This scraggly thing came to us on Halloween of last year. I'm sure most of you who read this blog know her story better than I do so I won't talk much about her past. All I will say is she was underweight, whooly as a mammoth, and full of anxiety and angst. She looked nothing like the horse Cowboy H had described we were getting.
She also behaved completely different than I expected. She hated being caught and was a wreck to lead and tie; a nervous nelly. Overall, an extremely unhappy horse. We turned her out in the "mare pasture" at our little ranch; the same area that my Maria lived in (we knew that box stalls were out of the question). She was accepted into the herd quickly, but it was soon discovered that she was a cribber, which impeded her gaining weight.
The picture above is from the first time one of us rode her, after spending 15 minutes just trying to catch her. Fortunately, she was very pleasant under saddle and seemed to really enjoy going out on the trails. The arena was a whole different story though...
Both Cowboy H and I decided that Bella needed some time to decompress. We stopped riding her for the most part and focused a lot of energy on just spending time with her. I would catch her just to brush her, or give her a carrot (no apples, she doesn't like apples), or simply walk her around the ranch on foot while i yakked it up with other people. She was also tied to the patience pole a few times since tying quietly was not one of her best qualities.
Then, we had to go catch about 100 cows that had gotten out of our grazing land when fires burned the fences last November. Without hesitating Cowboy H strapped his rope to his saddle and threw it over Bella's back. She was a real working cow horse for a day and loved it.
Dragging oak logs from out of the creek gully (but she's not dragging one in this pic)
Working the gate on a evening ride (notice that BUTT)
Look who's coming to see us!
All in all, we have a happy ending (and twinsie horses!). Bella has taken up permanent residency in the big pasture and has since been joined by Maria. Next up, I make a driving pair out of these two!