My former red headed minimare *IS* coming back! -Pics & update on p. 2
Last few weeks or so, I've found myself missing Firefly, our former little red-headed minimare punk that we donated to a therapy program 4+ years ago. I recently bought a new horse (love!), but gentle and sweet as he is, he's too big for my little, very active boys. Really, any full-sized horse is may be too much for a 2yro kid to be around. But a 36" mini? No prob. I've looked at the recently emptied stall next to my boy thinking, a mini like Firefly could go here...but dismissed it. I'd really like the barn to be a family affair, not just a ME thing, but as it is the boys can't really interact with the horses so much as play in the dirt in a safe place with their Tonka trucks.
Seriously, she--and a pony for the boys in general--has been on my mind. I even started talking to my friend (who has boys and horses) about in Sunday, though not seriously. It's been on my mind such that I window-shopped Dreamhorse just to try and scratch that itch.
Well, out of the blue yesterday, I got an email from the director of the equine therapy program I donated Firefly to. I have not heard from her in YEARS (though I did contact her in October after we lost our mare, just to touch base). The program has been bought out by another company and they have to downsize (thankfully downsize, not eliminate) their horse therapy program. Firefly has been selected as one horse that will need to go. She also said Firefly is getting a bit burned out from her job and needs a new one. She's not doing anything aggressive; it's more avoidance behavior with the most intense of their low functioning kids--who need to work with a mini the most. She's still terrific with the higher functioning ones, and would be fine with my boys. As I wrote a right of first refusal into the contract, she contacted me first...so, here we are. Interesting.
I'm not ready to just hitch up my trailer and take her back home, but I'm curious. I also seriously need to evaluate if we have the time and money. More the time than money.
I couldn't take her back anytime in the first 3 years she was there--between Dad's death, pregnancy, newborn, illness--but now, maybe. Maybe.
Last edited by Lauruffian; Jun. 21, 2012 at 10:31 AM.
We all just got back from a vacation, and while it was a blast, our kids are lousy bedfellows so we're all exhausted. We haven't had time to really even think about this, and I know better than to try and talk to hubby about this until we've recovered.
I realized money may be a bit of an issue as well, as I now pay someone to feed in the mornings and that will have to be doubled, as will basic board. We lease local private horse property and pay for the use of the stalls. The cost of actually feeding her is minimal--IIRC, she eats about a bale of grass hay a month. So, we shall see.
I may be taking my kids to go visit her Monday morning, without telling my boys what's up. The older one knows she's over there and we can go visit her anytime, so he'll be excited to do that. He has asked over the years why we can't have her back...uh-oh! Anyway, the visit will help me see how she is, and how the boys are with her. I'm curious if my old girl recognizes me, or if she chooses to pretend like she doesn't know me. Heh.
You can see pics of Firefly at work here. The pics of her start the 3rd pic into the slide show--they threw her a birthday party when she turned 10. She's 13 now...OH NO a red headed minimare teenager!
Oooh, this is all very good! First, hubby and I finally talked about this, and things are going well in that direction. AND then I called the guy I pay to feed my big boy, and he's offered to feed Fly at a reduced rate. All the pieces are coming together, whether we want them to or not!
If we do take her home, it won't be this week, though. I'm going on a "girls only" family trip with my mother, aunt, and sisters next weekend...it'd be awful to bring home a pony and then leave hubby to care for her AND the two boys.
When our riding for the handicapped was active, it closed this year because of state budget cuts that were covering the insurance, our horses rotated thru there, along with those of other local horse owners.
The therapists tried to not use any horse for more than three months at the most at the time, or they would get a bit tired, some grumpy.
That was with being used half a day two days a week, exercised by their trainer two more times a week and daily turnout.
The horses after a rest were all smiles again when seeing the kids, good to go for some more weeks again.
I would not worry about her keeping a bit of an attitude once not working steady there any more.
Yes, bcody, please post that pic so all the COTHers can see Fly back in your days with her! COTHers, a little background--I bought Firefly from her back in 2004. Bought her after many emails and photos were exchanged, and then little Firebutt was shipped to me from Texas.
Seems like I can't not get her now, doesn't it? But I really want to see her first, and see how the boys interact with her.
The one thing is my older boy (6) has expressed occasional interest in riding. He rode my old mare a few times with me holding the lungeline, and had just started lessons (on the instructor's pony) when we lost her. He asked me once if he could ride my new boy, but he's too much horse for a 6yro. So we'd still not have a horse he could ride...though honestly, my new boy could pack my older boy around on a leadline just the same as my old girl did.
I kind of see it as things are lining up so ridiculously in place for us to take Fly home, that I just need to go with the flow and accept this is what needs to happen, and the rest will fall into place later. Yes, this is what needs to happen.
Apparently I have a couple pictures of Firefly from her days with us still in one of my online albums. So, until I can share pics of her with my boys, here she is about 5 years ago on our (well, where we board) property: