Sunday, June 15, 2008

They've got brains!

Hi all - Yesterday I had yet another experience illustrating the Akhal-Teke sense, temperament and intelligence. We had separated our yearling gelding Charkhal (by Durkkhal out of a Mustang mare) from his 2-yr-old gelding buddy Startek (by MV Patrickhan out of the same Mustang mare), for the express purpose of halter off/on catching reinforcement. They were separated by an 8' lane between two adjoining paddocks. They had come in for breakfast and grooming, and got turned out about 8:30. No panics or anything - they had been separated for over a week. Around noon I glanced out and saw Startek standing by the fence - just standing there, not grazing, not sleeping, not upset, just standing there. Weird. Well, on the other side of the lane there was an upside down Charkhal, cast by the fence and appearing to be hopelessly entangled. Needless to say, I was home alone - no help around. So I go out there - his front feet are under the fence, his body is twisted and his back feet are sticking straight up in the air snug against the fence. I have no idea how long he has been there - he is absolutely still, no thrashing around. So I go first to the outside of the fence thinking that if I can shove his front legs back under he can maybe get up - but that doesn't work at all - one, I'm not strong enough, and two, I'm actually pushing in a manner that twists his body more. So I get a rope and go inside with the idea of looping it around one back leg and pulling him over. No good - again I'm not strong enough, and, again, it's just twisting him more. With all of this he is not putting up any kind of a fuss at all - he is just looking at me with an expression that seems to say "don't worry, we'll figure this out". Then I notice that while I had gone to get the rope he had apparently been working on getting his front legs partially freed, so I go back to the outside of the fence and start pushing on the front legs again - and this time it works and he was able to scramble himself up! And not a mark on him - no limping - nothing. I gave him some bute with his supper, and today he is fine in every way. Brains and sensible temperament are all that kept him from making mincemeat of himself, and since his Mustang mother has neither in any appreciable quantity, I've got to guess they come from his Akhal-Teke father. Akhal-Tekes - what a pleasure they are to be around


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