Say Hello to Baby Olive
Say hello to Baby Olive! Okay, so her real name is just Olive, but to be honest I think even when she’s 34 and arthritic, I’ll probably still call her Baby Olive.
It all started very innocently. I was looking at the Instagram account for my local Humane Society, and I decided to go to the website to look at all of the adoptable animals--never a good plan.
Although I have always wanted a colt (who doesn’t?), I never expected one to fall into my lap. I especially never imagined I would rescue a black dun Andalusian! But as it happened, one day there was no Olive, and the next my life was full of Olive.
So one night, after perusing Instagram, I found myself on the “Adoptable Horses” page for my local humane society, staring into the digital eyes of this little angel. I loved her so deeply already, and I was compelled to find out more.
After several calls and impatiently waiting for responses, I decided to make an appointment to meet her myself.
When I walked towards her, Olive came right up to the fence to greet me. She allowed her handler to halter her, and walk her to the round pen for a turn out. She walked like a little lady, and throughout her play time, she continually came back to where we were standing to check in. I liked this because it felt like she was already aware of people, and looking for direction. She had this crazy intelligent and wise look about her that far exceeded her actual years.
I berated the poor handler with a million questions. Where did she come from? What is her parentage? Are her feet healthy? How long did she nurse? Does she tie yet?
All of the answers to these questions blew me away. This little baby, only ten months old at the time, was already so capable.
She was perfect. She would have to be mine.
I picked up an application that very morning, filled it out on my lunch break, and returned it that night. Just one week later, I found myself backing my trailer into the barn at the humane society. She loads too! So grown up!
Since then we have mastered the flag (you can see this on my instagram), had two successful farrier visits, and learned some basic ground manners. It is not my intention to simply turn her out until she is ready to be broken. I believe this only leads to more problems down the road. Instead, I plan to work with her for the next two years on every aspect of manners and ground behavior, so that she already knows what is expected of her in our relationship. This way, when one day I ask her to let me sit on her back, she will already trust and respect me. The hard part will already be done.
I have only had Baby Olive for two months now, but I have been grateful for her every day. I love her so much more than I had even imagined, and I can’t wait to spend the next thirty years with her.
Stay tuned for more updates on Baby Olive’s training! You can also find her on my Instagram @dancingwithhorses_blog