Friday, February 5, 2010

Meet Dusty

About a month ago, I picked up this nice little Appy mare off Craigslist. She comes with a story. Don't we all?

I pick up odd jobs throughout the year to help pay for my critter habit. I have all sorts of trucks, trailers and equipment so there are lots of things I can do. One of the most steady jobs is moving hay. There was a post on Craigslist: Wanted - someone to move about 200 bales of hay and restack in barn. So I rounded up some 4-H kids and off we went to move hay. When we got to the barn we were told not to go near the pen the Appy was in because she was a known biter. I saw the 4 day old bruise on the owner's back and kept my distance from the horse.

The owner told me that she didn't know what she was going to do with the horse. She felt the horse was dangerous because the bite on her back was unprovoked. I mentioned that if the horse was that dangerous maybe she should be euthanized. The owner said she had considered it. Several people had come out to look at the horse but they were all put off by her attitude.

A couple of weeks passed and I had a message on the answer machine. "Do you know a musher who wants some dog food?" Turns out the mare had gone through a hot electric fence to attack a nine year old girl. The attack was allegedly unprovoked. I say allegedly because I wasn't there. I made some phone calls but none of my musher friends were in town or able to deal with the horse. I called the owner back and told her what was going on. She said she had someone coming out to get the horse.

About a month later I saw the horse back on Craigslist for $700 or best offer. This time I couldn't not do something. My friend Christy and I went over and looked at the horse. This time we messed with her and pushed her around some. Although the horse pinned her ears and acted pissy, there was something about her eyes and the way she held her lips. Two days later I traded a saddle and a dollar for this horse - registration papers and all. We loaded the horse up and brought her to my house.

We changed her name from Destiny to Dusty. She's a completely different horse. I can brush her, blanket her, pick up all four feet. She leads and loads. She moves off pressure. A wave of the hand pushes her off the hay. Today we hauled to the indoor where it was 40* in the barn (which was 20* warmer than outside). My friend's daughter rode Dusty bareback with a halter and lead rope.

Some stories have a good ending. I'm really pleased that this one is heading that direction.


  1. Interesting.... anyway to trace those papers to whomever trained her? Find out a little more to the story? Sometimes it just takes being in the right hands... Anxious to hear more...

  2. Tammy - the funny thing is, between Christy and I, we know everyone who had the horse except the young girl who had the horse before the person I got her from. (Does that even make sense?) We also know the sire and the dam. This is going to be fun. I will keep you posted.

  3. I'll be waiting on updates about this!

  4. Hmm... Why do you think she was biting? I'm sure you have a hypothesis or two.

    Looking back at my former biter, I think *I* was the one that made the mistakes. I've always fed orchard grass until Maddie. It doesn't sit well with her. But looking back at Charlie (aka Giant Flaming Jackass), I think I made the mistake with him by feeding orchard when he was used to local rye grass. So he didn't feel well and that added to the problem.

  5. Well, isn't that a strange story. Hope she's going to stay on the good side of life. I'll be watching for updates.

  6. I am like the rest and waiting to see how this story pans out. She is a nice looking mare and I have always liked the disposition on an Appaloosa, but there are always the exception to the rule. I am hoping that she doesn't show that side to you or anyone else again and it is a happy riding into the sunset "happy" story for her and you. Congratulations to you for having the guts to give her a shot.