Saturday morning was cold and clear. Myself and the adopters were bursting with excitement while we waited on the frozen ground for the truck to arrive with nine mustangs fresh out of holding in Cañon City, CO. It’s kind of a blind date. You hope they are all you dreamed but in reality you know nothing about these horses except sex, when and where they were gathered, and the adults could be anywhere from 12 to 15 hands high. All you have is a picture and a boat load of faith. When asked, “why this horse?” the common answer is, “I don’t know, he/she just spoke to me.” All of these amazing women (and some of their men) are deeply committed to the mustang cause. I want to mention them here with gratitude:
Tammy Turner Morgan arranged transport, handled communications with Cañon City and has been my information pipeline. She adopted my beloved Shiloh and a young filly who’s adopter bailed the last minute. Her sister Michelle Turner Lance was here for Legend, a heavy varnish roan gelding. Elisa Wallace, an event trainer and mustang advocate with eventing hopes for her new mustang Arlequin. She will be competing Monday with her other mustang in the Mustang Magic competition. You can see incredible mustang demos on her website www.WallaceEventing.com. Shaunna Costicov, from Alabama is launching a non-profit to help give mustangs in holding exposure and a voice at www.American Legends Foundation. She was waiting for a little black gelding that had his ears pinned back in every holding pen photo. Taylor Absher also from NC, Sandra Williamson from Georgia and Nancy McGee from Tennessee were all rolling the dice.
The driver called and said this was a real nice load of horses. Babies were off first, like little puppy dogs. The adults had a little more spunk, but all manageable and probably more than a little tired from the 1500 mile drive. More thanks to the fairground crew in Marshall for manpower and providing the necessary holding pens, chutes and facilities.
Probably didn’t help that we all had our noses pressed up to the panel. Taylor Absher’s feisty boy, Chief.
Elise Wallace’s Arlequin.
Most all loaded up fine. Many domestic horse owners WISH their horses loaded this well. And then were off to their new lives, no longer free, but protected and loved. Wild horses have very strong family bonds and therefore bond strongly with their person, since their real families have been lost. Care must be taken to introduce other people and members of the opposite sex. They are often fascinated by children. Hopefully these horses will be in or soon find their forever homes.
I then followed to Tammy’s home in Hendersonville where she has nice pasture and shelter for her other horses. Shiloh and baby Paisley unloaded to a round pen and immediately started in on the groceries, a big, roll bale of hay.
Shiloh immediately adopted the filly Paisley, keeping her tucked in at her side. She was separated from her other offspring and her band stallion Lieutenant at gather. I have not been able to locate any of the foals or yearlings. She is due to foal in just a month or two and we are all dying to see what the foal will look like, hoping it is Lieutenant’s.
On Sunday I went to visit Michelle and her beautiful varnish roan, Legend. He is as laid back as can be, seen here, eyes closed, breathing in her scent. You can see the draft horse ancestry.
If she can keep him moving forward this big boy is going to be one comfy ride!
So stay tuned and subscribe (it’s easy!) to keep up with the continuing story… and thanks to the many, many people who made this possible. It does take a village.