By Amy Kathleen Miller
Do you remember the horse Milo that I wrote about here last week? Well, Milo is in his new home as of Tuesday night.
My friend Amber, her husband Tony, and I went out last night to pick up Milo and take him to his new home. In preparing to take him, we had to borrow another friend’s horse trailer, because my medium-sized two-horse trailer is not large enough for a 17.2-hand horse. Then we picked him up at the boarding facility where he was at. I was asked to halter him and put him into the trailer. I took this as a privilege to lead this horse out of his filthy stall and into the horse trailer where he would head out to a new life, a new place where he was going to get love and care.
I went to put his halter on. He was standing at his door as if he was wanting to get out of that filthy place. He lowered his head for me to put the halter on. There was a walkway and on the other side was a small paddock where a stallion was making lunging motions at Milo as we walked down the little walkway. The stud horse managed to get a couple feet closer to Milo, but Milo completely ignored this obstinate horse trying to bite him. It was as if he was putting his full trust in me and doing his best to be calm, which he was. He was a total gentleman.
As I approached the horse trailer, I did feel Milo tense up and hesitate, knowing that he was looking at the wide open door of the horse trailer and the dark room inside. It was early evening, getting dark. By now the horse trailer looked like a big dark room. Milo hesitated, and I reassured him that it was okay, he was safe. He hesitated again only to have me reassure him again that all was well.
Finally, we got a few feet away from the first step in and again there was a big hesitation but this time he really didn’t want to go any closer. So I stopped and again reassured him by talking softly and stroking his thin body. He again started forward. We reached the trailer and I stopped to let him look around and smell whatever he felt needed to be done to reassure himself. Because it was dark and I couldn’t see anything in the horse trailer, I felt impressed by this guy because a lot of horses would be afraid of being in this position unless they are used to it.
After five minutes and Milo’s hesitancy of loading, I began to twirl the rope to encourage forward movement just enough to see if he would move forward. He got the message he lifted his large head as if to protest the suggestion, and he swayed his massive body to the side. I stopped to see if it was enough, and it was. He lifted his one leg up and then the other and stood inside the trailer.
After arriving at our destination at the Friends in Need Animal Rescue and Sanctuary, I looked around at this nice farm/rescue. They keep the place fairly clean, there are well cared for animals everywhere. They have animals I haven’t seen before in person, such as yaks or water buffaloes, horses, emus, goats, noisy geese, etc. I got a closer look at the yaks when we had to move panels out of their corral for Milo’s place to stay in for the night. We were moving about four panels out with one person on each panel. We scooted them out and those panels were in between me and the yaks. I was glad that I had something protecting me from the not-so-trustworthy younger yak.
When it came time to move Milo up to his paddock again, Milo was impressive in the way he walked beside Amber in a strange place in the dark. He trusted her, but I could tell he was a little nervous about his surroundings and there were the geese calling out a chorus of greetings to the newcomer. After we put him in his paddock, he greeted all the horses around him and didn’t think anything of them and then turned back to his humane friends. Amber then fed him hay. He pinned his ears and Amber refused to give him hay until he was nicer. He has been through this before, so he knew the drill and after Amber gave him his hay he dove in to it like a starving horse and started wolfing it down. I have never seen a horse that hungry. It was sad.
But now, Milo is in a safe place and Amber and I can be happy about where he lives, our new friend Karen O’Donnell will take care of him. Again, if you would like to make a donation, volunteer time on her farm, or pay a visit, her website is friends-in-need.org.
The farm runs off of donations and there are many furry friends in need, so please feel free to make a donation to help these animals such as Milo, who takes a lot of food.
Now, my trick for the day is Cheyenne fetching a hat. However, Cheyenne is not like a yellow laborador retriever and does not run particularly fast to fetch the hat. But she does a pretty neat job at getting it. The more I work with her, the more I find that she enjoys doing the tricks and the interaction between us. The more I work her, the faster she learns new tricks. I hope you enjoy her hat fetching trick.
Editor’s Note: “Amy’s Angle” is a weekly Wednesday feature in this blog.
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