Thank you for the muzzle offer UrbanHennery- I think he is bigger size than a mini- but I'm not sure because his muzzle is very delicate (or maybe his lovey eyes are just GIGANTIC?) I'll do some measurements in a few minutes when I go out to check on him.
Before I do that- I'm going to take a minute to upload some new pictures and try to write the story.
Bless you and your big heart. What a cutie. I just want to squoosh him! This is definitely one of those "saving one pony won't change the world, but it will change the world for that one pony" moments.
My husband worked last night at a steel mill. When he gets home from a 12 hour shift- he's flat beat. Add heat into that regular mix- and I'm sure he'd like to hibernate for a week under a ceiling fan in a blacked out room. Instead... when he woke up he went right outside in the heat to hitch up the trailer and help me go get this pony. No grumbling about anything. I am so thankful for how sweet and cool he was in this situation today in the heat.
I had brought my camera because there are other horses at the farm, other horses who need homes- I was hoping to get some really nice quality (you know- better than Craigslist) pictures of them to network around. One, the black, is an aged TWH, was once a great saddle horse and the two spotted ones, I think also walkers) are in their teens and were probably never broke and are now pretty much feral.
I was hoping they might be in the barn so we didn't have to go hiking in the giant hot weedy pasture to find them. Well- once I stepped inside the barn- I wished I hadn't made that wish.
They were in the barn, but were barely visible in the furthest back darkest corner. Between me and that corner- were broken walls and broken stalls and a large part of the barn roof- some on the ground- some fallen haphazardly and some dangling from who knows what up overhead.
In the recent rains- I guess all the water drained from the intact part of the roof into this part of the barn. Only it wasn't mud, it was probably a foot of saturated cow slop consistency manure soup. I tried to snap a quick picture of the horses where they stood- but my camera settings were for outdoors- not the shady barn. I think the sound of the camera spooked the horses and I just got one more shot without getting my setting fixed before they bolted out into ... what I believe was once a round pen.
I asked my husband to body block the gap they'd entered so I could try to approach the pony. This was tricky because I was having to duck branches and watch my own footing, and the pony was hiding amongst his terrified herd who was charging around from side to side getting more and more explosive. I was afraid one would bolt into me, rear, strike or smash through the weakest part in the fence. Spirit was a sucker for carrots and catching him wasn't that hard- were it not for the danger element of the others.
After I got him haltered, he didn't want to lead away from his herd... then they they all bolted back into the barn and out into the big pasture. I didn't want to take Spirit through that barn- the alternative was beating a 20 foot path through head-high burr weeds to what should have been the gate but it was grown closed with saplings on both sides. Drat. I had to take him through the barn.
It's so strange... he's been living there for many years... every day, every summer, and winter... and suddenly because it was my hands on the leadrope I could barely bring myself to allow him to show me the path he wanted to use to get through the wreckage. The thought of the rotten wood, the rusty sheet metal roof and nails buried in that soup- and his feet the way they are- It made me really just want to vomit- not with revulsion, but with nerves. Just flat out fear. Spirit picked a pony sized path which forced me to let him out to the end of the lead and follow him crouching under the fallen trusses studded with nails.
I don't think he's ever trailered and he put up a little fight loading - but it turns out he simply didn't know he could put his feet on the ramp. After I picked up each of his front feet and placed them on the ramp- he went right in.
Half way home sweat was POURING off him- dripping off his fetlocks. A combo of the heat- the stress and maybe his metabolism.
I want to spend a little more time with him now. Give him a hug.
Urban Hennery- I'm sorry I forgot to measure for a muzzle when I was out at the barn. When I get my head screwed on I'll bring a tape measure out.
Cloudy and Callie- Thanks for asking about the other horses. I think that several members of the family would be very relieved if they were to go to new homes which is why I wanted to try to network them a little. I was nervous when it finally came down to claiming the pony- afraid that something might turn sour or get mean- all I encountered was honest relief and gratitude.
The horses do seem outwardly in very good shape, although one of the spotted horses is very lame in a front foot... which after the whole barn experience today concerns me a lot.
The lack of training at their age is also a major hurdle in marketability... which might be the holdup.
By the way- the dark horse is really a black, not a bay... maybe he's sunfaded or just didn't photograph right.
the album- including some pictures I just took of his feet- mind you- I tried to trim his feet a little last Friday- I took off about 1.5 inches off each toe- but was hitting pink and got scared. Since then it seems that grown out layer of extended sole and lamina has begun to peel a little. http://s16.photobucket.com/user/frog...m/library/pony
I may have a grazing muzzle somewhere down in my basement that I purchased for my Welsh pony years ago. He's been gone 11 years so I have no idea where the heck I put it. I will look for it in the morning to see if it is put aside neatly on a shelf. ha ha
He is cute as a button. His feet are bad, yes, but I've seen some that look worse right here on CotH. Bless you for helping him, and may he richly reward you! Hope the other horses can be helped as well. That barn--
I heard a neigh. Oh, such a brisk and melodious neigh as that was! My very heart leaped with delight at the sound. --Nathaniel Hawthorne