Ohhh man do i love this boy. Unfortunately he isnt about to win any halter shows with all those scars and ribs, but he's a survivor and im definitely keeping his design if he doesnt stay velvet
With the weather finally starting to warm up, a tradition of nightly trail rides had been born at Vechnyy. It formally started as a lazy program to naturally desensitize the horses or to put some miles on the ones too young for formal training, but had eventually morphed into a way to get the group together to catch up and unwind at the end of the day. Though many of them lived together in the hotel-like main house, everyone was usually so busy during the day that they rarely had time for more than a nod as they passed in the halls and so the trail rides turned social.
They chose a different path each night so they never got bored, sometimes heading up into the mountains or other times simply meandering through the foothills on the other side of the trees. Tonight was a foothills night and the group wove through the fields, tossing jokes and stories down the line, dissolving into laughter while their horses used the opportunity to snatch mouthfuls of grass.
It was Sonny who saw him first after Frankie, albeit a cross country horse, spooked at a deer, lurching to the side and neatly depositing his rider on the ground. Chasing after the Knabstrupper, the man noticed the other animal several yards behind them, lashing his tail nervously as the spotted stallion drew closer. The area that they were in was previously a massive cattle ranch and the mustang appeared to be tangled in the remains of one of the many barbed-wire fences that hadn't quite been taken down and was now frozen, staring warily at the group.
Thought they were many miles from the management areas, it wouldn't be the first time a wild herd had found its way over the mountains and gotten lost. Everyone was well aware of the rules in place for interacting with wild horses- that it was strictly forbidden unless it was life or death- but noticing the dried blood on the other animals legs and its emaciated form, a call to the nearby BLM office was placed.
Immediately recognizing the caller, they were requested to do their best to free the horse and a pair of wire clippers were dug out of a saddle bag, Jade and Sonny quietly approaching the stallion. Though understandably wary, he made no effort to flee as the woman quietly stroked his neck and shoulders, her hand knotted into his mane in case he decided to spook as the man set to work on the mess at his feet.
The deeply embedded wires and the slight scabbing around them indicated that the animal had been trapped there for several days and though the grass near his head and shoulders was significantly shorter, indicating that he had been eating, the nearest water source was miles away. Noting that aloud, Jade slowly reached over and gently pulled the skin on his shoulder out, one of the most telltale tests for dehydration.
"Yeah..." The woman shook her head, smoothing the skin back down and patting his shoulder. "It's not going back down at all. Wild horse or not it's inhumane for us to just release him when he's in this type of shape. I mean what's his body condition like 1, maybe 2?"
Keenan nodded, scanning the horses body. "They specifically told us to cut him free and leave immediately. I mean I doubt they'd be mad that we saved him but it is illegal to take a horse out of the wild and we could get in a lot of trouble for it. Plus, how the hell would we get him back? We're miles from the stables and this old guy doesn't look like he could move even if he had to- a gust of wind could kill him."
Cutting the final wire, Sonny slowly pulled the mess apart, wrapping the barbs in his jacket and depositing it several yards away. "Could we get a trailer out here? He couldn't stand on his own but if we propped him between a couple other horses maybe he could." The man shrugged, raising an eyebrow.
Jade's eyes lit up. "That could work!" She motioned to Brandi and Milo who had previously been holding the horses. "Could you guys go get the trailer? Just the small one, it should be easy enough to get it out here if you go around the pastures. Um, Milo can you take Moole back instead? Summer would be way more patient with someone bodyslamming her every few seconds." The two nodded sharply and were off, disappearing into the forest in a flurry of hoobeats and dust.
Jade clicked to her mare and Slushie approached the new horse and reached out to sniff him, bobbing her head joyfully. Sliding the cordeo off the mares neck, Jade gently placed it on the mustang, nestling it into the base of his throat as the Ober reached out again to tug gently on it. Shooing Slushie away, Jade called the BLM office once again, describing the condition of the horse and asking for a representative to be sent out as soon as possible. Brandi had already called the vet and the woman had caught a ride out with them, supplies in tow.
Dr. Keating was just as horrified as they were at the stallions condition. Echoing Keke's earlier statements, she started fluids immediately, quietly stroking his neck as she held the bag. He balked at the trailer, but smelling the hay nets inside, he slowly heaved himself up the ramp, shuffling into place. Strapping the fluid bag to the wall of the trailer, Summer was quickly loaded next to him and the group headed carefully back to the stables.
