Casanova the clown
Izzy had a dream: to one day witness ONE of her babies growing to adulthood. While living a wild life on the Little Bookcliffs range in Colorado, her first two foals perished about 5 days after she gave birth to them. During her third pregnancy, Izzy was captured and removed from her wild home. At the adoption, no one claimed her. She was, once again, loaded onto a truck and driven to the holding facility - No place for a compromised foal to be born. Through a string of providential events, I was able to adopt Izzy. And then she was socialized by an inmate at the government pens, Izzy arrived in Grand Junction very pregnant. When the foal arrived, tests showed that his immune system was indeed compromised. Izzy was colostrum deficient! Likely the reason for the previous loss of babies in the wild. This new baby needed support in the first 24 hours, to be able to continue living beyond five days. That baby is Casanova, he is 12 years old in 2020!
And what a 12 years it has been. Izzy and her son Casanova introduced me to the government holding facility. And the need to change how our wild horses are managed after being gathered from their wild homes…
Casanova is our goofy, attention-demanding clown! My first opportunity to “socialize” a baby Mustang, Nova presented challenges I had never encountered. He has “people” boundaries, and he believes we are all horses. Ornery and willful, he regularly finds ways to get into trouble AND make us laugh at the same time. One of his favorite antics is to stand in the hay bunker with both front feet; he’s done that since he was a little guy finding his way around the lean-to shed. Brought him up to a level he could see over the other ponies. As he stands in the bunker, reaching anything he can, Blaine will tap on his lips and he opens wide, making waa-waa noises as the tapping vibrates.
He’s an escape artist! Nova will use a hoof, his lip, or his head to pull the gate open even before I can get it closed just behind me. And if a gate is left unlatched, he’ll find it after I’ve left the barn, and then scamper around the area until I return and corral him back into the paddock. Frustrating? Sometimes! Yet he’s also become my teacher; instructing me to close every gate every time and ever-so quickly!
Nova also has a way to connect with our emotionally-guarded young men clientele. They present a hard surface; And Nova sees it as a challenge, a boundary to “push” on. Usually, with the boys, he pushes and they push back, until they find a place of common ground where they explicitly understand one another. It is powerful to witness! Many of the guys that are impacted by Nova leave referring to him as “my” horse.
As one of the mustang master coaches, Casanova accepts each person as they are and then empowers them to develop. As he eats his evening hay, often dining next to his mother, I wonder if he says, “Hey mom, I have a new boy!”
Nova’s hard work supporting humans is worthy of care…consider sponsoring him! wild blessings, Tracy