I was snowed in again yesterday. I couldn’t see my road because of the drifts and blowing snow. The plow didn’t come through until about 5:30 last night. We got out yard cleared out without calling for back up this time. Last storm I had to call a friend with a skid loader to come and push snow. So. Much. Snow. I am terrified to see how wet our basement is going to get.
Anyways last night after my arms were exhausted from shoveling snow and moving things about the yard I went to get some pony snuggling time in. Duke was the first to come up to me because he thinks I always have food on me. He quickly loses interest when he realizes he is out of luck. Pistol, well he is just a big lover. I think back to when we got him. Back to that first night I saw him in the auction ring. We bought him because he seemed so calm and relaxed in the midst of the chaos that is a livestock auction. I don’t even remember his rider riding him around. I just remember looking down on him and thinking if he is anything what they just described him as I think he will be great as a backup horse for us. We won him and the older woman I was sitting next to congratulated me and said it looked like we just got a great deal on a really good horse.
After the auction we went and found him in the pens. And buyers remorse kind of kicked in. He was chewing on the wood fence panels. Great, a cribber. Before we left we ran into the people who sold him, and they asked if we wanted his halter. And then we were able to ask a few questions like what type of bit he was ridden in, if he trailers etc. They told us he was a great horse that just about anyone can ride but they didn’t really know all that much about him because they had just bought him at auction a week prior. Awesome, horse traders. Hubby was sort of pissed because he knew better than to buy a horse from a trader, but we just kind of got caught up in the moment and he was an impulse. I went back and said goodbye to our new horse and we took off. We hadn’t brought a trailer because we weren’t planning on buying anything. As we got in our pickup a woman yelled out to us, and asked if we were the ones that bought the big red horse that was almost last. We said we did, and she said she was kicking herself for not bidding on him. He seemed like a great horse. She asked if we wanted to sell him to her. We thought about it for a second, but decided “hey if so many people think this horse is so great, he must be worth keeping!” So we drove off thinking of names for this new horse of ours.
The next morning we loaded up our trailer and headed back to the auction. It was quiet now, our new horse “Pistol” had been moved to another pen and we were able to find him pretty easily, although it was like a maze to try and get out of there. We backed our trailer up to the closest gate and then went to get him. We threw the halter on easily, and he led like a dream. We got him to our trailer and then loaded him up. Hooray! He loaded just like the people said he would! I hooked him up to the trailer tie and must have been still in shock that he loaded I forgot to go quickly go secure the butt bar. He pulled back, and snapped the elastic trailer tie and trotted away scared to death. Some not so kind words were exchanged between hubby and I as we tried to calm a frantic monster enough to catch him again. We did, and we got him loaded right away after that whole ordeal. I stood at the ramp and closed it once he got in. We didn’t tie him this time. Hubby jumped in the empty side of the trailer and put the butt bar up so it wouldn’t rattle or bump into him. We loaded ourselves up and then headed home. Still wondering what we had gotten ourselves into.
When we got him home, Piney and Duke were so excited to see a new friend. I lead him around the pasture, showing him the fence line. Then I turned him loose. They raced around the pasture for a while before all settling in to graze. Seemed like perfect harmony out in our pasture.
|My little red herd.|
Later that day the hubby went to try and catch Pistol and try to groom him. Nope. Pistol decided he wouldn’t be caught. I think he spent 2 hours trying to catch him before he was successful. Pistol was terrified of having his face or neck touched. But once you had him on the end of a lead rope, he would follow like a dream. We were able to get his auction sticker off his butt and do a bit of grooming.
The next day or a few days later I can’t remember. We tried to saddle him up. It still took forever to get catch him so we just left his halter on and had to trick him into catching him. You had to hide the end of the rope and then QUICKLY snap it on before he realized what was going on. Anyways we brought him to the barn and then groomed him and slipped the saddle on. It went well until hubby adjusted the rear cinch. Pistol EXPLODED bucking bronco style across the yard. At this point we were about at wits end with him. We couldn’t bridle him because he’d become a giraffe, and he was a bronc when saddling. We decided that maybe we should have his feet done, and then have the vet out. If his attitude didn’t improve he was gone. My bleeding heart didn’t want that to happen.
|I got the halter on! This time it only took me 45 mintues!|
The night before the farrier came out I spent 45 minutes in the pasture trying to halter him (he’d slipped out of his halter some how). But I got him. It was increasingly difficult because Piney was always in my face and would chase Pistol away from me. But I caught him and put in in the pen up front for the night. When the farrier came and trimmed his feet, he said that he was a really good boy and didn’t once make a wrong move. He said that if the horse rides anything like how he was for getting his feet done. I had a really nice horse on my hands. People kept saying that, but I still wasn’t seeing it.
