Wednesday, January 2, 2013

2012 Year In Review

Without further ado, here is Imogen's 2012 Year in Review! I can't believe I have been working with her for an entire year now! Added in are November and December from 2011 as well, when I first started to play with her!

November/December 2011:
I give the best synopsis of Imogen's history (then known simply as Bay Girl) that I can, and start to play with the then half-wild, uncatchable, terrified little mare in the last week of November. I am able to catch her (mostly), watch her freak out and need to be sedated for the farrier, and am able to crosstie and brush most of her body. I make plans for December, and am able to pick up all four feet without getting trampled or kicked. I manage to get a blanket on her, but have some trouble getting it off! I learned just how panicky she could be about having her face touched (and couldn't properly crosstie her or put a halter on her), but she became increasingly friendly and easy to catch, so we let her out into the mare field (she had been living in a small pen). And she was still catchable!

January 2012:
We make some goals for January, and tackled blanketing some more. I try and fail to get Bay Girl to take a cookie from me - she is convinced they are poison and wants nothing to do with them. I hatch a master plan on how to make deworming less of a nightmare, and am completely foiled by a clever little Mustang. By the end of the month, she takes a cookie from me after all!

February 2012:
I am told at the start of the month that Bay Girl will be leaving to go have her foal (due in March) at another facility and that she won't be back. I am absolutely heartbroken over this. I try to stay positive, focus on my incoming Pangea (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!), and have lots of fun when she arrives. Bay Girl leaves at the end of the month.... I say a miserable goodbye to her and fully expect to never see her again.

March 2012:
I get a text on my birthday that Bay Girl has had a colt! We share the same birthday, and all went well. Best birthday present ever! And I get even BETTER news at the end of the month - the two of them were COMING BACK to our facility!! I'd see my beautiful girl again after all!!

April 2012:
Mid-April, Bay Girl and her colt Elvis arrive back at our barn. Bay Girl is skinny but very slick and shiny in her new summer coat! I don't get to do much with her, given the fact that she now has a colt (who belongs to someone else) at foot, but I do manage to play with her a bit and get a flymask on her. Through a series of pulled strings, I managed to figure out the embryo transfer facility that Bay Girl belongs to, and make contact with them, FINALLY. They tell me all the mares are up for grabs for $1k, and I put it out on my blog to see if anyone would like to chip in for her. In just a few days, we have over $400, and the number grows every day!

May 2012:
I still can't do much with Bay Girl, given the Red Pest at her side (who is quickly turning into a large PITA), but deworming day comes and goes without fuss! She is now so catchable and friendly that I take a huge leap of faith and remove her catch halter - the first time it had been off in many, many, many months. I manage to convince her that other kinds of cookies aside from the ones she is used to are ok to eat, I muse on whether or not she is just a plain bay or actually a rabicano, and the donations reach $700!!

June 2012:
It's official, she is in fact a rabicano! There is a lot of speculation on whether or not her GIANT ENORMOUS BELLY has a secret baby in there... it is definitely a bit concerning! The Red Pest begins creep feeding, and I continue to play with Bay Girl whenever I can (hard with the colt hanging around causing trouble). To my complete amazement, donations reach $999 at the end of the month - WE DID IT! Now... WHEN would this become reality?
Looking back at the next picture and comparing it to now, I can't believe how much her body has changed!!

July 2012:
Elvis celebrates his 4-month birthday. I get a taste of how fragile our relationship is when I accidentally poke her in the eye with her flymask. (Thankfully this was shortlived.) The two of them temporarily get another mare and foal to hang out with, but only for a few weeks (and I laugh a lot at the size difference between Elvis and the other foal, who is only 2 weeks old - she can literally walk underneath him!) Other than that, I don't get to do much with her, much to my dismay. There literally isn't any way to work with her with the Red Pest around, other than to catch and groom her.

