"Feral ~ from feminine of ferus wild: having escaped from domestication and become wild"...




Friday

Yes, Cindy Bee, there are wild horses...



living.


My finger hovers over the mouse;
 i right click, again.

there.

an ad for a little red roan mustang
still viable, rideable, still available.
Sitting at my desk at midnight
the crickets chirp their sweet trill of good night
alongside open doors
curtains dance lazily in a Montana night breeze.
i contemplate.



"i cant" says old woman thoughts
"i'll fall off"
"i cant" says thrifty woman thoughts
"its a waste of time and money"
"i cant" says tired woman thoughts
"i'll get hurt..."



50 years old, three more years of scans
then they can say "remission"
they give me no promises.
50 years old, last year's consuming wildfire
watching from our hayfield below
it left us ashes to rebuild.
50 years old, two beautiful, fierce daughters
living lives fully far away
we taught them how to leave.
50 years old, a forester for a husband
softly snores in the other room
not knowing the little girl
inside the woman
is right clicking
at midnight
again.
there.
I contemplate.



"i can" says strong woman thoughts
I have been through drought,
hard times and loneliness

and fire.

I have been through fire.

and 
I lived.

so "i can" says I
because

this girl used to ride for fun




Tomorrow I'll call
next week I'll visit
in one month I'll buy
one little red roan mustang.

We will ride,



I will live.



~



 "and they all lived happily ever after"



~

When I first starting looking for horses to keep Ebony company, Mr. Foresterman and I had a deep discussion about our future - we found out that I couldnt sit comfortable on Ebony due to the DVT damage in my left leg, ankle to groin.  I wear a compression sock on that leg, but when I sat on his broad Morgan back, my leg would go numb.  Either I quit trying, or try to find a suitable riding horse that was small enough for my leg issue, but large enough to carry me.  Ebony was also having issues himself due to the fire and being insulin resistant, but with patience and supplements, he slowly was becoming himself again, and rideable. So now what do we do?  Do we give up on horses, or do we try...?

So yes, at midnight many nights, i would view this certain ad. Each time I would watch the video I was impressed with this little horse's big heart - he moved like a thoroughbred at only 14 hands  - but he was a mustang. In certain horse circles, this is the equivalent of being a mutt, a mixed breed, a muggle horse. I wanted a small, well defined horse, not a pony, and i had looked for quite awhile for the right horse - he so much fit the description that i needed. But he was a mustang...

but then i thought, so am i...and so i would watch the video, read the ad, and many nights ask myself, "Was I capable of being this little horse's partner?"

A mustang is a wild, feral horse - and there are special places out west on US Government land called "herd management areas" (HMA's) where they roam freely by the hundreds...until the government thinks there are too many and they round them up with helicopters and wranglers, bringing them in by the hundreds. This is where Frostig's story begins - in the Adobe Town HMA, in the red desert of south central Wyoming. 

He was born in 2004 - in a herd that has been bloodtyped as having lineage of Spanish colonial horses from the 1600's - during the early spring season, when the grounds have thawed out, the first buds appear on the pasque flowers, and the bands of wild horses would have established their routines...his mother would have showed him what was safe to eat, what was safe to drink, and  no man  nor woman would have ever touched him.  His father would have guided them around, making sure they were safe from predators, incoming weather, and other stallions. He would live this way for a whole year, the turning of the seasons hearing no mans voice, just the whinnies, nickers and sighs of his family. Until the roundup of  August - October 2005.

The frightening noise of a large mechanical whirring bird with men inside, driving them apart, together, apart as they scrambled to get away - then mens voices, shouting, riding alongside, forcing them into corrals while brandishing sticks with large plastic bags on the end to frighten... dust, sweat, panic as stallions whirled and pushed and tried to get their families out, some making a vain attempt to leap too tall gates, colts getting trampled, mares getting shoved and bit and the chaos wouldnt end even after they were separated.  Then there is separation; he would be taken away from his family, banded on the neck with a large plastic ziptie marked with what HMA he was from, castrated, and then freezebranded on his neck, harsh enough to scar his skin down to flesh, because he was born a roan... the men must be able to see his brand from afar in the holding pens, where all the other newly branded, castrated yearlings stood, calling out for their family... 

Flash forward to 8 years - in one week I met him, then rode him in my english saddle for his first time , where i did not hurt nor go numb, and fell in love with his tempered willingness, and his ability to try - the next week he was trimmed by a farrier in front of us and he was so good - the third week he passed the prepurchase exam with flying colors... and I brought him home that same day after the brand inspector passed him through. But his brand on his neck; his brand was like a secret decoder ring...If we could interpret the code on his neck into numbers, we could call the Government and they would tell us where he was from, when he was adopted, and when he was titled by the adoptee (it takes one year to be an owner when you adopt a wild mustang, after that you can receive title for your horse.  If not, the government takes him back, and he belongs to the US government, where he is either adopted out again, or is put into a permanent holding pen for his lifetime).  So with Mr. Foresterman's help, we shaved over the brand area - it helps to see it better - we each took a turn writing down what markings we saw without showing it to each other, and then we compared; our markings matched. 

Going to the Bureau of Land Mangement  (BLM) website online, we deciphered it into numbers. There. Now we can call.

