If you need catching up, here is our last week’s story:                                               https://www.rickmanspanishmustangs.com/patience-plus/

Hook, Line, and Thinker

December 5th brings us some company; it’s a human visitor.  It’s Jim Stephens.

If you haven’t met Jim, I’ll try my best to introduce you to him quickly.  He is a story-telling character from Texas.  He can tell you one a mile-long and at the end have you scratching your head as to its authenticity.

Jim throws ideas at you like a professional baseball pitcher throws fastballs.  If you aren’t careful, before long, you will be spearheading one or more of them.

And he can talk.  Boy, can he talk!

Once he calls or you run into him, consider yourself the bait and him the fisherman.  You are now on his line and hooked.  You may think you can wiggle your way off but then the famous, “Oh, one more thing…” comes into play and he reels you back in.

He makes me laugh with his expressions.  And makes me cry with his unrelenting brainstorms.  But Jim’s enthusiasm to help secure the future for these horses is great!

There is an absolute twinkle in his eye when he talks about the Colonial Spanish Horse.  He and his family have been supporters of them for years, welcoming them to run on their property as one of the pasture supporters to the Oklahoma Heritage Horse Sanctuary.

When he found out we were trapping only a few miles from his ranch, as the “crow flies,” he had to visit.  As excited as a young child Christmas morning, he viewed the setup.  And then quietness fell upon him.  Uh-oh!

Tornado of Ideas

One could almost see the ideas swirling around in Jim’s head.  It was like an F4 Tornado, spinning fast, coming toward us and we had nowhere to hide.

A video!  A documentary!  Someone to sit with Bryant while he is catching the horses!

His eagerness grew with every passing moment.  He found the trapping experience fascinating and believed it needed to be communicated to the public.  Who wouldn’t want to see Bryant in action as he attempts to trap these horses?

Bryant single-handedly blocked the “tornado of ideas” from growing in size.  His expertise in trapping horses is not for public viewing.  This is one point Bryant does not sway on.  It goes back to his time with Gilbert Jones and his brother, Milton Rickman.

Their philosophy was simple.  If you show everyone how you trap these horses, then what stops them from trying to catch one or more on their own?  Bryant continues to live by that philosophy today.

He firmly believes you need to be familiar with these horses and know what you are doing.  The result otherwise can be an injury to human and/or horse, or even worse.  (This is why when he is called about horses being out, whether his or not, he tries to help.)

The tornado petered out.  I felt empathy for Jim.  Remember, I haven’t been able to help trap the “Mountain Gang” either.  It appears this trapping thing is going to be hard on all of us!

We walked away with no sign of the horse gang.

(Look here Jim…the story is being shared in the end anyway!!)

Horses In The Night 

“Samson” and his band continued coming in and spending most nights around the trapping area.  As they became more comfortable with their surroundings, their visits became more regular.  I saw them almost daily by now unless something out of the ordinary happened.  Then they might stay away for a day or two.

While reviewing the game camera photos from December 8th, I noticed “Samson’s” stance to be unusual.  A closer look reveals an unrecognizable horse.  From the way “Samson” was reacting I guessed it was a stallion.

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I rushed through the photos hoping to see some in the daylight.  Nothing.

I believe there were at least four new horses.  I wondered if my friend would know them?  Could they be related to my ‘Namaste’ too?

So…who ya gonna call?  “Horsebusters” of course!  Bryant, please identify these newbies!

One Horse, Two Horse, Three…

At 7:35 am December 10, in full color, the game camera starts capturing photos of the newbies.  There were five of them.  All beautiful!

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They don’t seem to mind hanging around.  The newbie’s visit lasted several hours.  I’m not sure what direction they came in from or which direction they left out to, but don’t you agree that they resemble some of ‘Namaste’s” family?

The newbies headed out about 9:45 am.  The “Mountain Gang” did not come in that day.

My Progress

It had been several weeks since the beginning of my journey with the “Mountain Gang.”  I made great strides toward gaining their trust, and they had allowed me to get a little closer each week.

Every morning I would quietly sneak toward the trailhead hoping to catch them in the area.  The band always heard me long before I could see them.  Upon hearing my approach three mares, “Sister Namaste,” “River Tenne,” and “Tiger’s Dancer” would leave.

They never went too far.  I’d catch glimpses of them further back in the woods.  If “Tiger’s Dancer” caught sight of me she would snort.  I swear her snort was louder than any stallion I’ve ever heard!

The rest of the band would stay put.  They would take a few steps in a backward direction.  It was as if they needed to be sure nothing was behind them.  In case they had to take flight.

“Samson” always took his place between the group and me.  His head held high, ears erect.  I would sit in my spot leaned up against a tree.  Then I’d start talking to them.  .  I have no doubts they understood my every word.  Thank goodness we have no neighbors too close, I may be writing this from a different type of farm LOL!

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“Samson” (and foals)

The bay mare, “Muddy Pond” was by far the friendliest.  Probably because she was used to people.  At one time she lived on Chahta Isuba Ranch until making her way across the river during a drought.  She and her colt would walk up within arm’s length to me.  Not willing to be touched quite yet. Her colt was always curious.

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Muddy Pond & Colt

It was my hope that with patience and Bryant’s guidance I would be hands-on with some of this band one day.  I also understood why I was doing all this.  One day soon their world would change.  I wondered if they would remember who it was that set it in motion?

Much Love,

‘Namaste” and ‘Mamma D’

Next time we bring in the holidays!  We’re getting close to the end of our “Mountain Gang” story.  I thank everyone who has contacted me with their comments, it is nice to know you feel the same passion and love I do for these beautiful horses!  I hope you will continue to “tune in” for the rest of the story!