Logan Lake trainer using patience to tame young wild horse rescued after fires | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Logan Lake trainer using patience to tame young wild horse rescued after fires

A wild filly was rescued in Logan Lake by a local rancher after the filly's mother was killed by a vehicle.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/ Jill Maranka

A wild baby horse in Logan Lake was left abandoned this spring after her mother was killed by a vehicle, then put in further peril when wildfires raged through the town.

Certified Equestrian coach and rancher, Jill Malanka, was notified of the wandering filly by RCMP following the discovery of its dead mother, and later discovered the young horse peeking out from the woods on her property.

Malanka runs the Highland House Bed and Breakfast which she operates on her ranch with a small herd of horses she uses to give riding lessons.

“There are multiple herds of wild horses in this area that roam almost as far as Ashcroft,” she said. “None of the herds seemed to accept this filly. She had injuries when I found her and was scared. I was able to use my mare to lead her into a pen.”

Malanka said, being a wild horse, it took weeks for the filly to be comfortable with her presence. When the Tremont Creek wildfire hit Logan Lake, Malanka was tasked with moving her herd to safety in Merritt.

“I was prepared but it was difficult because I do not have a truck and trailer to take every horse,” she said. “I moved the first ones and came back for the ponies who climbed in, leaving a tiny sliver of room for the filly. I was absolutely relieved when she chose to get into the trailer, something she had never done before.”

Safely back at the ranch with the threat of wildfires gone, Malanka said it is a very slow process earning the trust of a wild horse and training it to do a job. Training even tame horses is no easy task.

“Her injuries have healed, but the best thing on a horse is their mind,” she said. “She has not been bred to do a job and even if she can be a pony to be used in a lesson it could take ten years of training to get her to do the job safely. She seems to be smart but she’s not even halter broke.”

Malanka said wild horses are not bred to do regular horses jobs but she thinks the filly, named Princess Ruby, could potentially be a hardy trail horse. She said the cost of training time and feed are adding up so she is unsure if she can keep her forever.

“It has been several months and she is only now letting me touch her,” she said. “I can only go as fast as I can and be calm around her. I would only pass her onto someone else who is a certified coach.”

Malanka has been working with horses for forty years. She came from Ontario in 2009 to take over her father’s bed and breakfast and run her riding school, a place she said is surrounded by wilderness, bike trails and lakes, near Logan Lake.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Shannon Ainslie or call 250-819-6089 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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