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Mayo

Posted by greygelding , 15 September 2017 · 50 views

I was now on the hunt for a new horse. I had no exact idea what I was looking for but I just knew I would know it when I saw it. I began looking in local papers, bulletin boards, word of mouth, as well as on the Internet. It had become a passion with me but it turned out that I had been spoiled and become very picky. One day as Pam was relaxing at home and I was slouching in a chair idly internet surfing I came across an ad for an 18 year old grey arabian gelding for sale. Usually I just pass by ads without pictures but for some reason, possibly boredom, I replied to the ad asking for pictures. Two pictures showed up in my email almost immediately. I snapped to an upright position and as soon as my feet hit the floor I heard Pam ask "Uh Oh, What have you found?"
"My new horse!"
To most people the pictures were of a cute, small grey gelding, but I was captivated.
I replied immediately and a meeting was set up for the next night after work. Ironically the next day was the first of May which was the name of my first horse, Primero De Mayo. Pam was in a good mood and was hopeful that I just might be back from 17 years of indifference. During the next day I received a phone call from the barn manager informing me that the gelding had been sold to a riding stable in Oregon but if I still wanted to come out that evening I could. While deeply disappointed I replied that I still wanted to come see him.
That evening as we pulled up a cute grey face peered from the back door. He seemed to be as interested in us as I was in him. He exited the stall into his outdoor pen never taking his eyes off of us. Getting out of the car we were greeted by the barm manager who took us to his stall. She related his story to us while the gelding and I looked each other over. He apparently came from an Oregon rental string, purchased for the teenage daughter of a doctor to ride. Shortly after his arrival she found boys a lot more interesting than horses so he quickly became a thing of the past. There was another girl who visited the barn and would take him out for an occasional trail ride. He was supposed to be an excellent trail horse but according to his farrier he required shoes and pads at all times because of his tender feet. She took him out and trotted him up and down and Pam and I looked him over. He stood 14.2 hands tall with a flowing white mane and tail. Big round cheeks, big eyes that were widely spaced framing a beautiful head. All this was topped off with two of the cutest ears I had seen on a horse. They were alertly perked in whatever direction those big dark expressive eyes were looking at. I could easily believe that this horse was sold but couldn't believe it wasn't being sold to me. While Pam chatted with the barn manager I went into Mayo's stall as he was now eating dinner. His beautiful ears went back and he kept one watchful eye on me. I slipped out his back door and stepped out if sight to the right. Immediately his head appeared, hay hanging out of his mouth, looking at me wondering what I could be up to. I really wanted this horse. We concluded our visit and as the manager walked us to our car I commented that if anything happened to the sale, I would take him. She said she would talk to his owner and be in touch with me.
The next day at work I received a call and was informed that if I would pay for him and pick him up no later than Saturday he was mine. The week seemed to crawl by and I went from happy to sad as I couldn't seem to believe this would really come to pass. Saturday finally came and I arrived for my half day at work with the horse trailer in tow. Pam arrived at quitting time and we were off. Pam asked if I was excited and I was surprised to find I wasn't. I have had my share of thing go wrong at the last possible moment so until he was paid for and in my trailer I wasn't going to set myself up for another disappointment.
As we pulled up he came out of his stall, neighing at us. I found it hard to not get excited now and as I handed over the payment and was handed the rope to my new horse I broke into a huge grin. He reluctantly loaded up with a little persuasion and we waved goodbye as we headed down the driveway.
"Now are you excited?"
"You bet I am!"
As we were getting closer to home I suddenly pulled over and parked at a local trail.
"Let me guess. You just can't wait until we get back to take him for a ride."
I opened the door and he came out, eagerly looking at everything around him. I proudly groomed him, put the saddle and bridle on him, and mounted up. As if on cue, when we turned onto the trail up came a family with two small girls on bicycles followed by two dogs. A moment of panic came over me as I had no idea how he would react to all these things at once. It was just like he experiences this everyday and we calmly headed down the trail. Light and responsive in the bridle he seemed to be really enjoying himself. Nothing escaped his notice as he lightly stepped down the trail, ears perked, eyes wide and shining brightly. I turned back toward the trailer I found Pam coming up the trail.
"You've just got to ride this horse!" I exclaimed. Reluctantly she agreed, and after a quick stirrup adjustment, she mounted and away she went. The next thing I knew I was watching a happy wife trotting away on a happy gelding and I was standing all alone. I ran after her and she reluctantly headed back to the trailer commenting on how delightful and wonderful he was and how she wanted to keep riding. I was anxious to get him to his corral and settled in. The rest of the herd were boarded several miles away from where I was putting my new boy. I wanted him closer so we could spend a lot of time together. Another thing I needed to address was his name. I only knew a few things about him as his papers were lost. He was supposed to be 18 years old and his name was something, something, Precious, something. Since I didn't know his registered name and the name Precious wasn't a name I was wild about, I decided to rename him. My first Arabian gelding was named after his birthday, Primero De Mayo, which means first of May. Since our first meeting took place on May first I decided to name him after my first horse and his barn name would be Mayo.
