HorseTenders Mustang Foundation Newsletter Issue #7
The past several months have seen a flurry of activity as warm weather and sunny days continue to grace the Kokal Farm pastures. The horses are looking sleek in their summer coats as they munch away on fresh grasses after many busy days filled with walks, rides, and baths.
Bonfire and Honey
Bonfire and Honey both dramatically advanced under saddle this summer. Bonfire in particular loves to be ridden. He has gone on both long and short trail rides with large and small groups. He enjoys all of it, especially if he can trot the whole way. Honey likes to be ridden in the woods where there is plenty for her to see, hear, and smell. We look forward to more rides with these two as the summer months wind down.
Summer may be prime riding season, but it also means bath time for the horses. Most of the time the horses enjoy their mid-afternoon cool down; however, Dillon was not one of those horses. He detested the hose with its suspiciously snakelike coils. But on one particularly hot and humid day, the realization dawned on him: being squirted with cool water feels great! Ever since then he has adored the baths. He even goes as far as turning in circles under the spray to make sure there isn’t an inch left dry.
The usual herd has experienced a few additions since this spring. Shadow and Tavern are the newest members. Shadow is a magnificent young horse with a gorgeous grulla-esque coloring. He is still relatively shy, but he is enjoying human attention more and more everyday. Whereas Shadow is the reserved addition to the herd, Tavern is the very outgoing newcomer. He is a friendly little fellow who loves people and possesses a kind heart. Both of them have been welcomed and found their place in the herd.
But all of this summer work (and play) wouldn’t be possible without the help of the HMF volunteers who catch the horses, walk them, bug spray them and a myriad of other things. It is quite clear, all of this attention is paying off. Angel and Gwen, who were once very shy, are now catchable and have been going on walks and enjoying long grooming sessions with the volunteers.
However, out of all the horses and all the volunteers, one of the sweetest stories is that of Cochise and Jess. Cochise adores Jess. When the summer rolls around and she comes back to volunteer, he waits by the gate for her and whinnies at her approach. Cochise is not usually so outgoing, thus the love he shows Jess each time she arrives is genuinely heartwarming.
Schools, clubs, various groups, families and individuals continued to visit enjoying HMF Farm Tours and Discovery sessions throughout the season. We were delighted to welcome the Director of the Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Allen Rutberg and his Masters Program students to enjoy a day visiting and learning about Mustangs and HMF programs and two summer participants into our summer intern program. HMF mustangs were delighted with their interactions and personal attention received during several successful HorseTenders LLC Horsemanship Camps where campers get fully immersed for 5 days learning comprehensive insights into fundamental horse handling, training, and care.
The memories made this summer have been unequivocally joyous. Seeing the horses progress, discover, and be happy is always rewarding. But while we are basking in the lingering glow of summer we cannot forget that fall is around the corner. The barn is filling in with hay in preparation for the cold months ahead, and the leaves are already showing the first tinges of autumnal color-signs of Carhartts, warm boots, snowy rides and, of course, more adventures with the HMF herd.
Bonfire and Honey