Since Patrick actually has to work every once in a while (mostly to support the animal problem we've got), my mom and I left for the corrals this morning at 5:50 this morning with the horse trailer. Because it is over a five hour drive, we planned to be there in time to get things going and get back before dark. We pulled into the corrals right on time at 11:15.
The first thing we had to do was go back to the mare paddock to look at the horses from a distance (with binoculars instead of my camera lens this time). That way we could make sure that the horses we wanted were in that group. It was 93 degrees, but the wind was blowing, which made the temperature pleasant but picked up enough dust to make my eyes sting for hours.
Next they herded the girls up to the corrals by the barn so we could have a closer look. At this point, I had narrowed it down to three: #56, a big bay mare, #53, a little sorrel, and #47 a cute bay with a star.
My mom took pictures so that I could watch the horses moving. Tom, one of the head wranglers, was watching with me from a catwalk above the corral. I look like a sailor in this picture, but really I was just trying to keep the insane dust out of my already burning eyes.
Then they broke them up into groups and put them into a small chute. The horses were pretty scared of us walking around on the catwalk and were constantly milling around. I took a good look at number 56. She was pretty fat for a mustang, and just a big boned 2 year old. She had a look in her eyes like she was one of the higher ups in the herd, and I decided that was probably too much horse for me. So I watched carefully at 53 and 47. The little sorrel was quite spunky, but the bay mare had a kind look in her eye and seemed to be curious despite her fear. She also looked like a good middle-of-the-herd mare--not too bossy, but also not too scared.
Soooo, 47 it was! A 2 year old mare from Cold Springs. She is pictured in the previous entry, as well. They ran the horses into the chutes in the barn individually, so I finally got a really good look at her. She was nervous but quiet.
I brought along a halter, so Tom gently put it on her while she was in the chute. She was such an angel! She let him slip it over her head with no fuss, although she was clearly wondering what was going on.
Then, he clipped her neck tag off and handed it to me, and we were ready to write the check for $125 for the adoption.
Before they brought the horses into the barn, I backed my trailer up the chute, and when she was ready, Tom and his assistant loaded her without a fuss.
I was worried about how she would do on the long drive back, considering it was her first time in a trailer by herself (she'd already been in one to get to the corrals). It was extremely windy and the ride was a bit shaky, but she was very quiet. The only time I could feel her moving around a bit (and when I heard one small kick to the trailer wall) was when we were in stop and go traffic in Bend. But I don't blame her; it annoyed me also!! After going over the pass into Stayton, I could feel her jiggling a little more, but she was a star pretty much the whole trip. We stopped to get gas and at a grocery store, and she just watched curiously out the top of the trailer.
When we got home, I backed up to the corral gate, opened the door, and she hopped out after a moment of hesitation. Needless to say, the other horses were very excited. She handled it so well, a little excited in the corral at first, but settling down to graze pretty quickly. I left Luna next to her for the night so they can become friends.
She continues to be curious and fairly quiet--trotting around on occasion but mostly doing a lot of snorting at all the new things around her. She walks up to the fence as though she wants to be touched, but then backs away. She seems to think it's kind of funny how the other horses are okay with being touched, and when I'm with them she watches longingly over the corral fence. I think she will be a good girl to gentle. And Brandy is especially happy there is another bay filly around.
Overall, the best of all possible scenarios played out today!