Slip Slidin’ Away

Slip Slidin’ Away

It’s rainy everywhere in North America today so our muddy conditions are nothing extraordinary. The greasy red clay churned up under the animal hooves only a small annoyance in the big picture. With some careful walking, one can avoid a pratfall, but nothing will avoid the gumbo sticking to all surfaces of your boots.

The big annoyance in the big picture was the letter delivered by Rodney London, the Milan Code Enforcement Officer. It says we have until the 9th of June to vacate the property because Mustang Camp is not aligned with the best interests of the village. Wow. A half-vacant town with undrinkable water thinks it will be better off without us. Okay.

But what do we do with the 70 horses?

This place has been hard. The volunteers I expected to show up, have been few and far between. My phone says I walk about 7 miles a day, feeding, watering, and training. I am exhausted. The trucks and trains keep me awake at night. I don’t drink enough water.

It’s the kind of water that when you bathe in it, your hair feels dry and dead. When you heat it or chill it, the minerals fall out of solution and float on the top. It tastes like minerals. Everyone I ask, even the water department guys, says they drink bottled water. I grow depressed by the ubiquitous prevalence of plastic water bottles. Controlling single use plastics is not going to happen in this kind of environment. Not too much hope for the planet here.

In truth, we’ve done good here despite the problems. We got most of the horses chipped, vaccinated and did their coggins. We have some geldings scheduled with the vet (perhaps 10 can get done before we vacate). Five horses are on step 24 and four on step 20 of the 26 Steps of training. Another group is slower in coming up through the tasks. I have been training 15 everyday. Perhaps now I need to triage the most salvageable?

We have had a lot of commitments for adoptions. A few horses have gone out, but many are awaiting training before they go. People try to talk me into letting them go untrained. I could agree to it if the horse was a tractable animal, but the ones that are truly problematic are not the kind of animals that will work out as big pets. Pressure them and they will break fences or respond with aggression. But maybe they have to go as they are? Maybe my time is up on them?

I could take them all back to Largo if I didn’t have 30 studs trying to fight with each other. I just don’t have enough individual pens there and no way to get them vetted. If they could go somewhere to get gelded and then come to me, it might work. Let’s see what happens next.

UPDATE: You can help us by writing a letter to the Mayor of Milan giving the reasons that Mustang Camp should have community support. The Mayor is on our side but just needs justification for helping us. The Mayor is
Mayor Felix O. Gonzales and can be emailed through the village clerk at The deadline for these letters is the 16th of May.