It’s not a holiday unless I’m picking up a horse!
Wilder Ranch State Park, Santa Cruz – June 30 to July 1
Jordan and I went on this trip, we had hoped to go Del Valle again but someone had booked all of the sites. We took Baya and Atlantis, and all of our car camping gear, not really knowing what to expect but needing a little relief from the heat wave going on in Fremont. It turns out there was no one else there so we had the big camp (with 5 horse corrals) to ourselves! The camp site overlooks the beach and some farmland – what a sight!
When we arrived, Atlantis was a little freaked out – I’m sure he noticed the salt in the air and the extra breeze and was, of course, more emotional than usual. We put them in the corral and set up camp. A little later we decided to go check out the trails, it turned out to be a little bit of a rocky ride that night.
The next morning after breakfast (bacon and big, thick pancakes) we had a great ride, partly due to the horses being more settled in their ne environment. When we got back, we decided to “hobble” the horses while we prepared lunch. Bad idea. We found out Atlantis can run in hobbles, no more for him! But luckily, Baya didn’t care, she was happy to stand there and eat the grass around her.
Lake Del Valle in Livermore – June 23-25
Jordan and I went on this trip with our trainer friend, Caitlin Connors along with Baya, Atlantis, and Talia.
We picked up Cash today, Sunday March 17th, St. Patrick’s day.
We drove out to Escalon, hoping by a miracle it wouldn’t be too hot out. Jordan worked with the owner’s daughter’s boyfriend to double check the wheel bearings on the trailer (which we just replaced 2 weeks prior) as it was only the second time we had used the trailer. When we arrived, Cash would not stand still long enough for myself, Jordan, Brandi (the owner’s daughter), or her boyfriend to quickly stick a halter on him. I had to halter and lead the mare in his pasture away with treats so Brandi and the boyfriend could get Cash haltered. After that, he didn’t want to walk out of the pasture, it took a solid 20 minutes of coaxing to get him to move past the gate/entrance, into the street, and eventually into the driveway towards the trailer. Once he and the mare were apart they both couldn’t stop pacing and whinnying. It took us 4 close to 2 and a half hours of trying anything and everything to try and get Cash into the trailer, from treats to alfalfa, to pushing and pulling, to a butt strap, and even a twitch with no avail. Finally the Mexican cattle ranchers from next door came over, linked arms, and were able to get him into the trailer in about 5 minutes. I was shocked!
Amazingly we were able to dive home with only one stop (to check on him), and he was happy just munching away on alfalfa and COB – I thought he would make much more of a ruckus. When we pulled into the stables, Atlantis must have smelled “boy” in the air and started running around whinnying. At first Cash was too afraid to back out of the trailer, but then he finally did and walked around on a lead a little nervously. Then for the next 2 hours Jordan and I proceeded to try and get Cash into one of the stalls, with Cash refusing by rearing up. Luckily no one was injured, he just used it as his defense mechanism. Later that night, a little past midnight we trucked back up to the stables from our warm comfy beds to catch Cash – he had kicked open the stall and was running around with the other 3 horses, occasionally trying to mount one of the mares or kick out at Atlantis. We did all of the wrangling via headlamp. Jordan was finally able to catch Cash and get him into the upper arena with the gate closed and then closed the gate leading to the hill that leads to the upper arena, just in case.
Starting the new year off with a BANG!
We picked up our second rescue today. Her name is Talia, although she doesn’t know it. She wasn’t even really sure what a carrot was when I offered it before loading her in the trailer. We first met her last weekend (2/24) and I knew she was in bad shape then. She let both of us ride her and didn’t pitch a fit or anything, just did what was asked. She was the same today, she loaded in the trailer with no issues and was happy to stand there munching carrots while we loaded the hay next to her. When we got to her new home she was calm, backed out nicely then reloaded 3 times with ease. We put her in with our 2 horses, who quickly proceeded to chase her, and she ended up retreating to the small section of trail that leads to the land bridge. Atlantis got himself so worked up we thought he had started to colic. In the end I think it was an upset stomach from the stress/excitement of the new horse and the richness of the alfalfa which he hadn’t had in quite a while. Talia spent the next few days in a stall while she transitioned from alfalfa to oat hay and learned what grain is.
I got a chance to brush out the new horse (her coat is like sheep’s wool), I swear she hasn’t been brushed in at least 6 months, and probably just as long since she had new shoes on or a trimming. My heart really went out for this horse the moment I met her. She is so sweet yet so frail and just wants to be loved and cared for, it shows in her eyes. Most people think big animals don’t have a whole lot of personality, but they do, just like dogs and cats, they just can’t live inside with us. I don’t think the previous owner intended to harm this sweet girl, but that he was cheap (was only feeding them one flake each per day), and didn’t know any better. He admitted he stopped giving her grain because it is expensive. I know that if she was there much longer she would have died from starvation, and I just don’t understand how people don’t notice the condition of the animal. Or maybe he did and that’s why he gave her away, he didn’t want blood on his hands in case she died.