Sunday, September 26, 2010

Day 1: Raven's Delivery

It was about a month ago that I received an e-mail from the Mustang Heritage Foundation inviting me Betsy Moles back to Fort Worth, Texas to compete in the Mustang Magic Competition. This competition is for those trainers that competed in the Extreme Mustang Makeover Competitions the previous year and placed in the top five at one of those competitions. I say invited back because I was fortunate enough to compete there with a horse named Cody last January. Although I did not blog about him you can read an abridged version of his journey on my website at . Even though I am knee deep with Eclipse, a mustang that I am preparing for the extreme Mustang Makeover in Murfreesboro, TN at the end of October, I gladly accepted the invitation. In this particular competition twenty five trainers are given a mustang and they have 120 days to take them as far as they can in training. Because all of us have proven ourselves already in other competitions, we are usually given older more challenging horses to work with.

The pick for the mustang was in Pauls Valley, Oklahoma. In order to save on gas expenses, a handful of us in the south east collaborated on the pick up. I have never done that before, but was willing to give it a try. One big drawback to this is not being able to take advantage of haltering the mustang as it is loaded. I got the call on Wednesday from Marc Chancey, a fellow mustanger from South Georgia that I had the pleasure of meeting in my Ocala competition, saying he was in the area ready to make the exchange. We decided on the Publix Parking lot at the corner of I-75 and HWY 92 in Acworth, Ga. He showed up in his open stock trailer loaded with three wild horses. We backed our trailers end to end and opened his into mine. The first thing I noticed about the new mustang was how amazingly black he was and what a beautiful forelock he had. Once the gates were open with out a hitch we were able to get the mustang to step over the small gap into my trailer. Once loaded Mark and I settled the paper work and chatted a little about the mustangs given out for this competition. They are all between 5 and 6 years old and fresh off the range. Of the five that were picked up from Oklahoma, the one slotted for me was the jumpiest. I believe it! As we were chatting we were able to pet the others on the rump through the trailer but as soon as we touched mine on the rump he kicked the trailer and jumped to the other side.

I got him back to Whispering Hills Farm, his new home for the next 120 days. Yah so what do I do now? Well while I had him on the trailerI thought I would try something. It worked to my advantage with Eclipse that he and Pandora that both ended up in the front of the trailer where we could touch them both because they could not move away. So, I tried to recreate that scenario by volunteering Eclipse to hop into the trailer for the mere purpose of taking up space. At first Eclipse was unclear on the concept and was continuously antagonizing the new guy by biting him on the rump! Once we got eclipse under control i spent a good hour touching the new guy through the openings of the trailer. He finally got to where he relaxed to the point where he no longer jumped every time I touched him. I was able to put a lead on his number collar which is the thing that was on him. When I felt i was ready I backed the trailer up to his new enclosure and we off loaded him. I could finally get a good look at him. Wow! Jet black with a big white blaze down his nose, and on the back legs two matching white stockings. He is roughly 15hands at the wither. Oh and that lead I was able to get on his number collar, well it lasted about 2 seconds once off the trailer. He promptly stepped on it and pulled the collar off:( So there I was yet again with a naked mustang fresh off the range in my pen wondering what will happen next.

I know this horse is meant for me. Each horse you get from the BLM has a four digit number that is for identification. Last year my magic horse had the number of 6787, the new guys number is 1787. I also find it ironic that my first Make Over horses number was 4494 and Eclipse's number is 4454. Any one who knows anything about numerology, I would love to have some incite to this coincidence.

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