On Thursday we headed out at dawn on a long journey to the Boise BLM Wild Horse Corrals. The first half of the trip was absolutely gorgeous.
We stopped once on the Salmon river to enjoy the beauty, take pictures, and look at rocks. There are so many different kinds of rocks in that river. And the water there has so many different voices.
The sky was amazing, and the morning light made everything soft and magical.
Not long after that we came to the town of Riggins. Everything was so beautiful and perfect that I decided that if I got a gelding, I'd name him Riggin. At that point I still had my heard set on the little grey filly though.
We got there and found out that she's pretty standoffish, which isn't really a bad thing, but wasn't what I wanted to hear. She kept to herself, and stayed out of any drama that came up. She also hadn't been there long and was just settling in. The BLM official who met us there said she was his pick of the yearlings.
There were a couple other yearlings I liked, but not a lot.
Then we looked at the 2 and 3 year old geldings. It's interesting how at first they're just a bunch of horses, then some start to catch your attention. This one stood out, with his long legs and bright bay color. I'd seen one picture of him before and liked him. I noted his tag number.
But it wasn't long before this one was the one I kept my eyes out for. (Not how wild and crazy the red horse is. There were a lot of them like that.)
The horse on the other side of him was also pretty cute, but little pushy.
Eventually he came up and made friends, and I even got a pretty good look at his teeth as he explored me with his mouth. I figured he was a 2 year old, but one of the guys swore he was a 3 year old. He was one of the largest in the group, but we didn't have their paperwork, so I figured I'd wait until morning to find out more specifics. At this point I still thought I was considering the other two horses.
The next morning we got there just after dawn to watch them during feeding time, and make our final decision, although I was pretty much decided at that point.
Here are all the yearlings. The big one in the middle is the only 2 year old. She was sensible and loving. The one on the left is an awesome coloring - primitive bay pinto. She's a filly also. Click to enlarge, if interested. The red babies were very sweet and inquisitive, demanding attention. Not many of them were shy.
I just like this picture. That's my guy in the center background.
When we first got there, only two feeders had hay in them, and they were jockeying around for spots at the feeder quite a bit. My guy spent a lot of time not eating, trying to figure out how to get in for some food.
Then he came to say hello again.
Here he is a little worried about something.
What a handsome guy!
Buddy horses could be adopted for just $25.00, and I was tempted to take this one as well. He was even bigger, and really just a gentle giant, and seemed to be hanging around with my gelding a lot. But I don't have room for two wild ones.
When they went to sort him off, something really amazing happened. The corrals are set up with big square enclosures all along both sides of an alleyway. My horse was at the feeder on the alleyway side, with plenty of room to eat and no reason to do otherwise. When they opened the big gate and walked in (not near him, heading toward the center, they were still looking for him) his curiosity was piqued, and he walked with interested purpose right into the alleyway, completely by himself, comfortable, and not directed. Just looking for adventure. Absolutely amazing.
When we went in to sign paperwork, I found out he is only two years old, and he is from Nevada, but they don't know specifically where because he was born in a holding facility. So he has probably never seen trees, or uneven ground, or even green grass. It made me consider changing my mind, but really there was no doubt in my mind that he was the one I wanted.
They trimmed his hooves on a tilt squeeze chute, and wormed him and put his halter on. I think they may have vaccinated him too, but I need to look that up. Then they ran him into the trailer and he quietly rode the 7 hour trip home on the winding road. What a big day!
He is definitely a watcher. Everything interests him. He doesn't seem spooky or over-reactive at all, just curious and sometimes concerned. If you look closely here you can see a boat drifting by outside the trailer door. He thought that was really weird. The river itself was also pretty strange to him.
When we got him unloaded he talked to the other horses a bit, had a big long pee, and started eating tumbleweeds. He really is a big goof.
It's now Monday, and I've played with him a bit, but I'm also trying to let him settle in. I got his halter off because the fiador knot had come loose and the noseband was huge, just asking to snag on something. He will let me rub my hand on his forehead, lips, under his jaw, his neck and shoulder, and he will let me rub just about anywhere with the training stick or poop fork. He is very inquisitive, and as soon as something new appears (including people) he just can't help but come up and start messing with it. He is something else. I just love him.
But I still don't have a name for him! Any suggestions?