Small in size but big in attitude! Spirit is the newest herd member at Ravenheart. This story reminds me of visiting a country market in the Laurentians (Quebec) on a field trip when I was in grade school. You could buy anything at this market, including baby goats for a dollar! If not for the bus driver who stopped me from boarding the bus, I would have arrived home (in town) with a baby goat in my arms. Not only did we live in the city, but my Dad had a definite aversion to goats...due to being chased by one as a youngster. Now that I live on a "farm", the billboard at the local mall is a risky place for me. In January I saw an ad for a sleigh...and a few days later it arrived in my yard, delivered by the artisan who I called "just to check it out." A couple of weeks ago I just happened to notice an ad that said "miniature horse for sale." No pictures or description, just those little pull-off tabs with the phone numbers...and one found it's way into my pocket. It couldn't hurt to call could it??? "Oh, he's a stallion. And he's the only horse we have, so he's all alone! And the kids aren't really interested anymore? We're asking $299, but we're open to offers"!!! Ok, I thought, we'll just go and see him. Melva came along. "Oh, she say's, I can help buy him." "He's so cute!" "And so fat!" (something to do with a hay bale bigger than him). So, the research started immediately with questions such as: What are the risks/benefits in gelding a 10 year old stallion? How can we safely and successfully introduce him to the herd and will they accept him, be afraid of him, bully him? Where will we keep him until he is gelded and fully recovered? Will he willingly load in the horse trailer? How will he react to the mares and how will they react to him? Will it be mayhem? What in the world are we thinking???
Well, I'm glad to report that overall things are going smoothly so far. A young neighbour and experienced horse woman, Amanda (Equine Massage and Chiropractic) offered to pick him up with her horse trailer. She calmly lead him around the yard, taking him back and forth to the trailer so he could check it out in a relaxed way. Amanda then laid out a handful of oats, and he stepped right on. Doors were closed and all was quiet on the trip home, thankfully just a short 1/2 hour drive. Upon arriving at Ravenheart, he stepped off the trailer calmly and all was well till he got sight of the horses. Then it was all Amanda could do to hold on to him. Thank goodness he's a mini. Once in the paddock there was plenty of snorting and whinnying and chaos, but thanks to a good electric fence, all took place without harm to anyone. He spent the first few days running back and forth along the fence if Raven and the mares got out of sight of his paddock. The vet is coming soon to geld him. After much research, I trust that things will go smoothly and he will recover easily and quickly, and in a few weeks be able to join the herd and enjoy the gentle company of Raven, Sugar, Lacey and Brownie, along with his new role in the Equine-Assisted Learning team at Ravenheart Farms.