After about 3 hours I explained it was time to leave. Bailey did not want to leave and begged me to go back the next day. I agreed because I was curious and wanted to watch the actual adoption.
The next day we returned. Bailey immediately went to the pen with the chestnut gelding. She called for him and he ran full force toward her and nuzzled her through the fence. Bailey spent the next 7 hours visiting with the Mustang. I talked with the BLM volunteers and others at the adoption. I asked about the requirements to adopt. I also found out that the chestnut gelding was 3 years old.
As I watched the horse and Bailey together I felt they already had a special bond. I knew in my heart that they belonged together.
When I told Bailey we would adopt the Mustang she was absolutely thrilled, and she told me "I told Twilight that he would be my horse!" Yes, she had already named him.
The trainers, Megan and Cliff from Claddagh Farm Horse Rescue in Burgoon, Ohio, loaded up the red horse and drove off. Bailey waved until they drove out of sight.
Meg and Cliff kept Twilight for 3 long months. Bailey asked everyday when he would come home. In the meantime, my husband with the help of family and friends built the run-in and put up the fence.
From the moment Cliff unloaded Twilight, he and Bailey have had a relationship that is beyond words. In minutes she was walking him on a lead rope around the paddock. If he wasn't on the lead he would just follow her wherever she went. When she had to leave him he would stand at the fence and watch and wait for her to come back.
Bailey has been active in his training and he responds better to her than any grown-up. The other morning Bailey got up and said Twilight was ready for her to ride him that day. I asked her how she knew. She said he told her in a dream. I was very hesitant, but, she was just as insistent. We walked down to the barn. Bailey walked Twilight around a little and then she told him that she was going to ride him. I swear I saw a twinkle in his eyes. I very slowly lifted her up onto his back. He did not even flinch. I was so amazed. I wish that anyone who is considering adopting a mustang could see Bailey and Twilight together.
Bailey's Twilight has became such a special part of our entire family. That plain red 3-year-old gelding that no one noticed has became a beautiful well-mannered chestnut horse that we wouldn't trade for any other horse in the world. In the future, we hope to adopt another mustang. Our 3-year-old grandson starts riding lessons tomorrow and is already asking when he will get his mustang.
We want to thank Megan and Cliff (cfhrescue.org) and the BLM!!
A story of perseverance…
Part One - The Build Up
Name one girl that at some point in her childhood didn't dream of owning a horse. I am no exception. It wasn't until I was 29 that I could finally make it happen. I think pony was likely my first word. No matter how much I begged, cried or bribed, it simply wasn't in the cards. This is not to say I never had the opportunity to see or ride horses. I just never had any formal training what-so-ever. ZIP.
Now, the next big question. Where am I going to get a horse? I had no idea. I wouldn't know if I was getting a lame horse or a champion jumper. I just wouldn't know. I felt a little defeated and overwhelmed. My wonderful father-in-law stopped by with a flyer for the Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) Wild Horse and Burro adoption. I was still a little leery. I went to the BLM's National Wild Horse and Burro website and did a lot of research on the BLM and decided that was what I wanted. A Mustang! He needed me and I needed him.
We worked hard building Comet the required housing. The barn was fifty feet in length. We picked his stall, sawed a hole in the wall that led out to his own 50x20x8 rectangular paddock. He certainly enjoyed the freedom of a paddock that size with the ability to roam in and out as he chose. But, all that space made it hard for anyone to get close to him at first. Innocent newbie mistake which wouldn't have been that bad if there was a round pen to work him in. He is here and properly housed and fed. But, now what? I have no formal training but I am an avid reader and had started studying techniques from Pat Parelli’s program. I respect Pat's program and his methods. But, to try and have a beginner horse and owner use the level one was next to impossible. To gain Comet's trust, I entered the area being quiet and still. After a few days, Comet approached me. This process is what allowed me to first touch Comet and build a little trust. I worked on grooming and picking up his feet. I was fanatical about it. I knew he had to get his feet trimmed soon, but, what farrier would want to touch a wild horse that had never had his feet handled?
All I wanted from Comet was a good trail horse, a friend. That was all. And so it began. Boarding and training was a monthly bill of $700.00 plus three lessons a week for me. "No you cannot use your own farrier. We have our own. No you will not be working with your Mustang. He is in training. You shouldn't be petting him. That is a reward," said the trainer.
I had Comet in a place where he was not happy. It took all the hope out of me and likely him as well. We were laughed at and picked on. All my dreams got pushed away into some locked part of me. I began to regret ever having the notion of owning a horse. But life is funny sometimes. Just when you are ready to call it quits an angel is sent your way. Mine came in the form of a BLM volunteer conducting compliance inspections. I met Susan Booth first by phone. The phone rang and when I found out who it was, my body turned ice cold. Panic ensued. I thought here it is the sad end to this whole ordeal. This woman is going to take my horse away: do not pass go; do not collect $200.00.
Part Three - Epilogue
I call this a story of perseverance and I hope you see why. Sometimes it is hard to know what path is the right one. It is easy to want to give up in the face of adversity if you choose the wrong one. But, perseverance usually will prevail. I honestly don't know where Comet and I would be if I had not met Susan and John. What if they had not done 100% compliance checking? What if I got skipped over? What if I had stayed too scared to reach out for help? But, everything happens for a reason. Everything makes you the person you are. Now I can say I like that person. I feel great knowing we are in good caring hands in the three months we've known Sue and John.. Comet and I have both grown and learned so much.
