Archive for October 24th, 2010

A Chance At His Wings

This little brown horse is a mystery. He was corralled by police and sent off to animal control to see if anyone would claim him. They haven’t. Hate to say but it’s not surprising.

Authorities have tried to track down his brand but no luck. It’s not registered with our state. No one on any of the horse lists or any of our horse friends recognize it. I’ve been keeping tabs on the Lost & Found section of Craig’s List and Netposse. No one seems to be looking for him.

So, my friends and I have put things in motion to give this boy a chance at the happy life he hasn’t had. He’s underweight and terribly frightened by people. In the weeks he’s been at the shelter no one has been able to touch him. It’s heartbreaking to see an animal who wants to trust but has been taught not to. I’m once again amazed at the outpouring of concern and help coming for this boy. He’s got a name now, thanks to Miss Terri, our barn owner. He’s going to be called JayBird and we will help him get his wings!

Gary Adams of Quest Horsemanship (find him on Facebook) has stepped forward to work with JayBird. He met with us this past thursday and feels he’s definitely got potential. The poor guy is extremely reactive and anticipates that a person must mean bad things. Sure wish he could talk to us but I guess that’s what he’s doing in his own way. Gary spent over an hour working with JayBird and made great progress considering his circumstances.

Gary is not speaking or giving any commands. He’s talking to JayBird with body language and getting him to move off pressure. This is Natural Horsemanship which is far removed from the old Cowboy way of overpowering to defeat the animal. In Natural Horsemanship it’s all about the relationship and trust not force.

It seems crazy that a horse would think the same as a bunny, but they do. Anything and everything could eat them. We are predators and they are prey. A horse feels most comfortable in a large, open area with other horses where they have the ability to see everything around them. Keep in mind, JayBird is at a dog shelter with hundreds of barking dogs (predators) and lots of people (predators) constantly moving around him. Their instincts tell them fight or flight. Once he began settling down JayBird was taking refuge in his stall and Gary was able to stand in the doorway.

After some time he was able to touch him with what’s called a “carrot stick”. Different trainers call it different things. It’s basically an extension of your arm and should not be used for hitting, it’s used to apply pressure to different parts of the horse to get them to move or stand still, depending on what you’re asking. It’s all part of desensitization so JayBird can begin to understand a person can mean good things. At any time, the horse could have struck or kicked Gary but he chose not to.

JayBird has a stressful week ahead but Gary, Gayle, Terri, Jan, Therese and The Traveling Circus Ladies are going to help him through it as much as possible. The vet has to come out and geld him (neuter in the dog world), pull blood to send off for his Coggins test and give his vaccinations. All this must be done before he can be moved to his rehab facility at Miss Terri’s place. We want to make it as least traumatic as possible so Gary wants to be on-hand to assist the vet – we’re so thankful to have found him!

(Gary & Gayle)

Once JayBird is moved to Miss Terri’s place his real rehab can begin. There’s word a family may even be interested in adopting him once he’s ready! JayBird is seeing firsthand the power of people coming together to help a lost soul. Most find out their own souls are all the better for it. I’m very proud to be part of such a loving horse community. Mountains can certainly be moved even if it is one bucket at a time, or one little brown horse at a time.

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