• The above photo is of Carson, the day he was born, and one of the mares from his herd. He was struggling to find any of them that he could bond and nurse from.
  • Fertility study horses are wild horses (aka mustangs, estrays, Comstock) gathered from the Virginia range in Nevada and were used by the vet school in Nevada/Reno through the Dept of Ag to study various pregnancy prevention products looking for a use to help control wild horses. The grant money ran out, and through a series of events the horses ended up at our ranch - 33 of them. From this group there were 2 aborted foals, 1 stillborn colt, 1 filly (aka Hope) died after 1 week, 2 more fillies that are healthy, and Carson. The stallions have been gelded and are at various locations in Nevada. This is Carson's story...

Carson turns 2 this year!

It’s hard to believe that Carson will be 2 in April. Time has gone by so fast and I haven’t updated his life for quite some time. Carson is still Carson. In to everything he can get into and wreaking havoc everywhere he goes.

Carson was moved out to live with the big herd of mustangs in hopes to have him learn not only some manners from the leaders, but some mustang ways since he was born in captivity and raised by hand. Nope. Didn’t work. Carson managed to anger the older gelding leaders by playing rougher than they cared for and challenging them to romps over & over. He’s settled to rearing and playing with Princess from time to time – another young mare from his original herd – as well as with Brian. Stormy has no time for him and with the pin of the ears and a quick snap of a hind hoof, Carson submits. He does have a special bond with Sugar, our first mustang mare, and she tolerates him well. He’s allowed to bite on her for just so long, though.

Although being moved to the open areas, Carson still manages to get in to places he shouldn’t. He has no regard for hot wire. It’s just a nuisance. He and Brian have managed to take down the New Zealand fencing, again, at the top of the hill, and can be seen eating side by side with the cows and forgetting how to get back out the way they came in. Those 2 are our bobsy twins of terror! However, Carson has learned to come up the back stairwell now to get back into the driveway and hasn’t taught Brian the secret passage, yet. In the middle of the night we are more times than not awaken to the dogs throwing a fit at the fence. Too tired to get up, or too cold, we usually just let Carson be until morning. Not always a good idea. We still keep Sr & Emma (grandma & grandpa) in a stall in the hay barn across the drive because Sr has had a couple more TIA’s (mini strokes) and it’s easier to monitor him. However, Carson feels his security with them, regardless of his age, and wants to be where they are. We have also had to bring Pawnee and Josie in and made a 2nd stall for them because Josie – my retired drill team mare/Appy – has uveitis and is going blind, and Pawnee is still having issues from his cancer. They are a couple, so that makes things easier. Pawnee and Carson are best friends now. Pawnee has always loved the younger horses and it seems to calm him when Carson is in, despite the Carson activity.

Carson (left) and Pawnee

Last week the dogs were doing their usual “Carson’s in the driveway” barking while I was busy on the phone. I looked out the window but didn’t see him in his usual spot at the front gate so I finished my call and went back to work. The dogs started again and this time I went outside to see where HE was. Standing outside the tack room (where Carson was raised) was Josie, eagerly waiting for something – usually treats. But, Tom wasn’t home so I knew immediately what that meant! Carson had opened the door to the tack room and had gone inside. He was busy pulling all the drawers out of the cabinets and throwing things around the room. 2 bags of treats stood opened and handfuls were strewn across the floor. One “Carson!” and he was popping his head out looking at me with those big innocent eyes. Didn’t take him long to jump down the 3 stairs and trot over to me.

We have been taking the blankets off the horses as it warms, and hanging them on the fence close to the house so I can begin cleaning them and putting them away for summer. It never fails. Every morning we have to pick the blankets back up off the ground where Carson has pulled them down to either lay on them or just make a mess. My vote is for the latter. Day before yesterday when Tom went out to feed, ALL the lead ropes that we tie to the panels for easy access had been untied and strewn from one end of the driveway to the other. There is just about nothing this guy can do!

As the weather warms a little longer and the round pen and training pen dry, Kindergarten starts. Carson, Brian, Stormy, April and Little Gray will all begin school shortly. My arm is almost completely healed and I’m so looking forward to teaching these guys some ground manners. Storm & Brian will start under saddle this year as well.

Today is a new day. The sun is out. The 3 muskateers have eaten and are off somewhere (Carson, Brian, Storm) and it’s time to turn the old ladies back onto the hill. As much of a monster Carson is, he’s our monster that wasn’t suppose to survive.

6 Responses

  1. WOW !! I CAN NOT believe it’s been two years since this “little” guy was so so sick and we were so afraid for him. Goes to show what a Mustang heart and loads and loads of LOVE AND DEDICATED CARE will produce. I love this guy and feel such a special bond with him as Susan and I spent hours, days and nights on the phone together while he was fighting his battle to live and healing. He is such a character and boy, they don’t come any smarter or more curious. AH !! the double edged sword of having to raise babies by hand, loving them with all your heart and having to make them mind their manners for EVERYONE’S sake. It’s a challenge but worth every second when they are happy, healthy and growing strong. HAPPY BIRTHDAY CARSON and Mom and Dad too.

  2. Its so good to hear how well this little guy is doing, and he may not act like a “normal” horse but he sure is unforgettable! and personally I like the stinkers!

  3. Ah Susan… I have to giggle as I also raised a sickly mustang that lived to be 23.

    He too was what I call a busy brain…most often these types are super intelligent, easy going, have a sense of humor, and are happy individuals that enjoy life.

    They are the kind of horses that will find themselves a job to do if you don’t give him one, and strive for excellence and have perservance..Just think how long it must have taken him to figure out how to untie the knots on ALL those lead ropes!

    I vividly remember my Bubba ‘helping’ mend fence at age 23….as I walked from post to post with my bucket of U nails and a hammer, he followed closely and watched intently while the other ponies where off picking around in the weeds… after a few posts when I set the bucket down, he picked up the hammer in his teeth by the end of the handle and gently swong it from side to say as if to say…”show me which one you want me to nail next” I’ve included the link to Bubbas tribute website.

    Susan I hope you can home Carson with someone that will keep him busy and has goals. These types of horses thrive on being handled, worked with daily and love all the attention that comes with being a show, or performance horse. They are the types who if like their job will keep ya in the blues and at the paycheck window.

  4. I guess I put Bubba’s tribute page in the wrong space… for those that would like to see here is the link.


    • Thanks, Kathy. The good thing is that the monster is with me forever! I couldn’t even think of having him go anywhere else. I look forward to seeing what he will do under saddle when the time comes. I’m hoping to ride him bridleless/bareback and use him as an Ambassador for the mustangs and for our Sanctuary. He will bow but I need to work with him more. Now that my arm is almost healed I’m excited about getting to the next step with him and trying to get that active brain focused. He has NO fear and lets me do whatever to him as it is.

      PS We finally had to dead bolt the tack room door because he has mangled the knob from opening it over & over and the last mess – literally – took us all day to clean. He still thinks it’s ok to pee on the floor =(

  5. WHAT A SWEETY!!!!!

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