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Archive for August, 2009

Now What?

Offensive LineFence Line Fun Where Did Everybody Go?As Picasso Moon unloaded from the trailer, he looked around. I think we were all wondering, now what?  

Bringing a new horse home when you have other horses is always a bit a challenge.  However, in this case there are some even greater challenges.  The herd here is made up of 6 horses currently, but one is away at school and wont be back until next week.  The challenge is that one of our horses is blind.  Change is more than a little unnerving to him sometimes.  Beau lost his site unexpectedly 2 years ago and has dealt with the change in his life very well.  Beau relies on the help of his pasture mates for security.  If they become distressed he has no way of knowing if they need to “run for the high country” or pretend to be invisible.  How the other horses react is key to Beau’s safety even if the new horse is a pasture away.

I decided to put Picasso Moon into a big pasture by himself where the other horses could see him.  The 3 horses in the pasture where Beau was, lined up like the offensive line in football with Beau in the middle.  A mare on either side of him.  They watched and Beau listened. In the pasture next to them are 2 younger horses, Azure and Robin.  Much more excitement could be found on their side of the fence.  Azure was once himself in the care of EVEA horse rescue.  I wondered if he would relate to Picasso Moon.

Picasso Moon trotted out to the fence line closest to the other horses.  He moved from left to right assessing the opposing team.  When Azure began running his fence line Picasso Moon joined in the fun from his side and the ran separately together. Stopping to square off in a moment of assessment and then return to running.  In the other pasture, one of the mares took charge of the situation.  Chansyk decided it would be best for all involved to move to the back of their pasture.  She herded Beau and Sage back to an area she considered safe.  They would not be hurt on her watch.

The fence line running became boring for Azure and the excitement stopped.  Everyone took to grazing in their pastures and peace was restored.  

New Kid Picasso Moon Moves Along The Fence Line

Meeting #1 rating: successful.

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Change Happens

About a month had gone by from my first visit with Picasso Moon.  The last I had heard, his foster family loved him and wanted to keep him.  Unfortunately, their gelding did not feel the same way and Picasso Moon was getting in fights that he was not winning.  My friend sent me an email mentioning what was happening with him in his foster home.  I started to think about the connection I had felt to him and wondering if he had a purpose with me.

I contacted Sandy at Emerald Valley Equine Assistance to find out about Picasso Moon’s status.  We sent a few emails back and forth trying to determine if my place would be a good fit for him and decided to give it a try.  Based on what I know about him, this is his 5th home in his 3 short years.  But when I look at him, he reminds me of an old Thoroughbred I knew who by the time he was 3 years old showed 11 different owners on his papers. By the time I met Willie, he was in his late teens  and who knows how many homes he actually had.  Despite that, Willie was a kind soul who just made you love him.  Willie was a school horse when I met him teaching kids and adults to love horses and riding.  It was the look I remember on Willie’s face that reminded me so much of what I saw looking into Picasso Moon’s face. So the arrangements were made to pick up Picasso Moon.

One never knows if a horse will load into your trailer when you pick them up from a situation like Picasso Moon’s.  The last time he was in a trailer he was hungry and neglected.  Sometimes that makes getting them into a trailer easier if food is involved.  When I picked Azure up from horse rescue 6 years ago, he jumped right into the trailer… he would do anything for food.  The joke around here is that he wouldn’t get back into the trailer for a year after that… and it took professional help!  With that in mind, I wondered if Picasso Moon would leave the foster situation easily.  As it turned out, he loaded right into the trailer.  Things seem to be falling into place. We left him lose in the trailer for the ride home and he hauled like a trooper.  Welcome home Picasso Moon.

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The Beginning

First Photo of Picasso MoonWhen I first saw Picasso Moon, something about him moved me.  I had decided to participate in a photographic documentary about horses in need.  As much as I wanted to participate, I was equally scared about what I might find and what issues I might have to confront.  I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to handle confronting the pain of animal cruelty.

Indeed, Picasso Moon has a troubling tale in his past.  But is was not his past I met that day with my camera.  I was his resilient soul.  His present and his future.

Corny as it might sound, at the moment of our meeting,  I felt a bit like Tom Smith in the story of Seabiscuit when he sees Seabiscuit for the first time, they look into each others eyes, and he knows they will meet again.

To read the story I wrote for the Horses In Need Documentary, click here.

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