Sunday, July 17, 2011

A pause for a pretty red mare

Might get that bucket?
DeCato Copper hasn’t had much air time on this blog, so I thought I’d post a few pictures of this pretty little BLM mustang mare.

DeCato came to live with us after I saw her advertised on Craigslist, and requested a photo.  When I saw more skeleton than horse, we went and got her, brought her home, isolated her for a while, got her vaccinated, and then integrated her with the others.  The former owner didn’t feed her enough or handle her much after getting her from a BLM auction at Cornell two years before.   He didn’t have experience training any horse, let alone a mustang, and she was beyond his abilities.  
Where be that bucket?

She lacked minimal care, and actually had never even had her feet trimmed while he owned her.  He said that when he told farriers that she was a wild mustang, they refused to work on her, but honestly, I was picking out and filing her feet within about three weeks of bringing her home, and I’m no Buck Brannaman. 

She was also being housed with a two-year-old stallion at her old place, and the fact that her life with him didn't result in a random foal is either a miracle or a testament to this mare's determination in keeping him away from her reproducing parts.

Might still get the bucket...
Last I measured, DeCato still hadn’t made it to 14 hands.  She’s the low horse in the group and herd-bound and spooky when handled.  I have ridden her a bit, and she never tried to buck, but she’s a challenge because of her insecurities.  I’ll have her working more this fall, after I am happy with Dee’s and Starlight’s progress.

DeCato has shown me that she’s a very smart mare, but prefers to be with the herd.  She’s the self-appointed security guard of the group, always on the look-out for something dangerous on the horizon.  I guess when you’re a horse born on the plains of Nevada, you might carry a higher level of paranoia than these fat and comfy stock horses and the drafty beast who hang out here.

She’s the only solid color horse here, a rich chestnut with a sprinkle of roany white hairs in her coat.  She dapples up in the summer and has a slight curl to her coat in the winter, which isn’t surprising, since the Ely, Nevada area where she came from does produce some curly mustangs.
...except Hudson has the bucket.

Oh, and the former owners identified her as “Dakado” in their ad, which I thought was an interesting name, but then I heard them call her “Dakota,” and realized the interesting name was just bad spelling.  Well, it stuck as “DeCato,” and the “Copper” part is in honor of her penny-red coat and the fact that copper is produced in the area where she was born.

Enjoy the pictures of this doe-eyed mare with the pretty head and shiny coat!

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