Sunday, October 5, 2008

The dream takes shape

I thought I'd post some pictures of our latest family additions. Everyone asks the same question...

I thought you were moving to Colorado? It is true. We are. But I rationalize.

You got *how* many horses? Yeah, well... I am a sucker. What can I say? They were purchased at basement bargain prices, but the increased cost of feed sure has made up for the savings. LOL

So here are some of my rationalizations:

If Sierra hadn't died last year, she'd be going with us - so it began as a trade off. And the bonus horse... well, the rationalization is that we gave Georgia away so we are one less pony, but I guess that won't hold water when the Thompson's arrive with Elisabeth's surprise. But, like children - what's one more, right? I am sure we'll have to sell more goats to find room. And, Rachel will probably keep Parrin, so that will give us a little more room.

This is how it went....

(For those who don't yet know, we purchases 3 of the Trexler rescue horses at the Georgia Equine Rescue Auction.)

We arrived and looked over the horses that were in the paddocks outside, and I asked questions about the ones I had picked out as possibilities. Much to my delight, the little filly that I liked in the pictures was a farm favorite, a pocket pet, the friendliest one. In person, she wasn't as pleasing to my eye as some of the others, but personality is important too. Ashley Hope was goo-goo eyed over another grey that 'is coming around' the volunteers told us. They were all so beautiful, and the before/after pictures made me want to reinstate lynching. I never even made it into the barn to see the horses in the stalls before the bidding began.

We found a spot to set up the chairs by the auction ring, and watched as they brought out horse number one. She was beautiful but petrified. She stood shaking all over as the auctioneer begged for a bid. I restrained myself as the hammer came down at a mere $60 for a beautiful, well bred 5 yo Arabian mare. Several more horses walked in and out of the ring before my horse pranced in calmly with her head held high. I was fearful that the positive comments of the volunteers would cause her to bring a premium price. Not so - I got her for a measly $130. Had I been my right mind, I would have packed everyone up and headed home.

But no, I was riveted. I don't even remember what happened next. I just know I found myself bidding. I couldn't stand to see the price tags so low. These horses had been impounded for a whole year. The auctions help to cover some of the costs of care. So in my mind I excused my waving hand as a way to help drive up the prices. In that I was successful. Many of the volunteers thanked me, over and over. In the end, we only walked away with three horses. I guess it could have been worse. No, honestly - I would only push the price to $100 and then I would stop. I am sure that I would have arrived at a point of restraint earlier if my tactics hadn't worked so well.

I bet we helped them bring in at least an extra thousand or two. Considering that with papers, those horses could have easily sold for several thousand each puts it into perspective. It still makes me sad, and mad. I wish there was some way we could get papers on these girls. DNA testing is the only way, and it appears to be a long shot. Not enough information is available.

Now that we have them home, and they have settled in so has reality. One of the horses actually belongs to my oldest daughter, Ashley Hope. She is supposed to be finding a place to keep her. I will be boarding one of them at a friend's until we move.

I thought I would post a couple of pictures. The gray in the picture with Christopher is Raja. That was the first time her feet have ever been trimmed, and she was better behaved than many vetrans. The other gray is Xena - Ashley Hope's... and the bay is Alina. Both of them have a *long* way to go before they are even to be considered tame in my book. We can halter them, and lead them around, but they prefer not to be touched. Lots and lots of friendly game! Parelli is an amazing system though and they are coming around very quickly. We have already mastered the catching game. The first night, it took over an hour for Christopher to be able to touch Alina. Now they face us and come to us. These aren't the greatest pictures, and don't really do them justice, but it is what I have for now.

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