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DCS Rehab Challenge 2013 - S17 ReflectionIt was the last day of the Rehab Challenge. Everyone at the stables had gathered to see Wolf off. He was to return to Pandora Stables and be presented to the judge, who would decide on the winning mustang. Eternal Stables would then make the choice on whether to keep Wolf or return him. They had already made their choice and every staff member supported it whole-heartedly. Whether it had been the idea that they might lose him to the colic or just his stubborn comical nature, Wolf had won the heart of everybody there.
He was a favourite of them all. If any of them would even have dared to suggest they return Wolf, there would have been a massive outburst. As it was, they had made a unanimous decision to welcome the horse into their Stables for good.
Glow was sitting by the truck, waiting for someone to open the cab and let him in. Having been a major part of Wolf’s rehabilitation, he was allowed to accompany them on the trip. As Ash lead Wolf out of his paddock, there was a chorus
DCS Rehab Challenge 2013 - S16 Road to RecoveryWolf snorted as he galloped round the paddock. A strong healthy horse; he had made a tremendous recovery from his Spasmodic Colic and was back on his feet in no time. The mustang was now showing off to all the humans who had come to see his recovery for themselves. He was prancing around the field, rearing up to show off his muscles.
The show of strength delighted Ash. He had been worried that, as a wild horse, the mustang would not be prepared to deal with the illness but he was back to normal now with no signs that it had ever happened. Ash looked forward to the return to training and the rides out into the countryside.
While Wolf had been ill, Ash had slept in the stall with him. Lionel had been there during the day but had other work to tend to. Glow had also slept there for the majority of the time and was now dashing around in the paddock with young stallion. Ash smiled. That was a true friendship.
DCS Rehab Challenge 2013 - S15 Get the VetAfter another thunderstorm, Ash had moved Wolf to the stables for a few nights. He whistled cheerfully as he headed down to check on the mustang. It was only when he got to the stall door that he realised that something was wrong. Wolf was lying on his side and did not bother to even raise his head when Ash walked in. Ash knelt down beside him and whistled loudly - a strained version of a catcall, reserved for emergencies. He heard a thundering of footsteps as a stable hand appeared round the door.
“Find Lionel and get the Vet,” snapped Ash. The stable hand disappeared immediately and Ash could hear him sprinting down the stables. Each facility on Wolfe Island kept its own vet for 24-hour medical access. It was not long before he heard footsteps coming back.
“I got here as soon as I could,” panted Lionel as he dashed into the stall. He instantly knew that something really bad had happened. Both of them waited in silence for the vet, although they both knew exact
DCS Rehab Challenge 2013 - S14 Pika and WolfThey were in the last few weeks of the competition. The time had sped by as Ash had started riding Wolf each day. They had spent the past week in America with Wolf, Glow and Lionel riding Master. It was great fun trekking up and down the country and camping rough at nights. They had met quite a few travellers.
One day, when they were out riding, they spotted another rider heading towards them. Ash stopped the horses and told Glow to lie down, as he knew not all horses were fond of dogs. He could see that the rider was a woman. When she came closer, Ash examined the horse. For some reason it looked familiar. Then he realised that he had seen the horse when he went to pick up Wolf at Pandora Stables.
When they both realised they were participants of the DCS Rehab Challenge, they relaxed into a conversation and walked their horses down to a nearby cafe. Ash learned that her name was Jess Mortens. He invited her in for a drink. They left the horses hitched up and Glow lying lazily in the g
DCS Rehab Challenge 2013 - S13 Round of ApplauseWith all the serious training over for a while and their first show compete in, Ash decided it was time to relax and teach Wolf some tricks. Having never done this sort of thing before, he left the ideas up to Lionel and it was decided they were going to teach Wolf how to bow. Of course, the easy way would be to hold a carrot under his nose until he leaned down to get it but that wouldn’t help in further trick training. They would have to do this properly.
Wolf stood ready in his halter with a lead rope attached. Ash swung the excess lead rope of the left side of his neck so it hung over the right side. Ash stood in front of the horse. He made the sign they had chosen, a wave of the hand, and said “Bow” while Lionel picked up his right foot and pulled slightly on the lead rope so Wolf’s head tilted to the left.
Wolf reluctantly leaned back into the bow. Lionel immediately let go of his leg and Ash gave him a sugar cube, praising him. Wolf crunched it up and seem
DCS Rehab Challenge - S12 VFarms 2013 Show EntryIt was a busy day. They had arrived at the horse show early in order to avoid the big rush. Wolf was fully groomed and tacked up, ready for his turn in the ring. Ash had deliberately chosen the one class that didn’t involve him being ridden - as he wasn’t sure the horse was ready for that yet. They were participating in the Halter / In Hand Class. After Wolf’s recent performance in training, Ash was feeling quite confident as they entered the ring.
The sky was clear - a beautiful day. Although the arena had a roof held up by beams, the gaps between them were open with no glass and the gentle breeze blew in, stirring up the black grit on the ground. It was smoothed and worn down, as many horses had already trampled it today. To one side sat the judges, with the crowd gathered on the other side.
Ash sent up a silent prayer for Wolf to behave himself today. And it worked. The horse followed him round the ring and did what he was told. He stood perfectly still for the jud
DCS Rehab Challenge 2013 - S11 In Hand TrainingOnce more it was a sunny morning and Ash was in the arena, working Wolf on a lead rope. They were preparing for Wolf’s first show - a Halter / In Hand class so Ash was giving him some last minute In Hand Training and groundwork. Lionel was also there, shouting unhelpful pieces of advice.
Wolf was annoying him. He was acting up again - going against the rope, jerking his head, rearing up. It was a nightmare as Ash fought to gain control over the wild beast. They stood no hope in the show if he couldn’t get the horse to listen. Even treats weren’t controlling the mustang. After a while, Ash gave up and sat down for a break. He shoved his baseball cap onto his head to try and protect him from the heat. England’s rapidly changing weather - from storms to heat waves - was annoying him.
Wolf walked over and nuzzled Ash, probably looking for treats. Ash shook his head and, as if in annoyance, the horse snorted, blowing Ash’s cap right off his head. Lionel burst o
DCS Rehab Challenge 2013 - S10 Bridle TrainingAsh lay down on his bed to relax after a hard day’s work. He had just spent the entire time with Wolf - training him with the bridle. It was past the half way mark in the rehabilitation scheme and soon it would be time for the horse to enter his first event. He had to be ready. And so Ash had been down at the paddock, patiently easing the horse into a bridle and walking him round the field.
It had been slow work. Wolf hated to be controlled. He liked to release his energy when he wished and training him was a long infuriating process. Luckily the horse seemed to be quite fond of Ash and generally did what he was told most of the time. Sometimes, though, Ash wondered whether the mustang would make it through rehabilitation.
He still had too many old habits that were becoming exceedingly hard to break. The fence in the paddock had been repaired but Ash knew that if the horse really wanted to, he’d be able to jump the fence. He just hoped the horse would soon accept the bridle
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