Monday, February 1, 2016

BRINGING INANNA AND HIDALGO HOME: Unloading them at Gates of Inanna Ranch

The five-hour drive home from Craig was easy.  My heart swelled up in my chest as I drove down into our pasture to back the trailer up to the run where the babies would be stabled.  Our three horses, Captain, Julietta, and Enki, and miniature burro, Shrek, raced back and forth in their dry lot, calling to the babies.  This was such a big moment in my life!  For years I have had the vision of adopting a wild horse, and here I was with not just one, but two baby wild horses!

Their run and stall was cleared of anything that we imagined could get them into trouble.  The only thing these 5 month old weanlings knew was hundreds of acres of open space.  Their first experience of confinement was this morning when they were gathered into corrals with their mares.  Therefore, we did everything we could to make their space as safe as possible.  We removed everything that they could possible get caught on, cut on, or run into.  We took out the metal feeders, put duct tape over electrical sockets, and brought in panels to close off the opening at the bottom of the fencing in the run.  To protect my horses from potential disease, and to protect the babies from potential bites and aggression from the “big guys,” we ran a double line of electrical fence all along the outside of the babies’ corral, creating a buffer between the two areas.

After aligning the horse trailer with the corral gate, we slowly opened the door, and Inanna and Hidalgo jumped out.
            They settled down quickly.  All of the horses were silent and fixated on each other. 

We noticed right away how sensitive they were to unfamiliar sounds like gates and barn doors opening and closing, the pounding of hammers, and scraping of manure forks.  They had never heard these sounds before.

On that night, under a starry sky filled with moonlight, I felt it was important to close them in the stall since they were not familiar their surroundings, and because of the presence of bear and puma in our area.  They were standing just outside of the stall, and as I held the intention that they would understand, I opened my arms and gently walked towards them, and silently asked them to step inside of the stall.  One by one, they willingly and peacefully stepped in, and I softly closed the door.

In that moment, I had the realization that I was embarking on an amazing journey into the mystery of building trust, understanding, relationship, and respect with the wild.