|Trigger June 2012|
When I count my blessings this horse entrance into my life is definitely one of the first things I think of. When I met him I recently took the hard decision to not bring my favorite horse Pjakkur with me to California. I didn´t want him to make the long journey from Sweden to here, with all that is included (long flight, quarantine, etc.) He found his human back home and I didn´t have to worry about his wellbeing. I knew he would receive the best of care. Still I missed him like crazy.
One day I came with Philip to look at a horse. It was an old retired ranch horse, very sweet, been there done that. Philip started talking to the lady that took care of the horse. After a while I started looking around at the place. Behind a trailer was this young, very skinny horse tied up. He was perfectly happy hidden behind that trailer. In fact he wasn´t very eager to greet or have any kind of interaction with me at all in the beginning. Something about him made me feel very connected to him anyway. I walked back to Philip and the lady and asked about him. She told me that one of her neighbors left her four horses on a field without any care for a year. Finally she called animal control and all other horses except this one, Trigger, had to be euthanized because their inner organs had stopped working due to long starvation. She fostered Trigger and did the best she could according to her knowledge. This was last summer, one year ago. Trigger gained 150lbs before I met him that cold October day. Still he was one of the skinniest horses I ever seen.
Philip and the lady continued talking for a while and Philip tried the old gelding he came for. I tried him too. Philip liked the horse. She claimed he was 19 years old, I didn´t believe that for a second. But the age wasn´t really that important so I didn´t say anything about that. It was obvious the horse needed a new home and we were looking for a bombproof trail horse. Which he was.
When they were done in the round pen I asked if I could take the young horse behind the trailer in there for a few minutes. I was more than welcome to do that! She insisted in her daughter “showing him” to me first. Her daughter was about 15 years old. She had a lot of trouble putting a headstall on him. I later understood why. After fighting for about five minutes the horse gave up and she continued saddling him up. He didn´t stand still when she mounted. She rode him in walk and trot for about ten minutes with very harsh hands. He wasn´t comfortable at all. She asked me if I wanted her to gallop him, I didn´t. I asked her to get off, did a few leading exercises from the ground, walked and trotted him in the saddle and took him home.
When I came home I discovered severe wounds in his mouth, on his tongue and on his cheeks. He was full of worms and his hoofs we´re not taken care of for years, if ever. Still I had a very good feeling about this horse. He was very anxious the first days, wouldn´t let me touch his head and lift his feet. I spend a lot of time just hanging out with him. After a while his curiosity took over. It has been a long journey to get where we are today. He taught me a lot on the way. There is no way anyone can fool that horse. I had to BE calm and present the whole time, not only pretending to be. If I wasn´t he simply walked away from me. I worked with him free in the arena a lot in the beginning.
He slowly gained confidence and about 100lbs more. Since last summer, a year, he gained between 200-250lbs! Which is a lot considering he´s not a big horse, less than 15hh.
He has a lovely, brave, trusting personality. He is the closest to a bombproof trail horse I ever met. He thinks the arena is boring, so do I ;) On the trails he so wants to please. He´s a dreamer, love to watch his surroundings when we´re exploring the wilderness together. When exposed to new things and environment he just looks at me to see what´s expected of him. It´s my responsibility to show him, if I can present new things in a way he understands he will do them. I feel safe on his back. We had stray dogs chasing us, we met bears, Coyotes, deer, rabbit and freaked out horses, bicycles, motorcycles, all kind of heavy traffic, kids and their parents that wanted to pet him, crossed creeks, climbed steep hills, jumped fallen trees – he always takes good care of me. Thanks to him I was able to ride until I was a good six months pregnant. I wouldn´t have done that on another horse. Thank You!
Trigger brings so much joy and happiness into my life. Always greats me with a nicker and high expectations of the day. This morning I had him in my yard, about 2acres fenced area. The people that lived here before us had a big garden for vegetables. I haven´t used the whole garden this year. Trigger loves to be in that part of the yard and take a morning nap on the dirt in the garden. Probably because the morning sun is there. He was having his nap as I watched him from my bedroom window. Stella our one year old German Shepard (very much a puppy still,) tried her very best to get him to play with her. I watched them for half an hour. She circled around him, offered him different toys and tried to nibble his ears and his tail. Trigger sometimes looked up but mostly ignored her. For a while she even laid down beside him, but only for a minute or so J it took her 30 min to get him on his feet! It was very interesting to watch their interaction. I feel a great sense of gratitude having him in my life.