Blaze of Threat was 10 years old when he came to Montana. He had
spent nearly his entire life in Tennessee and surrounding areas. He
arrived here in Montana from TN on October 31st, 2000.
We put him
into a pen right here by the house by himself where we could keep
a close eye on him for a time. This served several purposes, to quarantine him after his trip and exposure to many different
horses along the way; to get to know him; and to keep an eye on
him to make sure he was adjusting to the changes in his life. His
pen had a big round bale in a feeder so he had access 24/7 to hay. Rhere was an automatic waterer with a heater in the corner so there
was also access to water.
On November 1st we got a foot of
snow and Blaze of Threat retreated into the barn. He stood in the
doorway looking out but would not even stick his head out. We
laughed and decided when he was hungry and thirsty he would
On the 2nd of November we weaned calves
were in the corral next to Blaze of Threat. It was quite apparent
by his behavior that Blaze of Threat had not been around cattle
before, especially unhappy bawling calves. He stayed inside the
barn, no longer looking out the door. He was nervous, white-eyed,
jumpy, dancing and sweating. Even though he had not been out to
food and water, we decided to leave him alone to calm down before
doing anything with him.
November 3rd we had another 12 inches of
snow and Blaze of Threat still had not come out of the barn. We
decided something needed to be done so we caught him up, put a
halter and lead on him and took him to the barn door.
At the barn
door, Blaze of Threat stopped cold. He was not sure about stepping
out into all of this white stuff. He sniffed it, pawed at it and
with a little coaxing, took his first step out into this world of
white. He followed closely behind Mark and moved like he was
walking on egg shells. One hurdle down, next was the calves,
Mark led Blaze of Threat over to the fence where he could look at
the calves. He was very nervous and stretched his neck out as far
as it would go to get a little sniff. Blaze of Threat and Mark
stood at the fence for a couple of minutes and watched the calves.
Blaze of Threat, blowing quietly through his nose and ready to
flee at any sign of danger.
Finally, Mark led Blaze of Threat
over to the feeder and he hungrily snatched a couple of mouthfuls
of hay. Mark talked to him a little patted him on the neck and
took off the halter. Blaze of Threat snatched another mouthful of
hay, turned and ran back into the barn!
Mark walked back to the
barn and started over again. This time he led him to the water
tank Blaze of Threat drank and drank. Then Mark led him over to
the hay and again he snatched hungrily but would only stay to eat
as long as Mark was with him. After a time, Mark tied him at the
hay feeder and Blaze of Threat continued to eat, but, as soon as
Mark would turn him loose, he would go back to the barn.
days we had to follow this routine, leading, tying, feeding,
watering until Blaze of Threat finally figured out that snow and
calves were not going to eat him. That first winter was also
difficult because Blaze of Threat did not have a heavy hair coat
like our other horses. He seemed to be cold all the time.
the spring we started by hand-breeding him to a couple of
mares. Then we just left a mare with him. In the beginning he
kept his mare away from everyone and everything. He didn't let her
get more than a few feet away from him. We later found out that
he had been used as a "teaser" stallion.
He didn't seem to mind
the foals too much, and he wasn't mean to them but he didn't have much repect for the mares...in the beginning. Eventually he learned
to treat the mares with respect. Of course those lessons did come
with some "Scuffs". He also learned that Montana was not a bad
place and that cattle were not horse eating monsters, BUT it did