Sun Pony Ranch

Diary of novice (clueless) ranch owners

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

The Herd Grows

Did we get a new horse over the weekend? No... we got three. First, Ginger agreed to write an entry describing her and David's trip down to see the mustang:

It turns out, we wouldn't need to haul the trailer all the way down to Cañon City, after all. We called and they said they could do the free delivery of the horse the following Tuesday. So, Friday morning bright (NOT!) and early Dave & I left at 5:30AM to go check out "BamBam" to see if, indeed, he would be a fit for our program. I had spoken to the 3 people at the Wild Horse Inmate Program who knew the horse best: Guy, the Rider/Trainer who supervises the Inmate Rider/Trainers (that's him riding BamBam in the photos); Fran, the guy who oversees the entire training program; and Lona, the administrator who keeps tabs on all. They were all very high on him and his ability and personality/temperament to be suitable for kids and other beginners, as well as more advanced riders. In fact, Lona told me that BamBam already had a list of 5 people (in less than a day after I'd the hold put on him) on a "waiting list." Every one of them were hoping we would "pass" on this horse and not adopt him. They were asking Lona if she thought we would adopt him, and she said she told them, "I think so; he is just what they are looking for." So, we made the trip with cautious optimism.

Upon arriving in Cañon City, we were checked in several times and warned about not bringing anything in with us (except ID and Credit Card, of course) including cameras, so sorry, no pictures. We then got on a van that took us into the prison and the Wild Horse Training Facility there. BamBam (yes, he will have a new name soon) was already out and watching all the proceedings with calm curiosity. We were able to go talk to him and he was extremely friendly, with BIG brown eyes looking so sweet. He was the first Mustang shown and Guy rode him around on the course they have there. He did very well, without a sign of any fear or concern with all the new people around. Then, we left that area so they could show the other horses. We were taken to a small round pen where Guy showed us how BamBam did so well on his round pen ground work. Then, we were given the opportunity to ride. I got up first and "our" little Mustang was very willing and responsive. He stood calmly for mounting. His trot was smooth and easily rated. I asked Guy if it was really OK to lope him in such a small enclosed space. He said sure, he could do it. So, I loped him around the little round pen and he did great. He backed smoothly and easily. He did everything asked with willingness and good attitude. Then Dave got up and had the same experience (except Dave didn't want to lope in such a small space).

It was a "done deal" by that point. Dave & I both loved him. Now it was just the paperwork, delivery scheduling, and payment process. During this procedure we were asked if we had any questions. Dave just commented on how calm the horse was and how he hadn't even paid any attention to the Bobcat that was in the area while he was being shown. Brian, the paperwork guy, said, "Really? A bobcat??!! We've had bears around, but I haven't seen a bobcat!" Dave explained he meant the mechanical kind of Bobcat that does grounds work. Oh.

When our Mustang arrives at our place, we plan to ease him in gently to his new living conditions, because we don't want him frightened by a new situation that is quite different from the only place he probably has memory of. He was rounded up as a youngster and has been the property of the BLM at Cañon City since August of 2003. We so look forward to giving this cute little dun Mustang a good home where he will be loved on, big time, by children and adults alike!

~*~

Meanwhile it's now Wednesday, but he wasn't delivered yesterday because something delayed that. I didn't get a chance to talk to David last night (we had our first good day in Albuquerque in over a week yesterday!) but he expected him to arrive today or tomorrow!

The other two horses we called on out of the paper. The woman does her own rescue by touring slaughter lots and bringing home horses she believes still have viable lives left in them. Wow - do they ever. In the next entry I'll introduce this pair.

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