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Meet "gypsy"!


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#1 msdani1981

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 03:03 PM

Oh my goodness, I'm sorry it's taken so long to get this posted…I've been crazy busy for the past two days!

I said I would post about my pony in the Non-Avian Pets section, so here you go. :) This was COMPLETELY unplanned, I wasn't expecting to buy a horse or pony anytime soon, but I'm a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. I may not know what the reason is, but this happened. LOL


As some of you know, I volunteer with a horse rescue group called Auction Horses. I won't go into detail about that here, you can find more if you dig in the General Chit Chat section, I believe. Anyway. We're called Auction Horses, and we go to two horse auctions every month, one in Enumclaw, WA and one in Eugene, OR. We list the horses available in the kill pens on our website, forum, Craigslist and Facebook pages to try to rehome them before they go on the slaughter trucks. I've been doing this for a year on November 1st, and have done everything from networking on the previously mentioned websites and local tack shops, going to the auctions and helping to evaluate the horses that are bought for slaughter, facilitating the rescue (initiated contact with the owner, and organized the transportation) of a 30 year old quarter horse gelding who would have gone to the auction (and bought for slaughter) otherwise, and other things.

One of the things I hadn't done until now was actually take on a rescue of my own. I wasn't able to go to the auction this month, so as soon as they were available I looked at the pictures and descriptions of the horses. There were 20 this month, which is a large number for this auction. As soon as I saw #63 I knew there was no way I could let her ship. The auction was Sunday, the 6th and people have until the next Monday to buy them. That's today. So when by Friday nobody seemed interested I started panicking so I started fundraising for her $400 "bail". I had it by that night but I still wanted to give someone else a chance to buy her, so I waited all day Saturday and paid for her yesterday morning.

Her kill pen name is "Ghost" but I'm naming her Gypsy. She is a 14.2 hand (58 inches or 4'10") Welsh Pony cross mare. I'm not sure what she's crossed with. LOL Her teeth show that she's between 7 and 13 years old.

I'm so excited, I can hardly stand it!

Edited by msdani1981, 15 October 2012 - 03:06 PM.


#2 Siobhan

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 03:08 PM

Photo???? :D I saw your posts and I'm so glad you got her. That's still very young for a horse and she should have many years with you left, so she can discover what being a petted and much-loved pony is all about.

#3 msdani1981

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 03:56 PM

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Siobhan, how many photos do you want? All 20??? :D

#4 Siobhan

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 04:33 PM

She's GORGEOUS! And what a sweet expression on her face. how could anybody think of sending her to slaughter? Are you going to ride her or not?

#5 msdani1981

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 05:29 PM

I'm not sure if she's broke to ride or not. I haven't ridden in about 10 years, but I have an experienced friend who said she would test ride her for me. :)

#6 Jan Cullen

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 09:37 PM

What a beautiful girl. Welsh ponies are quite sturdy animals and she looks in great condition. Congratulations Dani (and Zach). In my next life, I would like to come back as an animal that ends up with either Dani or Siobhan!

#7 msdani1981

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 10:13 PM

LOL!!! Thank you, Jan! :)

#8 msdani1981

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 08:28 PM

Here are the latest updates:

This is from last night:

OMG, today was NUTS! My friend Kim and I were supposed to leave at 9:30 this morning to pick up Ghost, now named Gypsy. Unfortunately Kim's back has been giving her problems for several days, so she got a bit of a late start this morning and we left at around 11:00. Traffic was moving steadily, so we stopped to eat at the Tulalip exit. Well, as soon as we got onto the 405 traffic slowed to a crawl, and it was slow going all the way to Hwy 164. We left at 11 and got to ESP at 3:15 (it took an hour longer than usual). I called Ron to let him know we were almost there, and he gave me one of his people's numbers...unfortunately Kim's daughter was having a fit and Kim was talking to me, so I couldn't hear what Ron was saying...so in a panic I called Sabrina who gave me the woman's number. Posted Image Thank you Sabrina!!!

We got to ESP, offered to bring Gigi with us (Ron wouldn't let us, but that's in another thread) and tried to load Gypsy. She didn't want to go in the straight load, and tried to rear a couple times. Kim quieted her, and the lady helping us suggested that we move the truck and trailer to the other side of the building, out of sight of the other horses. She still didn't want to go in the trailer, and she was terrified and shaking. After a bit more coaxing, Kim got her into the trailer and and we were off.

