In April of 2017, a group of mustang yearlings came through GEMS for the Spirits of the West 4H Mustang Gentling Club in Boulder County. A group of 7 equine youngsters and 24 children…a wonderful experience for all involved. Tag # 4282, named Headlight by the kids, turned Starlight when she was Adopted, and in the spirit of renaming now for a fresh start…she is Roxanne.
She was the toughest to figure out, the most sensitive of the bunch, the last to be halter trained. She missed the Obstacle Course Clinic with Jody Marken and Jessica Dabkowski at Two Spruce Farm, didn’t make it to our Mustang Showcase at the Boulder County Fair, and wasn’t available for adoption with the others. She needed more time, she knew her boundaries, made them clear to all those around her and we respected that and worked with her. She stayed on with us, more training, more trusting. Started her at liberty, picking up feet, haltering…all on terms she was comfortable with and with the help of our club mentor Jessica Dabkowski Pony Peak Stangmanship and our 4H Club President at the time, Carson Sander-Ferracane CSF Horsemanship, the kids got it done. She came around at her pace and she was perfect the way she was.
We knew that she had some special requirements of her future human companion and we searched for months to make sure that would happen. And it did…she went to a great Adopter, excelled at liberty work and was the perfect on the ground companion, her training was slow and steady and as a result she made progress in leaps and bounds…but then she went to another Adopter, and yet another who wanted to turn her into a riding companion. She was brought to a colt starting clinic which landed her in veterinary care being treated for rope burns…and from that point on damage was done and continued to be done until our original Adopter reached out to us for help. Things had gone too far, too much damage was done, she was unsafe, fearful, untrusting, aggressive, would she ever recover?
Over the past couple of years, this girl has been through a struggle, being forced into situations that took away her choices and her will, and she fought…for her life. She is now back with us at GEMS and currently with Jessica Dabkowski of Pony Peak Stangmanship for rehabilitation and training, the perfect choice for Roxanne, as Jessica knows this girl from the day we brought her in back in 2017 and has the enormously talented skillset to help her navigate our world and learn how to trust again.