We received a call from one of our supporters in Ojai, CA. She is a trainer and she has adopted a few horses we have networked in the past for her lesson program. She had taken on a 15 year-old Friesian mare who she was told would be a great lesson horse, but it turned out that the mare was not trained, at least not for beginner riders. She was torn because she really wanted a beautiful Friesian, but because of recent family issues she just did not have the time to spend training her. She wanted to make sure the mare was able to find a safe place where she would get the training she needed to find a good home, so she reached out to us.
One of her friends and another one of our long-time supporters drove the mare down to Hanaeleh this past Saturday. We were concerned that she would have an issue getting into the trailer, but she got in without any fuss, although she apparently did paw at the trailer for the majority of the ride down to Hanaeleh. Thankfully she got to the ranch without any issues, although she did almost run us over when she was trying to get out of the trailer. So… we need to work on that. Standing on the line seems to be overrated for her, although she walked up the road to the rescue without an issue. I put her in the round pen, and she walked around, introducing herself to everyone. Ollie is smitten with her, but she was pretty obviously not interested. She said hi to Ruby and Tama and gave a little chuff and then walked away. I gave her a flake of alfalfa, and she was VERY interested in that. She was super calm and was very excited to get some grain, too!
On Sunday we groomed her, and she was a very good girl and stood at the tie rail well. We turned her out in the arena, and she was a little nervous in there, but eventually as she goes in there more often she will become more comfortable. The trainer put some weight on her, but she still needs quite a bit of muscle- that just takes time. She needs some work learning to walk on the lead because right now we are kind of like human kites, but she wants to please and just needs some time to learn how to do things correctly. We think she had just been used as a broodmare and not handled or ridden regularly.
So the question everyone wants to know- what is her name? The trainer called her Freya (Freja), but we already have a Freya, so we thought that would be a bit confusing. After a lot of research online and countless baby name pages, we decided to call her Raven. Knowing that most of our horses have literary names, we just want to assure you that ravens have a LONG history in literature across Europe and North America. Ravens are supposed to be able to foretell the future (ravens sound like they are saying “cras!” which means “tomorrow” in Latin). In Celtic mythology, they are known to be wise, and in Norse mythology, Odin would use ravens to spy on his enemies. In Native American mythology, ravens were known to be protectors as well as tricksters (sounds like horses, too!). In Greek mythology, ravens were originally white, but Apollo turned their feathers black because they told too many secrets.
We look forward to working with Raven and we are hoping that she is more inclined to be the wise protector rather than the trickster part of her namesake!