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In Loving Memory...
~ Gogo Fatale ~

6/2/01 - 10/11/11
~ Forever the Marest of Them All ~

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Uncatchable Number 257

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!


BeBe said...

257 is really cute. If you add the numbers you get 14...maybe something Valentines Day or loved theme for a name? Portia is cute but there are a lot of A circuit hunters with that name lol

Speedy G said...

How about something with the word promise in it? Portia's Promise, A Promise to Portia, Promising Portia, etc.


Accendora said...

"Sojourner," ala Sojourner Truth, for a particularly amazing woman. ZaritÉ from Island Beneath the Sea if you like historical fiction. Cixi was the last Chinese Empress - very interesting story, that. Buuuut I love Portia too.

Dom said...

She's very nice to look at. I hope your care will help her turn over a new leaf and that she'll realize people can be NICE.

Now That's A Trot! said...

257 looks lovely... Would love to know where she came from! Have seen odd numbers branded like that on breeding farms, but almost never in that spot.

Call me crazy but she almost looks like a girlier version of Jabby in that one photo. (Maybe? Ish? I dunno, I just love her eye. )

Can't wait to see how things go with her. Definitely keep us posted. :)

GunDiva said...

I can't wait to see how things go with her, she is a cutie. I actually love the fact that she's independent; means she's got a brain in her head. Of course, the trick is getting her to use her brain for good, not evil...

Andrea said...

As if I haven't already had the most independent mare on the face of Planet Earth! ;)

Andrea said...

And yes, she totally looks like a femme-y version of Jabby!

Emily said...

I hear ya about those ET and OT mares, most just have never been touched, they get herded through chutes into stocks, get hands stuck up their butts, and put out to pasture for 11 months till a baby is born. No attention, no training, nothing. I used to work at the CSU repro center. Some of those mares would literally tear the stall down when we went to clean it. Some of them were really nice, obviously well bred mares that had fallen into the wrong hands at some point. Others... just ugly mutts and probably would've gone to a slaughter house had they not found their way into a surrogate program. I can't wait to see what kind of progress you make with 257!!

For names, what about "Renata"? It's Italian meaning rebirth, I thought it sounded fitting :) There are a lot of other very pretty and girly names here:

Albigears said...

She has a very quality look to her. I like just calling her Portia 257.

Denali's Mom said...

She has a beautiful face (and her close ups still remind me of Denali.) I like the blog title Portia 257 too. She really is a pretty mare, poor thing being abused. Lucky mare to find you in her life!

Snowhawk Przhevalsky said...

As mentioned, her numbers equal 14, which also happens to be the number of lines in a sonnet...

Perhaps something related to that? :3

Muriel said...

I really like RENATA, beautiful name.
She looks gorgeous! I really like her soft look. I am sure you get some manners on her, horses live in the present and right now she has found a human who treats her fair and caring and is educating her.
Sophie moves well.
But Somehow I prefer Renata ^-^

Now That's A Trot! said...

You know, I kind of like "The Uncatchable 257" as a blog name. It's unique and piques your interest... What IS the 257 and why is it so hard to catch? (And if you ever end up showing her down the road, you hope that no one else can catch her, either! Ha!)

No more help on nicknames, but I do like something like Portia or Renata... Feminine without being prissy.

Young Equestrian said...

And then her show name could be Can't Touch This!

Val said...

I like "The Uncatchable 257" or
"Taming 257".

Another bay mare, eh? Just cannot get enough of those!

BritnieAnn said...

I vote for Portia 257 as well, simple! She is very pretty girl, can't wait to hear more about her!

Kristen Eleni Shellenbarger said...

257 sure is a pretty girl! I'm looking forward to see how she'll transform in your hands.

achieve1dream said...

She's pretty. I like the name Renata. That's awesome. In fact I may have to borrow that name for a future pet. :D I'm excited you get to work with her. So sad how she was treated (and the others in the program). I'm glad she has someone like you to show her she can trust humans. I like the other suggestions too. A blog named The Uncatchable Number 257 and a show name of Can't Touch This. Totally awesome. You guys are so creative. :)

My goodness Sophie is gorgeous. I just love her (for a mare teehee). I hope you end up with her eventually. It just feels so meant to be to me.

Margaret said...

This is so so fascinating and I can't wait to check in each day here. Portia is PERFECT, but then I do love the Shakespeare names (Sebastian and Oberon...)

Portia's Promise for her full name is really catchy.

This is a perfect place for you to be and if she doesn't work out for you, then you have had a great time and spent time with a horse. Who gets the baby? I'd love to hear more about this!

And I think she is gorgeous. And needs you.