The pictures I took are not very um.....complimentary. Gypsy decided to take a poop just as I took the photos. LOL

I wasn't sure what size halter she wears, so I brought my pony halter and asked Kim to bring a bigger one. As you can see, my halter is a bit small. Posted Image I'm going to the tack shop tomorrow to buy her a new one.

We stopped on the way home so I could buy a water bucket, and finally settled her in at about 7:15 or so. It was too dark for me to walk in the field safely (I can't see in the dark and have bad balance - uneven ground is not my friend, LOL) so Kim and our friend Lauren, who I am boarding with, settled her in for me. She is staying in the round pen for a couple days, so we can keep an eye on her and make sure she's respectful of fences before turning her loose in the pasture.

I'll post the pictures tomorrow, I've had a long day and am tired. Off to bed with me. I knew everyone here would be waiting for this, though. Posted Image


---------------------------------
From today:

Well, I'd be willing to bet money that Gypsy is broke to ride. She's got excellent ground manners. I got to the pasture at around 10:15, and she came right over to say hi but started to walk away when I showed her the halter. I immediately shooed her away and made her walk around the roundpen for a couple minutes, then backed off and let her stop. That time she let me halter her. Once she's haltered she's golden. I spent some time grooming her (man, she was filthy)...she still is dirty, but better. Picked up all four hooves with absolutely no fuss, moved over when I asked. Then I started leading her around a bit, and as soon as I stopped she she stopped. When I walked forward, she followed on a loose lead. She's just a really good girl. I leaned on her back, to see what she would do and she didn't move a muscle, stood calm and relaxed.

Then my 'boarding buddy' Lauren brought her Thoroughbred mare, Forte, up from her pen in the barn, and Gypsy started fidgeting, wanting to go see Forte. She started dancing, on her lead rope (I had her tied to the round pen), so I unclipped the lead rope and the two horses got acquainted. There was one squeal from each, but other than that no drama at all.

Lauren and I left then to go buy some hay, and when we came back Gypsy was laying in the round pen with Forte on the other side of the fence. Posted Image In a couple days we'll turn them out together in the pasture.

The property is owned by a guy who rents the house to the family who lives there. They have a dog, Ziggy, who is in some of the pictures.

The facility is currently under construction, so you kind of have to use your imagination when you see it. Posted Image


