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Cali - Diversity is My Middle Name

Updated: Nov 5, 2022

My name is California, or Cali for short, and I am a Mustang who came from the Warm Springs Reservation in Oregon. I was rounded up in 2019 and fortunately made my way to a foal-gentling event held by Anna Twinney of Reach Out to Horses at Renegade Equine, which was located in Bend, OR, and has recently moved to Vermont.

I don't remember too much about my life on the reservation. Some of my first memories are of the people at the foals course, which is fine with me. That was my introduction to people and a new way of life that would prove to be my best chance to be a happy horse who lives a life of domestication.

While my name is due to the irregular shape of the star on my forehead, I think it actually runs deeper than just bearing a shape. California is often known to be a forward-thinking, innovative, and culturally aware state. I have been told it is so large that it spans most of the west coast. With lands that vary from tropical beaches and seascapes to densely populated cities, deserts, and even mountains, California seems to be a diverse state that is greatly adaptable and conscious of new trends both in society and in terms of global change. I think that is why my name suits me even better than the folks who named me might have suspected; I am more like fluid water than I am like solid earth. While I am manifest, my ability to shift with the times and circumstances is ingrained in my very DNA.

I am fully settled into my new home at For the Love of Aria, but I am also acutely aware of and keep track of all the changes and everything that goes on around me. I can tell you what the weather will do before it does it, and while I have only been at the new facility in Kiowa for a few months, I already notice patterns in the weather and how the land responds. I watched as the new mustangs from the Sand Wash Basin came to live with us, and I knew how the herd would integrate and what their hierarchy would look like before they were even set loose. To be honest, not much gets by me.

While this may make me sound a little hypervigilant, I'm really quite a laid-back type. There aren’t too many things that upset me. I have a personality that beautifully balances the best of awareness while still being completely relaxed and at ease. As a horse, this is a great combination to have. It keeps me safe, and my herd members benefit from who I am as well.

My herd is small, consisting of the two other horses who came to the event in Oregon with me and who were adopted by For the Love of Aria. Their names are Bodhi and Mesa. We also have another rescue horse with us named Doc. Don't tell them I said this, but he and Bodhi are two good-looking boys to have in my life. It never hurts to have brothers who are handsome, sweet, funny, and kind!

I think the thing I enjoy the most about my herd, in particular, is the rather relaxed disposition of all of us. We spend our days on some of the prettiest land that Colorado offers: grazing, grooming, and playing as young horses tend to do. I enjoy a good run and bucking after I roll, but more so when it is cool outside. I enjoy crisp, clear nights under the stars and cool mornings before the sun gets high and the temperature rises. This year, we have seen more mosquitoes than we are used to, so while the heat does offer a reprieve from the mosquitoes, it can get pretty toasty. But, just like my namesake, I can handle some exceptionally diverse weather conditions with a smile and a positive attitude.

How do I feel about the people here, you ask? Firstly, you are so considerate to care about what I think! Thank you for asking. Secondly, they are my two-legged family. I met Gina during foal gentling, and I had a pretty good idea that she was in love with me. Not only that, but I could tell that she and her family were going to be the kind of people a horse wants in her life. I can't begin to tell you how fortunate I am that Mesa and Bodhi got to come with me also. I miss some of my foal friends from Renegade Equine, but if I had to pick two souls with whom to have made this journey, Bodhi and Mesa are a great pair. So, I am grateful to Gina and her family for bringing the three of us home with them together.

My favorite thing about living where I do is the distance for which I can see. Horses have very keen eyesight, even at great distances, and being able to see what's going on around me is so wonderful. I can see cars coming from several miles away as they round the corners on the dirt road, and then I listen to hear if they are coming up the driveway or not. I always know when we will have a crowd and when my human family is returning home to feed. I have truly landed in such a beautiful place here in Kiowa, CO, and my heart is grateful to the people who found and acquired this place so that we could all call it home.

That's just about it for me. I'm not too complicated. I do have likes and dislikes, as any horse does, but I choose to focus on the future, what lies ahead of me, my training, and my partnerships with good people. For now, it seems I have come home to a place that is even better than I could have imagined. To everyone who has supported me on my journey, thank you. I have lots of faces in my mind, and while I may not have your names memorized, I have your essence etched on my heart.

If you think you might have an interest in sponsoring me until I am available for adoption, please donate by clicking the button and specifying that you want to donate to my care.

Pictured: Cali (left), Bodhi (middle), Doc (background), and Gina in her happy place!

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