Mystic (AKA Opti-Mystic)
It was late spring of 2010 when I received a call from a neighbour and friend to ask if I could take care of a 1 month old Shetland/Miniature orphan filly for the weekend. Their pony mare had died in the pasture from unknown reasons and my neighbour had to leave for the weekend on business. This wee baby would need round the clock feedings.
The timing was good as we were hosting a wonderful Wwoofer/volunteer from the UK, Kate. We didn’t know a thing about feeding and caring for an orphan foal, but we quickly did some research and the neighbour promptly delivered this tiny baby, transported in a wooden box in the back of her pick-up, to Ravenheart. When she arrived she scooped her up in her arms and we put her in our dog run. She also dropped off a large bag of milk replacer. I took one look at this baby and said, I’ll reimburse you for the milk replacer, but this baby is staying here for good! Deal!
We weren’t sure if she would eat the milk replacer. We tried a bottle and no luck, then we put the milk replacer in a bucket. After a few sniffs, and nose dips, she slurped it all down. We were on our way. Thankfully she was a month old and had been given a good start with her mother, getting all the required baby nutrients. She started to nibble on the grass and hay too. With Kate’s good help we were able to get all her day and night feedings in, and in a few days we introduced her to the herd. At the time we had Raven, Sugar, Lacey, and Willow. By now they had gotten used to this spunky little creature racing around the dog run across from the paddock. Sugar quickly became her surrogate mom, and Raven her teacher of all things horsey. Only once did her put the run on her, and from that point on she knew her place. We named her Mystic and marvelled that she was the only one in the herd that he allowed to share his feed bowl.
This story about Mystic written by a volunteer from Scotland, Norman McIntyre, really captures her essence well.
Mystic – Mystic is much smaller than the others. She lost her mother at a month old and the other horses took her under their wings, or rather manes, so to speak. Mystic has learned how to use her cuteness to get what she wants in life. That may sounds negative, but it is not meant that way. What she lacks in physical stature in comparison to the others, she more than makes up for it with her worldly attitude – Mystic is one street wise gal. She knows how to survive, despite her being the smallest in the herd. You can’t help falling in love with Mystic, getting mad at her persistence soon afterwards, then loving her to bits all over again for her just being who she is and the fact that she just sticks to that – being who she is. She is not intimidated by the other larger horses – she moves in her own space and does not let herself be pushed around. She is sometimes cheeky enough to push the others around. Mystic does not feel small and does not act small. A very important lesson for us humans! Especially for those of us who feel small or feel that we have nothing to offer in life.