July 14, 2008

The Girls

We got Luna in December of 2006. She is a BLM mustang- she was rounded up from the cold high desert of southern Wyoming when she was barely two years old. She was adopted by a loving couple who adopted several of the mustangs, and spent the next two years gentling them, so when we got her she didn't have any training, but adored humans. Luna was pregnant when she was caught, and gave birth to a filly a few months into her captivity.

We bought her when she was four, and her baby was almost two. It broke my heart to part them, but at the time I didn't have the time and energy to take on two big projects. I trained Luna from the ground up, and now my daughter is riding her. Early this summer my farrier told me he had just worked on a horse that was the spitting image of my mare- he described her and I realized that it was Wenona, Luna's baby. She had been sold and put out to pasture because her new owners didn't have time to work with her, and she was for sale. It seemed to be more than coincidence (the chances of him running into her were phenomenal- the geographic area between our home and where I bought Luna is probably a hundred miles) and I felt compelled to act on it. I called the owner and explained the situation, and she was incredibly tickled to think that Wenona could be back with her mom. In short order I was unloading our new filly (now 3 1/2) at the barn, anxious to see how the reunion would go.

Their original owners told me that when I took Luna away, Wenona had gotten very depressed for almost six months, and had also gotten very sick when the herd caught strangles. So I figured she'd be exstatic to see her mom again. Luna recognized her immediately, but Wenona acted as if she didn't recognize Luna. After a lot of sniffing over the fence on Luna's part (Wenona didn't want to give her the time of day) I turned them loose together. I was worried that Wenona would beat up on her mom, because she was extremely agressive in her previous herd. As soon as they were loose, Luna started chasing and scolding Wenona, who acted completely submissive and took her scolding in stride. After about half an hour of this, they settled in beautifully, and acted as if they had never been apart. Getting acclimated to the other horses in the herd was a lot rougher, and there were several fights.

Wenona came home around the 10th of May. I got on her back in the round pen for the first time on the 14th of June. She was a bit confused because her leader was on her back. First thing she did was pick up my cap that I had thrown on the ground in exchange for my helmet, and started chewing on it as if to say, 'ha ha! Now's my chance- I wouldn't be able to get away with this if you were down here!" She is very oral, always exploring and communiating with her lips, she uses them like hands- to look for reassurance and to touch and commune, I think it is her way of trying to speak my language, since I touch and rub her with my hands all of the time.

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