Frostig was one of the lucky ones; because of his unusual markings of a white skunk tail, a socklet on one back hind, and his red roan coat, he was adopted in November 2005 for $125. to someone in Minnesota.  In one year, he was then titled to this same person, who then either kept him, or sold him.  Somewhere he was supposedly trained by the Amish to be a cart horse, and was then sold to a horse trader from Iowa, who then sold him to another horse trader in Wyoming, who we bought him from. From the time of when he was first captured to living with us today, he has lived in four states, and has had at least 5 owners, counting the US Government. We were told he was 10 years old , however his brand told another story - he is only 9 years old.  

If he could only speak - he has been through so much in those 9 years...

Through all of this, he has kept his trust of humans, and gave it to me willingly. Through all of this, he still wants to learn to be a partner, and he trys with me. So, because we understand each other, and we work well together, 

I brought him home. forever.


~



29 comments:

  1. He sounds perfect and I am so glad he has found a partner and forever home. You two will be awesome.

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  2. Who knows what they go through as they are passed from pillar to post? And they are so forgiving. We can learn a lot from them. Wishing you the best of luck with your riding. He was obviously supposed to come to you;-)

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  3. a sweet, sweet match. and now he has a forever home with ebony, too.

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  4. This is such a wonderful story. Its just another example of why we love you so much!!! Your girls learned their fierceness from you, dear girl. All of us nervous nellies should take a page from your book and remember that we're gonna get old(er) anyway, so we might as well just go ahead and do what we want and dream about doing. Lots of hugs to you and Mr. Foresterman today!!!!

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  5. Sorry I missed the post before this with it's beautiful photos; so lovely to see you riding again and check out the big smile! Frostig looks like the perfect horse for you, and I bet he gave a big sigh of relief when he saw the feral type spaces at his new FOREVER home.

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  6. Love the photos of horses running and playing. Great writing. Wonderful story. Your feral red roan mustang friend belongs with you. You both have HEART.

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  7. This post is SO prize worthy in every respect. Your writing does exactly what it's supposed to do , my heart is feeling it. Your photos are stunning, moving and my love for equine nature almost explodes! Very nearly had a mess on my hands! Lovely, wonderful post, Dear Girl- and I can call you that because I am so much older than you.

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  8. Wonderful story!! I didn't want it to end.... I want to read more..... Oh wait.... We will-- you are together forever and now it wil go on forever with love......
    :)
    you are such a good story teller .....
    Fondly, Rain

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  9. You had me in tears with this story!!

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  10. Damn woman, you made me cry ...again and yet these wound up to be happy tears. You are the perfect partner for him. Thank you.

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  11. NO, just because Frostig is a mustang he is NOT a mutt or a muggle or whatever you said "they" say. Frostig IS a survivor and so are you Feral and you both belong together for a long time.

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  12. Thank you for sharing! You two were meant for each other.

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  13. I'm so glad you got him. Happy trails, girl!

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  14. Janice I am so glad for both of you. That horse is so lucky you found him and you are lucky you found him. The smile you have in your previous post pretty much says it all. Given what you've said about the horse and how much he tries for you I would say it was meant for your trails to cross. Frostig will have a happy life and you will have a sore face from all the smiling. Great riding....Happy trails!!!!!!!

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  15. Beautiful post, it pulled at my heart strings.....you've come a long way baby!!!

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  16. Well first off I am back and you posted while I was gone so I just found this........ yup I had fun:)
    You can.... You did.....You live....You smile.... You are My Hero (not that one):))There is nothing youcannot do my friend.
    Your photos are magnificent your story compelling and tear jerking just the kind that should be in a book for all to read you are a Hero to so many of us and Frostig what can I say? It takes one "tough loving cookie" to know one:) You made me cry. The perfect match and I see Ebony likes him too:)HUGS xoxoxo B

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    1. So I reread this two more times and each time I cry I honestly never knew what Mustangs go through and you are perfect for each other. FOREVER xoxoxo

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  17. God brings horses to their person for a reason.....

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  18. Happy endings are the best. Wishing you many hours of meaningful bonding my friend.

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  19. Absolutely beautiful photos of two lucky horses
    Fabulous description about your Mustang
    Your a beautiful strong woman with such a wonderful heart and soul ...
    and captivating fabulous writing skills !

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  20. You are definitely the pot of gold at the end of his rainbow. It makes my heart full and warm to think that you two ended up together. The perfect companion for both horse and feral woman. And more heartstringtwanging moments for us to read!

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  21. ooohhhhh happy endings are best!! what a great story, a "forever" story!!

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  22. This inspired me today. I need to learn how to say "in can" more often.
    I am like you...I tend to be on the computer late and usually sit in the dark. I get more absorbed in what I do that way, no distractions.
    You have a very nice blog here : )

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  23. Love, love this post and the pictures! I'm so glad you found Frostig and said "I CAN," for both your sakes.
    I always wonder where the horses have been and what they have been through and I truly wish they could talk...

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  24. Not many writers bring tears to my eyes. Your telling of Frostig's story did and can barely see to write this comment. I know he will be with you forever, no one knows how long their forever is ~ just ask Tomaz. So each day Baby and Frostig can roam the forest together is a good day, he must feel like the mustang he is now, living with a feral woman and her big black horse. I so love when an animal gets a happy ending.

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I am feral, so although I dont respond at all like most domesticated bloggers, I will try my best - Thank you for even wanting to leave a comment, as it may draw me out from the woods from whence I came!

Or under a rock, it depends most days...