November 15, 2011

Sioux Country and Back Again

Funny how life gets in the way of documenting Life. For example, it has been two weeks since Terry's trip to North Dakota, on his quest to bring back a small herd of PMU babies for Equine Angels Rescue and Ray of Light Farm. For those not familiar with the term, PMU's are the result of breeding "premarin mares" for their urine that is collected to make a drug for women in the menopausal stages of life. The babies, quite literally wild, are often adopted out for what is hoped to be a much more rewarding life than the dinner plate.

Good friend Joe was brave enough to take the five day trip into Sioux Country with my cowboy. Once there, they were greeted by a well seasoned rancher and his Sioux wife, who, it was learned, spoke very little English beyond, "Here! Cookies! You!" That is all Terry needed to hear for him to fall in love with her and her 90 year old smile. 

The babies, on the other hand, greeted them with less enthusiasm. Eight were destined for Ray of Light, but were not yet chosen out of the larger herd. Terry had the dubious task of sizing them all up, and choosing what he thought looked like the best put together animals. Herding them into the trailer wasn't that big a problem, but weeding out the ones that would later stay in North Dakota, was. Wild and frightened, the herd huddled together in the trailer, backs to their wranglers, literally trying to climb the walls when anyone came near. The rancher asked Terry if he knew how to rope, and Terry said, "A little". He went and got Terry a lasso, but it wasn't the best — likely figuring a guy from out east wouldn't know the difference between a rope and a lariat. Terry tried using it and complained of its quality, so the rancher went and got him a better one. One by one the herd was culled (not always gracefully, I might add), provisions were added to the cargo, and Terry, Joe and the PMUs were on their way across country again.

Photos: At Ray of Light Farm in East Haddam, CT, the arrival of the PMUs each year is an exciting occasion. At Ray of Light the babies will be gentled and later adopted out.

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