Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The whole story

Okay, looking back I think that last post was a cop-out. Here's the whole story:

I got the Quarters from my Dad (thanks Dad!) who used to be heavy into showing quarter horses. Gwen and Coriander were the last foals out of his champion halter mare and when he bred them he had high hopes about their future show careers. Unfortunately things didn't go as planned. As skilled labor in the construction industry, he was hit pretty hard by the Florida housing slump. He also lost two very promising horses in tragic accidents, one in a stall and one in the middle of the show ring. He hasn't said so but I can tell those events were pretty heartbreaking. Without the money to pay for their care and without the heart to keep working with them, the Quarters languished.

I first saw Gwen when she was a yearling in 2005, and though I declared immediately that she would be mine someday, it was another four years before I was in a place where I could take care of her. In the meantime she remained as wild as a march hare. Due to her wildness, and the fact that her brother was languishing as well, we decided that both horses would be brought up to live with me. The idea was that I would have a horse to "use" while I tamed the wild beast. (In hindsight, this was the best idea ever. I don't think I'd have been able to make any progress at all with Gwen without her brother. He's our rock. And he's totally awesome.) Keep in mind that at this point Coriander had only been sat on and at least five years had passed since that last happened.

Getting them to NY was an ordeal in itself. I thought I had done a thorough job finding the right transport for them but I hadn't. The woman I'd decided to work with was not only ridiculously late, she also showed up all alone. When she finally arrived, Gwen wouldn't get on the trailer. Period. Comes out this was for the best. I had specifically told this woman that my mare was wild and that once she was on the trailer she needed to stay on it until she reached her final destination. Despite that, this woman was planning on unloading them overnight in Virginia; there would have been absolutely no way she'd have been able to get Gwen back on that trailer after that. My $400 deposit was flushed down the tubes.

Fortunately my Dad was able to borrow a stock trailer that Gwen could be herded into and up to NY they finally came. I wish I'd started my blog in August when they arrived but, as it is, I only started writing about them in November. Nevertheless, most of our progress is documented here. The only parts missing are how it used to take me 10 minutes to get a halter on Gwen, how she used to rear coming in and out of the stall, how she used to make me dizzy when she'd spin in circles around me, and other bits of crazy. I also never wrote about how I started Coriander, but it was such a snap that it might not have been that interesting to read anyway. Now you all get to read about Gwen's baby steps and Coriander's refinement, so I think that makes up for it.

I think my Dad made the right decision giving me the Quarters and I sure hope they agree: I love them more everyday.


  1. The story is definitely in this post. Sounds like your dad's heart was broken with incidents like that. I understand the toll such things take. At least you have these two horses of his breeding, that must bring him some comfort.

    Sounds like the hauler had a screw loose if she thought she was going to unload an untamed horse in the middle of a trip. Not smart, that's for sure.

  2. Fascinating story - the quarters have come a long way from where you started with them!

  3. MiKael, this lady had more than a screw loose. I think my Dad was ready to punch her in the face before she left.

    Thanks Kate!

  4. It's sad to hear about your Dad's business and horses. But I'm happy that you got two of his best horses and I'm sure he's relieved that they have a wonderful home.

    Trailering is always a gamble but it's even worse when someone hasn't a clue as to what they are doing.

    Sounds to me like you've come a long way since November with both your quarters. They are gorgeous and special. I know Gwen will eventually be your perfect horse and Coriander will remain the rock for everyone.

  5. I have been following your blog pretty much from the beginning. Gwen and Coriander have blossomed so much under your care. The change is remarkable and wonderful. You are all very lucky to have each other. It was meant to be. :-)

  6. It's great that you were able to take in these two. Gwen was fortunate that she had someone who wanted to take the time to start from scratch with her. As you commented about my Betty--I feel your pain :) But, they are rewarding projects. Betty is growing on me much like it seems Gwen has grown on you!

  7. GHM- you are so right about trailering being a gamble. Fortunately I now feel that I have enough contacts that if I had to do it again I'd be able to find someone trustworthy.

    Wolfie you are seriously the best ever! Your support has helped me so much, I can't even tell you.

    Jessie, I won't say it hasn't been difficult because it most certainly has, but she's been worth it. I hope you find that Betty is the same way. I'm rooting for you.

  8. It's wonderful that you've been able to do so much. Knowing how the story started really lends it life. I'm sorry about your Dad, but glad that you got these great horses.

  9. Thanks Carol, they are pretty great!