I would personally like to thank the volunteers and the BLM.
People say there is an incredible bond that forms between a wild mustang and his first human experience. Even noted trainers like John Lyons acknowledges how willing Mustangs are and how they can be trained to do extraordinary feats in a short period of time. But the real transformation is not what happens to the wild horse, it's what happens to their new adoptive owners.
When EquestrianSingles.com founder, Marcia Zwilling, first met her flashy black yearling at the 2008 Extreme Mustang Makeover, it was love at first sight. She knew there was something very special about the filly. The monstrous blue dumpster whizzing by on a forklift at the Will Rogers Coliseum didn't faze the young horse.
The filly was gentled by 15-year-old Ryder Kallus at his home in Round Top, Texas. Ryder is a sophomore at La Grange High School. He made it a point of letting everyone know he named his filly, Miley, after Miley Cyrus. Though Ryder is autistic, he excels as a trainer. He has a soft gentle way about him and the special bond between Ryder and Miley was obvious from the start.
"At my first meeting with Ryder he told me he had a difficult time in school. The reason he loved training horses was because horses didn't judge you. I could see the obvious bond between them. Ryder decided not to adopt Miley because he already owned several horses. I instantly made the decision to adopt her and knew she would end up being one of the best horses I ever owned. Miley's has never disappointed me", said Marcia.
EquestrianSingles.com has promoted the BLM's Wild Horse and Burro adoptions in their monthly newsletter for the past 5 years. The online community recently became a sponsor of the Mustang Heritage Foundation and the Extreme Mustang Makeover events. Marcia went to Fort Worth, TX to support several of the website's members competing as trainers. Mark Lyon ended up winning that year. It was my first year attending the Extreme Mustang Makeover in Fort Worth and it was awesome. Marcia had no plans to adopt a Mustang until she met Miley.
Marcia could hardly wait to ride her. "My first trail ride on Miley was amazing! I enjoyed her smooth trot and easy canter. Her transitions were flawless. She had obviously aced the basics in less than 30 days and now it was up to me to reinforce what Ryder and Otis had taught her", said Marcia.
In the following weeks, Miley continued to amaze Marcia by her willingness and calm temperament.
"As we begin our journey together, I am so proud of my first Mustang. "Adopting Miley was the best thing I've ever done. She is one special horse", said Marcia.
By Sage, the Super Mustang
Hi. My name is Sage. I am a BLM Mustang. I was born in Nevada in 2004. I spent a year in the wild. The BLM removed me from the public rangelands. The groceries and water were getting harder and harder to find. I was really hungry and thirsty when I was rescued.
My person, Steven, adopted me at a special adoption event in New Jersey. Trainers had already gentled me prior to the adoption. It's really a great idea. All my buddies were trained and adopted by great people. It really helps us to find an awesome family when we are trained a bit first.
Yes, of course. Steven got lost on the way to the event. The Hillsboro Fire Department had to help him find the location where we were headed. Mustangs do not get lost. It's a people thing!
Here's a picture of the competitors. I saw a lot of my Mustang buddies. Dazz was even there with her adopter.
The Poker Run was not timed. It made it a lot easier for our people. We had 5 obstacles; all designed by a pretty well known horse and mustang trainer. Along the way you earn a playing card if your people are good.
First: A small trail through the woods...easy stuff...we do this all the time. Bingo! Dazz and I both received a card!
Second: We received a raw egg in a spoon and had to weave through cones and back. I had no problem. Steven cracked the egg on my saddle horn before I even got a chance to step over the starting line. The people putting on the run, let us go anyway. Clearly another people issue. I weaved through the cones and back. All those neck reining exercises the trainers taught me paid off.
Fourth: Hill? I don't understand how a hill can be an issue. But, at the bottom of the hill was obstacle five. There was water at the bottom of the hill.
Fifth: The w~a~t~e~r. I was hoping it was merely a stream so I could just jump it. No such luck. I didn't get a straight, but Steven got a pair. OK. We did alright.
Always ready to try new events, I tripped across what looked like a good time on Equinesite.com's bulletin board. A Poker Run and a Trail Race! (Did someone say RACE????) I read through the information provided by the club for hints and clues. What are these obstacles you must traverse in order to 1) get a playing card and 2) pass through during your timed trail ride? Found it and can do it!
For more stories about me, I created a blog at steven drysdale.vcf. I am just too good. After all, I am a Mustang!
♦ Note from Editor - Submissions may be edited to reduce the length or correct minor issues.
After edits, if you would like the final "draft" article sent back for your personal review prior to including it in the newletter, please indicate this.
Sally Spencer, BLM National Wild Horse and Burro Marketing Director
Janet Neal, National BLM Editor, Designer, and Graphic Artist
If your article is not in this edition of the National Wild Horse and Burro Newsletter, please keep checking back.
Your story may be in the " Success Stories " section of this web site or included in the next editopn.
Thank you all for sending in stories about your great Mustangs and Burros!
|Last updated: 06-10-2010|
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