Mickey insisted on helping me. :)

~~~11`2222222222qd
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#9 jobo2mi

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Posted 21 October 2012 - 05:53 AM

Well, it sounds like Gypsy is a very well mannered pony. Why in the world would someone want to send her to be slaughtered. It doesn't appear there is anything 'wrong' with her; illness, behavior, attitude. Some people :angry: :angry:

Glad someone (YOU) got her out of that pen. I hope you get to enjoy many good years with her. She sounds like a real sweetheart. :wub: :wub:

#10 msdani1981

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 06:20 PM

She's an absolute sweetheart. The only thing I can think of is that her owners couldn't afford to keep her and had tried to rehome her previously with no buyer. That happens A LOT.

I went back through our forum archives, and couldn't find any matches in any of the rehoming sections...so she's a mystery. :)

Gypsy is most definitely broke to ride, a friend of mine came up this past Thursday and rode her. She is awesome! :) I tried to get on, but my muscles gave out. It was the funniest thing, I was up there, clinging to the saddle, trying to worm my way on and my friend was trying to shove me from behind and I just couldn't get my leg over. Gypsy stood like a rock, but she obviously was not impressed. LOL When my weight shifted she took a couple of steps to the side and I admit it.....I squealed. LOL I fully expected Gypsy to do SOMETHING, to buck or bolt or dart to one side....I totally expected to get dumped. But nope, once she knew she wasn't allowed to move she didn't even try. I'm sooo glad we didn't have an audience or a camera around!!!! :D

Then I tried standing on an overturned bucket, which was actually Gypsy's water bucket so she was very confused when I dumped the water out and put it next to her to stand on, but she was very good and stood calmly . Unfortunately it was too wobbly so I couldn't mount that way, either. LOL

Her ground manners are great. My balance is horrible, so I stumble when I walk on uneven ground but when I'm leading her she matches her pace to mine, and when I stumble she's right there for me to hold on to. Either she was used as a therapeutic riding horse (I don't think so, though) or was a kids horse (much more likely).

I was grooming her in the barn the other day, and didn't notice that a broom was leaning against the wall next to her. She took a step and the broom tipped over on her shoulder and she spooked a bit, was thinking about rearing (that's why I don't think she was a therapeutic horse, if she was she wouldn't have responded that way) so I untied her quickly and walked her in a circle and she calmed right down. Then I moved the broom, re-tied her and continued the grooming. She's a star. :)

#11 msdani1981

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 08:57 PM

Hmm...well, there's a chance that my mare is pregnant. I don't know where she came from, or anything about her so she could be.

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#12 Jan Cullen

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 09:11 PM

So that will be 2 for the price of 1 :D

#13 msdani1981

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 09:30 PM

That will be B.A.D. :) I'll have to sell her if she's pregnant, I can't afford a pregnant mare. :(

#14 Jan Cullen

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 05:11 PM

What a shame. I suppose there is no way that it could be bloat? At least you saved her from a terrible end and, if she is pregnant, I have no doubt that you will find her a wonderful forever home. She sounds like a really special girl.

#15 msdani1981

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 01:17 PM

Well, good news is that I don't believe she's pregnant, just has a round pony belly. :) She's getting wormed today, feet trimmed tomorrow morning and her vaccinations next week. :)

Tonight I'm going to a meeting with some friends, the local Pony Club chapter is starting a Horsemaster's program, which is Pony Club for adults! So much fun!! :)

#16 Jan Cullen

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 03:37 PM

:D :D :D

#17 Birdysue

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 04:06 PM

Gypsy is just beautiful and a perfect size for you.(not as far to the ground!) I have bad knees, hips and back and shoulder so its always interesting trying to get on my horses.. The best thing that has helped is to just get one of those plastic exercize steps.. They are just a step and they have parts to add to make it taller. I just step up and down on it and have worked my way up to doing 200 on each leg. That has strengthened the exact muscles that it takes to get on my horses.

I always stand on something to mount my horses.. Its because I am stiff and old but I always say its better for the horse, which it is.:D
With the leg exercises tho, i can still get on ,out on a trail, if i need to.
I am appalled that she would be sold to slaughter. I often think its just horses who have not been taught anything that go... That is sad enough, but really sad to think that a pony like that would get sent to slaughter.
I appreciate all of the work you are doing to get these horses sold to someone who will love them.
I am really happy for you and Gypsy.... Sue

#18 msdani1981

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 11:30 PM

Thank you so much for your kind words, Sue! I hope that someday soon we can meet in person, maybe go riding...? :)

And that exercise is a fabulous idea, thank you!!!

#19 Jan Cullen

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Posted 26 October 2012 - 04:01 AM

Dani, I have bad circulation in my legs, bad knees (osteoarthritis grade 4) and not good muscle tone. Went to a physio for a number of months (I was on either crutches or a walking stick) and did the exercises he gave me with no improvement. I queried doing the exercises in a swimming pool and he said no because of the lack of gravity. So I went ahead and did it anyway and within a couple of weeks I was off the walking stick. If you can get into a swimming pool on a regular basis, that may help. I swim and do leg exercises in the pool plus attend aquafit and aquazumba classes. You wouldnt believe how strong my legs have become. I can now lift each foot comfortably off the ground which is amazing as I couldnt lift either foot more than a couple of centrimetres off the ground.

#20 msdani1981

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Posted 26 October 2012 - 03:13 PM

That's amazing, Jan! Congratulations, great job and thank you!! :)

I dislocated my knee a year and a half ago, and it took two months to get my doctor to do something (not her fault, it was her nurse who ignored me), I couldn't use my right leg at all so by the end of two months the leg had completely lost all of its muscle tone. My left leg was super strong, though! :)

I finally got in to a physical therapist, and she gave me a bunch of exercises and man, they worked wonders....I really need to start doing those again. I worked out for an hour every morning and an hour in the evening, and I couldn't believe the difference. Amazing!

But you're absolutely right, swimming is GREAT low-impact exercise.