Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Helping a friend...

Last night was a mixture of sorrow and pride. I received a call about noon that a 16 year old friend of ours had to find a home for her two year old filly. The night before some people tried to get "Sedona", a dark sorrel and black Appaloosa-cross, into a two horse trailer. Being unsuccessful she ended up with a gash (that needs stitches) under the right cheek bone. I told our friend that I would talk with TnT when they got home from work at 2 p.m.

Later that afternoon, TnT hooked up their converted stock trailer, asked me to come along, stopped by to pick up our friend and headed out to where she had been keeping Sedona. Our friend talked the whole way in an attempt to forget what we were doing.

When we got out of the truck, our friend introduced us to "Jan" and her husband. While Tony got the trailer into position, Travis got into the corral with Sedona. She attempted to move away from him, but he put out his hand and she moved toward him instead of away from him! In one fluid movement he gently snapped the lead rope onto her halter and started rubbing her sore cheek and talked softly to her.

As Tony opened up the trailer door, Travis lead Sedona out of the corral and walked her past the back of the trailer, turned her around and walked her past the back of the trailer again. Repeating this a couple of times until she eased up on the idea that she was going to be forced into a trailer again.

We could not hear what Travis and Tony were saying to Sedona, but we could see the pats on the neck and rump as Tony would pick up a front hoof and set it into the trailer and see the gentle but firm way Travis held onto the lead rope as he clucked to her to step into the trailer. She balked for a little bit, but received praise for her tiny steps forward.

TnT told me later that they saw and felt the point at which Sedona decided to trust them and loaded up into the trailer! They had communicated this fact between them when she had her left leg in the trailer. Right after that she put her right leg in and started shaking hard enough to rattle the trailer. When she started shaking, Tony backed away from her as Travis slackened the tension on the lead rope. They did it this way to give Sedona the opportunity to go in on her own.

Instead of pulling and rearing like she had been doing, she brought her back feet up and stepped into the trailer! My heart filled with pride when Jan stated, "And the Horse Whisperers Spoke!" But that pride was replaced with regret that our friend was having to lose her very first horse.

On the way out the husband gave the guys a 'big thumbs up". Travis was going to stay in the trailer with Sedona as far as the highway. I gave him my cell phone so that he could call Tony if needed. At the highway Travis communicated that Sedona was doing great, but he wanted to stay with her for the 20 mile trip to her new home. Tony set his cell on vibrate/ring, handed his phone to me and we headed out.

At Sedona's new home, Travis lead her into a huge pen that was the home for two draft horses and two miniature donkeys. As we watched the drafts and donkey's come up to check out the new addition to their family, Sedona would run back to the fence beside TnT as if asking them to protect her. But she was soon pushing the big guys around and found the hay and water troughs. The new family is one of the hay suppliers for our area and has two buffalo and a Texas Longhorn in a matching pen across the driveway. Let's not forget the goats and three dogs...these people loved animals and Sedona would have a wonderful home!!!

I overheard the rancher tell his wife that both drafts, the two minis and now Sedona had been hauled in TnT's trailer at one point or another. While he talked to TnT about training one of the draft horses to pull a wagon, I stood beside our young friend as she fought the tears that had been threatening all along. She asked me if she would be able to get Sedona's halter, but knowing they would need it on her for a little while, she didn't ask for it.

The only thing she said to me was, "She was my first horse and I didn't even get to ride her...". That tore at my heart, because at 14, I had to find a new home for my very first horse. I rode him all over the Nevada desert along with my friend and her horse and our two dogs for three years...and I knew EXACTLY how she felt. And it didn't make our young friend feel any better when she realized it was Sedona's 2nd birthday. She had been born to her mom's horse the day after our Clancey had been born.

Note: I will post a picture as soon as I can get it from our friend or post one of Katy's puppies, Winona, who lives with our friend and her mom.
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Midlife Mom said...

It's so hard when you have to give up a horse. We've all been there and know the pain it creates and it sure takes a long time to get over it, if ever. Nice job loading though, that can be a nightmare sometimes if the horse has had a bad experience like this poor little guy. Do you do a lot of trailering for people? I don't any more, just traded my big trailer for a new smaller two horse and really like it. The other one was too big for me to deal with and where we aren't showing now I didn't need the changing room and all. We're getting snow again tonight! Yikes!!!!!

Janey Loree said...

Yes, when someone needs a horse taken to the vet or moved to a new home or to new owners they call Travis and Tony! They even helped moved some horses out of a fire path!

Getting more "showers"!

Callie said...

That is well done getting her into the trailer, having had a few rope burns doing that myself.I'm curious, why did this kid have to give up the horse?

Janey Loree said...

Welcome Callie! Tough times after a divorce.

Rising Rainbow said...

Sounds like they did a great job getting her into that trailer. Going to shows all the time, I see lots of wrecks with people trying to force horses into trailers. It makes me crazy.

Sharon Lynne said...

I'm glad Travis stayed with her! Both your boys did a great job. I like that about country life...people help each other. My brother and his wife and 2 daughters have a horse ranch...and the neighbors help one another when there is a need.

Naomi said...

It's so sad when you have to part with a horse. Sounds like Travis and Tony did a great job though.

Janey Loree said...

Hi Cousin CB & Naomi! That's the way all walks of life need to be...helping others!!! Travis and Tony are going to see about getting Sedona's halter for our little friend!

That's part of life...having to give up the things we love most...sometimes they are given back to us and sometimes they are not...

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