Tuesday, June 3, 2008

A " FREE" HORSE

We really aren't greenhorns, or city slickers "wet behind the ears", so why do we keep falling for the "free horse" trick? We already have four horses, two donkeys, and a mule, plus Casey's horse on the ranch. Having experienced vet bills, farrier fees, feed bills, and a myriad of other "incidentals", we have avoided even looking at flyers and handbills hawking equines. We have taken private vows not to associate with our beloved neighbor during foaling. (now you know, Pete.) We exchange wise glances when the topic at the vet's or the feed store, or the cattleman's dinner turns to "free" horses. As well as we ever resisted zucchini in the late summer, we have pushed back at the temptation of horses someone else doesn't want. ( Or even graciously wants us to have.) Most of the time.

Jeb is a neighbor of ours, a recently married young man who has worked with both Zac and Eric on stream bed restoration and fire fuel-reduction projects. He and his wife Tess own three horses, two LARGE models and one normal-sized. One of the jumbos wasn't working out... he was balky and obstinate with Jeb, and mean to the other large horse. Jeb decided to sell. I don't know exactly when that decision was made, but I do know that by the time we heard about it the price had fallen from the 2500 dollars that they paid for the horse to 250... and Jeb had told our mutual neighbor Julie that "I may have to GIVE him away to reduce my feed bill!

Tammie, acting solely on her feminine instinct to respond to 90% off sales, and Eric, always game for a big adventure, decide that we NEED this horse. Or, that this horse NEEDS us, I forget... Either way, Eric and I borrow a trailer (we needed a large trailer, this is a BIG horse) and drive to Jeb and Tess's. Jeb tried to dissuade us, he told us that he had been unable to bit the horse, that the horse had bolted once, that it was mean to the other horse, ( he even pointed out the scars on the victim's hide!) he mentioned more than once that this horse REALLY EATS A LOT!!! He told us that if the horse gets loose "you'll think someone stole your haystack."
Saner men would have thanked him for his honesty and driven away. We loaded the big guy and drove back to the ranch with our booty. The agreement was; if your horse fits in with our herd and we choose to keep him, after a trial period of course, we will buy him from you. In the meantime, we will feed and care for his needs. This morning Tammie and Eric rode a fairly technical trail and introduced the new guy to the regulars. He passed all tests and Eric is claiming him as his own. The newest horse on the ranch is named Sweet William or Billy Bob depending on who you talk to. Being of Scottish ancestry, I'm pulling for William the Sweet, Prince of Scotland.

William on the falls loop trail


Certainly not afraid of water crossings


Perhaps a little peeved by people talking behind his back

13 comments:

  1. Ahhh-- here I was expecting a Belgian, or some such Monter Building On Legs horse! LOL

    Sweet Willaim was waiting to find "His Person". Appys are known to do that. (I have had Appys just about my entire life. Love that mindset!) Hope that he has indeed found his person, and that things work out quite well for him with the family there!

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  2. "sweet william" for such a large horse at that, makes him sound too dainty. How about "william Wallace"? Now thats a name for a leader... (?)

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  3. Once again I agree with Mrs. Mom about Appaloosas. Once they find their person they can be fiercely loyal.

    I, too, have Scottish blood in my veins through my Mother's side. She was an Erwin which was derived from the Scottish Ervine clan - mostly from the Aberdeen area.

    Good riding.

    Dan

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  4. Okay, William won't be asked to help pull the budweiser wagon, but when he stands next to a quarterhorse, you're thinking ponies. And yes jason, William Wallace speaks of greatness and leadership... this guy is more of a lover than a fighter though.

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  5. Love the opening paragraph!! Good for you though. Despite what anyone or any reason might say, you decided this horse needed a home! I do like William Wallace by the way; sounds so regal for a horse with large presence. Perhaps he will give Buddy a challenge!!!

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  6. Great looking horse! If I had only known what a bargain hunter you are,(softie) I could have sold you our horse very cheap that I gave away a couple of months ago!
    I guess timing is everything!

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  7. Just so you know, the horse is 16 1/2 hands and a bit underweight right now. And he wasn't absolutely perfect on his trail ride, he crow hopped a little in the beginning! But not much and the rest of the ride he did great and seemed to absolutely enjoy it. My son loves him already. We did have to go shopping and get a mule headstall to fit his large head. Tj

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  8. he's so beautiful!!!!
    can I ride him when I come out????
    I love appaloosas!!! Eclipse (my first horse) looked a little like him.
    How could anyone turn him down???
    -jo

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  9. Of course you can ride him Jo. We still have only introduced him to Mustang Buddy across the corral fence, so there is a possibility that they won't get along and we will have to return William. But, so far, they seem just fine. Willy's favorite horse seems to be your old horse Charlie. They stand side by side at the fence and sleep. Hopefully, Charlie will finally have a best friend!

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  10. William is a handsome devil!! I am sure if he is in a small herd he will be fine with the others. He probably eats so much becaue he is so skinny and hungry. He might be mean because he is so hungry. I think he is cute. Get him fat and then he will probably get along with a small herd. I have a pony mare that was like that. It's amazing how a horse will be better for some people. They are smart animals.

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  11. I think you are right, Andrea. I think it was a hunger issue that caused his aggression with the others. We have him isolated right now, waiting for the wormer to do its trick, but he has been a true gentleman. My son and him already have quite a rapport, so we are hopeful that it will work out.

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  12. Beautiful pix! I love that you guys took him. Eric strikes me as the kind of guy who loves a challenge--and a new great friend.

    You've seen how we fall for the "free" horse concept. So far it's working out for us--hopefully you'll have the same luck.

    Great post.

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  13. That first paragraph had me grinning and the rest swept me along for the ride. Good writing!

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