Spring 2009 ... Horses coming home! (Mar.19)
Tomorrow is officially the first day of Spring, and we've come down the canyon to pick up our 3 horses. A couple weeks ago, we got a phone call saying the graze was too sparse because of the dry winter and they were being moved to a different pasture. Instead of looking for other boarding, we opted to bring them home, so we found more hay (enough to last until the first cutting in June) and hauled it home.
We met Ida at her dad's place, hooked up our horse trailer and followed her to the pasture. When we pulled into the parking spot by the barn, Ida got out with a tub of grain and started calling "Hey, Guys!" We couldn't see the horses. They were on the other side of the 40 acre pasture, over a ridge. I hopped up on the trailer ledge and could barely see their heads as they came up. Soon all 12 horses came at a gallop, knowing Ida's voice. Everybody nosed in to get a bite of grain, with Jesse soon taking over the grain pan. Bill got a halter on Washoe, led him into the trailer and took the halter off. We had inadvertently ended up one halter short. I managed to get "Miss Piggy's" head out of the grain, put her halter on and she loaded right up. OK, only the champ wild horse left. Ranger had grabbed a bite of grain and off to the races. He was ready to play!
Anyone who knows Ranger and his love of wide, open spaces, or who has read Bill's last blog, knows what is coming next. Yep, 45 minutes of "you can't catch me". Bill and I followed him across the pasture with all the other horses, while Ida spread some hay on the ground. She then drove her new little Smart car over to meet us and we managed to separate Ranger from the rest. Step number one accomplished. Ida hopped on Estes bareback and raced the other horses over to the hay, where they nicely stayed. Bill kept Ranger separate, difficult at times because Ida's mini and her youngest gelding both wanted to play with Ranger. She and I kept the herd together while Bill made 2 more trips back and forth across the pasture, "walking Ranger down", as Julie Goodnight says. It does work, but truly wild Mustangs take a little longer. They don't intimidate well. Finally, Ranger gave it up and walked up to Bill with his head down, soaking wet from running in the hot sun. Bill hopped on him bareback and rode him back to us. Ida was amazed he could be ridden bareback, after the way he had behaved. He then calmly walked into the trailer like it was the everyday way of doing things!
We got them home and unloaded uneventfully, but poor Washoe stared at the trailer and cried his heart out the rest of the afternoon. He must have fallen in love with one of Ida's gorgeous mares.