Not everyone is a fan of the Appaloosa horse..........no, really??
A long time ago, in a land far far away, there was an excited husband bursting thru the door to tell me all about two horses that were abandoned and needed help. "They will make great lawn mowers babe!" he said. Hmmm, did he not remember my telling him horses were expensive? Did he not remember how I had to sell my horse when I entered the military and how it nearly broke my heart? How I put horses out of my mind for 15 years so I wouldn't have that tug on my heartstrings again??
Nope, he didn't and that is how Josey came to live with us 16 years ago. When I first saw her, my heart sank! She was way too thin and her feet were awful! She was also a bundle of nervous, scared energy.
It took over a year of patience, lots of walking, lots of bran and beet pulp mash with carrots, and hay to get this filly to actually walk in a halter and lead rope next to you, not dancing sideways! As her weight came up, her trust in us began ever so slightly. She had been abused, there was no doubt in my mind. She had been left to starve in a field of dirt! You could not bathe her, you could not load her into a trailer, you could not ride her. My vet stated she was anywhere from 3 to 5 years old and he wanted her for a Polo Pony. Fat chance buddy!!
After that first year, Josey settled down to be a fine yard ornament and the vet said we could go ahead and start her saddle training. Another six months went by with lots of slow round pen work, oodles of desensitizing items and Josey wore a saddle for the first time, with no issues! Woohoo!
The trailer was another story though.........it took two hours to load the first time, not so bad I thought! Soon she was loading in under 10 minutes, YAY! So we decided to take her and our reliable Morgan Banner (abandoned along with Josey) on a Trail Ride. Loaded them both up and off we went on our first adventure. Great ride, lots of scary things that Josey dealt with on that first outing, but she took to the trail nicely. We got back to the trailer and we went to load up and head home.........well, Josey had other ideas. 3 hours later, we finally convinced her to get into the damn trailer! It was dark by then. First adventure with minor setback!
Not knowing what she had been through in her short life, we knew she was trying her best. Patience was all she wanted, she had to think things through and needed time to do so. So finally, after two years of work, Josey became a reliable mount, fun at gaming, moving cattle, schooling shows and lots of Parades. She was a hit! She charmed everyone! She was able and willing to try all sorts of activities, she has even done Dressage. I was hooked! If this little Appy, scared out of her wits could come out being such a people horse after all she had been through, then for me, there was something about this breed - not the spots, not the flashiness, but the mentality of being a people horse was hard wired into the core! I went in search of other Appy people who could show me and tell me all about this wonderful breed!
Josey at, we guess, 19 years old
next blog.........The Second Appaloosa!