It has been a whirlwind couple of weeks and time has seemed to slip away, causing a delay in blogging our latest adventures. On July 13th, we ventured out to Lifesavers Wild Horse Rescue to pick up Honor, as well as Dahlia and KoKo, the two fillies who are in training with us to be gentled. When we arrived to the ranch, the three fillies had already been sorted out and paired together in a separate pen so that they could become familiar with one another before the long trip home. Once we aligned the trailer with the runway for loading the girls, we made our way to the Visitor Center to finish up the adoption paperwork for Honor, making Alex her official adopter.
With flags in our hands, we made our way towards the pen that held the three fillies. Excitement rushed through my veins and I could hardly believe where I was. Just a few short months ago in April, we had no idea that we would even be moving this year. In the middle of the month, we learned from the inquiry of multiple people that there was a rumor we were moving. At the time, we had just decided that we would renew our lease at the end of the month and were not going to consider moving until the following summer. We had a good laugh about the rumor and assured our friends that we were planning to stay put… but not long after, Alex and I began to seriously consider the idea of moving this summer. Within two short weeks, we had made the decision to not renew our lease and continue praying for direction.
By the middle of May, we still didn’t have a solid “answer,” but decided to take the leap of faith, knowing that it would be beneficial for us in so many areas of our life–most importantly, spiritually. I then had the privilege of attending The Medicine Horse Project‘s Women’s Empowerment Retreat at the end of May where I met, fell in love with and adopted my incredible Mustang yearling, Reign. The day following the retreat, we loaded up our moving truck and made the 3 hour trek north to our new home in the Sierra Foothills. In June, we met and adopted Alex’s first Mustang filly, Honor, at Lifesavers’ Open House Adoption Day and now here we were, bringing her home with two other Mustangs fillies that we would gentle and prepare for adoption through Lifesavers. In that moment, I realized that all of my dreams as an eleven year old girl were finally manifesting themselves. All in a few short months.
When we approached the pen, I noticed Honor lying down next to the two older fillies, which was a relief to know she felt comfortable enough with her new little herd to put herself in such a vulnerable position. As we pushed them down and around the alleyway to the trailer, I couldn’t help but wonder how they would do loading in the trailer. These three girls had been born at the ranch and it would be their first experience with the trailer, inspecting, loading, and traveling to our ranch. Since Alex was assigned to man the trailer door once the girls were loaded and wasn’t able to watch what would soon be one of Honor’s first big accomplishments, I started taking a video of the girls’ reactions. Within less than ten minutes, they were loaded and we were ready to hit the road!
On the three hour drive home, we stopped multiple times to check on the girls. All three rode in the trailer smoothly with no problems and were friendly, sniffing our hands as we reached to comfort them. Upon our arrival to the ranch, we positioned the trailer to unload the fillies and opened the trailer door. For minutes, they stood together inside the trailer, taking in all of the new smells and the sight of the other horses in the distance. Eventually, each filly mustered up the courage to step out of the trailer and onto the ground of their new home.
When the older horses approached the cross-fence to observe the newcomers, all three fillies trotted up to meet them. I always love watching horses interact with one another for the first time and seeing where they fall in the herd hierarchy. Since their arrival to the ranch, all three fillies have settled in and are doing exceptionally well haltering and leading. We have begun to introduce them to obstacles and will soon begin working on exploring the backcountry and trailer loading. If you would like to follow the training journals for KoKo and Dahlia, please visit their pages.