Tuesday, July 14, 2009

TIP, and Spare Tires

I've been contacted by our local fair and asked to return with wild horses once again. Last year we brought three mustangs in and did gentling demos all week with them, taking them from fearful, shaking creatures to halter broke ponies looking for a leader. It was great fun, and the crowds loved what we were doing.

The horses I bring are part of TIP (trainer incentive program), which was created by the Mustang Heritage Foundation to help trainers cover costs while the horses are in their care. If the horse is adopted within 90 days, they'll send you a check to help cover expenses. If you don't find an adopter, you're out the money you've put into the horse, unfortunately, so it's good if you can get a good minded, easily adopted animal in your hands.

Of course, people all want pretty, colorful ponies, especially if they're getting mustangs. And who can blame them? But a lot of nice bays such as Sandy and Steve Holt! get overlooked because of that, so the horses who come through TIP are typically the bays and browns and blacks. But a couple of weeks ago I got a call to tell me there was a dun in the TIP corral in Oregon, and would I like him? Oh, boy, yes! He'd be perfect for the fair. I don't mind having the bays there, but one horse with a bit of flash will catch the eyes of onlookers, and that's very important. So this past weekend Darling and I drove to Longview WA where we met the pretty dun gelding you see above.

At 4 1/2, he's very aloof and leery of people; he stuck to the back of the pen and wouldn't come forward, not even to eat. People were mesmerized by him, but his age had them discussing whether or not he could be gentled. This was exactly the reason the folks at Burns put him in the TIP program. Most people were intimidated by his age, so why not give him a chance with a bit of training?

I plunked a sign up on his pen telling folks to find me if they were interested in adopting, and I had a number of inquiries, but even with 30 days gentling offered they were still hesitant. It didn't take more than a couple of hours, however, to find someone who desperately wanted him, so before we even left for home, Dakota had an adopter. Of course, this means I haven't got anything with flash to bring to the fair as Dakota will be in his new home by then. Guess I'd better go mustang shopping, eh?

By the end of the day on Saturday I'd adopted out Dakota, found someone else who wanted their new mustang in training, and picked out another TIP mare as we were closing up. She may not be flashy, but she was a big four year old with a very pleasing attitude. Only problem was that Dakota's adopter showed up with her sister...and the sister adopted the mare! So two TIP horses were now adopted, and I had a full trailer coming home. So yes, I really DO need to go mustang shopping!

Everyone loaded easily and Darling and I waved goodbye as we headed for home. Just as we hit the pavement, however, I began to hear a little click click click. A rock, I thought...but it didn't come loose so I pulled over at the stop sign a block from the fairgrounds and climbed out to look. Oh, no! A huge nail was buried in my front tire. So back to the fairgrounds I went, where I begged and pleaded and tried my best to look like a damsel in distress in an effort to get the gruff and tough BLM men to help me out.

It looks like I ran him over, right?

Give that government man a shovel...he's having to lean on his knees!

Once the spare was on the truck we headed for home. Traffic on the way down had been horrific; a parking lot from Everett to beyond Olympia. If you know anything about WA state, you'll know that's over half the state in one big traffic jam. Thankfully that was not the case on the way home, although Seattle traffic never sleeps. With the late start, and the tire change, it was after seven by the time we hit the road and midnight before the horses were unloaded into their dark new home. I'm sure they slept as well as we did that night. I'm kind of wishing I was still sleeping!

Seattle at dusk. No, it's not blurred; that's the way it really looks!
All the Starbucks caffeine, don'cha know!

Photos in this blog post by Darling.
Go visit her at Mustang Desire.


Jeanette said...

Oh, I wish I had have known you were visiting Longview. My daughter lives there, not far from the fairgrounds.
Either way, it sounds like you had a successful trip (outside the whole tire issue)

Andrea said...

Your new trainee is gorgeous! Can't wait to hear how the training is going.

PaintCrazy said...

What a successful day - and you even got BLM guys to handle the tire issue so that wasn't so bad either. Wish we were closer to adopt one of your trainees...my daughter's first trail mount was a mustang...supposedly the guy won her in a card game and normally I'd question that but he fit the type a little too well so I guess it was possible. She was an awesome trail horse.

gtyyup said...

Way to go Tracey!! I'm glad you've got a lot of people up your way interested enough to adopt a mustang...keep up the good work!

Kara said...

I loved your commentary on the BLM guys changing your tire! Too funny! Can't wait to hear how things go with Dakota! Griffin is a little aloof too, but coming along nicely.

Shirley said...

You are going to be a busy girl! Hope to see more pics of the training.

Anonymous said...

Wow is he gorgeous. You don't even need a blood test on him, he screams spanish bloodlines. What I wouldn't give to braid his mane all day! Oh one of these days! Guess I better learn how to ride and how to properly take care of a horse beyond what I've read and a few trail rides and 2 lessons. I do have a question though. Let say a person wants to adopt, and the trainer does the TIP program for them. Are they still required to have the 6 foot fencing? Or because the animal is gentled/halter broke ect -- does that change the requirements? Obviously their property would still have to undergo inspection. Oh if I were able to adopt, that mare in the internet adoption, number 8893. I may not be an expert, but does that mare look like she has nice natural collection for a 2 year old. I've noticed that lots of nice animals that come out of Sheephead, Oregon. And sorry for the tons of questions, I probably should email the BLM directly one of these days to ask all that. Sorry. I'm a rambler.

Paint Girl said...

Dakota is very pretty! That is so neat you have found homes for them already. Have fun doing some more Mustang shopping!
Love your description of Seattle. Isn't that the truth!
I hate dealing with flat tires, we had that issue with the truck at the trailhead about a month ago. Not fun!

jane augenstein said...

Wow Tracey! Dakota is gorgeous!!! Hope he does well, I would love to have a mustang but I have all I can handle now, two.....horse and donkey is a hand full for me! You are one brave lady and I admire you for what you are doing for the mustangs!!!
You rock!!!
~Jane and Gilly~

Tracey said...

Lady Kaliska, it really depends on the BLM in your area, but technically if the horse is gentled and can be caught, you should not need a 6' fence.

There are a lot of very nice movers in both Sheepshead and the Coyote Lakes HMAs, I think. Of course, mustangs in general need to be able to move, don't they?

Melanie said...

What a fun trip, and a good way to spread the word about Mustangs in our area/region. I better stay away from you gals then, or who knows what I would end up with...teeheehee!!! :)

Rita said...

The last pic is nice. It seems like you took when you were on the move, or in a car, probably. It's great that the problem was spotted early on - flat tires are no fun, but at the very least, you were somewhere with help close by, right? All's well that ends well.

- Rita McCall