Bill and Juanita, owners of Allenspark Lodge B&B, are living their dream...

running a successful business and riding as often as possible.



Tuesday, January 1, 2019

SoSo the Mustang


(This isn't really my story to tell, but Autobot gave me permission to write a short post about SoSo.)

Over the summer, Autobot's (now ex) boyfriend's mother gifted her a 15 year old gorgeous bay mare, Sofia Sonador. No one knew much about her history. SoSo had been given to Autobot's (now ex) boyfriend's mother nine-ish years before (maybe more - like I said, not my story so background details are fuzzy). She'd been saddled, but blew up and threw herself over, busting the saddle. After that, she was turned out to pasture.

She was given to Autobot, since it was felt that she needed a home where she could work and be loved. And, boy, was SoSo loved.




For a titled mustang (which means someone adopted her, successfully completed their one year BLM adoption period, and received her title), she'd spent most of her life with minimal human contact. And then Autobot came along. SoSo was a quick learner and took to Autobot right away.

Within three days of working with her, Autobot was in a saddle, being led around. Apparently, there was one incident in which SoSo put her into the fence and glanced her with a hoof, but otherwise it went pretty smoothly.

(Picture stolen from Autobot's IG account)

After a few days' work at SoSo's old home, it was time to move her to the lodge, where Autobot could work with her more consistently.




Sofia fit into the herd nicely and progressed quickly with her almost daily walks around the neighborhood. Autobot started Sofia the same way we start all of our horses on the mountain - with lots of walks and desensitization. First, in a halter only, then adding in the tack.

She's stunning.

I love this picture. SoSo's so in tune with Autobot, she looks like she adores her.

SoSo progressed so quickly, in fact, that she came down to participate in our HallowEquine party, hosted by the USWHBA.

Jesse and Bullseye from Toy Story
The trainer who had been working with Skeeter was there, and had given Autobot a few lessons on Skeeter and Pearl, so she offered to work with them for a bit in the round pen.




I was so impressed with Sofia. Skeeter was at the trailer being a hot mess - screaming, pulling back, generally looking like an unbroke horse - while Sofia calmly took in everything around her and did everything Autobot asked her to. What a great old lady.

After a bit in the round pen, Autobot took SoSo down to the obstacle course for a look around. And SoSo acted like she'd seen that craziness (including the llama) every day of her life, so Autobot climbed back on for a few steps.


With everything going on around her, she was cool as a cucumber. There were easily 20 horses in attendance at the party, all of them doing different things, and she was completely focused on Autobot. The trainer asked if Autobot wanted to go into the arena and work some more. (Wish I had pictures of that!) SoSo did so well in the arena - with the exception of one moment of thinking she wanted to buck that Autobot got ahead of and changed her mind - that they went on a baby trail ride from the arena to the trailer.

I can't imagine getting my first real ride in an environment like that. I mean, Alloy has a lot more saddle time and still lost his mind and bucked Bill off (Bill's okay, and climbed right back up on Alloy, who found his brain by then).

We'd decided that SoSo hadn't had enough time to bond with Mom and Bill's herd, and we were worried that turning her loose on 60 acres with horses she hadn't fully bonded with was a recipe for disaster. So the plan was for her to come and winter with our herd. I was looking forward to having Autobot and SoSo around to ride with and we were all looking forward to riding on the mountain next year.

I live in Weld County, where rabies is endemic, and we have cases of it every year, so vaccination is a must. In preparation for her trip down to our place, the vet visited just two days after the HallowEquine party and gave her all of her shots, as well as did her teeth. The next morning, when Mom went out to feed, Sofia Sonador was gone. She'd had a delayed allergic reaction to the rabies vaccine and passed away in her sleep. (We had a necropsy done, as she'd shown no signs of a reaction in the two and a half hours the vet was there.)

Our hearts were broken, and many tears were shed over the little bay mare who had come into Autobot's life for such a brief period of time. However, I take comfort (and I hope Autobot does too) in the fact that SoSo was so-so incredibly loved and happy. Sofia loved living on the mountain, having a job, and she loved her girl.

Sofia Sonador and her girl
(This post wasn't meant to be a downer, but to celebrate an amazing little mare. It wouldn't be right to ignore the fact that she was a part of the herd, no matter how briefly.)