Posts Tagged ‘Horses’

The Life Of Wiley, The On-Going Saga Of An Arabian Colt On Virginia’s Eastern Shore– Part 3

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

Watching the Breeder’s Cup last week-end made me think about just how much animals are very much like humans in many respects. Some have the heart to win and give it their all to the very end.  Others are happy with making just enough effort to just get by.  Very much like our human race.   Now I’m not comparing my little grey Arabian gelding,  Wiley,  to the great race horse Zenyatta but I do see a similarity in the hearts of both animals.  Wiley was purchased last Christmas from a horse farm in Tennessee that was going through very hard times.  In distress situations like that,  owners usually do not have the funds to continue to feed their horses the grain and hay supplements they need.  Instead,  the horses are turned out to grass pastures  to live on the land so to speak.  So Wiley only got a minimal amount of care,  he and his buddies being left very much to fend for themselves.

Trot, Trot, Trot For The Judges

Then overnight this little fellow’s life completely changed.   Being  loaded onto a horse trailer for the first time is  pretty traumatic  for a colt like Wiley — first you’re out in a sunny, wide open pasture and the next thing you know someone is pulling you up into a small dark box,  no buddies,  no mother,  then the door is slammed shut,  leaving you totally alone and scared.   And the unfamiliar noises and motion,  thumping and bumping,  starting and stopping,   down hundreds of miles of highway to a  new home,  all that is  pretty traumatic for first-timers as well.   And once he got  to his new home  on a large waterfront farm owned by a friend who boards horses near Cape Charles, Virginia on Virginia’s Eastern Shore,   being in his own stall with a less than friendly mare as a next door neighbor wasn’t a picnic either.   No doubt he missed his old buddies down on the farm but there was a big  upside — good food and lots of love, care and attention.  After a couple of months  of  good food  and being turned out during the day to graze in the large green pasture,  things seemed pretty easy to Wiley.   His new  life produced weight gain and a beautiful healthy coat.  Still had to contend with the old mare next door at night but,  all in all,  life was definitely good.

Wiley Puts His Best Foot Forward

Little did Wiley realize that with the coming of spring came the beginning of the summer Show Circuit and that his relaxed, comfortable life was now about to change once again.   Loaded on a trailer for only the second life in his young life,  Wiley was off on another trip, this time to Wolf’s Training Center in Georgetown, Delaware  ( .  Now it was time to leave the comfort and security of his new home,  now it was time to grow up and go to work.  Time to learn how to stand ( with his best foot forward),  to use  his neck and ears with positive attitude,  to learn to keep his undivided attention on his trainer and  to stand perfectly still to be judged in the ring without moving  a muscle.   These lessons aren’t the easiest to accomplish with any two year old and were  hardest of all for Wiley to achieve.   But when Wiley returned home to the Eastern Shore of Virginia after two months of intensive training,  all bathed and clipped,  sporting his brand new shoes,  he was no longer the little grey duckling  that left the farm  but rather a proud and beautiful Arabian swan !  Now Wiley can’t compare to a great race horse but he does have miles of heart.   Upon return,  the first thing he did when he saw me was to call out and nuzzle my neck to say it’s  OK,  I’m growing up,  I’m ready now for the show season.   Bring It On !