Right now, my thoughts and prayers are over at Dream Valley Ranch. Chloe is sick and not doing very well. My beloved friend is wearing herself out taking care of sweet Chloe and the rest of her herd and pack. Vibes and prayers are very welcome!
In other news... our own Makia was delivered to the trainer on Sunday. She did very well in her first session. Below is a video of Makia and Joe the day she was delivered.
Every time I have a few minutes I try to play with the ponies...
And in spite of everything, every single day brings different challenges, different joys. Ithought you might like this one... I know that I do.
She is going to be staying with him for the next thirty days for some polishing on her ground manners, to see where she really is in terms of training and to be readjusted, so to speak, on her road to a great saddle horse.
Today was Joe's first session with her, to see what she knows, to feel where she is in her training and her attitude. Joe believes she has in fact been ridden before. Makia stood quietly for the saddle and moved out when asked. She seemed to have no problem with Joe stepping up and swinging his leg over her rump.
Because she does not really want to flex or give to pressure, Joe did not want to take things any further for the next few days. He wants her to understand what he is going to ask from her and get her to give to gentle pressure. I believe Makia was taught to lean into pressure so it will be interesting to see how she progresses over the next thirty days. She is lovely, isn't she? And in the end, Joe took her into the barn to wash her down which served not only the purpose of cooling her off and getting her clean but of seeing how she would react to yet another stimulus.
She could have cared less.
I'm excited to see what the next thirty days brings! Oh... and before I forget... Lindy, you did an AWESOME job loading Makia in the trailer today! Way to go!
Little Bear. 2004 Sorrel Mustang Gelding. 14.2 Stocky, sweet boy captured in Jakes Wash, Nevada. Rescued September 2009. Owner convicted of cruelty and neglect. Currently in training with Joe Weitekamp of Diamond W Ranch. He comes with eight private lessons!
Dancing In Daisies, aka 'Huppie'. 2006 Bay breeding stock paint mare. Currently 15 hands. Bright, bright, bright and sweet girl that is looking for a partner. Huppie is pushy, smart and adorable! She is not currently being ridden and has not been started. Beautiful floaty movement. She is our Barn Clown.
Wildflower Grace. 1994 Chestnut Arabian Mare. 14.3 hands. Sweet, gentle, saddle trained, lovable, lovable, lovable girl. Looking for her 'forever' connection.
Makia. 2004 Tovero Paint Mare, 14.2 hands. Makia is a beautiful girl with one blue and one marbled eye. She is looking for someone to trust. Makia gets delivered to our trainer tomorrow for 30 days. She will come with 4 lessons.
They are all looking for love and a happily ever after. Let's spread the word!
My BFF over at Dream Valley Ranch posted this to her blog. I wanted to share it here because what I see here between this twelve year old (Level 1) Parelli trainer and this horse touches me deeply.
Kiowa was a pasture horse that basically was loved and cared for but not really worked with. After her owner died from a sudden heart attack rescuers stepped in and helped find the animals homes. Kiowa found the Luke, the inspiration in the video. Luke has had Kiowa since April.
When I look at this video I see the connection between these two. I see Luke reaching forward to speak to Kiowa in the way she understands instead of trying to force her to understand a language that nature has not prepared her to translate. There is joy in the playing and learning in the connection. Luke is riding Kiowa now in a halter. Did I mention that he has had her since April?
The connection between these two is deeply touching. Playing with your horse (or burro!) at liberty can deepen the connection that we share. When we deepen the connection we increase the desire to connect, to listen.... to partner.
And really.... isn't that why we wanted an equine companion to start with?
The fall rain storms have given us precious little precipitation even though our more southerly neighbors seem to have gotten rain aplenty. Even when we don't get rain, I marvel at these beautiful thunderheads and the cloud cover makes for some of the most beautiful sunsets you will ever see. They are the kind of sunsets that so enthralled and inspired western painters since, well, since settlers first crossed the prairie.
This week it seems as if the MS is fighting back. This week I am simply exhausted and my legs are weak. Still, it brings peace to my heart to sit out at the barn after evening chores and listen to the sounds of horses quietly munching on hay.
As I was mucking and raking and adoring our herd this morning I was contemplating what I might blog about today. I thought about telling you the story of what has been going on that has been diminishing my computer time; I thought about talking to you about failing suspensory ligaments and all that entails; in my mind I was formulating the story of Max and how he came to live with us but when I sat down to find photos I realized that the story of the day, the week, the month (and as many months as it takes,) should be Makia.
Makia has been on the blog before. She is listed on Pet Finder and I have talked to as many people about her as I can. We did have a call on her last week. They sounded so certain that they wanted her. The callers never came back to see her. How sad.
Makia was brought to a boarding stable in horrible condition and pregnant. Makia successfully gave birth to a beautiful blue eyed filly in spite of her own condition of starvation and neglect. My dear friends watched over her and her baby. Makia was a good mother but she was limited in her ability to care for her filly by the starvation she was forced to endure. She just wasn't getting enough groceries to feed her baby. Worse yet, the baby that was already deprived of life giving mare's milk was in a stall that did not allow her to reach water. Three weeks after her birth, the filly weighed less than she did when she was born. She was on the slow train of death by starvation and dehydration. Makia was clearly distraught. My friends were beside themselves and called me.
