Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Mustang A Day Challenge Painting #274 Kiger Stallion Chevez

"Kiger Chevez"
6 by 6 inches Watercolor
by LindaLMartinArtist
By Guest Blogger Andi Harmon
Chavez is a 1991 Kiger stallion. He was gathered in 1996 and adopted. His adopter used an “old” method of gentling; he snubbed him to a post for a week, untying and leading him to water and food several times a day. It didn’t work. Chavez was then turned loose in the pen. To get trimmed and vaccinated, he was roped and laid down, and drugged. 6 years later, in 2002, my late husband and I were asked to try to work with him, as his owner was frustrated at not being able to handle him.
We had Chavez for about 3 months. He allowed my husband to lead him some, pet him some and ate out of my husband’s hands. But he was terrified of his owner. So we spent some time searching for a suitable home for him. We found some people who lived in southern Oregon on a large ranch with some Mustang mares. They bought him and turned him out on a few thousand acres.
Photo of Chevez provided by Andi Harmon
and used by permission
Fast forward 10 years. Info on Chavez over the years has been sketchy. Then I get an email from Darla Clark of Strawberry Mountain Mustangs. She had been contacted by someone who pulled a BLM branded Mustang off a southbound truck. She said he was a Kiger stallion and looked like he just came off the range. I asked for photos.
OMG! It was Chavez! I was sure of it but looked thru my photos from 10 years ago to be certain. He’s older, thinner and rougher looking but I was 99.99% certain it was Chavez. He couldn’t be handled so we couldn’t get a good look at the brand but the markings matched up.
I started emailing and calling people. I knew Chavez had little options; if he were to go to a sanctuary, he would have to be gelded. At 21 years old, and with a long history of being drugged and it not working well on him, I knew it would likely kill him. So either I find a suitable place for him to live out his days as a stallion or he’s put down. It would be the only humane thing and I would not allow this fine horse to be passed around and mishandled ever again. A bullet would be more humane, but obviously the last option. There wasn’t a lot of time to get this done.
Photo of Chevez provided by Andi Harmon
and used by permission
Thanks to the wonderful ladies at our BLM office, a home was found! Kim Kellogg, who is a superb handler and a Kiger person, agreed to take him. She has a way with the older ones and a genuine knack for stallions. PERFECT!

Kim picked up Chavez at the rescue that pulled him from the Mexico-bound truck, about a 10-11+ hour drive one way for her. She stayed overnight in Powell Butte and I and a friend drove over to see him. I *had* to see him.
Chavez is about 100 lbs underweight, in need of some muscle tone, deworming and such but mentally, he is still soft and kind. I took a couple hundred photos of him and watched him and Kim “dance”; she will have him gentle, foot broke and probably saddle broke in no time! I am beyond thrilled at this outcome for Chavez and eternally grateful for all the wonderful folks that made this happen. I will look forward to this final, exciting chapter in Chavez’s life, as he settles into the home he’ll spend the rest of his years at. Thank you Kim, Darla, Ramona, Patti and everyone else!

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