Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Trail Training #113 - Waiting for Cole

Waiting for Cole

Wow, it was a long, almost 3 weeks. Cole was gelded at the breeder, and he spent a week or so learning how to load. I just waited.

I started to second guess my decision. Maybe he was too small, maybe he was gelded too late, maybe he didn’t have the nice personality that I thought I saw, maybe he had some major conformation problem that I missed, maybe Ranger would hate him, maybe, maybe, maybe…

Finally, the day arrived. I took a vacation day from work and met Ellen out at the barn to join her on her morning ride. We had a good ride, though the bugs were bad and Cruise was still coughing from the cottonwood trees. All I could think about was Cole.

We then sat down at the barn and waited. About 11:30, I got a call that she made a wrong turn on to our street. I straightened her out, and she was on her way. I had 5 minutes to go.

I suppose I seemed over anxious. I stood at the end of the driveway and waved her in when I saw the trailer. He made it. Cole was home.

She unloaded a very nervous horse, dripping with sweat and trembling. He was beautiful! “He’s so cute!” Ellen exclaimed. He stood there for a few minutes to get steady, and then we led him to his new home. He didn’t want to go into the barn door, but finally, he took a brave step in—he made it. The horses neighed a greeting.

In a few minutes, he was munching hay and drank some water. Ranger’s stall was on one side and Katie the Mule was on the other side. Neither one could take their eyes off him. He explored the stall, stopped trembling and visibly relaxed. He rolled a couple times. I think he was exhausted. Ranger screamed a few times, but Cole was silent and very polite.

We stayed with him about an hour to make sure nothing bad happened. I was concerned that the stress and sweating may have caused complications, but he seemed fine. His old owner left. I groomed the dried sweat from him. He stood in bliss. I’m sure he must have been itchy. He really has a lovely coat.

I was hungry, so I got Kevin (Ellen had left for work long ago) and we went to Burger King. I figured Cole needed to rest, and he would do better without us staring at him!

When I came back, he seemed fine, so I thought I would take him for a little walk. He had never been in an indoor arena, before. He walked along beside me, looking about, but never acting scared and never misbehaving.

I got brave and took him out on the driveway so he could look around. What a wonderful horse. Here he was in a new place, with a new person on the most stressful day of his life, and he acted like nothing was out of the ordinary. Was he real? If I brought Cruiser to a new barn, he would be excited and fidgety. I had to pinch myself to prove I wasn’t dreaming. I realized that I would be riding him down trail sooner than later. This horse had a good, sensible brain. Wow.

Of course, he didn’t get scared when the barn owner drove the tractor past. This was a real country horse. He knew tractors.

I brought him back to his stall, and soon it was feeding time. As he started to eat the new hay that he got, I figured it was time to go home. He was going to be fine. Ranger loved him, he liked Ranger and Katie was head over heals.

I smiled the whole way home…

1 comment:

achieve1dream said...

My horses growing up always coughed in the spring too. I always wondered what it was. Never thought about allergies before (don't know how I missed it as bad as mine are). I always thought it was dust growing up. Interesting.

I'm glad Cole settled in so quickly. Don't you hate seeing them so distressed when they come off of a trailer like that? It sounds like he's going to be a wonderful new addition to your family. I'm so excited for you!