Friday, March 14, 2008

New baby at the stables! (pics)

The woman who owns the horse I'm leasing came back from the Shipshewana horse auction with another rescue! This 4/5 month old colt was in the kill pen with his mother, but he couldn't keep up with her when they put her up on the block. He was initially sold to a meat buyer for $30.

Well she wasn't about to let such a sweet little thing go for dog food, so she hunted down the buyer and offered him $40 for the colt. He accepted!

She thinks he was an Amish horse, because the Amish in the area shave the forlock off their horses along with the bridle path. His mother (not rescued, unfortunately) was a standardbred, and his sire was probably (hopefully) a Belgian, considering the mane and short back. That will make him the perfect horse for a heavy rider in a few years, especially if he grows into those knees!

His name's Lucky, and he's both highly intelligent
(has already learned to open gates, lift his feet when asked, and leads with just a hand on the jaw instead of a halter) and very sweet-tempered. He's a bit nervous and clingy still after being force-weaned at the auction pen, but he's adopted Sunshine (the horse I'm leasing) as a surrogate mom and seems to be very comfortable/trusting of humans.

Speaking of Sunshine, I didn't leave her out of the lens!

This is the Sunshine, the 6 year old Belgian mare I took on a half-lease this month. She's 16 hands and a bit (about 5 1/2 feet tall at the withers/shoulder) and a real sweetheart, even if a bit skittish on the trail (probably just having a new rider).

Her mane's a bit ragged yet, but it's growing back in from when half of it was shaved off last year. I mixed some Jojoba oil and rose water as a detangler and it seems to work very well. Her tail was docked by her first owner (common in draft horses, although extremely cruel!) and might not get much longer than it is now.

When they get the arena finished so that I can safely learn hunt seat (she's too spooky on the trail for me to dare an english saddle) I'm going to see if my photographer friend would be willing to come take a few shots of me riding.

When I got there today, she was loving the spring weather, and tossing a ball back and forth with Belle, the Exmoor pony.


Anonymous said...

Sunshine is just gorgeous, Jo! I remember I rode a half-Belgian mare when I used to ride, a long time ago. Boy, was she head-strong! But my instructor wanted me to train her in dressage, of all things. And near the end of my riding years (when I was about 14) she was doing very well.

I was a heavy and tall teenager, but I was also strong. We went great together. :)

The cold is a cutie-pie. Keep us updated on his progress! Cheers!

M. said...

Awwwww! I'm so glad she rescued him! And Sunshine is beautiful!!! If my allergies to horses weren't so bad, I'd follow your lead and find a stable with draft horses. I miss riding so much!


erin said...

Thanks for sharing these pictures. Lucky is adorable and Sunshine is gorgeous!

kate said...

There's nothing cuter than a baby horse!

It's amazing, and sad, how many perfectly lovely horses end up on a truck headed for Canada or Mexico (since horse slaughter is currently not practiced in the US, which is a very long story). The short version is, people need to stop breeding so many horses, and learn to take responsibility for the lives they do create. It's always nice when you can afford to rescue one!

Oh, and to comment on your earlier post about your first ride: There's absolutely no shame in using a mounting block (or a deck, truck bumper, tractor bucket, tree stump, stone wall...) to get on. Basically everyone I know does it, regardless of weight, because chiropractic appts (for the horse) are expensive, and even a thin, springy rider puts some stress on the horse's back when mounting from the ground (except for those lucky folks who can vault on). The first thing any horse of mine learns is how to stand next to anything I choose to climb on. :)

fatgirlonadate said...

Oh, I'm so happy to find other fat riders!

Actually, I'm a former rider. I sold my horses when I went away to college (11 years ago!), have gained a bunch of weight since then, and assumed that I just wouldn't be able to ride again unless I lost weight. Discovering the fatosphere has really opened my eyes. I'd love to find a fat-friendly stable around here.

Anyway, hi.