We moved on to the second pen that contained the remaining weanling and that's when Kid 3 found her soul mate (except the horse doesn't know that yet!) This line-back dun was a little bigger than the other two weanlings, and not quite as friendly as the little black, but Kid 3 loved the coloring with the white star on her forehead. Someone pointed out that the grulla walked more on her toes than was ideal, so Kid 3's order of choice was set:
1. the dun
2. the black
3. the grulla.
They started the drawing about 2:15. One of the other twelve-year-olds got to choose first and went with the black, so Kid 3 was able to claim the dun when her turn came. I believe each of the three twelve-year-old girls went home with their number one choice, so everyone was happy. I wasn't paying much attention to the yearlings, but I think there were seven that went home with older 4-Her's.
After the drawing Mario Johnson began working with one of the un-chosen yearlings. I think she had been overlooked by the kids because she had some big cuts on her legs, but she did great for Mario. In less than an hour, he was petting her and had her haltered. From there he started working on "mounting". Of course, she was too young to actually ride, but he used the fence to get her used to having a rider above her and a little weight on her back. I missed most of that last part of the demo cuz I was busy backing the trailer up to the loading chute.
When given the choice earlier last week, my camp participants had opted to come in the morning on Friday, which freed me up to go to the dinner/Playmill event sponsored by Stable Boy's work that evening. The BLM organizers understandably didn't want to load the mustangs until the kids had gotten to watch Mario's demo, but to make the 5 pm dinner, I really should have left Rexburg no later than 3:30. It was going on 4 pm by the time they agreed to load the animals for myself and another woman who was facing a time crunch.
It took the BLM guys three attempts to get Xoe into the loading chute-she would get down there, then panic and almost run the guy over as she charged back to her holding pen. Leaving a halter on a horse can be quite dangerous for the animal and is not something I normally do, but I had gotten an email saying that the BLM would put a halter on for us if we wanted while our mustang was in the chute. I thought that might make things easier for Kid 3, so we did bring one.
While we waited, someone said something to Kid 3 about how they liked for the 4-Her's to be able to say they had been the first one to halter their mustang, rather than have the BLM guys do it. Kid 3 just shrugged and said she thought it would make it easier since she had never trained a horse by herself before. I think she was right. Xoe fought like crazy in the chute! The person rescinded their words as they watched the BLM guy struggle to put the halter on, saying "Maybe that was a good idea after all."
We made it home and got Xoe in her pen safely. Then I cleaned up and took off for West Yellowstone. I made it to the banquet hall right as everyone was leaving to head over to the theater. There was still plenty of delicious salmon and rosemary chicken on the buffet, so I dished up and ate as fast as I could. It was me, Stable Boy and all the wait staff. Nothing like being the only person left eating in a giant room of deserted tables piled with dirty dishes!
Kid 3 has spent a lot of time hanging out and reading out loud to Xoe the last several days, trying to get her comfortable with her presence. It took a couple days to decide on the name. Her short list was Esmeralda, Jada and Xoe.
We've been attempting to do multiple short training sessions with Xoe each day. She's still just a baby, so I feel we'll accomplish more with shorter, more frequent sessions than one long one that might overwhelm and exhaust her. Xoe is pretty wild and jumpy, so it will likely be a long, slow process.