The problem was that I was full. The other local horse rescue was full. This situation was further complicated because Makia was not abandoned but owned by a heartless individual. My friends showed me the mare and described the situation as I sat in the stall with Makia and her baby. The stall had nearly a foot of manure in it. Now, I don't cry very often... but that day I simply could not hold back the tears. My friends were as touched as I about the situation and I asked them to find out what it would take to get the mare and filly. I wasn't sure how we would do it, how we could afford it, where we could put her... and after much negotiations, many deliberations... my friends managed to free the mare and filly. And they stepped up to rescue them both. My heart had wings.
(Makia's neglected feet at the time Lindy took her in.)
The filly was adopted quickly but Makia.... well.... Makia is taking time. Does Makia have less appeal because she is photosensitive? It isn't her fault she was fed on straight alfalfa. Alfalfa tends to be inexpensive hay so individuals that are watching pennies tend to feed it exclusively. If you are a lover of spotted ponies you might know that straight alfalfa has can lead to photo-sensitivity in horses. Limited alfalfa/clover mixes and providing plenty of shade (and sometimes a nice fly sheet) will help these horses tremendously. Lots of horses have mild photo-sensitivity.
Makia is a sweet mare with a lead mare personality. She needs clear direction and a leader. The times that I have worked Makia she has been a very responsive horse once she understands what her handler wants. This is not saying that Makia does not test humans because she very clearly does at this stage. Why should she trust? Every time I get the opportunity to work her I see in her the desire to connect. I also see her reluctance. She has been used up by the heartless and her trust has been badly damaged. Still, I see the glimmer within.
Makia needs a heart of her own to settle into. She needs someone to give her time and patience, to provide strong, compassionate leadership for her. She is a small (14.2 hand,) strong, stout tovero paint mare with one blue and one marbled blue eye that is quite beautiful. Joe has worked with her and believes she has been ridden before. She does come with 30 days of professional training and four lessons with our trainer.
Let's find Makia a home. It's time for humans to stop letting her down. Don't you think? I know we can do this. I have faith. I have hope.
The ponies have been home for two weeks now. In that time I have been running around, raking up rocks (and more rocks,) trying to get organized and lots of other things.... but....
I can't put Sun in his usual stall. He isn't having it. Every time I try to put him in his stall, he paces, snipes at the horses on each side of him and works himself up into a lather. I thought he was better, calmer when no one was around but as I began keeping a closer watch on him it was obvious that Sun was a nervous wreck.
Concerned for his health and worried about the potential for colic, I moved Sun back to the Bungalows and the arena. I waited a couple of days and moved him back to the barn. No deal. Really? I called my vet. My vet and I discussed the possibility that Sun has been traumatized by the incident this spring with the barn. (And really, who could blame him?) So for now, Sun is confined to the Bungalows and turn out area.
We will be working on a plan to perhaps work a partnership with some sedation and behavioral modification. I will be taking Sun in for short periods of time to his stall and doing only pleasurable activities. There is also the potential to relocate his stall closer to the open area... Poor boy!
My mother loved to watch movies late at night. Often I would watch with her. I came to have a certain appreciation for both those movies and those actors. As I grew older my affection for those films did not change. Actors like Robert Mitchum (my mother's favorite,) Kerry Grant, Kirk Douglas, Jimmy Stewart, Humphrey Bogart, John Wayne... too many to mention.... but that list of greats would not be complete without Tony Curtis. Who could resist his dark, handsome good looks and those beautiful blue eyes. I loved his films. There was something so charismatic about him.
Tony's wife, Jill Vandenburg foundedShiloh Horse Rescuewith her mother Sally Vandenburg. Tony was their biggest supporter. In fact, Tony and Jill testified before the senate committe regarding horse slaughter legislation. Tony was a horse advocate.
It was my great pleasure to meet him this spring. He was so gracious! And let me tell you... those blue eyes held the same twinkle I had seen on the big screen.
What a great honor to meet him!
Here Tony talks with Joe Weitekamp about training Mustangs. Do you see how calm and quiet Wiseguy is as Tony's hand rests on his face? Even a Mustang knows when he is in the presence of someone quite exceptional.
Tony will be missed by all that came to know him, by the family and friends that loved him and by the animals that found comfort under his protective hand. We send out love to his family in this time of transition and hope that they know that Tony will live on through his legacy of love and art.
Good night sweet Prince may flights of angels sing the to thy rest.
Yesterday I went way up north to see how Little Bear has been getting on. I got a nice little demo from Joe in the round pen and am happy to report that he is going well (if not slow) under saddle. My heart soars when I think of taking him out on trails....
I can hardly wait.
Jocelyn comes walking down the long drive to feed the horse she has boarded at Joe's and Little Bear knows her in an instant. He walks over to greet her and softly calls to her knowing that she has carrots. Jocelyn has been loving on Little Bear while I've been otherwise occupied. I can't thank her enough. Little Bear certainly has a soft spot for her. Sometimes I dream of him running in high pastures in New Mexico with hearts I know will seek to connect with his. I hope for him that there are like hearts out there, hearts that long to know this special breed of horse, this American Mustang.
I stand next to him and scritch him behind his ear. He leans on me and asks for more. Even Joe says that this strong Little Man is looking for that special someone to latch onto. Someone holds the key to his heart. I wonder if that could be you?