Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Mustang A Day Challenge Painting #263 Life Unexpected from Honey the Branson Mustang

Life Unexpected: The Birth of  Branson Mustang Honey’s foal.

Branson's Little Davy G
a.k.a. BRANSON
5 by 7 inches Watercolor
by Artist Linda L Martin
It has been a real emotional roller coaster these past few weeks.  With the death by euthanasia of a welled loved Band Stallion, Davy Greasewood out on the Sand Wash Basin and the growing animosity between people on either sides of the “horse slaughter issue” and combined with civil unrest and economic insecurity throughout the country,  everyone has pretty much gone a little nuts with worry and uncertainty.  Not to mention the emergency closings of a number of well established equine rescues that are in crisis because of underfunding, then add to it last week s theft of 12 large round bales of hay from Alder Farm II, the sanctuary location of Alder Hill’s rescue.

Then much to my surprise yesterday evening I get a call from the farm manager  at Alder Hill Farm Rescue. “ Linda, we all agreed; we want you to name the new foal.”  Honestly, I was so moved. I’ve been meager, yet consistent in my efforts to help them raise money for over two years. It was all I could do to keep from crying at the honor of it. He related the events leading up to Honey’s foaling .

A Little Background:

Honey is the little mustang mare that I wrote about last spring. She and her two mustang brothers had been semi-abandoned by their owners when they could no longer manage to care for them. Every day the lead stallion would take the three of them out to pasture in an abandoned 200plus acre development site. There was lush grass, lots of cover and water, so the horses were blissful in their existence until they were discovered.

The area was canvassed and no owner could be found. Since the weather was so bad last year, a local woman put hay out for them. But there was a great danger in that the end of the property nearest the major highway leading to Branson was not fenced.  The decision was made that since the horses could not be caught that they must be euthanized to prevent them from endangering the public. Several local landowners offered to shoot them. At that point, in a last ditch effort to save the horses someone called in Alder Hill Farm. You can read about the dramatic rescue earlier in the blog starting with painting # 91    The story is in three parts.
The Birth:
 Ok so here is the rest of the story. Alder Hill Farm not only found the owner of the mustangs, they also made a purchase exception to prevent a long drawn out court battle and brought the horses to Alder Hill. The first thing that they did was geld the two stallions and send Honey for a pregnancy test. She  was indeed in foal. Since it was by one of her full brothers, the decision was made to terminate the pregnancy. The action was taken and Honey was brought home and her training began. She was just started under saddle when  they began to suspect that the little mare was still in foal. Another trip to the vet and the Little Branson Filly was indeed in foal and expected to have her little one sometime in the late fall or early winter.  So a month  after I thought he would be here the little fellow arrived  January 31st 2012 at approximately 4:30 am At Alder Hill Farm in Missouri. He is a perfectly formed foal, healthy in every way.

The Rest of the Story and the Name:

Now there is a little more to the story that most people don’t know. I’m not going to mention names to protect their privacy; however, the woman who discovered the 3 Branson Mustangs and fed them hay through the winter, also has ties to the Sand Wash Basin Wild Horses, as her daughter used to live in Colorado near them and they would all go horse watching together when the woman visited.

So when Honey’s little bay foal  was born I wasn’t sure if he had a star like Davy Greasewood; but if he did, it would be cool too … then I remembered the way most people name their mustangs in EMM (Extreme Mustang Makorver)competition is to name them from the place they are from. And since the three  second generation BLM mustangs were named from Branson, I was thinking that  Branson would be the perfect name for him.  But as I was looking at his little picture barely an hour old.. I knew what his name should be.. Branson’s Little Davy G.  Branson for short. Branson is a mighty big name to grow into, however, Branson’s Little Davy G is an even bigger legacy.

Davy G, also known as Greasewood or Davy Greasewood, is the stallion we loved and lost from the Sand Wash Basin HMA due to an injury suffered from being tangled in wire. You can read about that here:

The New Little Life

Now, let me share with you what I was of Branson’s personality. He is bold, independent, inquisitive, demanding and loves to eat and does so vigorously.  When they haltered his mom to lead them into the barn he took off running in the opposite direction as fast as he could until she called him back. Fearless! After he had run around a bit and was ready for a nap, he laid down and rested his head on the manager's lap. He has all the survival skills of a mustang and all the gentle behavior of a bonded mustang.  And I suspect with the staff of Alder Hill Farm overseeing his education, this little colt is going to make someone a seriously nice and useful horse when he grows up.

So world and all those watching on, I give you: 

Branson’s Little Davy G
May he live a life filled with joy and happy times in the care of a forever home that appreciates his history and the legacy of his name. Live well little Branson!

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Alder Hill Farm, PO BOX 609, Stockton, MO 65785
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