After the shock of the winning bid for Magnum, we found Neville at the sale. Neville takes horses to and from the sale in his cattle truck. He also lives close to us. He agreed to bring Magnum home and Emma and I headed home to help husband Doug, who was madly trying to finish fencing a small paddock for him.
Our property was completely unfenced – we had only just had a road put in – it’s a long driveway up a hill – several hundred metres. We had also only recently had power connected to the shed. To say we were very unprepared to take on a horse is an understatement!
Neville arrived with Magnum. At the sale they run them up ramps into the trucks – so there is no handling. We had decided to get him off at the beginning of our driveway as there was a mound of dirt which he could jump him down onto. Before that Neville had to halter him before he opened the back of the truck. Emma was there watching while I helped with the fencing.
She really thought Neville would be killed trying! Magnum lashed out and it was only Neville’s quick jumping that saved him. He did get the halter on – opened the gates and jumped him down. He led him to Emma who had a pocketful of carrots – and suprisingly he stayed still – shaking all over. Then she and brother Matt led him up the hill – feeding him carrots all the way.
For what was to come, I was surprised he let them do that – maybe he was in shock, maybe he was starving – or maybe it was divine intervention!!! Meanwhile I paid Neville – and he asked me where on earth ‘that horse’ had come from. He said he had never carried a horse like that – he was all over the place in the truck and he thought he was going to break out! I said I had no information on him but hoped he would settle down.
As I headed up the hill to the new little paddock, poor Doug was still doing the final parts of the fence. Emma and I stood with Magnum, hanging on to the lead and feeding him carrots – he was still shaking. When it was finished, Emma suggested we leave the halter on so we could catch him again. I said I thought it was safer to take it off… so off it came. As we pulled it over his ears he pulled his head away roughly – then moved well away from us. Little did we know it would be the last time for many years that we could get so close to him – let alone get a halter on him!
That night we had the worst storms and torrential, driving rain. It was one of the worst nights we had had in a long time. I was sure Magnum would be gone from the paddock. As soon as it was daylight, I headed out. There he was – tucked way up in a cluster of young wattle trees – protected from the southerly winds. ‘Clever boy’ I thought. He was still with us!
In the days and weeks to follow, we learnt that Magnum loved his food – but needed us to move away so he could relax, and that sometimes we could touch him on the nose. Any sudden movement and he would take off – then turn around to face us. I had no idea what to do.
For some reason, I thought that if I could get a halter on him, everything would be okay. I tried to feed him hay through the halter. The minute the halter would touch his face he would wrench his head away with a mouthful of hay. Well, that wasn’t working!
Emma was so dejected. We just didn’t know how on earth you could train a horse if you can’t even get near him! I could see Emma would not be able to do anything with him. The annual Performance Horse Sale was coming up – something I loved to attend. This was an ‘upmarket’ sale – no dogger horses – mainly it was stockhorses bred for campdrafting. I was still looking for a horse for myself – so I suggested she come along and have a look….
Coming up – Ducati joins Magnum!
IF YOU’RE NEW TO THIS STORY – PLEASE START HERE AT THE BEGINNING – Part 1 – An Introduction