Sun Pony Ranch

Diary of novice (clueless) ranch owners

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Chaco Goes Home

Well, it was without much fanfair, but with relief that we finally sent Chaco on home to his new owners.

Not sure whether I mentioned it, but Chaco our mustang has been up for sale for several months. Ohh, that reminds me, I need to take that notice down off of our website!

He's a great horse - but not a great horse for a lesson program. Ginger said he was borred, and didn't respond well to having a different rider every day. He needs someone to bond with, someone who has the confidence to stand up to him and make him behave would be great too. He was getting a little bit full of himself here.

We didn't have a whole lot of inquiries on him, but then it only takes one, right? And somehow we connected with a really great family looking for a horse for thier 11 year old daughter who is involved with a drill team. They already had horses, and have another mustang to boot, so we really couldn't have asked for anything better.

They promptly sent us the check, and asked if we could hold on to him for awhile since they live in Colorado Springs and were having trouble finding time to come pick him up. No problem we said.

Several weeks later, the snow started falling, so of course we said no problem again.

Getting on towards the end of January, it still wasn't a problem, but we were wondering just when this horse which we didn't own would ever go home.

Suddenly the owner called and said through a contact she has at Nationwide Transport, one of the biggest horse transporters out there, she'd scheduled for Chaco to be picked up Saturday. They estimated pickup between 6 and 9 pm. Huum, that WAS a problem, because we were due at the Chamber dinner function that evening. Besides the fact we didn't really want to be loading a horse into an unfamiliar trailer at night, while trying to maneuver around the snow drifts, etc.

So the pickup time was revised to between 4 and 5. Come 5:00, Ginger finally got a call from the driver -- "Hi. I'm supposed to be coming to your place, but I don't know where you are. Actually, I don't even know where I am."

Oh joy. Oh right, and his cell phone cut out at this time.

Since I was now out of the shower and dressed for the evening, I took the phone when they called back and told Ginger to go shower. By this time he'd roused his co-driver and the two of us finally managed to narrow down where they were and how he would get to our place.

I was still unsure of whether to direct him to pull into our driveway or not.. until watching out the window I saw a semi drive by (nearly full dark by now, the truck was fully lit with it's lights) and start to slow down. Uh OH.

I called him and asked if that was him. Sure enough. I asked him if they were able to turn around at a T in the road. He hesitated. I asked if they had pretty good traction in that rig. He hesitated.

I said never mind - DO NOT pull into our driveway, I'd walk the horse down to them. Ginger had left Chaco up in the round pen, so I grabbed him and made the mistake of trying to walk directly from the barn down the drive. A good portion of that path has never been plowed, so he and I got to forge through a couple of 2 foot drifts. But he was a good boy and came right along with me. It wasn't until we got down there and the driver was pulling out the loading ramp that Chaco started to get nervous.

It's quite a hike up from the ground into a semi-trailer trailer. They stand a good 4 feet high. Fortunately these trailers load from the side, so they just pulled up across the end of our driveway and the truck itself does a lot to screen away the passing traffic. It took a couple of approaches, none of which were made any easier by the fact that the traction-mat kept slipping on the nearly frozen metal ramp, but really with a mimimum of fuss Chaco went aboard and into his stall with 5 other horses in the front bay.

The guys were headed on for one more pickup yet that night and then to their 'ranch'. I didn't ask at the time, but we surmised later that Nationwide Transport must have distribution ranches around where they can temporaily unload horses and then send them off to their final destinations. Huh. Cool.

A few days later we got an email saying that Chaco -- now named Spirit -- made the trip just fine and was settling in like a pro. We hope someday we'll get pictures of him working in the drill team.



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