So, JP’s summer camp experience didn’t go the way I’d planned.
We got nine inches of rain the week he was here and his dry lot turned to a soul-sucking (or at least shoe-sucking) bog of heavy clay mud. Because of his foot issues, standing around in mud was NOT what he needed. My husband hauled in sand and screenings to at least give him dry bedding in the loafing shed, but an island of dry in a sea of muck wasn’t at all adequate for a big ol’ horse with bad feet. I hauled him back to my trainer’s barn for replacement shoes and had to leave him until the not-so-dry lot finally drained. Only, then we got another four inches, and another two inches… My husband tried cutting ditches around the lot to help with water flow, but when you get over a foot of rain in two weeks, there’s just not much you can do to keep things dry.
And then Gypsy tweaked something in her stifle, and I had to move her to the lot despite the mud. (More on that in the next post).
Unfortunately, JP’s summer camp here on the farm had to end much too soon. (He’s going to his new family this week, I think, and will have loads of fun playing with children – so all’s well that ends well, really). He was such a cool horse and I was looking forward to a couple months with him, but I didn’t have the flood-proof facilities he needed.
While he was here, I had the chance to truly appreciate a QH’s cool unflappability and gentle patience. JP was completely quiet – even with storms rolling overhead, trees shaking, and rain slanting in his face, he was easy to handle. And he was… simple in a sweet hearted way. Straightforward.
But I also realized, once again, that I’m a committed mustang person. Even when I’m tempted to tear my hair out, I really love bonding with challenging, sensitive, reactive horses. Mustangs are just *smart* – they have a self-reliance domestic horses don’t often get to develop, and I love that about them.
I also found it curious that neither Gypsy nor Trinity had ANY interest in befriending JP. Trinity made ugly faces at him over the fence and then adamantly ignored him the rest of the week. Gypsy pretended she never even saw him. I’ve noticed them behave this way with other domestic horses, so I can’t tell if their attitude was coincidental – were they just not in the mood to make friends? uninterested in an older gelding? uninterested in JP just because he’s JP? – or if they really can sense differences between mustangs and domestics.
I’m disappointed the summer camp experiment didn’t last longer (just watch: we won’t get another lick of rain until September… :S) but glad we had the chance to give it a try. It gave me several things to think about…