Sunday, April 27, 2008

Wow, what a fun weekend! We packed up on Thursday and headed to Odessa for the mustang adoption. It was Tonka's first ambassadorial journey, and I had no idea how it would turn out. It was also his longest trailer ride, about 3 1/2 hours, his first time away from home for a camping trip, his first time sleeping all night tied to the trailer... Lots of firsts.

Going for a walk after we arrived:

Checking out the camp site the next morning:

Lea and I went for a really enjoyable trail ride. Here she is on Pepper, ponying Dixie:
We found some really neat little lakes. Bob calls them ponds, but I think they're little lakes.
Toward the end of our ride:

These here wild rock cages were super scary. What if the rocks got out and attacked?

We went on another trail ride with some super nice ladies in the evening. It was the little buckskin pinto's first real ride. She'd been ridden about 15 minutes in an arena twice last year. Lea and Pepper (can't see Lea in the picture) ponied them on the way out, through some thick sagebrush and rough terrain. Then she handed over the leadrope and they rode back with no help. What an excellent first ride! The two pintos in the picture are from South Steens, Pepper (the black) is a kiger, and the sorrel is from Coyote Lakes like Tonka. She was rounded up a long time ago so there's no way they know each other.The Mustang String at dawn:

The Border Patrol Mustangs are absolutely gorgeous. They just got back from a parade in Chicago. What versatile horses. They go from tough daily work to parades, to adoptions and other PR events. Very well behaved, happy, healthy horses. I'd take any one of them home, and one of those nice saddles too! Here they are taking a little grazing break. One of them hopped really funny in his hobbles to get around, it was cute.

Here we are talking to one of the Mustang Mentors and her daughter. Look how Tonka has himself parked all funny...

This sorrel two year old gelding was a favorite of a lot of people there. It's not the greatest picture, but he's really well put-together.

Check out this yearling filly. She's going to be BUILT.

Everyone liked this "dun" filly. She looks like a buckskin to me, I couldn't find a dorsal stripe. Pretty color though, whichever it is.

Tonka and I playing on the platform again.
Pepper and Dixie on a lunch break:

Foxy Lady in the lead, and I never did catch the pack horse's name. They were both steady and sweet horses.

What cool costumes, and what a sweet face on that mare.

The mares. My favorite was a little tiny Murderer's Creek horse, hiding behind the others here:

I didn't get any good pictures of any of my favorites. They were all plain, either black or bay, but had great eyes and were very inquisitive.

I wish I could have stayed for the bidding, I want to know which ones got homes. (We had to come home to medicate Scout because John left for a Mariner's game.) There wasn't much of a turnout by the time we left yesterday. Most of the people I talked to were just there out of curiosity, but I know some of them were going to adopt. Hopefully they had a lot more people come out today.

It was a really neat facility there. You can come in and use the corrals and barn and camp out and trail ride to your heart's content. There are all kinds of happy little birds around, coyotes in the night, and yes, rattlesnakes... I was glad it's not rattlesnake season. I love the little mesas and the sagebrush. I'm going back there sometime! Tonka really enjoyed it and went through the thick brush and rocky hillsides like he's done it all his life. Which I'm sure he did, before he was rounded up.

What a wonderful group of people too! The BLM people were all super friendly, as were the volunteers. Rick even gave me the hat off his own head when I asked if I could buy one to keep the sun off. So now I have a really nice Wild Horse and Burro baseball cap to wear to the adoptions!

I better get back to unpacking and hanging with the kids. I can't wait to do this again though!


I'm Mikey said...

That looks like a ton of fun! Great pictures!!

Pony Girl said...

Thanks for sharing your Mustang weekend with us! The scary "rock cages", lol! ;) It looked like such a good experience for you and Tonka. I hope some more people turned up and adopted some mustangs, too! Did you have a chance to find out? What happens to the ones that aren't adopted from the auction?

Andrea said...

Thanks guys!

I don't know what happened at the adoption today yet. Hopefully once Lea gets home and gets settled in she'll let me know.

If they don't get adopted they go back to the corrals. They get to go to 3 adoptions, then if they haven't been adopted they either go into sanctuaries or are sold unprotected by the Mustang and Burro act. Those horses are referred to as "three strikes" horses, since they get three strikes and they're out. Amazing what beautiful horses get passed by... If any of you are familiar with Pioneer Woman's blog, they take care of some mustangs there that must have been three-strikers. Some of those mares are stunning.

Arlene said...

I adopted a mustang sunday at Odessa. Only 4 people signed up to bid and I think only two horses were adopted. I believe a family took home a yearling filly and I took home a 2 yr old bay gelding.
My mustang settled in really well yesterday. By night fall he was letting me stroke his nose through the fence. He also tried to lick an apple in my hand. He was best friends with the 2 yr old chestnut in your photo and can be seen to the left of him. I named him Wildairo. His kind gentle face is what sold me on him.
We only live about 8 miles from the adoption site so when Wildairo grows up we shall be going there often.
I feel so bad more horses didn't find homes and I can't believe I got this beautiful gentle horse for only $125!

Anonymous said...

i would love to bring them all home! sadly, i live in the city (portland) and for some reason they frown on backyard horses.

someday, though. someday.

thanks for your report! i check your blog everyday to see what's new in your part of the northwest.

Anonymous said...

A great post today. thanks for the pictures of Pepper and Dixie. The pack horse's name is Abby. Carla took the dun mare for reassignment. She needs alot of work but is halter broke. The bay filly in the picture one of the 2 babies we brought home for gentling. The other is a bay (I think will be seal brown when shed out)and both are from Beatty's Butte. Both have smelled my hand today. Call them Nick and Nellie. Got Nick into the round pen and he faced up to me soon. Good to ride with you. Fun huh? Lea