant.
Paul started working with her, and it seems as though they were bonding a bit. She seems to trust him. She let him walk her around the pen on the lead, pet her, and even use a brush on her face and neck. She even ate some oats out of his hands.
This was pretty amazing, considering that she is, after all, a wild mustang. When I went in the pen, she was a little scared at first, but she warmed up enough for me to pet her face and neck also.
Tomorrow is my turn to work with her. I don't know how she will like it, but all I plan to do is shower her with attention and love. That way she will get over her fear of me, and hopefully begin to trust me too. I took some pictures of the horses today and will get the film back on Thursday. I hope they turn out alright.
March 13, 2000
Well, today was supposed to be my turn. But when we got to her pen, she was real skittish. As it turns out, she is terrified of hats! Our other friends were already working with their horse, "Babe", and when they went in Lady Skye's pen, she started acting up. Paul took off his hat and and she did the same thing every time. So he started to take off his hat, wave it in the air, bring it down slowly, and then let her smell it.
Over and over and over....... By the end of the afternoon, it was apparent that this hat problem was going to take alot longer than we figured.
Needless to say, I didn't get to work with her very much myself. Although she did let me pet her again and let me lead her a bit. Maybe tomorrow things will start to look up. But, I am beginning to think that if this is going to be done at all, it just may be on HER terms, and at HER pace, not ours!
March 14, 2000
Another day, and Lady Skye is still being skittish. Alben went in to feed her this morning, and she reared up three times. The good part was that she didn't run at him or try to actually hurt him.
I did find out some background info on her though. I had emailed a very nice lady at the BLM who emailed me back with all that she could find out. Lady Skye is
originally from the Fish Creek herd in Nevada. She was captured on January 14, 1998, when she was 4 years old.
She was then shipped to Cross Plains, Tennessee, on April 12, 1999. That was a long time after being captured.
Apparently she had been adopted once before on May 28, 1999, and the way it looks was with the people for 8 months before being returned to the government on August 5, 1999.
There was no reason given that would tell us anything more. So after learning all this, we have come to believe that ours fear was justified about her being mistreated at some point. She is trusting Paul a bit more every day, but is still leery around me. Maybe it was actually a woman who mistreated her? We will never know for sure. The main thing is, again, to keep giving her love and hope she realizes we won't ever hurt her.
Paul fed the horses this morning. When he went to Lady Skye's pen, she came up to him and followed him around. The rest of the day was devoted to hats. Paul would take his hat off, wave it around, basically doing the same as he did the other day. But she is doing much better with it today. He also started making louder noises every so often, as she was scared of the noise. At one point, he squatted down, and she put her head down, and when he stood up, she brought her head up too. They did this for a few times, and she acted as though it was some kind of game. Paul jumped up on the fence once and she looked at him like he was nuts, opened her mouth and it actually looked like she was laughing at him! She let me pet her face and when I took my hand away, I would say "want some more?" and she would nod her head yes each time!
If you look in her eyes, you can see how very much she craves attention, but
somewhere, somehow, she became too scared to enjoy it.
Alben had a lot of luck with Babe today. She allowed him to place a blanket on her back and then later, let him put a bit in her mouth. She didn't get upset at all over the bit. I guess she figured after the blanket it was no big deal.
I will be adding new pages to this journal every couple weeks. Please return to read more on Lady Skye's progress.