Wednesday, August 8, 2012

A Picture is Worth a 1000 words. (Part 1)

My loving husband drove me the whole way to Montana on Friday. We took the "long" route and drove through the North Cascade's Pass, and got into Ronan, MT around 9:45 at night. We got lost once (which is pretty impressive, I am usually a human GPS.) Denali's new owner insisted that we come stay at their house, and he said he'd "feel better if you can just make it here." We initially were planning on driving almost the whole way in, camping, and making it into Ronan on Saturday AM.

There are not enough nice words to use to describe Denali's new owners. They are wonderful, hospitable, amazing human beings who love their animals. I had only met Denali's new dad once before, but it felt like we've known them forever. We opted to camp in their backyard under the stars and promptly crashed once we set up the tent.

It was Pioneer Days in Ronan this past weekend, and there were a bunch of events going on. In the morning we visited for a while and I met a few horses that he had at his house. They are his working cow horses, and are B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L!! I had seen pictures, but I told him he needs better photos. They are seriously amazing creatures. He told me that he has Denali and a few of his other horses on another piece of property on the other side of town with his friend's mares and their foals. We went to an AMAZING breakfast at the VFW (I love small town life!) After breakfast we hopped in his truck and before I realized it I was staring at Denali in a pasture. I didn't realize we were headed there, and it was just a shock, and something I've wanted for so long. She was standing in the shade with all the other mares. She is so much taller than his QH's and looked like an odd duck. She looks pretty good for being out on pasture 24/7. She has lost ALL of her topline, and reminds me of a broodmare (except no broodie bellie.) She is a little "thin" but you can't see her ribs, so I'm not worried. He said that he puts them on grain when they come back to his house from October to April through the winters. I guess her "introduction" to the herd went better than the other mare's but she took a bit to be accepted.

I pet her for a while and just couldn't get over how calm she is. She is not the same horse at all. She is just so calm, quiet, and content. Her new dad walked up and hugged her from behind. My heart stopped, but she didn't even care. It was amazing. I gave her a hug and some head scratches. She walked away from me to join the herd (and put her face near a tail to keep off flies.) After a bit the herd started to run off into the pasture. Denali started to run, but stopped, ran over to me and put her head into my hands, and then took off. I think it was her way of saying "Thank You." I choked up, but kept it together. It was so awesome. One thing that sort of surprised me is that Denali now has a brand. My husband saw it first and quickly looked at me. I was a bit shocked (to say the least) but she is his horse. I asked him about hit, and his reasoning makes sense. All of his horses and livestock are branded. Montana is a brand state. If Denali gets out, and someone finds her they have 30 days and then they can brand her and claim her as their own. This way everyone knows who she belongs to. Not going to lie, the brand is pretty bad ass.

More on the rest of our trip later, for now, what you've all been waiting for: Photos! 

The fence around the 40 acres. Yes, the whole way...I can't imagine what this cost!

Denali's view

Denali and her new poppa

Denali's new tattoo. 

Denali thinks the one in the middle is hers and promptly steals him. His mom is like, "here, take him." He's so cute!


Beka Burke said...

She looks great! Her pasture looks phenomenal and I'm very jealous that we don't have anything comparable around here.
My OTTB changed personalities when he went from being in a stall for half a day and in a small pasture for the other half to being on six acres 24/7. He was a real jerk some times before and now has the same look of contentment as Denali does.
Glad she's doing well!

SprinklerBandit said...

Gorgeous area!! So glad Denali is doing well. I bet she'll be an awesome momma.

WishIHadAHorsey said...

Wonderful - I am so glad the trip went well and Denali is happy. Do you think he has room in his heard for me???

appydoesdressage said...

Wow that is an amazing looking pasture. How awesome that she is so calm, sounds like you absolutely made the right choice for her!

Lara said...

Wow, what a life! This is an amazing gift you gave her, few horses are so lucky.

Kristen Eleni Shellenbarger said...

WOW! That looks like horsie heaven to me. That brand is crazy! Makes sense to me though. She will beef up and gain her muscle back. Sometimes the shock of turnout that large 24/7 can cause some quick weight loss but I bet the next time u see her, or pictures, she'll muscle up some more. At any rate, moving around is better for her than stalled-especially for her personality as you saw in her new calmer demeanor. What a fun life she is living. The country life for a city OTTB :)

Janine said...

Holly crap, you have to be happy!!! Amazing place! She probably is so happy to have a herd and just be a horse. AWESOME!

K.K. said...

She doesn't even look like the same horse! I want to live where she does. :-)
It's amazing what pasture life does to those OTTBs. Piney came to me after living on 4,000 acres of pasture for 2 years with 40 other OTTBs. While some people don't think that TB's do well on pasture 24/7 I think it does wonders for their temperment. :-)

RiderWriter said...

This does my heart good! I think Denali looks terrific, I really do. And how sweet that she came back over to you... she may have a new poppa, but you will always and forever be Her Mom.

Did I miss something? Is her new owner planning to breed her?

Thanks for wonderful photos!

achieve1dream said...

Awwww I am so happy for miss D!!! It brought tears to my eyes when I read about how she said thank you and then ran off with the herd. That is so awesome!!! And she has her own adopted baby. Adorable! I'm so glad she's happy and calm. The herd environment is so good for her. :D

Dom said...

Super gorgeous. Wow.

Kate said...

She looks so incredibly happy. :) :)