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The Tale of Two Laddies

Written by Robert J. McLardie

The Tale of Two Laddies by: Robert J. McLardie Bob McLardie has worked for over thirty years with countless horses and their owners to repair relationships, calm fears, nurture and protect and above all else bring owners to a new understanding of their horses. He brings to you "The Cornerstone Approach – A Revolution in Horsemanship". The Tale of Two Laddies is a story aboutrepparttar challenges and obstacles that every human being and creature face throughout life and living. The two laddies in my life brought me to a greater understanding and depth ofrepparttar 136921 words "never give up". As a horse trainer, coach and farrier, I have hadrepparttar 136922 opportunity to meet many great people and horses. I first met Laddie while I was working on a little Arab at a 450 acre ranch in Northern B.C. There was another horse onrepparttar 136923 ranch named Laddie. He was a 10 year old appaloosa gelding and he had been running wild for 8 years onrepparttar 136924 ranch. Apparently as a 2 year old Laddie had been tied to what someone had thought was a secure object but Laddie had managed to pull and drag that object. The result was a broken halter and Laddie running off. Forrepparttar 136925 next 8 years Laddie had no human contact, therefore no halter on, hooves not trimmed, unlimited feeding withrepparttar 136926 cattle and unlimited pasture which led to him being severely foundered. I learned later that Laddie had been put into a log corral and in trying to catch him that Laddie had reared up and dropped his body onrepparttar 136927 top log and it broke. Laddie was then able to scramble overrepparttar 136928 logs and was free again. I askedrepparttar 136929 owner if I could take onrepparttar 136930 challenge of repairing Laddie's foundered feet as well as training him to be ridden withrepparttar 136931 objective of saving his life and finding him a new home. Laddie was so sore that at times he would lie down and eat by pulling himself in a circle to eatrepparttar 136932 grass where he was laying. I was surprised that he had not been attacked and killed byrepparttar 136933 large pack of wolves that were known to travel and take calves from this ranch. An agreement was made betweenrepparttar 136934 owner and I for me to pick up Laddie on a Sunday afternoon. I thoughtrepparttar 136935 owner would have him in a corral or fenced area waiting for us. When my son and I arrived he was welding some farm equipment and I asked him where Laddie was, he pointed torepparttar 136936 large whit butt that could be seen overrepparttar 136937 rise onrepparttar 136938 distant hillside. Although disappointed, I thought that catching Laddie would not pose a great challenge I told my son it wouldn't take long! After all Laddie had sore feet. We set off with a lead rope and halter in hand. Unknown to me was Laddie's in-depth knowledge of this 450 acres and his great desire not to be caught! Laddie knew every nook and cranny, every cow trail intorepparttar 136939 bush and pasture, and allrepparttar 136940 ways to evade capture. He would hide behind groups of cows and calves and as we got close he would scatterrepparttar 136941 cows. He would hide in small groves of trees, deadfall, brush and brambles. Laddie seemed just like a moose, he was that comfortable inrepparttar 136942 wilderness. It was hard to imagine that with his feet in such bad condition that he could continue to walk. After 2 ½ hours we were close torepparttar 136943 house and close to giving up so I went in to talk torepparttar 136944 owner. We needed to get Laddie into a smaller area. The cows were used to coming for grain so we gotrepparttar 136945 grain andrepparttar 136946 cows,repparttar 136947 2000 lb. Bull named Harcourt, 2 huge sows, and 2 goats heading forrepparttar 136948 corral. Cam and I were part ofrepparttar 136949 herd as well,repparttar 136950 corral was full. The owner controlledrepparttar 136951 gate asrepparttar 136952 last ofrepparttar 136953 animals went in. We pouredrepparttar 136954 grain onrepparttar 136955 ground to getrepparttar 136956 animals settled and we startedrepparttar 136957 process of cutting out cows and calves. It was easier to walk up and patrepparttar 136958 2000 lb. Bull, Harcourt onrepparttar 136959 head than it was to get close to Laddie. Laddie was extremely anxious and agitated and had fear written all over his face. Our idea was to cut outrepparttar 136960 cows, calves, pigs and goats, keep things calm and capture Laddie. We gotrepparttar 136961 majority ofrepparttar 136962 cows and calves out, then Harcourt,repparttar 136963 pigs andrepparttar 136964 goats. There were a few Herefords left and Laddie. In trying to approach Laddie he again reared up trying to clearrepparttar 136965 log corral, but with fatigue and soreness it prevented his attempt to flee. This was our opportunity! With a bucket of grain my son approached Laddie's head. This gave me a chance to move towards Laddie's shoulder so I could stroke his withers and neck and put a halter on. Cam and I breathed a sigh of relief, this wasrepparttar 136966 first time in 8 years he had had a halter on! Withrepparttar 136967 lead shank andrepparttar 136968 halter on I moved him around inrepparttar 136969 corral for a few minutes. What were amazing were that after all those hours of following behind him, Laddie now just acceptedrepparttar 136970 halter andrepparttar 136971 lead shank and followed me willingly. It was now a mile and a half walk to get Laddie to my training facility. On my way home I have to go byrepparttar 136972 farm of an old local cowboy, John. He used to break horses inrepparttar 136973 style of his father. He was sitting on his front porch and could see me walking downrepparttar 136974 road towards him. He was an old friend of Laddie's owner and had been inrepparttar 136975 corral onrepparttar 136976 first occasion when Laddie had broken free. John couldn't help himself, he came downrepparttar 136977 driveway to meet me. He asked me in amazement if that was old Laddie and how on earth die I catch him. Without going into great detail I said it took hours of walking. John looked at Laddie's feet and recognizing how badly foundered he was told me that I would never be able to repair them and what was I going to do withrepparttar 136978 horse anyway? I told him that I was pretty confident that I could fix his feet and that I was going to train him and ride him. John looked at me and said, "You'll never do it. Laddie's too old, you can't teach an old dog new tricks! You're crazy!" I said, "Just hive me a couple of months and you can come over withrepparttar 136979 owner and have coffee while I ride Laddie." When I got Laddie home I bathed him withrepparttar 136980 garden hose and cleanedrepparttar 136981 dirt and sweat from his body. He seemed to really enjoyrepparttar 136982 bath and drank water directly fromrepparttar 136983 end ofrepparttar 136984 hose. We measured and photographed his feet at this time. His feet were over 6 ½" (they should be about 3 ¼") andrepparttar 136985 size of dinner plates. They were flared and very misshapen. It was quite remarkable that his legs and tendons had been able to take allrepparttar 136986 abuse with allrepparttar 136987 years of not being trimmed. He is a remarkable example ofrepparttar 136988 will to survive!

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