We call our farmhouse project a renovation. You know what our bank calls our farmhouse project? A rehab. I told the bank the project is going to put me into rehab!
We have been dealing with the south wall for weeks now, digging deeper and deeper and still finding termite damage and more wood to pull out and replace. And, of course, we’re still dealing with escaping horses and trying to get in a garden and finding out how wet the barn really is and coyotes killing all of our chickens and on and on. But I digress. All those projects are not what this post is about.
This post is about taking on one more project. A rescue horse. That we really didn’t need. Or have time for. Not now.
So I won’t go into the how we ended up with a rescue horse; I will only say that in some bizarre way, when his photo showed up on Facebook yesterday on my friend Cindy’s wall (Cindy the Enabler), my gut said he was one more piece in the puzzle I am putting together in this new life of mine with Bob by my side, tackling the farmhouse, the barn, the fencing and all, while parenting Emma and–we hope–Jake should he decide to come live with us. Because part of of this whole life picture is horses.
Anyway, about this horse, because I know people on Facebook want a report: He is a doll!! For those who don’t know, this horse was in the kill pen, slated for slaughter next week. I called the sale barn holding him yesterday and made a downpayment over the phone, then drove north this morning to go get him. Yes, I bought a horse sight unseen. Not like me. At all. Going all gut instinct on this one.
I walked right up to him in the corral at the sale barn. He shied just a little at the lead rope but probably only because it was pink. (Hey, I grabbed it out of the trailer without thinking it through, okay? I think it means he’s confident in his gelding-hood.) Once he had the halter on, his ground manners were impeccable. I even lunged him in a little circle both ways, and he moved away from me exactly as I wanted. He backed great and kept a respectful personal space distance the whole time.
We got him through the maze of gates, thanks to my dear friend Michelle, the other of the two people who helped make this happen (the first being Cindy the Enabler). Otherwise, we’d still be there, I think! The employees weren’t lifting a hand to help us out! And he loaded like a dream, much easier than either of my two horses who have to smell the trailer every time before they get in (when all they smell is themselves, so what is up with that??).
He did paw crazily every time the truck was stopped, rocking the whole truck and trailer, but we can fix that. It was a tad embarrassing at each intersection though, I have to tell you.
Once at the farmhouse, he was great. Unloaded easily and just wanted to eat the green grass. I tied him to a tree while I met with the electricians. (Yes, electricians at the farmhouse. This is serious forward movement on the farmhouse, people! A toilet is next!) He was good and quiet the whole time. After, I brushed him all over and picked his feet. He was a dream. His feet are long but we’ll get them trimmed, and he has some rain rot, but I started treating that already. All in all, I was really happy with what I saw. He has a bump on his left knee, but my husband has a bump on his right knee. So what? They both get around just fine.
I wanted desperately to take him in the round pen and start to see what we’re working with but I didn’t have time. He did trot around when I first let him go, however, trotting over to the fence to say “hi” to the other horses, so I did see that he is perfectly sound, more sound than my lameness prone OTTB for sure.
I am anxious to get a saddle on him and see what we really have because we didn’t buy him to keep a horse from getting slaughtered (although that is a huge bonus to all of this!). We bought him in the hopes that he will be our kid-proof, husband-proof trail horse.
So far, I think that might be just what we got. That, and yet another project….