I was invited to bring Mica to the Wild Horse Festival in Santa Fe which took place last weekend at the Santa Fe Equestrian Center. When I said yes, I realized that I needed to prepare Mica for his first big public appearance. His normal day consists of hanging out with his brothers the Cremello Colts, and occasionally visitors come by to meet them, but going to an event in another state and meeting and greeting lots of strangers is a very different situation.
I immediately contacted my friend and natural horsemanship trainer Rich Scott to tell him the news, and also to ask for his help in getting Mica ready for his big adventure.
Rich came out three times before the event and we worked on a variety of things, including getting Mica comfortable in the trailer, getting him used to different people handling him, (Jess my assistant) and using the flag to get him used to things touching different parts of his body.
We made a plan for people approaching him, making sure they would be on the same side of him as I was so he could move away and not step on anyone.
When Rich came a few days before the event, we loaded Mica into the trailer several times with no problem. We then worked on loading Claro and Cremosso since it had been a couple of years since they had been in the trailer. Rich gave me Cremosso’s lead rope, and as he was getting in he put his leg over the rope and began to spook, backing up and finally pulling away from me.
Mica, who had been turned loose after his session, gleefully followed Cremosso as they ran to the other end of my property.
Rich followed on horseback, and ponied Cremosso back to the trailer, with Mica going along like he too was being ponied – he just wanted to help! When they arrived back at the trailer, Rich loaded Cremosso several times without incident, then removed his halter, and Cremosso stood there calmly.
A few days later, I loaded Mica and all his stuff, and started the 8 hour drive to Santa Fe. I did not know what to expect as he had never been on such a long ride, but every time I stopped for gas, he looked up, perky and bright eyed.
When we finally arrived, I put him in a pen, and we were waiting for Ginger to bring Sax, Cloud’s half brother, because he was going to be in the pen next to Mica. We hoped that the two mustangs would become friends. When Sax arrived Mica almost tried to climb through the bars he was so eager to meet him, but Sax was not as interested. By the next day, however, they were playing together and we put them in the same pen.
Every time I looked Mica was meeting new people during the event, and they usually had their cameras out and were petting him. He received smooches from one woman that put a little lipstick on his nose, and then even Ginger got into the act, and gave him a kiss. On the second day, Ginger brought out her big ball and demonstrated with Sax who could push the ball by kicking it with his front legs.
Mica of course wanted to use his nose, as he does on everything, but Ginger showed him how to kick the ball. She also demonstrated with Sax how to pick up the grain tub.
When it was time to leave, Mica and Sax were good friends, and they called to each other as we pulled out of the driveway on the long way home.