The BLM representative arrived at the stables just as they were unloading him from the trailer. As they had predicted, he praised them for rescuing the horse but after flipping through the registry of wild horses in the state he shrugged. Either the stallion had gone undetected for years or it was a previously domestic horse, but the BLM had no record of the animal and contacted the local sheriffs department.
The stallions existance baffled the staff as well; Dr. Keating guessed he was about 9 years old but since he wouldn't allow anyone to touch his mouth it was impossible to know for sure. The most common guess for coloring was either a strange variation of a black varnish roan and/or grey, but a search for proof proved inconclusive. No one in the local equestrian community had ever seen or owned a horse like that and after a week of no leads, the sheriffs office decided that since no one had claimed him, having been found on their land, he was now property of the Bureau of Land Management.
For the first 2 weeks of his stay the stallion, now nicknamed Roanoke due to the fact that he was found abandon, lived in a sling. Having been declared too weak to stand independently he spent his days peering out of the stall, greeting anyone that passed by and wallowing in affection. Though everyone had grown plenty fond of him, any efforts to keep the kind stallion had been shot down by the fact that he was a feral mutt, and so he was scheduled to be sent back to the BLM as soon as he was declared healthy.
It wasn't until the 2015 Obertaurer Conference was announced and the Velvet coloring was sought out did Jade take another look at Roanoke. Even though he had the characteristics, there was no commercial test for the Velvet coloring and so the woman sent in for several basic color tests. They managed to determine that he was black based and the woman paraded around briefly, announcing that he had no roan involved.
Knowing this was nearly enough for Jade, but as the conference drew nearer, she couldn't help remark how cool it would be to have a Velvet Obertaurer as she sat in the break room of the stables. Glancing across the room at her, Keke raised an eyebrow. "What breed is Roanoke again?" The man asked, twisting to face her.
Jade shrugged. "Keating is pretty sure he's some draft pony mustang mess. Apparently his whole pink muzzle thing is probably a bad reaction and that we should be careful with him outside."
Keenan furrowed his brow, looking over at the photographs of the horses on the walls before turning back to Jade. "Isn't- aren't Obertaurers Mustang/Draft/Haflinger things? Who told me that I'm pretty sure you told me thats how you make an Obertaurer you just cross Mustangs and Haffies with draft horses."
The woman stared, unblinking, past the man. After turning several times in an effort to see what she was looking at, Keenan shrugged at her and whistled. "Oh my god I'm a fucking idiot." Jade finally spoke, gently laying her head down on the table. "That's exactly what they are and not only are they a European breed they're a fairly new breed no wonder she wouldn't have guessed Obertaurers oh my god I'm stupid he was so friendly towards me and he's got the same profile as Rozsdas I cant believe after 2 months I never realized that ooohhhh my goddd."
Keke grimaced as he passed her. "Always glad to help." The man leaned down, patting her shoulder as he headed for the door- Jade still laying face down on the table, laughing to herself. If Roanoke was indeed an Obertaurer then it would be possible to register him as a foundation during the conference, but that required doing a full genetic testing to see if his coloring was possible.
Asking the owners about keeping Roanoke would be a dead end, seeing as they were convinced he was useless to them, so Jade paid out of pocket, secretly sending in the samples for every possible black based coat color and mutation. Foundation Obertaurers were hard to come by and, though they weren't heavily sought out, they were always a good addition to any breeding program.
Several days later the test results came back, announcing that he was classic champagne sabino pangare and Jade winced. Champagne and sabino could both cause the stallions pink skin, but never had anyone seen it this heavily on a classic so the woman held out hope and secretly bought him a ticket to Tibet as well, crossing her fingers that the BLM wouldn't have an issue with minor horse theft.
This is for The Velvet Project in this years OBERTAURER CONFERENCE
and intended to be a picture shortly after they got him back to the stables. Not saying i went overboard with the story but hey it's a design/story contest and im probably gonna keep his storyline going cause theres so many opportunities for it //shot
Not only is he pangare, but the sabino gene has lightened a considerable amount of his coat, creating a strange almost reverse blanket effect (a decent example s73.photobucket.com/user/pharl…
Roanoke and art: Jyynxx
No Refs Used