Hmmm, that's an interesting title, says everyone who is currently reading this post. Who, the collective masses ask, is The Uncatchable Number 257?
She's a mare with a number instead of a name. She is a surrogate mare from an embryo transfer program, pregnant with a deceased mare's foal. She is half-wild, uncatchable, and unhandled. She kicks when you pick up her feet, she can't be haltered (and instead must live in one with a catch rope), and she flinches away from human touch. She is also absolutely drop dead gorgeous and a lovely mover... which you often get a good glimpse of while she is running away from you in the opposite direction.
And she's my current project. She is under my care and handling as of this past Wednesday.
Number 257 is not owned by me, obviously. She is property of an embryo transfer program somewhere in the area (more details coming when I get them). We know absolutely nothing about her except that she is pregnant with the foal of a mare who died a few months ago due to some sort of freak abdominal bleed out. She arrived at our facility shortly before I did, and is here until the foal is weaned. (Maybe by then they will want to find a new home for her... she would make an amazing eventer!). She only came with the name Number 257.... we've been calling her "Bay Girl." I've been granted permission to give her a new name... thank god! I don't know how old she is, what breed she is, or what her history is (although I am guessing some sort of Araby-TBy-something). One thing is clear however.... someone was very, very mean to her. When all you are to the world is a uterus, no one cares enough to handle you with any sort of care.
She lives outside in a halter with a catch rope. We took her halter off one time while she was in a stall... it took me quite a long time to get it back on again. Anything from her cheeks forward is off limits for human hands in her mind. I managed to somehow get my hand over her nose (which resulted in a lot of head tossing), and after she had backed up twice around the stall with me at her nose, she finally stopped and I somehow got the halter on. I think if I hadn't been the one feeding her for three months prior to this event, I would have never been able to even lay a hand on her, even in a stall.
And yet, there is so much promise and potential in there. She does crosstie, and she does tie (or well, she hasn't set back yet...). She stands (mostly) for grooming. She is jumpy when you move too fast, but there is never that rolling white of panic in her eye. In fact, I have yet to see her truthfully get panicky... I have yet to see white in her eye at all save for when I somewhat unceremoniously tossed the crownpiece of her rope halter over her neck when I was trying to halter her in the stall (she had stretched to the height of a small giraffe at this point). I can't really blame her for that... and even then, with a soothing word from me she stopped moving and didn't flail or panic even though she was squished into the corner of a stall with no escape. Behind the jumpiness is a sensible mind... even standing completely alone in the very scary pool barn (with filters running and everything), she never bothered to look at a thing, cry out for anyone, or squiggle unnecessarily. She deserves so much more than the life that she has been dealt.
She is very pregnant at this point in time (and we have no idea when she is due), so she isn't going to be doing anything strenuous anytime in the near future. But I intend on at least making her easy to catch and easy to handle... and get some basic groundwork in too. After the foal is here and after it is weaned.... well, we'll see! She has a VERY long way to go before she would EVER be ready for actual work, so I will have plenty to keep myself busy!
I don't know how long she will be under my care, but I think she at least deserves her own blog, don't you think? I think I'm going to call her Portia. She is such a feminine, pretty mare... she deserves a sexy name!
Just a few bad pictures of the sweetheart....
Such a pretty girl. The picture of her butt is of her brand (and her namesake)... simply the number 257. And the picture of her nosey is one I snapped when she actually walked up to me!!
More about what little I've done with her and what my plans are with her later.... as for right now, here is some Sophie eye-candy! (Or not... these are pictures of her taken this past week. She is very saggy and out of shape due to the fact that she has literally not even been handled for a few months!)
It is uncanny how much she looks like Metro. I mean look!
Although she is a definite improvement on his conformation. Not that she is anywhere near perfect, obviously, but she is far better put together than he was, bless his sweet heart.
Suggestions for the new Portia (or other name!) blog are welcome!
The very special Ridgeway weekend
3 days ago