Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘Mia

Visiting Mia

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Saturday afternoon brought us visitors who wanted to see how Mia was doing and their first impression was oh so rewarding. To hear people say how good the horses are looking is wonderfully validating of our intentions and efforts.

This family had owned Mia when she had her eighth and final foal in 2018. After a thoroughbred broodmare is done having foals, the level of attention and care drops significantly. This owner was already living up in this region and Mia was still in Kentucky. Confident the horse would receive better care up here, they worked with This Old Horse to move Mia north.

When she first arrived from Kentucky that year, Mia hadn’t had a reason to naturally develop a heavy growth of winter coat and so she needed to wear a blanket through the cold season. Seeing the healthy growth Mia now sports brought them much comfort.

We have finally learned the foal count for each of the four horses we are fostering:

    • Swings  –  4
    • Mia        –  8
    • Light      –  3
    • Mix        –  3

It has given us a new perception of what Mia lived through after her racing career.

I wouldn’t say that Mia was overly demonstrative of recognizing her previous owners, but she was definitely more “present” than normal. She stayed at the gate in contact with us, while we chatted and gave some attention to the other three, for much longer than she ever does when it’s just Cyndie and me.

Since our visitors were eager to know what kind of place Mia had landed in, I guided them in a short walk around the bend of the back pasture to see the labyrinth. They showed great interest and were eager to spend some quiet time strolling the route to the center.

We had segretated the horses so that the chestnuts only had access to the hayfield and the other two could be on the back pasture, but my wish that horses would show up to stand close while the visitors were in the labyrinth didn’t pan out. The four horses had stayed up by the barn, which actually made it easy for our guests to connect one last time before they departed.

They are happy to see Mia has landed a good place and we are happy to know Mia has people from her past who still care about her.

I am extremely pleased to know that others believe our horses look healthy and appear thoroughly content with the home we are providing for them.

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Written by johnwhays

November 22, 2021 at 7:00 am

Middle Two

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As long as I’ve set off on the topic of featuring the horses residing with us since April, I would be remiss to stop at only the youngest and oldest. In the middle are Zodiacal Light (Light) and The Yellow Sheet (Momma Mia).

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These two chestnuts prefer each others’ company more than hanging with the other two horses. At the same time, when we moved Swings and Mix inside the barn for their turns with the vet for teeth work, Light and Mia became very unsettled at the separation, whinnying and hurriedly moving about.

In addition to similar coloring, they share equal subserviency to Mix’s demonstrations of dominance over them, accepting the situation with little complaint.

The easiest way to tell them apart is by the markings on their faces. Light has a “round star and stripe” and Mia sports an “irregular stripe.” We usually need to wait for them to turn around to look at us before we are sure which horse is which.

Mia is a little smaller than Light and she’s the older of the two. Born in California in February of 2000, Mia is about 63 in comparative human years.

Sometimes I think she looks older than Swings. Mia reminds us of our previous horse, Dezirea for her acceptance of the lowest position in the hierarchy of the herd and for being quick to react startled by many things.

Light was born in British Columbia in the spring of 2003. She shows a bit of caregiver trait in looking after the sensitivities of the other horses. She was actually rescued twice from kill pens, one time with a foal at her side.

Light and Mia are the perfect middle two for the herd, creating a wonderful balance of four different horses that together project a precious equine energy.

The rescue organization, This Old Horse, did a masterful job of selecting them as good candidates for our land when we expressed interest in the possibility. It’s been only five months that these horses have lived with us and with each passing day they seem more and more comfortable with the situation.

I think it would be fair to say the same thing about us.

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Written by johnwhays

September 23, 2021 at 6:00 am

Self-Directed Shower

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Last week on one of the hottest dry days of the hot streak, Cyndie dragged out a hose to spray water on the lime screenings and surfaces under the overhang. The horses kick and stomp on the ground to shake off flies which raises clouds of gritty dust that soon covers everything inside and out around the barn.

While she was making her way along the width, waving the spray back and forth over the dusty ground, Mia made an intentional approach and stopped just short of the shower of droplets. Cyndie held still and watched to see what Mia would do.

Very tentatively, Mia let the outer spray from the nozzle coat her whiskers. A moment later, she reached her face further in to get her chin. Another pause, and then she puts her nostrils and muzzle in the flow. Each time, moving into the flow and then out. Forehead, out, cheek, out, neck, out, withers, out, shoulder, out.

On Sunday afternoon, I was present to witness the same scene play out another time. Mia behaved just as Cyndie had described. It reached a point where I encouraged Cyndie to become more active and direct the spray over Mia’s legs and sides. When Mia took a step, the first impression we got was that she had enough, so Cyndie moved away.

Then I sensed Mia wasn’t stepping to get away, she was turning around to present her butt! Cyndie moved the spray onto Mia again and it was gladly received.

When Cyndie went in to get a scraper and towel, I watched Mia shimmy and shake to shed the water and then stand contentedly to let wetness drip off of her. As Cyndie finished drying Mia, I wondered aloud if this would be a time to try brushing her mane.

While Cyndie was back in the barn locating the mane brush and some conditioner, I watched Mia walk down the slope to the dusty black dirt where she laid down and rolled to finish drying. That was the sight to which Cyndie emerged.

Mia did let Cyndie brush out her main after standing back up again. After that, Light accepted a little mane grooming, as well.

It surprised us a bit that none of the other three horses showed any interest in the attention Mia was receiving with the cool spray of water. I’m guessing they don’t like baths as much as she does.

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Written by johnwhays

June 15, 2021 at 6:00 am