Appaloosa Journal

DEC 2018

Appaloosa Journal is the official publication of the Appaloosa Horse Club, the international registry for the Appaloosa horse.

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Page 85 of 126

OUT & ABOUT 81 told me she would hold Christmas for me and that weekend we brought her home. When we went to pick up Christmas, she knew me right away; she was joyful in her eyes and hugged me. It was as if we never missed a step in our lives together. I asked how Christmas was when she came to this current seller. I was told she was skin and bones, starved and depressed. It was hard to hear and I was very saddened by what she had gone through. Though Christmas hadn't been in a trailer for years, she stepped right into mine as if to say, "Mom, I am ready to come home." Once she was home with us, she was clipped, given a bath, body massage, and a good brushing. We got an excel- lent horse shoer to start her on a trimming program to get her sound again from wall separation, and I medicated her hoof to heal it from the white line disease. After a few trimmings, she was sound to start on her work program. You could see she moved easier, happier and her spirit was starting to return. We began together exactly where we left off years past. She was so happy to be with me and I with her. I searched for an experienced, competent horse trainer and Brian Bausch came highly recommended. Brian listened to me regarding the direction and protective guidance I wanted Christmas to experience. She had been through so much. Brian understood developing a program to meet Christmas's needs first, and the direction we wanted to take her second. The first time Brian rode Christmas she kept looking back at me as she was insecure, but she knew I was not leaving her alone. The next few months Brian broadened Christmas's world to working under saddle, skills with cattle and reining, better balance in her gaits and most of all, confidence. While he worked with her, not only was Christmas healing from the inside, but so was I. It was as if he was healing and raising both of us above the hardships we'd endured. I visited her often to reassure her she was still my baby and loved. I saw Christmas happy in chasing after cattle. She showed patience in waiting, and willingness to go – all at Brian's com- mand. She exhibited confidence and balance. The skill and guidance provided by Brian paid off and expanded her world. One weekend he took her to a horse training exhibit, the first arena environment she had ever experienced. She was ridden all day by one of the instructors, a stranger to her. Christmas behaved like a seasoned horse and made us very proud — she had come a long way in a short period of time. As with all things, it was soon time to bring Christmas home. We all recognized she was not the same horse that we'd taken to Brian. She shows her personality everyday. Christmas runs with exuberance, bucks with joy when it's cold, whinnies when she sees me, loves the hugs and kisses, plays with the dog — she is truly experiencing fun, enjoying life and her new be- ginning. And for me, she truly is a Christmas that lasts all year long.

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