Monday, November 4, 2013

Love A Little Love

Some memories are incredibly precious.  Here is one and just in time for the holiday season is a fuzzy tale to warm our hearts.

It's about a princess of a red mare named "Love".  My part in this story began when I was in school.  I was not an equine science major or anything along those lines, but for kicks and giggles, took the  intro to fences riding course my senior year, last semester.  Perfect for a senior in full throes of senioritis.

One other back story here.  I have a bad left knee (among other things).  That was a horse injury, but it meant that some horses were much more difficult to ride than others due to the jostling in a rough trot.

The original horse I had been assigned to ride had a bit of a brutal trot and I thought I would possibly die or at least saw off my leg if I had to keep riding him, so I was reassigned to a chestnut mare that I would later know as Love.

What I would also learn is that Love, while smooth gaited didn't really know anything about fences.  We did some interesting type maneuvers in that class, while not always clearing said obstacles. But still, I could tell she was a good mare and had been well trained, if not misunderstood at the school.

I graduated and moved with the Semi Feral Mare in tow, but never forgot the red mare.  I had a friend still at the university keeping tabs on her.  The thing is, that many people don't realize is that university horses are just another piece of property.  It depends school to school on how they get rid of them, but most are pretty slick and just call up a horse dealer/seller/whatever and off they go.  Some just dump the horses at auction with no information and so forth.  There is no calling the donator to see if they want said horse back or offering the horse for public sale or whatever, which is a shame because so many of these horses were high end horses at one point.  I knew this and am a bit of a soft person, hence trying to keep in the loop on what was occurring.

Well, I got my chance.  Fortunately, my friend had heard that the red mare's days were numbered.  I also happen to have some of the best friends that are also a little soft, so between a group of women, we managed to get the mare paid for, transported to my new boarding barn, have a place to live at said boarding barn in exchange for doing lessons, and so forth.  Amazing how quickly things can come together, as if it were meant to be.

I should also say, I had found out after I graduated who this mare was.  She was a mare that one wouldn't think would be casually discarded, having won many ribbons up to the National level.  Safe, sweet, sane, and sound.  I also managed to find her owner who donated her to the university and I realized that she had no idea what happened to donated horses.  She was and is still incredibly helpful with everything regarding her youth show mare.  She thought that this mare would be an incredible lesson horse since she had a lot to offer, which was true, but often donated horses are at a whim of a certain person's approval or disapproval and it seems that the red mare didn't fit the desired look of the university herd.

Also falling into place was the fact that my best friend J (who keeps making regular appearances on this blog!  Soon she'll have to do a guest entry or something, geeze) was working in the area for the summer.  Since I now had three horses and not much time...could she please come ride?

A couple days after she came down from the university.  She began to literally brighten up with her new surroundings.

I'm sure everyone can guess what happened.

It's hard to not fall in love with a horse named Love.  J took her home.

This past summer, Love returned to the Class A Arabian show ring with a person who had never shown at the recognized level.  Actually, correct that, she carried two people into the show ring: one being her owner and the other myself.  She came home with ribbons and looked so incredibly different than when I first met her in the muddy school field.  She was regal, proud, and majestic.  She strutted and danced. 
See Clueless rider. That would be me.  ;)  Her owner is a lot more competent I think. 

What a star of a mare who almost ceased to exist. 

And that my friend is such a precious memory and who couldn't love a little Love?

Thank you to everyone who helped with Love's rescue, placement, recovery, and continued endeavors.  I am so grateful to have been a part of this. 


  1. So sad that people just throw away horses like property. I have heard a few stories of horses that used to be pretty big time that ended up in auction or other bad situations. Good thing she had you!

    1. It is very common. I personally have known other horses discarded that were good money earners or producers in the NRHA being discarded, top hunter/jumpers, good solid dressage horses, etc.

      There are programs where they even solicit equine donations and the horses never even make it into the program or on the campus before being sold. How very sad and misleading.

  2. Wow! What an inspirational story. It's unfortunate that universities are garnering this name for themselves, but it's amazing that you kept in touch and did the right thing... sounds like it was truly meant to be!


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