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Joaquin

"I didn’t want another horse yet. I was still too sad after losing my first mustang Hoonah. But the ad in the local paper made me seek out him out. It said he was “big” and “unusual” and these two descriptions appealed to me but could be a red flag for the wrong person, so I went to see if I could help the folks who had him find a good home for him. He was big. Really fat in fact and yes unusual which I love in both horses and people. They wanted him for a pack horse but when their trainer tried to get on his back he dropped to the ground shaking and terrified which he repeated two more times later on. When I got there he came tearing across the pasture he was in through the snow and stood at a gate waiting to be let in the paddock area where we were. They said he was “too much horse” for them and wanted to sell him to someone who wasn’t afraid of him. Hm. I had heard this a hundred times already about mustangs from people. I asked if I could hang out with him a bit and when they walked away, I walked out, opened the paddock gate, backed up and waited. He charged in, stood in front of me snorting and shaking his head, then oh so gently nudged my chest. I reached out and my hand which he sniffed, and then fell in love with him. For a couple months he stayed there while I prepared his new home and got to know him. We’d jump and run and have a blast in that pasture and paddock and when I’d leave, he’d go running back out and chase the cows. He came to live with my little bonus (foster) herd and over the years became my greatest teacher. He didn’t want anyone on his back so we forgot about that, but he loved to dance with me by his side giving him silent cues, around the stone medicine circle on the ground, bare. Meaning no halter, ropes, whips etc. He taught me how to read his mind, how to be patient and funny when I didn’t want to and later on, lessons about love and how a gelding can care tenderly for a young one. This was his best ‘bigness’. That happened when we brought Pableu home, a very young, sick, mustang colt we had adopted. Joaquin lived with Helaku, Echo and Smokie already and bossed them around with little or no other interaction, but the day we pulled in the trailer and unloaded little P he was on a hill not far away on high alert with his ‘boys’ behind him. We put Pableu in a small round corral that was next to them but he had to be separated for a while so we could nurse him help him settle in. Joaquin ran down the hill, stood by the corral fence, said hello to Pableu and

stayed there watching over him for days. He often wouldn’t even leave his spot there next to him to eat and he kept the other horses away from him. He knew what he needed and intended to make sure he got what he needed and was safe. He made him his colt, his little brother, and this continued for almost a year after we brought him home. I was happy for Joaquin. Here was this big, beautiful, bossy boy who finally had a pal to love. He was always sweet and funny with me but now he had one of his own and he loved it. Later when P was healthy and strong and had established his friendships with the other fellas in the herd, which were all very different, we gelded him. Joaquin once again kept the others away, licked his wounds and tended him which was awesome to behold. When it came time for us to move and we realized that we weren’t going to be able to take all of them with us, he was offered the opportunity to be part of the herd at Sacred Spirit along with Helaku and Pableu, his herd brothers. We knew it was the chance of his life to be able to live there at liberty, under the stars and the sun, with no one bothering him, and with two of his best buds. I miss him every day and can’t think about him or see a picture of him without crying, still, three years after we moved. But, my happiness for him is limitless and I can feel him happy and where he should be. Hell yea he’s big and unusual and my best ever four legged friend. I was told that he’s my sky horse…the one that will meet you on the other side when you die. This makes me smile. I send huge love and fat thanks every day to my peeps, my incredible friends, at Sacred Spirit on the wings of a red tail hawk."

Roxanne Talltree Douglas

#wildhorses #wildhorsesanctuary #sanctuary #mustang #wildlife