For those who remember Noelle and Malachi, you’ll know why this is entitled Here We Go Again. Last Friday, March 16, we hitched up the trailer, called Laura to sit with the house, horses, dogs, and cat, and drove to the BLM facility on the campus of The Piney Woods School south of Jackson, Mississippi, arriving way too close to midnight. The next morning we adopted our second mustang carrying a foal conceived in the wild.
March 3rd marked three years since Malachi was born (see the blog). And June 3rd will mark the third year since his sudden and shattering death. We felt as if our hearts had been ripped right out of our bodies. It was a terrible time. So how did we know the time was right to have another go? That God was saying, “Now!”
Out of nowhere came an opportunity to adopt someone else’s pregnant mustang who had been adopted from the BLM on March 3rd. On Malachi’s birthday. When I saw the date on the photo my heart went into overdrive. We traveled to see this mare, and immediately said, “Yes!” But shortly after the trip the adopter changed her mind and it didn’t work out. But now Kathleen and I were in the soup, so to speak. The adrenaline was churning again. The memories of Malachi, the wonderful experiences with Noelle. Then we learned that the mare we had traveled to see had been adopted from the BLM facility on the campus of The Piney Woods School in southern Mississippi. The very same school where I’ve been a member of the Board of Trustees for almost 23 years! What? They have pregnant mustangs at Piney Woods??
“We did,” I was told. “We only have one left.
The trailer was hitched and we were on the road the next day.
If we were to have another go, the mare had to be late in her pregnancy because Fescue Grass is rampant here in middle Tennessee and Fescue supports a fungus that mares in foal cannot eat under any circumstances. It can cause death to the mare and/or the foal. We could never keep Noelle locked up for 15-16 months after she has been out with the herd for over two years. But we could keep a new mare isolated for a few months if she was late in her pregnancy. This beautiful four-year-old is likely just weeks away from giving birth.
We met her for the first time last Saturday and Kathleen shot this short video (linked in those words, and above and below). It took 19 days for Noelle to allow herself to eat from my hand, but our new girl did it on Day One :).
Well… okay. Night One. After arriving home around 6:00pm and unloading, and leaning on the rail and just grinning at her for over an hour, we finally went up and fed the dogs, cat, and ourselves. Then instead of catching up on work undone for two days Kathleen looked at me. I looked at her. And we both said, “You want to?” And off we went back to the paddock by the barn. To stand and grin for another hour. Finally I could stand it no longer and had to go into her paddock and plop down on the bales of straw placed there for that purpose. In a mere matter of minutes she was eating out of my hand! After nine-hours in the trailer, in a strange place, with strange people! An unhandled mustang only months out of the wild. I couldn’t believe it. The apparent connection Kathleen captured on video at the BLM must be for real. I was giddy!
Of course at 10pm there is no sun, and no movie lights at the barn, so the ending bite you’ll see on the video is actually from the next day.
She’s seems to be way more confident than Noelle was this early. After our three years with Noelle I’m amazed at this young lady’s ability to trust. You’ll see it in the video.
The BLM said she is “probably” due in May but the manager on the ground, Kathleen, and I, all believe that it will be well before May. She is already bagging up. Noelle gave birth 16 days after starting to “bag up”.
Her name is Saffron. We’ll probably wind up calling her Saffy. Or more likely Miss Saffy.
Mostly because Kathleen has a knack for names, and research. She did all this on the way home on Saturday. Just Kathleen and her iPhone.
Saffron is a deep golden color, as will be Miss Saffy when she sheds her winter coat. Saffron is the spice of kings, one of the rarest, costliest spices on the planet because it must be harvested by gentle hand. Certainly, even at the BLM, we recognized that we were with a very rare young lady. And her relationship will be harvested by the most gentle of hands.
Saffron is therapeutic and has been used for it’s medicinal and therapeutic values since at least 7000 years before Christ. If you should doubt Miss Saffron’s therapeutic value just look at the silly grins we’ve been wearing since last Saturday. And like the spice Saffron’s species goes back way before history was recorded.
Oh, and saffron has a hay-like aroma :)
The Soul of a Horse lives! God is good! And I’m excited to be shoved back to work on Born To Be Wild!
Stay tuned. – Joe
The song Here We Go Again in this video is performed by Red Stegall and Reba McEntire, written by Red Stegall and Don Lanier. This song has been recorded 62 times, and two versions by Ray Charles won Grammy awards including “Record of the Year.” This version by Red and Reba is from one of Red’s recent “Hits” albums by the same name: Here We Go Again. Available wherever great music is sold. The link below is to Red’s website.
Follow Our Entire Journey
From no horses and no clue to stumbling through mistakes, fear, fascination and frustration on a collision course with the ultimate discovery that something was very wrong in the world of horses.
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