Saturday, November 06, 2010

Turning the page

Bar greets Forrest

Today was an interesting and exciting day in our horse family, and certainly the start of a new chapter for Katie, Sammy, and an OTTB named Forrest View. Sammy stepped right off the trailer and into her new family, barely looking back at us. After finally deciding to load at his racing trainers' barn, Forrest rode mostly calmly through Sebastopol, then climbed out at our barn and into the next phase of his life.

Katie felt really good about the family who bought Sammy, and the balloons on the mailbox cemented it for me--especially the one that said "Welcome Home!" And then the woman said, "Isn't she gorgeous?" about Sammy--who is cute, but often got secondary notice next to Romeo when they were out together--and we all knew it was the right place for Sammy.

Then came the wait for the call from Devon that they were headed back to their ranch so we could pick up Forrest. Katie was amazingly patient.

When we pulled in with the trailer, Forrest was immediately suspicious. He apparently doesn't like trailering much, but especially away from the barn since that has (up until now) meant back to the track. He likes the track. He likes he activity and other horses. He even likes to work. He just didn't like to actually race. At any rate, the trailer was immediate cause for concern. Perhaps ignoring it would make it go away.

Forrest pretending the trailer is not there

He did finally let Katie get the halter on him, though was not interested in the very tasty horse cookies she offered as a bribe.

Okay I'll go along with you and see what happens

Loading still took us awhile, plus some creativity, but when he finally decided to get in, he was fine nearly all the way home. Only minor trailer rocking through downtown Sebastopol, which all things considered is pretty good.

Katie was careful unloading, but he was a perfect gentleman and came out soft and easy for her.

Forrest arrives

Katie walked him around, let him eat grass and check things out. He came up to meet Bar and Lena--Bar was sweet, Lena was sassy.

Not squealing. Yet.

For all that he is an OTTB, a "crazy" Thoroughbred, Forrest was easy to control and settled quickly. He had never been in a round pen or an indoor arena (let alone one with jumps and obstacles on the ground) and he handled it all with only minor dancing and all the while listening and responding to Katie. He is not as volatile as Bar was, not quite as hard to handle and a bit less opinionated. It is giving me more perspective to watch this younger horse with the same background walk through these new experiences--experiences that must have been new to Bar, too, despite having been around the track a few more times.

Forrest and Katie staring at something

As for Katie, I have never seen her connect like this with a horse. I've seen her grin like this because of horses, but never while levitating off the ground with absolute joy and excitement.

Getting to watch this will definitely be an interesting next chapter for a few of us--not just Katie and Forrest.


Anonymous said...

Big changes! He's a beauty and you can see their connection in the photos. Can't wait to hear more about their adventures together!

Mare said...

I'm glad Sammy found a good home-the baloons are a sweet touch! Katie has a lot of exiting adventures ahead of her! Keep us "posted!"

Natalie Keller Reinert said...

He's sooooo cute, I'm completely in love. I think when I eventually make my big California trip (it involves Disneyland, mostly) I have to swing by and kiss that nose.

What an amazing companion he is going to make!

Unknown said...

Welcome home Forrest. Here's a virtual balloon for you!


Looking forward to your adventures in this wonderful blogger herd.