Now more than ever, i remember why i fell in love, with training wild horses. They never cease to amaze you, and not in a bad way.The little Chesnut patient, is one very special horse. In fact hes amazing. Its not just me who thinks this, everyone who encounters him is blown away by his relaxed attitude. At first i was willing to write it off, as the usal calm, stoic, wild horse temperament, and the fact he was sick, but now i really do think this boy is a very special soul.
So monday, he arrived at dark, with a huge head wound. Tuesday morning, he was haltered for the first time, and by the afternoon he was tucked up in new stables and had his first injection. Since then, he has been put out to paddock, had his first bath, handled, and met new people, and made his fist cow freind. Yet he still the sweet friendly little man, he was when we first started handling him, theres is now very little behaviour wise, to distinguish him from a normal yearling, yet he has been through far more, in a far shorter amount if time, than most yearlings ever will.
It also has been a huge learning experiance for me. Because while there have been a lot of things the same as the last wild lot, there is also a few things that are differant, and have already changed my stereotypes i had set of the wild horses. Not just the physical differance, where all the horses from this muster appear in cood body weight and condition, they also have good feet, where my last mustered lot did not. But the differance in indivdual horse temperments. The wild mare to this day, does not like her nose being touched, she tolerates it but it bnothers her. Now the little chestnut, hes busy sniffing everyone and everything, although part of this may be him compensating for not having vision in one eye. A good freind, who helped me with the wild mare and stallion, came over today, and both her and her partner, were able to give this little guy a scratch on the face, same deal with anyone who comes to see him. If anything you will have to watch that this guy doesnt start nipping, which i dont think the last two ever even tried.
I always try to start any horse i work with, in a way that will make them happy and encourage them to be comfortable around people. I dont think i can take all the credit here though, this little horse is just incredibly trusting. It really breaks your heart looking at his smashed up face, knowing all he's gone through, yet he still seems happy to be around you and is trusting of people. It sucks he's hurt, i felt so mean today washing his head, as i know it would have hurt him, yet he handled it well. No horse like there head being washed, this little thing has a huge, open puss filled wound on his, has never seen a hose befoere, and this evening within minutes he was tolerating me squirting water directly into the wound. He actually tried drinking out of the hose to start with.On a side note, im glad i have a strong stomach and have seen worse injuries in Egypt, becasue everytime he'd shake his head, pussy goo went flying and i just felt it splattering all over me. Needless to say i tried to keep my mouth shut, and sunglasses on while washing him. Ahh the glamourous parts of the job...
The rest of the boys are still down in the stockyards, they all eat out of your hand and drink from a bucket i hold for them. I could not pick favorites amoung them, they are all so differant and their personalities are starting to show. Theres the calm laid back guy, the intelligent one, that once it feels safe is the first one to come see you, one that completly thinks with its stomach, and tries constantly to sneak food through the rails when your trying to feed his freinds. Then theres the scared one, darts in grabs a mouthful of feed, then hides in the corner to finsih it, if any are going to be hard it will be him, because i can see he's so easily frightened, and would be the type that could go into full on flight mode, it you rush him to much.
Im just so happy to be working with wild horses again, it is definitely one of the coolest experiacne and no matter how long you have been around horses there's is still more to learn form them.