I have a story to share with you if you’ve not already been following it on my Facebook site. It’s about me and a horse, a Mustang to be specific, who picked me out of a crowd. And it’s about how YOU helped me bring her home!
I am a volunteer member of the BLM Boise District’s Resource Advisory Council, a committee that meets regularly to learn about issues and actions the Boise District BLM is facing and provide input. Early this summer, as part of that committee, I was able to tour a new BLM Off-Range Holding Facility for wild horses in Bruneau, ID. It's a well thought-out, well-designed facility for holding horses too old for adoption or otherwise less likely to be adopted. The intent is to hold them there until they can be sent to long-term holding facilities back East.
From my perspective the BLM does an amazing job of caring for its wild horses. This Off-Range Facility has 2000+ horses which all get food and water along with regular vaccinations, hoof trimming, and de-worming and they are all held in large pens. It’s better than what we sometimes see in private homes as they are seemingly in good health with very few injuries.
But still, as you know, it's no way for a creature to live out its life. Like with puppies and kittens, it's quite the strong argument for not breeding horses but rather adopting ones that are already here.
So back to me and my BLM tour of the Holding Facility in Bruneau. The tour was quite interesting and as we were going along it was only natural for me to admire the horses, so many nice-looking ones with good confirmation.
That’s when I saw Stellar. She was in lucky Pen 13 which held all older mares. I was struck by her kind, calm eye and beautiful long mane all in dreadlocks. As I reached out to touch her, I realized she wasn’t frightened of me like most wild horses. I touched her face, tentatively at first, then her ears, neck, shoulders…she stood next to the fence with her eyes half closed, craving attention as I scratched her withers.
I left her side to continue on with the tour but soon realized she was following me, begging for more attention and pushing other horses out of the way so she could stand as close to me as possible, quietly waiting for me to notice her again.
What are the chances that I’d go on a tour and have a horse pick me? I wasn’t sure what to think of it all as probably none of us “needs” another horse. I certainly have had no experience with starting a Mustang. In pondering it I posted this on Facebook:
“I don't know if I need intervention or not but I am thinking of making arrangements to adopt this sweet mare that kept following me around at the BLM Off-Range Holding Facility in Bruneau, Idaho.”
And you know what you said? 154 people “liked” my comment and 94 people sent me words of encouragement such as:
- Audrey Waidelich: Listen to yourself and her...follow your heart.
- Janet Hupprich: I think it's a done deal! Go get her! She deserves an amazing home and she has chosen you Alayne!
- Kerry Anderson: You have been chosen.
- Tracy Burnside: It sounds like she senses a connection to you. If you can you may have to take her home.
- Jan Monstad: No words can say what this picture expresses. It's all about the connection, the relationship. She's beautiful and very blessed.
- David Munson: The Eyes have it.
- Ellen Mosier: She chose you, Alayne! I think you are already hers.
- Jess Garvin: DO IT!!!
- Alexis Karr: She has a very kind eye. Take her home!
- Jennifer Downing: She worked her way into your heart-you have to get her!!!!
- Jacki Yancey: She needs you Alayne!!
- Roxanne Peters: Do it ...do it!
- Sally Sutherland: I believe she has adopted you!
- Patty Rausch: Do it!!!!
- Kathryn Anne Schlechter: The universe is speaking.
- Carolyn Mason: There is a connection, follow your heart and hers.
Fast forward: July 25th, Stellar came home with us and I’ve been working with her every day since, as much as possible. In fact I can’t wait to get up in the morning to go work with her. From day one she’s been calm, kind, and so appreciative of attention. So far - with instruction from others more knowledgeable than I - in less than eight weeks I have taught her to halter, lead, be groomed, move body parts, stand tied, pick up her feet, be saddled, bridled, ground driven with long lines, trailer loaded, hosed off and be ponied (walk, trot, and even lope). This past Friday she had her first hoof trimming and Saturday evening I sat in the saddle on her “first ride” as we wandered around inside the round pen. It’s been a blast, an amazing journey I never expected to experience.
So thank YOU, all of you who encouraged this journey; I look forward to continuing to share Stellar with you!
One last note: You all need to see how many really nice Mustangs are available. Literally thousands of horses with good confirmation, good color, many kind looking horses like my Stellar. They are available for adoption from the BLM to approved homes for a mere $125. There also are approved trainers available that can help you pick out a specific horse and get it gentled or trained for you. In fact I am now one of those and will be picking up another of Stellar’s buddies. I hope to work with her, gentle her, and find her a good home.
As one of you put it:
Jamie Thomas: Once you go Mustang you never go back! There are thousands of good-looking, well conformed and very athletic Mustangs waiting for homes in the corrals.
If I can help you get acquainted with your nearest BLM Wild Horse and Burro facility, or if you’d like to know more about Stellar’s buddy, contact me.
"Like" Alayne Blickle on Facebook to follow Stellar's journey.