We arrived home today and everyone is tired, Angi is exhausted and off to bed I'm sure. It was a great weekend, and there is so much to tell about the wonderful experiences that we had in our 4 days in Ft Worth!
Free spent 4 days in a small box stall; He worked in a strange place with narrow aisles, ramps, a wash room, and thousands of people. Yes THOUSANDS! Saturday was standing room only and was 5 or 6 people deep. Yet when he went into the arena saturday morning for the in hand he was who he has always been calm, confident and curious. I was so proud of Angi and Freedom. Especially Angi who didn't push him to do things he wasn't ready for and came home with a horse who had no bad experiences he needs to recover from.
YES! Freedom is coming home to Angi!!!!!
It was going to be a bit of a squeak, it was hard enough to take time off to spend with him, she didn't have the money to adopt him so she had been selling halters, leads, and rhythm beads.. a few friends sent her money, but she didn't have what we thought she would need for even an average horse. There was a gentleman who came to the stables and offered to help her a bit if needed. He had been reading her blog, and liked that Free's possible future career might be mounted patrol. Then I received a phone call from the folks at Pacific Equestrian Center in Kent WA (they met Angi and Free on a recent trip to WA) they had called to say they wanted to help her adopt Freedom.
When Angi took him into the auction ring, She let the crowd know he was a great horse, confident, curious, high play drive, only had about 20 rides before coming to Ft Worth and that she really wanted to take him home. She told them that after the long trip and 3 days he was sort of done with all this and so she had chosen to just let him play. She turned him loose and I wish I had taken the video camera that day because from the top of the stands he looked like a million dollar horse as he loped around. Angi wasn't sure who won the bid, and when the auctioneer asked if he was going home she looked to the stands and there were a bunch of us nodding, crying and yelling YES!!! The audience cheered as Angi jumped up and down and burst into tears right there in the sales ring. It was a very emotional day and there were many trainers who wanted to take their horses home and were able to. Jeremy Dunn, who made the finals on Ojos had said all along he didn't need another horse, wife Brandie agreed, but sunday morning they were both walking around with red rimmed eyes. Jeremy left the ring thinking Ojos was gone, and when she found out who adopted him, Brandie ran sobbing to tell Jeremy that Ojos had been purchased for them to take home and continue training. Jeremy did a fabulous job with Ojos! You can read about Jeremy and Ojos at http://www.jbcattleco.com/
The whole experience was amazing! and Angi is going to still blog as she continues Freedoms training. She is thinking about attending a local show this weekend and perhaps the National Wild Horse Association show in Las Vegas in Oct. 20/21 because she would like him to continue to be an example of what a mustang can do when given a solid foundation on the ground. As I sat in the stands during her practice rounds and the competition, there was always someone seated near me who would comment on what a quiet horse he was, or how quiet she was with him. I overhead a lady telling her daughter during the finals to watch how Jeremy asked Ojos to do things rather then forced him, and wanted her to notice how often he would reach out to stoke his neck to reward him. Texas was full of people who truly love horses.
I want to thank those who mentioned you followed her blog. To the gentleman who stopped her to say it had inspired him to play with his horses, I want you to know you made me cry, because while I knew how to love my horses when I found Lifesavers Wild Horse Rescue 2 years ago, Angi and Chris Vilmer taught me how important it is to make things fun for both of us. I went there with a horse I loved, and now have a horse that LOVES me!
The lack of blogs is just Angi being busy, helping people with their horses. She trains mostly at the clients home and trains the client along with the horse so she runs around a lot. The lack of pictures is my fault. I will try to go in and add some more, as well as video of the competition. (once I get the camera back from Angi)
There are so many wonderful tales to tell of the other trainers, their family, and friends, and of corse their horses! It was an amazing ride and the trainers were very supportive of each other and sharing ideas, giving suggestions. There were 2 very nice trainers Asa Pippen jr, and Josh Appleby who came back to the arena LATE Saturday after the competition to help Angi, Jamie Thomas and a trainer who had been injured and was only able to work with his horse the last 30 days. His horse was not ready to go through the sale, so they discussed what would be the best thing for this horse. Josh Appleby offered to take him as an incentive horse, which was a fabulous idea because otherwise Angi was going to try to adopt him. ;D
Finally but not the least of what I wanted to say.. To our young friend in TX, if you read this please write me, I really meant it when I said I wanted to hear from you. We watched you this weekend and saw how much love you have to give. There is a mustang out there that GOD made just for you! You have a true love for horses and a heart they will be unable to resist, because you see their magic.