'Jewels' was posted in a free classified ad that I happened to see last summer (2013); I was scrolling the ads when I saw a photo of her registration papers, and recognized her as the full sister to our mare, My Shiny Micolena, who we bought at Rimbey auction in 2010 (along with her foal). Jewels had sold privately at that auction, but we had bought her foal - we'd had named her Treasure. Treasure passed away that winter, at the vet's, and we were shocked and devastated. I felt that I owed it to her to try to save her mama, even though I'd never met Jewels.
I phoned the number in the ad, and offered to buy Jewels from the breeder; he said she was bred back and expecting a 2014 foal; so, he wanted more than meat price for her. I said I would buy her, even though I didn't have the money at the time, as he was actually rounding horses to take to the evening sale. He said that he'd pull her from the group - that he wouldn't put her on the trailer. I couldn't reach him that evening, so was worried she might have been taken to the sale - I even called the auction to check, but I couldn't get any substantial information. When I did speak to the breeder again, he confirmed he'd pulled her, wavered on selling her to me, saying that he 'really liked her colts.'
When I spoke to him a third time, he was quite abrupt and unfriendly, and told me that he had changed his mind, as someone had emailed him and berated him for selling mares at auction, and for kind of leaving me hanging. He concluded that it was a friend of mine, even though I truly knew absolutely nothing about it. He said he wouldn't sell her to me because of that email. It was extremely confused and saddened - I had lost Jewels - again.
That was not the end, however, as during that same winter, the breeder phoned me unexpectedly, and offered her for sale; he said that he'd give me a week to decide. We had been to what I called the 'Adorodo's Legacy' auction, where we'd saved 4, in Adorado's memory - we could not afford to buy her. I had put up a related post on my fb wall, explaining all of this - for no particular purpose other than to let my friends know what a difficult situation I was facing - I was going to lose Jewels yet again. I was very troubled by the reality that her unborn foal might never be born, or born in the lot at the plant. That was when several far away friends encouraged me to ask for help - I thought of the boy, and of Jewels expected foal - and of Treasure. And I asked for that help - and friends came through in a phenomenal way. The money he wanted for Jewels was pledged within one week!
When we went to pick up this special mare, I still could not believe it; I couldn't believe it was possible. When I saw her, waiting, in the indoor arena, I was floored by how beautiful she was - I'd never seen her in 'real life' before. She was, however, otherwise just as I'd anticipated; i just had a feeling that she would have a remarkable temperament - she did. And she does! I actually phoned her breeder, as listed on her AQHA papers, and told her I'd bought her - he asked me how much we'd paid, and when I said $800, he couldn't believe it - he laughed and said, "she was a $5,000 filly when she was born." He said he'd started her as a 3 year old, and "that with a refresher, [he] wouldn't hesitate to put his grand daughter on her."
This is one special mare. I am so grateful to those friends who made it possible for her to rejoin her full sister - to live with us - for her baby girl to be born. When it comes to fall auction time, Jewels will not be loaded into a trailer with her foal - she will not have her foal torn away from her in the auction ring. This gorgeous girl, now 15, is going to be cherished in her own right from now on.
Manitoba Dreamer: Miss Tralee
Feature Horse of the Week: Miss Tralee
I came across a video clip in spring of of 2011 which captured several beautiful mares gingerly approaching a feed bucket; one was a stunning Palomino; the caption indicated that 30 mares were going to ship from Manitoba to slaughter in Alberta unless homes could be found - incredibly, all but a handful were already safe. But not the captivating Palomino with the draping mane, and large, soft eye - realizing that there were only a few days left to save her, I arranged to buy her. And within a few days more, every mare in that group was saved by caring individuals, country wide.
Our information on the Palomino was that she was untouched, so we set up a special quarantine paddock for her, with a double gate, where a trailer could simply be backed up, and a horse unloaded without any need for a halter and lead. And then the count down began for the exciting day of her arrival in Alberta - she was being transported with a number of other mares who were in that same group, and it was challenging to sleep, waiting to see her pretty face. And weeks later, when the hauler arrived, and I stood in the paddock while the horse trailer gate swung open, anticipating a nervous little mare to leap out, maybe toss her head a little, or run and snort. But this beauty just dropped her head as she stepped quietly from the trailer - she stood quietly, taking me in; she was a bit thin, and had dry mud up past her hocks, a few tangles in her strikingly long, wavy mane - but she was gorgeous - she was cautious, but curious and had such a gentle energy.
Well, within a few hours, I was combing that pale, thick mane, and within days, had a halter on her. And then I began to get a feeling that perhaps there was someone else on board when she made her way west across the prairie provinces to her new home. So, I had her vet checked, and sure enough, there was a baby on board! And wow, did that little one take his time arriving. We anticipated a winter baby - perhaps February - and thirteen months later, in April, after Miss Tralee was quite comfortable spending her nights in a foaling stall in the barn while snow circled outside, an adorable, extremely energetic little colt was born. Once he found his legs, he was running wobbly circles around his mama as she lay, recovering from foaling, bedded in the hay - he repeatedly tried to leap over her and succeeded more than once! His timing was a surprise, given the average of 11 months gestation, but so was his colour - there had been some talk of all the flashy or combined colours he might potentially be - this was really a mystery, given that the stallion was completely unknown, but he was destined to be jet black, excepting a pretty white star. And given the Irish influence that inspired his mama's name, we gave him a solid Irish title: Seamus.
Today, Miss Tralee and Seamus share the same pasture, and spend their days grazing along a young group which includes Peaches, De Oro, and Ayanna (Adordo's family). Miss Tralee likes to run and buck in play, and exudes joy and confidence - she is the leader of that herd of twenty three. Little Seamus is still growing, and at two years of age, is well halter broke, loves to be brushed, and is unphased by being washed by the hose. He is very intelligent, and trusting, and is well on his way to the day when he will be started under saddle.