Arriving at the stable I unloaded my new prize and introduced him to his new corral which was located,in the last row of corrals at the top,of a hill. This gave him a wonderful view of the entire boarding stable including the arenas, most of parking lot, and the road leading to it. After inspecting his corral throughly he spent his time watching everything happening in the area. We left to do a few errands and returned that evening. Waiting in the corral wasn't the friendly horse but an angry gelding. He would scowl at me, lay his ears, and go to the farthest part of the corral. I fed him his grain, which he ate, but his disposition didn't improve. "Now what?" I wondered. I grabbed a brush and started to groom him as he ate which only served to make him angrier. We left for the evening hoping his attitude would improve with time.
The next morning, Sunday, I was up bright and early and asked Pam if she wanted to go see my new boy. Sleepily she replied "I'm planning to sleep in. Have fun." I grabbed a bite to eat on the way and I excitedly headed up to the boarding stable. I pulled into the parking lot and as I walked by two of the stable workers I couldn't help but overhear their conversation. They were discussing the new horse that led them on a merry chase late last night.
"Excuse me, but what color was that horse?"
"He's the grey horse from a corral at the top of the hill."
"That would appear to be mine. He was out last night?"
"Boy was he ever. It appears the feeder didn't chain his gate, he flipped the latch, and was able to push the gate open. He went exploring and resisted our efforts to catch him until he was done looking around."
I went up to see him and found an angry gelding again. I saddled him up and went for our first ride around the ranch and then on the local trails. As we made our rounds we came across the board owner who got her first look at him.
"He's beautiful! He looks like something a Sultan should be riding."
Proud as a peacock, I continued down to the beginning of the trail. The trail started out as a dirt road and then turned into a single track trail. He was intently interested in his surroundings but seemed to lack energy as we headed down the trail. We came to a water crossing which he was hesitant to cross but did so with a little encouragement. After a short distance the trail became a single track instead of a road. Instantly he perked up and became a bundle of energy. We walked, trotted and cantered up the hill with an energy that belied his age. Ears perked, he was eagerly taking in all the sights and seemed to really be enjoying himself. Somebody had given this boy excellent training. As we finally reached the peak of the trail he just stopped. I cued him forward, the ears went back and after two steps he came to a halt again. Now I carefully watched him and realized he was sightseeing. Before us was a beautiful view of the smaller hills and the town beyond. He breathed deeply, looking to the right, straight ahead, and then to the left. He was definitely looking off in the distance and really enjoying the experience. I have had horses that looked at things but nothing like this. Fascinated, I patiently waited and did some admiring of the view myself until he was satisfied. He then strolled off down the trail until we reached another vista point where the process would be repeated. This was an indulgence that I allowed him and he always reminded me to stop and enjoy the view myself as well. The trail wound it's way back down the mountain and as it changed back into a dirt road again he changed as well. Gone was the bundle of energy and in iit's place was the plodding, reluctant gelding I started out on. I was never able to discover why but he loved the single track trails had disliked riding on roads, even dirt ones.
Arriving at the stable, I untacked him and let him into the upper arena for a good roll. Returning him to his corral he went to the far end and, just like that, he ignored me. I pondered his behavior and decided that two can play that game. I would come up during my lunch hour and just sit, eat, and read a book, while watching his behavior. At first he would just scowl at me, then he started to look at me with something like curiosity. I figured I was winning and it would just take time for us to become friends. It took three weeks. I came up after work on a Saturday and, as usual, I sat down to eat lunch. I had gone to Taco Bell and started on my second taco when he could stand it no more. He strolled over, knocked the taco from my hand, spilled my drink, and shaking the bag in his teeth, the other taco went flying. I was delighted and held perfectly still. He then placed his nose next to my left ear, breathing in and out. Next he looked at me face to face for a minute before he pushed on my cheek with his nose. We were now a team and he had surrendered to this strange fellow sitting in his corral. From that day on he would call to me whenever I appeared and never failed to greet me at the gate. Somehow as time passed he learned that when a certain truck drove into the parking lot that I would be in it. As I would get out of it I could hear him neigh. The other boarders told me that they could always tell when I had arrived as the quiet peaceful gelding would neigh loudly and then commence pacing his fence line. When I reached the narrow dirt road the feeders/cleaners drove down that passed down in front of the corrals, he would stand at the end of his corral closest to me and watch my every move until I came to his gate where he would greet me. If I stopped to talk to somebody he would run out of patience, dip and toss his head and with a loud neigh begin to pace along the fence line until I started in his direction.




October 2017

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