A few days later we had the vet out for teeth floats, sheath cleaning and shots. I told the vet what was going on with this horse and that we were kind of at our wits end because he was kind of a nightmare but we were willing to try getting him checked out. Pistol was super cautious and flighty when the vet showed up. So they gave him a nice big dose of sleepy medicine. The vet got to work on his mouth and sure enough he had TERRIBLE teeth that were in desperate need of a float. Cuts all over his mouth from steak knife like back teeth. The vet cleaned those up, and then kind of looked his body over and said that he’d had a pretty rough life. Cuts and scrapes all over. He also said that he probably had started acting out because of his mouth pain and his previous owners must have been cruel to try and stop him from acting up. The vet cleaned his sheath and some pretty big beans came out of there so that could have been another reason for his naughty behavior.
We still didn’t feel like being the first to ride him, so we found a trainer and sent him off once his mouth had heeled up. The trainer also told us that Pistol had some trust issues and that someone had been very cruel to him at some point. But he said that he only needed to put about 5 rides on because the horse was ready to go home. He told us he’d have no problem putting anyone in his family, even the ones that don’t ride on this horse. He didn’t feel right keeping him any longer because there wasn’t really much else he could do with him. He said that durring one of his rides he rode for a bit and then needed to go into the house. So he just tossed the reins into the box of his pick up truck and ran into the house. He had a soda and a cookie and looked out and Pistol just stood there patiently waiting. Apparently someone put a lot of time into him, but unfortunately he ended up falling through the cracks and then ended up at the auction a few times within a few weeks.
|Pistol loved Piney. Piney HATED his tag along...|
We brought him home and I was so excited to ride. I tacked him up and rode around the yard and up and down the road. I did figure 8’s around the ever green trees. I was fun being on a horse that actually moved out at the walk. When I got back to the barn was when everything fell apart for me. “Piney isn’t eating” was what my husband told me. I don’t even remember right before he told me that. But the next few hours would be miserable, but not nearly as painful as the next 24.
I admittedly shut down and ignored the two surviving horses for a really long time. I would go feed them. And that was it. Pistol was trying to be sweet and snuggly. He finally had started to trust me and was seeking love and attention, but I didn’t want to give him any. Piney was my horse and he was gone and I didn’t want anything to do with horses anymore. One night my husband pressured me into riding and I am glad he did. I saddled up a few more times before the snow flew, by myself and just rode down the road. He was a bit of a crap head once we got to our driveway, but then again, so was Piney some times.
Last night I couldn’t help but smile as Pistol repeatedly put his head in my hands. When I took my hands away to scratch Duke, he would gently reach out and try to get me to pay more attention to him. His eyes are sparkly and have life in them. His mouth almost appears to be smiling unlike the dead eyes with a clenched jaw that came with him when we brought him home. While he still isn’t 100% fond of me playing with his ears, he doesn’t mind me scratching his neck, and petting his face. He is an absolute rockstar when it comes to blanketing. He is very patient when it comes to feeding. He knows he has to wait until “Prince” Duke gets his food first. And when I am walking towards the pasture with their feed that quiet, little nicker he gives me just absolutely kills me!
Pistol is such a great boy. Our farrier told us he is great. People that saw him at the auction thought he was great. When we had him into the vet for xrays on his foot, they were amazed that he stood as relaxed and calm as he did. They said that most horses need to be sedated when they are x rayed. Not Pistol. I’m glad that his long winding roads lead him here to me. I haven’t given him half the chance that he deserves but I am going to try harder to make sure he knows how much I love him. So many times I’ve looked out at the pasture and swore up and down that he was Piney. I am so lucky to have him because I think he is pretty great too.
And P.S., he hasn't once cribbed since we brought him home :)