Steeldust update

25 10 2011

He’s home! His forever home, with Melissa and his grandson Varoujan, now called Banjo. Can’t tell you all how my heart sings with this news.

From Melissa: “I sprung Steeldust from prison yesterday and got home at around 7:00pm. I pulled the trailer around to the round pen and Banjo came running up whinnying & greeting his granddaddy. I unloaded the Boss, and they nuzzled through the fence and greeted each other. I checked on them all night as they stayed side by side through the fence as the weather moved in & it spit snow & was windy. This morning I let Banjo into the pen with Steeldust and he did a run in a circle around him kicking & farting. I moved my chair into the pen along with a small pile of hay I placed under the chair. Banjo came trotting right up to eat of course. About 5 minutes later Steeldust decided I wasn’t going to eat him alive and cautiously came up and began to eat out of my hand. He had been here less than 12 hours but is eating out of my hand. I keep going in every hour or so to sit & offer more handfuls of hay. He has certainly lost weight in Canon City and he is ribby & hippy and sunken in a bit.”

How’s that for a 20-year-old former wild stallion! Banjo at right.

It’s a process …

Love this. 🙂

Feeding them both.

Banjo and his granddaddy, reunited.

More from Melissa: “You really CAN see his true age up close especially by his head & eyes. When I picked him up, there was a vet there drawing blood from the new group of horses. They put him in the squeeze chute to put his halter on and load him which went very fast & easy. His teeth are VERY worn. The vet said they need to be floated when he gets to the point that he can be handled but said that he is in remarkable shape for a 20 year old wild fellow who had held his position as a band stallion for so long. He concurred with the other vet that Steeldust is indeed around 20 yrs old and they put down 1991′ as his foaling year on the paperwork. He is a good size with nice strong, straight, long legs with good feet & canon bone. His eyes are hollow with weight loss and age but are very kind. He is not quite the fire breathing dragon right now in spite of his full body scars that give you the impression that he is. (we’ll see what he’s like when he gets weight back on him) but he is currently NOT the aggressive fellow that was expected after so many years as a fighting band stallion. It is expected that it will take about 20 months for all the testosterone to be out of his system. (one month per year of age) But I don’t have any mares anyway or any reason for him to feel the NEED to fight. I may not need to put up the extenders on the top of the pen if I don’t pressure him too much during the gentling process. Banjos presence seems to give him comfort & confidence without the need to fight for anything.

“There is weather expected and we should get a few inches of snow tonight. Last night I mixed up some bran with hot water & mixed in sweet mix and chunks of carrots & applesauce and mixed it all together in a hot mash with crunched up hay in a pan and gave that to him around 4:00am. It was all gone this morning so now that he has the taste for it, I will be able to give him a hot bran mash every night to get some core heat going during this cold snap till he can start to put some fat on. Our winters at 9,600ft can be bitter cold sometimes and this old man is going into winter without a lot of fat reserves on him.  I am hoping he settles into a peaceful retirement here in the mountains and am glad he didn’t end up in a can of dog food somewhere. He is truly the poster child of the tough, hardy, intelligent, wild mustang that belongs to America. I feel honored to have such a iconic old warrior in my front yard and be able to give him a safe place to live out the rest of his life if it was not to be as a “wild one”. As an old man he would probably not have had a very pleasant or comfortable end in the wild and his days as a band stallion were coming rapidly to an end. Here he will at least be well fed & cared for for the rest of his life as well as sharing it with a family member in Banjo.”

Happy days for this valiant elder. SUPER update! 🙂

Varoujan – now named Banjo

17 10 2011

A great update from Melissa, who adopted Varoujan, now named Banjo.

In her words: “As for the horses that have made their way into new homes, it sounds like there ARE a lot of happy ponies & people. We are definitely one of those happy families. Here are some pics of Varoujan (Banjo). He is really doing well. In these pics, you can see the things we have been working on, leading, bathing, the big soccer ball, trailer loading, picking up his feet and getting loved all over. He gets his exercise by ‘free following’ us when we go for rides. I was gone for 10 days doing the Tevis Cup 100 mile endurance cup race and so really didn’t start a consistent training regimen till I got back, and Geeze Louise, he was ‘doing it all’ in 48 hours. He is very level headed and brave. Not skittish at all and loves to be scratched. It is amazing how much he like the HOSE! Too funny. His color is constantly changing but when he is having his baths, it looks like he is really going to be a dark steel grey color next. All of his nicks and scrapes from the round-up & his initial trailer ride are coming in with a dark coat. He will be the ‘mystery horse’ for what his FINAL color will be. I will keep you updated on his progress.”

Easy to see that he loves the water!

I’ve heard from a couple of adopters that their mustangs can’t get enough of the clean, fresh water.

With the BIG soccer ball!

Calmly walking right into the trailer.

These ponies are SO smart.

Brushing for extra handsomeness!

I think Melissa takes the cake for “most beautiful location”!

Melissa and Banjo – LOVE the update! Thank you!