With a certain amount of trepidation, Lauren and I took off with the trailer on Saturday for the 60 mile drive to retrieve Feather. Neither of us said it, but I think we were both nervous that Sarah with her mystical powers could get Feather to do things that we, mere mortals could not.
Feather looked good waiting for us in her stall. Her white nose was sunburned because Sarah had managed to actually clip her muzzle and the sun had burned her freshly shaved skin. I caught her and Lauren greeting each other.
She seemed a little nervous but then she has had three homes in four years and probably didn’t know what to make of her current situation. Sarah demonstrated how she was approaching her to clip and fly spray her. Then we headed to the trailer. I know I was apprehensive. What if we had come all this way and she wouldn’t go home with us? Lauren and I didn’t discuss it but I could see the uneasiness pass across her face.Our trailer is shaped differently than Sarah’s with less room to load in the back. It is also darker inside and less open. Sarah walked Feather to the trailer and Feather backed off. Sarah just picked up the whip and Feather immediately loaded behind her. She had even taught her a neat trick that was reminiscent of dog training when you are teaching them to stay. Sarah left Feather standing in the front slant, untied, leadrope over her neck, facing the horse as she backed away to close the slant compartment. Sarah held Feather in a “stay” position even doing the “anhumpf” noise to keep her attention on staying. Feather stayed and we closed the slant. Sarah then unloaded her and it was Lauren’s turn.
Lauren told me later that she was afraid the mare would not load for her and we would all be embarrassed. Sarah told her to just be quiet and confident. Lauren took the leadrope in her hand and off they went. First try into the trailer. Lauren did the little stay trick, closed the slant, walked around, tied the trailer tie and it was time to go home.
With tears in my eyes, I thanked Sarah. When we got home, Feather quietly backed out of the trailer. Our other horses were in the back pasture and had not seen Feather yet. We fly sprayed her (while she stood quietly) and let her go. Head up and tail streaming beautifully out behind her she ran to see her old mates. Many times during the afternoon, I would glance out to the pasture to see Mickey and she grooming each other (standing next to one another rubbing the other’s back) or her and Leo quietly grazing in the sun.
Lauren has loaded the mare successfully four times since Saturday. Quietly, confidently, Lauren has become the leader of this horse. It seems stupid to be so overjoyed about this feat, but it is nice when patience and kindness are the answer to a problem.
Later, Saturday Ally called to see if she, Jo and Kendyll could come spend the night. It was Luke’s birthday weekend and he was off to see his friends. We had a nice evening, watching a movie, me watching Kendyll, just visiting and relaxing. We all went to bed early. I know Kendyll was up a few times in the night but all in all she did very well for her first trip to Granny’s house.We made the decision that we would all go to Colorado in a couple of weeks to help with my mom’s move and celebrate the kid’s birthdays. I think Amber was really pleased to hear we were all coming, especially Lauren (who usually gets stuck horse-sitting) and new baby Kendyll.
Sunday morning Ally had to get home to get their dogs out so she and Kendyll got going early. Jordyn woke up Aunt Lauren asking her if she could stay to ride and if Lauren would drive her home later. Amazingly Lauren agreed. Jordyn started out riding Mickey who was more than happy to just follow Feather around the arena. Seems he had missed the pretty little mare, too. Lauren jumped Feather over a couple of small jumps and Feather responded by jumping them in perfect form like they were four-foot high.
Afterwards, Lauren worked Leo while Jordyn got to walk out the hot and tired Feather. Pretty impressive four-year old horse being trustworthy enough to let go with a little four-year old rider. I am happy that Feather is home and doing so remarkably well. It is like a miracle to see the transformation in this horse. I am happy to have Ally want to come home and spend the night with us with her dear children. And baby Kendyll, what a beauty-what a treasure-what a joy!
P.S. Mickey goes from a laryngoscope tomorrow for the cough that has never gotten better and seems to be getting progressively worse. If you are the kind to pray for animals-please do so!