Extreme Mustang Makeover
We traveled Saturday, June 9th, 2007, to Pauls Valley, Oklahoma, along with our friend and fellow mustang enthusiast, Liza Bryce, to meet and pick up the mustang assigned to us, Number 0064. Our first glimpse of him was in the holding pens at the BLM facility.
We filled out the paperwork and he was sent into the chute toward the trailer. He was relatively calm as his neck tag was removed and a halter put in place. As the gate opened to the trailer he took a look, big sniff, snort, then jumped right in. Grabbed a bite of the hay we had in there, sighed and seemed to settle in for the ride!
The very first thing that struck Ted was the mustang's sheer size and presence. He walked up to him and said, "How ya doin', Big'un?" and the moniker just kind of stuck. We tried out a few other ideas, but he seems to be content with the name, Big'un, so I guess that's how he'll be known around here.
The trip home was rather uneventful, no panic from the traveler behind, even when large semis zoomed past. We stopped about halfway back for a much needed pit stop, and Ted checked on our passenger. He put his hand up to the slats of the trailer and Big'un even sniffed and touched his out-stretched hand with bits of hay hanging from his mouth.
Once arriving at the ranch, we backed the trailer to the round pen that was destined to be home to the mustang for a at least a few days during the gentling and halter breaking process.
Big'un hopped out of the trailer, sniffed around a few minutes, took a big drink of fresh water, a bite of hay and trotted the perimeter a couple of rounds before settling in and checking out his new environment.
It didn't take long for the rest of our herd to come check out the new kid on the block. I held my breath a bit wondering how hard he'd challenge the fence or if he'd consider trying to go over the top. It's a six foot high pipe fence, but then I've seen other horses try stupid things. After just a few minutes it was obvious that Big'un respected the fence, and that he was going to get along with the horses on the other side, too. Red wasn't very impressed, but Lena fell in love. The others checked him out and dismissed him as just another horse.
Ted decided to go in and just do a little testing to see how his disposition would be and what approaches were going to work best with him. It didn't take long to learn that this guy has a quiet disposition, willing attitude, and a great mind! This is surely going to be an adventure to cherish.
Checking movement and response to pressure
Will you look at me?