Last week, I went to Skipper’s new home at the edge of the San Juan National Forest to visit with him and his adopters, Keith and Amy. He’s not phased by much, and although he wasn’t terribly keen about it at first, he allowed me to stroke his neck and eventually was pretty relaxed. He definitely has a bond with Keith and has quite a bit of trust in him – even blindfolded!
From Amy: “Our little Skipper is now a gelding; he was gelded just two days before Thanksgiving, and everything went very well. In fact, Keith took Skipper to the vet clinic to have it done because the vet thought that only one testicle had dropped, but as it turned out, they were both there so it was a simple procedure. Keith did a trial run, taking Skipper to the vet clinic the Friday before his appointment. Skipper did great! He walked into the clinic as if he had been doing that all of his life; so that made the actual trip to get the gelding done much easier!”
“We didn’t want him to think that every time he gets into a trailer he was going to the vet. So on the Sunday after Thanksgiving, we took Skipper to friend’s house who lives outside of Cortez. She has horses and had a good place to unload him and also a round pen that we could put him in. So off we went and once again, he did a great job of going to a strange place with horses that were running round (they don’t get vistors very often), and Skipper was very nonchalant about being there. Keith worked him over some very small cavaletti, and Skipper was very willing to do what was asked of him. We think he liked it there because he was a bit reluctant to get back into the trailer, but he finally did.”
Doesn’t he have the sweetest little face? (His mama and daddy are Kiowa and Copper.)
These two are well-matched, though Keith says Skipper will be Amy’s trail horse. Amy is a music teacher at the local elementary school and was actually giving a piano lesson to Tif’s beautiful daughter most of the time I was with Skipper and Keith. I’m pretty sure that just means I’ll have to go back to get pix of Skipper and Amy!
“He’s been a great horse to work with. He’s not a super affectionate guy but has a great attitude about doing what is asked of him. He’s very calm and has had lots of visitors come and see him, which he takes in great stride.”
Very quiet boys.
“We’d like to thank TJ for taking these most recent pictures of Skipper and also all of the people that have come to visit him. Thank you, Tif, for all of your helpful tidbits of information as to what to do about handling Skipper. This has certainly been a learning project but very enjoyable. I still have a picture in my mind of Skipper standing in one of the bucking chutes at the fairgrounds that Sunday morning that the BLM was going to take the horses back to Canon City that hadn’t been adopted. The little Skipper was tugging at my heart strings, and I said to Keith, ‘Go and get the trailer!’ I just couldn’t bear the thought of him being taken to Canon City. So here we are, and we think that we have the best little horse in the world. Keith refers to him as ‘the little mustang that could.’ He’s certainly gotten a lot more of our attention than our other horses lately, and hopefully in the next couple of weeks, we’ll be turning him out with the rest of the gang!”
A progression of the blindfolding (which they’ve done before):
Here, he had shaken it off his head, and it fell on the rope. But this was his only reaction – to look at it. What a smart pony!
Licking – thinking it over.
Such a sweetheart.
One of my favorite shots from the evening.
Tucking the edges under Skipper’s halter.
Although Skipper has followed Keith before while blindfolded (talk about trust!), he didn’t want to do it with me there, lurking somewhere unknown in his round pen. Pretty amazing what these mustangs will do!
Keith and Amy have three other horses, a warmblood-cross gelding, a Tennessee Walking Horse mare and a little Icelandic. The big gelding and the mare – both shiny jet black – came to the fence quite a bit while we were in the round pen with Skipper, watching to see what we were doing with the little guy. They have a great setup for Skipper: The round pen opens to a smaller pen attached to a small barn, part of which is an indoor “stall” for Skipper. They also used the trailer backed up to the pen when they first brought him home, and he also quickly figured out how to use it for shelter during bad weather!
Thank you for the visit! Love seeing all the progress he has made!