Beautiful was born in the Summer of 2007 at Beatty's Butte, Oregon. She was just a baby at her mother's side when she was captured in the round-up. I can only guess how traumatic that was for her being that young. She has a long, gnarly scar on her hind end that makes me think something did not go right for her during it.
From there, she was loaded on a truck with the other horses and taken to the Burns, OR holding facility where they released her with horses her age. She was there about eight months, until the BLM took her out on the road for spring adoptions. It appears her first stop was Spokane, WA, at Ride the West, an annual equestrian event, and that's where I found her.
I wasn't there to see the Mustangs. Before that time I'd only ever heard of them and the BLM adoptions. When I came up on them unexpectedly, I was stopped in my tracks. Pen after pen of these gorgeous, wild horses, separated by sex and age and wearing numbered tags on their necks. They were very quiet and, personally, I thought they looked defeated. Some of them had blank stares.
I was with my daughter and friend, and we went from pen to pen, finally coming across the group of yearlings where Beautiful was kept. There were other people crowding around, too, and they all looked like they were eager to adopt. One of the volunteers told us that it was the last day and the adoption was going to end in an hour. We wanted to watch, so we decided to hang out.
As we waited, we looked at the adoption sheets to see which horses had bids. I was shocked to see that not too many had bids at all, and the beautiful little yearling filly I'd attached myself to had no interest.
I started to speak in earnest to the volunteer. What was it like gentling? Could I do it? Did I have the right equipment to take her home? I hadn't planned on this--so I only had the normal horse set-up.
She assured me I could do it. They would help me. They'd point me in the right direction to get everything I needed. Turns out, she was right--I could, and they did.
After signing the bid sheet I was whisked off to the tent to fill out paperwork: draw a diagram of the barn and her pen, agree to random visits by the BLM, look over her shot and worming record, and pay a mere $175.00.
An hour later we were backing our trailer into the chutes where she would be herded, panel by opened panel, haltered and loaded for us to take home. All of that went well. The BLM knows how to do it.
Once home, I set to feeding her out of my hand and trying to help her understand she would be safe with me. We call that process "gentling", and there is more written about how I handled gentling Beautiful under that section on this blog.
Links to other blog posts about Beautiful's Story:
Beauty Survives Chaos
What is her Story 'Til Now?
Video: Beautiful being released with our herd.