Hello my name is Ali and I am a neglectful blogger. But as they say, “you can’t change the past, you can only look toward the future'” So from here on I am going to be a more active blogger! So much has happened since my last post. Bare with me here, its been a crazy road!!
First, I received a Mustang filly on May 11 as part of the Mustang Yearling\Washington Youth program. MYWY for short. I have until August 30 to “gentle” her and bring her back for a final competition. These yearlings are straight off of BLM, (Bureau of Land Management) in eastern Oregon and have never been touched by human hands. When I went to pick up my little filly, I knew our relationship was going to be special. She was in a pen with two other yearlings and came right up and sniffed my hand. It was a truly incredible moment. That night I decided to name her Maggie, short for Magnificent Journey. I figured it would be a fitting name with the long road I’ve traveled these last few years and the amazing road that lay ahead for Miss Maggie and me.
For the first eight days, she was nervous and uncomfortable. I spent many hours sitting on her hay so she got used to my presence and smell. I was able to touch her head just barely but other than that, she avoided me. While sitting on her hay, I read to her, poetry to be exact. She likes William Blake. I would read to her from my braille book and she’d sniff my hands as they moved back and forth.
On day nine, the light bulb went off in my filly’s little head. All of a sudden, I was not a threat anymore. She had decided to accept me. We went from me barely able to touch her head to her letting me rub all over her; legs, back, neck, shoulder, hips, belly, chest, head and strangely she liked her utters massaged!!! From that day on, we continue to grow and I continue to be amazed by how curious and smart she is. She now loads and unloads from a trailer, leads perfectly, walks over a tarp, plywood and bridge and is getting better at lunging. We are still working on getting her used to baths and water and she has not grasped yet how to trot off in hand. She miraculously picked up all four feet the first time I ever asked and has already had a few trims by the farrier.
This little girl has an amazing mind. She is not spooky by nature. She may be scared of something but chooses to investigate it rather than run away. I am hoping to get her out to more public places so she can have more experience with different surroundings and people. It is really important to spread awareness about the Mustang breed as there are thousands of horses sitting in holding facilities that desperately need homes. The BLM rounds them up because there are too many horses with not enough land to graze.
At first, I intended to adopt Maggie at the end of the program. I wish with all my heart that I could keep her, but in reality I do not have the resources or time to invest in her when I’m away at SPU. So with much sadness, I’ve decided to place her up for adoption at the final competition. Maggie and several other yearlings will be up for adoption on August 30th at the Monroe Fairgrounds. She is going to make a fantastic riding horse for someone who can invest in her. I would love to have a home for her before the competition so I can be aware of her new family and life but I’m trying to put it in God’s hands. He has the perfect home for her and I trust that he will create the circumstances to help her find it. If anyone is interested in this girl or knows of someone who may be, please feel free to shoot me an email for more info. I will also have pictures coming soon!
Second, I graduated from Glacier Peak High School on June 10!!! I am beyond excited to be going to SPU in the fall! I am really looking forward to a new start with a group of incredible individuals. Of course I’m sad to leave a lot of my high school friends but I know my true friendships will last. I have already signed up for classes and am now working on learning the campus, surrounding area and bus routes to and from home. On top of that, I am vigorously looking for scholarships. College is freaking expensive but I’m determined to graduate college with no debt!
Throughout all of the craziness of training horses, graduating high school and preparing for college, Retha and I continue to grow. I’ve learned that this dog needs a lot of guide work. She absolutely loves her job and prefers to work over everything else. I know I don’t work her as much as she needs but I’m excited for our new adventure at SPU where she will have plenty of work. I really feel like we have grown closer. I’m working on being more engaged with her which is helping a ton. She had her wellness vet visit a week ago and is in perfect health! She has definitely grown since last summer though. Recently she has begun a new morning routine of rolling around on her back, sticking her back paw between her front legs and chewing on her nails! And she proceeds to roll around like that for at least ten minutes, grumbling and talking to herself! Sometimes I seriously think she makes noise just to hear her own voice. 😉
As I look toward the next few months, I am psyched for many horse shows, SPU visits and a possible trip to Utah with just Retha and me! I PROMISE I will be better at posting updates! There are many exciting adventures in store!!