So many people want to know what it was like when I brought home my mustang, so I figured it would be cool to post my equine journey on here so you all can experience what we went through together.
When I bought Whiskey she was known as #9499. That’s all that I knew about her. She was a dark bay mustang filly, she was not halter broke and was about 8 months old. This beautiful young mustang was captured in October of 2011 and had been kept at the BLM’s corral facility in Green Mountain, Wyoming… and, yes, that’s where the name of our tack shop came from. There aren’t too many green mountains in Ohio, but we wanted to honor our new addition to the family. It seemed appropriate.
While I was looking through all the auctions there were some gorgeous horses available for adoption. I was in love with some of the Grulla’s and the Dun’s and even some of the Paints. But for some reason when i saw horse #9499 I knew she was special. Her face was kind and gentle. She was a nice size, and all I saw was potential. A lot of the other horses had several bids – some were even up to $2,000. But the little horse tagged #9499 had no bids and the auction was ending in 1 week. The starting bid was $125. I kept thinking that is pocket change… and who knows what kind of horse she could be? I already knew Mustangs where smart. At this time I already had one mustang and she was a fast learner and wanted to please, so the thought of another ‘Stang was very exciting to me.
I convinced myself that she was worth $125. I sent in my bid. I was required to send the BLM pictures of my barn, pastures, stalls and arena. Fortunately, they quickly approved me. Now it was just a waiting game until the auction ended. Everyday I checked to see if anyone else bid on her. Day after day I checked. No one seemed interested in her – too much work to adopt a filly perhaps? I won her at $12! Then, having won her, it hit me… what did I just get myself into?
I had to wait about 3 months to pick her up at the closest drop-off point. The BLM required that you use a open stock trailer, so I was in luck! We had purchased a nice Corn Pro open trailer a few years ealier.
Once the auctions ended, the BLM traveled to certain states to drop off the Mustangs for their new owners to pick up. Fortunately for me they were traveling to Franklin Furnace, Ohio (right on the boarder of Ohio and Kentucky), so it was only going to be about a 6 hour drive. My pick up date for horse #9499 was September 14, 2012.
My dad and I took off real early in the morning. We had to pick her up before 2 pm. My stomach had butterflies in it the whole drive. I had broken a horse to ride before, but I had never tried to work a completely wild horse. I knew it was going to be a new challenge and I was excited about it. I knew the bond between us would be strong and unbreakable,… just as long as she wasn’t absolutely crazy.
We arrived just before 2 pm. We walked to the arena and the horses were all crowded together in a large corral. I had to sign the papers and then it was time to load her into the trailer. They herded her into a chute leading to the open back of the trailer and cut off her #9499 tag, handed it to me and then spent about 15 minutes persuading her into the trailer as she spun, reared and kicked, excited and frightened. She was indeed, very wild. I started to think that I got myself into something i couldn’t handle.
As we drove home with our new adoption, family and friends had set up a chute in my stable leading into the larger stall so we could just back up the trailer and open the door and push her into the stall. I swung open the trailer door expecting the worst. She very calmly stepped off the trailer, looked around and calmly walked right into the stall. No problem. Now I felt like I could handle this.
I let her settle in for about a week. Then it was time to get a halter on her. I set up the corral in my indoor arena and got her into there, and brought my patience and a rope halter. We sat in the corral looking at each other, and I knew this horse was special. About 1 hour later I had the rope halter on her and was petting her head and neck. A week later I was brushing her and leading her around. This was the best experience ever. I was creating a bond with this filly, and it was so exciting!
It has been about a year. The government still owns whiskey – they own all the mustangs for the first year after purchase. After a year they come out to check to make sure they are in a good home and taken care of. In September she will officially be mine. 🙂
Whiskey and I have had our bumps in the road. Spray bottles were absolutely terrifying, but after a few days we conquered that. Eventually it was time for her to go outside with the 5 other horses. Before I sent her outside I introduced her to my other mustang Izzy.
They were buddies very quickly. I started turning her out. She fit into the herd right away. She has a wonderful life, and I love her so much. Next fall I will start putting her under saddle and start the new journey of breaking her.
This journey has been wonderful. I have learned so much from this little filly. She is smart and strong. I can’t wait for the future with her.
Rebecca – Green Mountain Horse and Tack