August 2012:
I continue to wonder whether or not she is pregnant - I don't think so, but her belly is definitely HUGE. I struggle to get ahold of the ET facility vet, but after much trying, I finally track the guy down and strike a verbal deal with him. Now all we need is for the foal to be weaned and for the lessee to return her to the ET facility! As luck would have it, weaning day arrived at the end of the month, and Bay Girl went back out into her old field with her old friends while the Red Pest stayed up in a front field with his babysitter. It was very low drama, although Bay Girl did not appreciate the way her new herdmates bullied her for a few days! I talk to the ET facility, and all they need is for the lessee to terminate the lease and to bring her back, and a check! The waiting game begins!

September 2012:
I figure out how to avoid the deworming issue. 9/11 come and goes, and I write about being an American. The lessee is completely AWOL, and Bay Girl is still at the main farm and not yet mine. I get tired of waiting, and decide to begin training her in earnest, starting with lunging loose in the roundpen. She is a quick study, and is doing walk-trot-whoa by the end of her first session, and walk-trot-canter-whoa by the end of her second. She even wears a saddle pad for the first time without fuss! She also gets a new name: Imogen!

October 2012:
Imogen has her first lunge lesson with an actual lunge line, and she nails it. She also wears a surcingle for the first time, and also nails it! (She also comes into flaming heat.... thankfully she is NOT pregnant!) The one-year anniversary of Gogo's death comes and goes, and I write about never being the same again. Imogen wears a bridle for the first time and does quite well, aside from an unsurprising amount of confused mouthiness! Putting the bridle on proves to be a problem, but wearing it is just fine. Despite the fact that Elvis was weaned two months prior, she is still at the main farm!

November 2012:
I FINALLY BUY IMOGEN! A few days later, I trailer her home, where she makes fast friends with Pangea. We lunge for the first time outside of a roundpen, and she does quite well! It takes a little while to transition her off of her sweet feed and oat diet to her new healthy diet (and who can blame her, why eat salad when you can eat candy?), but eventually she decides that it is tasty enough to snarf down with ease. She wears a saddle for the first time (!!!!), and we work on lunging in full tack, and wonder how to help her with her earshy problems. She also wears a big rope saddle, and doesn't care! I also teach her to pony off of Pangea, and she does wonderfully. We are well on our way to saddlebroke!

December 2012:
Imogen goes into the AquaTread for the first time, and does GREAT! She gets ponied out on the trail for the first time, and doesn't bat an eye at anything, not even when we have to walk over logs and go around the stock pond. We move facilities, and she absolutely loses her mind - she is anxious, hot, and very stressed right from the get-go. (But we do get some productive work in.) I let the barn owner roundpen her, and while it goes okay the first time, it is a complete disaster the second time. I abandon the idea, give her a week off, and have been at odds with the barn owner ever since. She loses weight very rapidly, and I cut back on her workload and up her feed. I attend an awesome large animal rescue class, and we ground drive for the first time - and she does great! Christmas comes and goes, and when I return we get back to lunging, ground driving.... and OUR FIRST RIDE. She does GREAT!!!

It is amazing to see where she has come from where she was. There is still a VERY long way to go, but the sky is the limit now. I believe in her, and I believe in us. We can do anything we set our minds to, so long as we have each other.

The past two days have been full of drama and bad things, but that is a story for tomorrow. For tonight, I choose to look back and remember... and look ahead and smile. 2013 goals coming soon!


  1. Y'all have had such an amazing, productive year! May 2013 hold just as much wonderful progress. :)

  2. Wonderful review. I completely forgot she started off as Bay Girl. Can't wait to see what 2013 holds for you, Imogen and Pangea!

  3. What a year! This blog is fantastic for you, it's wonderful to have such a story of your stresses and successes to look back upon, and just to see how far you've all come.. thank god you never stopped blogging (remember back when you were thinking about it?!).

    Well all the best for 2013.. give your girls and yourself a big hug from me, and I can't wait to see what happens next! xx