Saving the Onaqui Pt. 10
Welcoming Home Cheyenne Grace
It’s seems like ages since I’ve sat down to write. The reasons behind that will be shared in time, but for now, I’m just enjoying the moment where finally there is some happiness to share after all these months of feeling like you’re digging endless trenches and not ever knowing fully if they’ll lead you in the right direction.
Meet Cheyenne Grace.
Cheyenne Grace is officially the first horse that little Red Bird helped to save. Her new life has begun today, October 20th, 2021. 11 months to the day after I uprooted my life in Maui and moved to Utah after falling in love with the wild ones. Once they work their way into your soul there just really isn’t any turning back.
Fast forward to the Onaqui roundup. Fast forward again to the horses being transported to the short term holding facility in Delta. Fast forward one last time to the doors opening to the public after what seemed like a lifetime. I’ve been going to the facility every week to not only try to ID horses, but to spend time with the lovelies that I intend to adopt and to send short videos and photos to other adopters patiently waiting to bring the Onaqui home to some peace, love and healing.
When the world blew up and the roundup was announced, I had only intended on taking one horse – Red Bird – to keep him safe due to his jaw injury. But how quickly plans changed, morphed, and changed again so that now instead of saving one I took a very deep breath and mentally committed to saving three.
My three were carefully chosen – the first two were a no brainer and I’d literally probably sell my soul for them – and the third was an emotional choice knowing how his life had been turned upside down in the roundup. The start of the online auction is now nearly 2 months away after another delay. An end to a culmination of so many hours of blood, sweat and tears to try to do right by the horses by so many.
The week after I returned from a quick getaway in the Tetons late last month a couple little Swasey mustangs were put out into the general population which had been returned by an owner who said they could no longer pay for hay. There was a pinto gelding and pinto filly returned together – both very cute – both very skinny. The gelding was a flashy black and white and scared out of his wits. The filly was a bay roan pinto and had these calm, gentle eyes that just immediately sucked you in.
Silly me, I took several iphone photos and a little video to put out on social media because it’s no secret that mares are very hard to get adopted, and especially mares who are unknown and in poor body condition. I made her “please adopt me” post and hoped for the best. Until I didn’t. Because it hit me smack square in the face that I needed to be her forever home. She would be the perfect fit that I hadn’t known existed for the boys I’ll be bringing home in a few more weeks.
I got up at oh dark thirty and began the trek over to Delta the second it opened on Monday morning to fill out paperwork and make everything final. I spent time outside her pen taking photos and talking to her so atleast she’d have some idea of who I was. There’s just been so many changes for her in such a short life. First a roundup, then to be separated from her family in short-term holding, then to be adopted and not cared for, then returned. It’s a miracle she’s managed to retain her calmness and loveliness through it all.
So right now she’s thin, her mane has been half chewed off, she has her thick winter coat making her look like a shaggy bedraggled little thing but I still think she’s positively beautiful and with time I can’t wait to see her become what she’s just waiting for a chance to grow into and for her to be the new best friend and band member to my boys as soon as they’re able to come home as well.
Who would have known after so many years on a little tiny island and being consciously grateful for every day I had there that it would all come to an abrupt end only for me to be shoved by the “universe” into the desert with a herd of wild horses only to then be in a place in life where I can try to offer them a wonderful forever life for both of us.
Truly grateful once again. Somehow life always has a way of working out.