Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Story of Milo

Dad pulled the horse trailer into the pasture with the covered arena and stalls. The Arabian horses had been moved down to the lower pasture so they wouldn't crowd around the trailer containing the new horse. The truck barely stopped moving when I opend the door and leaped out. I confirmed it was still a dumb idea to be wearing capri pants and sneakers on the day we went to pick up my new horse. While warm out, not only was it now evening and my legs were cold, but my feet were ill-equipped for horse handling, especially new horse handling.

No matter though as I crawled into the trailer through the small escape door. There was Milo, a bit nervous and finished with his hay.

The trip started about seven hours earlier that day, when we hitched up J's borrowed F350 to my 80s model Logan straight load trailer. Milo's owner said that she didnt believe he had ever been in a straight load, but with that being my only option I had it would have to do. Now three hours later in the town of Battle Ground,  WA, Milo sniffed the open trailer, then confidently and smartly, stepped right up into it. I had left the door open and Milo untied in case he decided twice about his decision. But after a few moments and Milo discovered the hay pile in the manger, we decided he was fine and closed up the door. The papers and money had been signed and transfered and we were now on our way home with my new horse.

We had stopped at a Shell gas staion, in desperate need of diesel gas. The two stations we stopped at before didnt carry it. Just off the highway we were the only ones at this deserted gas station and since it was warm out, Dad bought the both of us ice cream sandwiches. I was glad for the gas stop, as it had been about an hour and a half now since we left with Milo, and I was eager to check on him. I opened the manger door and peered up at my new horse. He blinked at me with his blue eye, and continued munching hay. I offered water, which he refused, then patted him and closed the door, jumping back up into the passenger seat of the 350.

I pondered my new horse for the last leg of the trip. Never before had I gone through the online searching, the trial rides, and bringing home a horse I had no relationship with yet. When Dad bought Koalt for me it was after months of riding him and creating a bond. Now, I was at square one with this new horse. He didnt know me and I didnt know him. I wondered if I had made a good decision.

Back at J's, I stood in the cramped trailer with Milo, trying to get him to back out of the straight load. He would take a cautious step back, then in panic with not reaching the step down, lurched forward into me knocking me back against the manger. Over and over this happened. It occured to me Milo had probably always turned around to get out of a slant load. My friend had relayed a story to me about it taking five hours to get her new horse out of the trailer upon bringing her home. I was hoping this wouldnt mirror that.

With some patience and praise however, Milo touched the ground outside the trailer, then shot backwards out.

He lifted his head up high and puffed out his chest. Swiveling his head around to catch sight of the Arabians who were now calling out to him, he let out his own greeting.

This was the most pitiful and embarrasing whinny I had ever heard. It truely sounded like my horse was hoarse. Np real pitch to the cry, it seemed Milo was just blowing out air. This strange sound made me and my friend who had met us at Js, look at each other quizzically, then burst out in laughter.

"He sure is pretty" she commented.

"Lets put him in the arena and let him check out his surroundings again" I suggested. From the arena Milo would be able to see the pastures and horses in them, plus burn off a little stem if he wanted after a three hour trailer confinement.


After a little while, Dad drove back home, and J meandered back to his house. My friend and I decided we would put Milo in his stall and learn more about him tomorrow. I was staying at her place that evening for easy access to him again the next morning (she lived only five minutes away, while at the time I was at least 45. She could also drive and I had yet to have my own vehicle).
Milo was very interested in meeting the other horses, but I told him he would have a chance to after a few days. He had to settle instead for just staring at them, and embarrassing himself with what was supposed to be whinny.
Milo June 31, 2007 just three years old.


Angelina said...

Aww, that's such a cute story! I'm so jealous of you that you have vids of your horse from the day you got him!:o) I didn't have anything i could film with back then!

Rising Rainbow said...

It must have been intimidating trying to back Milo out of that trailer with him lunging towards you like that. I have a slant and I always try to make sure my horses know how to back out too so they know how to exit both walking out and backing. But sometimes I am guilty of forgetting to rotate back and forth and they need that, not just a couple of lessons. Thanks for the reminder.

Mare said...

What a nice story! Love the videos!