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John Murray’s Mustang, part two

Published: 12/15/2011
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Editor's Note:
A few years ago, John Murray of Sebago, Maine, adopted a young Bureau of Land Management mustang. He graciously agreed to write about his horsemanship journey for our pages. What follows is the second of several installments.

Read Part One

By John Murray

Going to Auction

I had put a plan in place.  I learned that a mustang should not be turned out to pasture right away.  They need to go through a gentling process in a relatively small pen.  This seemed to fit my situation. 
I wanted to clear a good portion of land for a pasture but that would take time.  I could, however, clear just enough for a shelter and the pen, and then as time would allow, clear more pasture area later.  
A small area was cleared of trees, stumps and big rocks, and the shelter began going up.  At times I had my doubts about finishing it.  A missed swung hammer and sore thumbs made me wonder if it was all worthwhile.   I wondered if I would even be able to finish it time.  I came to the conclusion that I was either building a horse shelter, or one damn sturdy wood shed. 
I was okay with that since either way I would end up with something I could use. The construction continued.
The horse shelter was coming along but time was growing short as the auction time neared.  I had ordered my fence and was told it would arrive two days before I left for the auction.  I took a week off from work just get everything ready. 
Assuming everything would be ready, this was my plan:  Travel to Connecticut on Friday to preview the horses and to find a place to spend the night, attend the auction on Saturday, and arrange for transport on Sunday.  I was planning on going alone since my wife was working and the kids were in school.
But the best laid plans can sometimes go haywire.
The fencing, a 30’ round pen, did not arrive on Wednesday. Nor did it arrive on Thursday and a call to the shipper assured me it would arrive on Friday.  
All was not lost. 
As long as it got there in the morning I would still have time to make it to Connecticut.   Friday morning came and as ten o’clock passed there was no fence in my yard.  Noon time and a call to the shipper said they were in the area and arriving soon.  I still had time to make it south to salvage part of the day if it showed up in minutes.  Still nothing at 2:00 and the door just closed on making it to the preview.  It finally arrived at 4:00. 
The driver of the truck unloaded it and my son and I set it up and attached it to the shelter as quickly as we could.  We were done at 5:00 and I called my wife, who was still at work, and asked her if she wanted to take a trip to Connecticut.  She rushed home and we were on the road by 6:00.
Four hours later we arrived in the town of Storrs where the University of Connecticut is located.  Remember I had planned on being there much earlier in the day but at 10 o’clock at night the town was dark and quiet, and I had no idea where anything was.  I did not have a GPS with me. 
We drove around town for a while hoping to find a mom and pop motel but found none.  I turned onto a rural road somewhere on the outskirts of town and then spotted a parking lot was that was used for day hikers at a trail head.  That was as good as it was going to get. 
We had sleeping bags and foam pads and slept in the back of the car. 
The things we do for our horses and I didn’t even have one yet.
The things we do for our horses and I didn’t even have one yet.

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12/15/2011 Valerie
I can hardly wait for your 3rd installment of this tale. My Mustang is still in a different town than where I live. I have to wait for a horse to move from the barn before Eclipse can arrive. Suddenly it seems that everyone is dragging their feet. .. but as you said, plans gte delayed for one reason on another.
12/15/2011 Judy Yeager
I'm enjoying the story and can't wait for the rest.
12/15/2011 Charlotte Elmore
Thank you for chronicling your journey and sharing it with us. I'm on the edge of my seat looking forward to part 3. Your story inspires me to keep moving forward with my dream to own horses, in particular, a mustang!

"An owner of a Tennessee Walking Horse once said that his horse reminded him of a lightning rod, for, as he rode, all the sorrows of his heart flowed down through the splendid muscles of his horse and were grounded in the earth." - Marguerite Henry