Thursday, March 19, 2009

The story of Zoey

We got Kate's momma, Zoey, at four and a half months old--too young, in my book, to be weaned. She hadn't been touched by human hands until about a week earlier--mostly chased into a stock trailer with her momma to be moved from one pasture to another. No vaccinations, no worming, no extra nutrition--for either her OR her dam!

I had expressed slight interest in the filly to the old cowboy who bred her, because I had bred Misty to his stud that year, and just in case that foal was a colt (he was), I might want a filly by the stud, who had since been sold out of state.

So old cowboy shows up at my house one day, with the filly, alone, in the stock trailer, and says "You want her? Take her." We dickered on the price, and I wouldn't go as high as he wanted, so he turned around and headed down the driveway...Then stopped and backed up and says "Okay. You got her." Luckily I had just enough money available (in convenience check form ;-D) to pay him. We backed the trailer up to the back yard and unloaded her. She moseyed around while I set up a 12 X 12 pen in the corner. She started getting good hay, green grass, preventative care and some gentle handling from that day on. I think she was so young that she bonded quickly with me. She was named "Zoe" after my mother, who always liked "those ones with the gold color and black legs." Mom did give us permission to name a horse after her, just not a pig (which I don't have, thank you, anyway, Jean). Registered name: Continental Minuette (for her sire's line to The Continental, and her dam's name Mojave Bowette).

I started her the spring of her three-year-old year, and took her in to some of the same 4H shows that I now take Kate to.

Second day in the English saddle, first day over fences, and she won this walk-trot, 18 inch cross rail class (as well as the green walk-trot pleasure class). First cross rail we tried in the warm-up arena, she banged her toe; never touched another rail the rest of the day!

Kate was Zoey's first foal. She snuck in sometime between my 9:00 bed check, and my 12:00 AM visit. Zoe was a good momma, though less protective than Misty. All three of her babies have ended up being pretty independent souls.Then came Lindy Hop, who was really nicely built. She sold as a yearling to be a dressage prospect. (This was unusual, I thought: if I can't sell them when they're still "baby-cute" I figure I've got them until they are started under saddle. And Lindy had no spots!) And then little miss Amy (Amber Arabesque), who will possibly be this year's project horse.

But reality in the horse breeding business was such that I did not breed Zoe back after Amy was foaled. And because she was still young, broke, big, and dun (all pluses for prospective sales), I decided to put her on the market with the young fillies. I hadn't so much as been on her since she started making babies, so it was time for a tune-up.

Some walk-trot work in the round pen.
Here, I'm grinning at the long choppy trot we got, trying to get to a lope. We just didn't have quite enough room to get her hugeness (15.3 hh, 1300 lbs.) into a lope. That would have to wait for another day. I had never started working towards neck reining until a prospective buyer asked about it, so here I tried bridging the reins in one hand, with there still being some space to directly contact each side of the bit, but starting to lay the outside rein against her neck. She picked it up pretty quickly. A nice portrait of Zoe.
A buyer from north of Spokane was impressed with these photos, but had to figure out an excuse to come see Zoe--she was buying her for her husband, as a surprise birthday present! How do you leave the house with an empty horse trailer, without a few questions being asked?

When she got here, she was in a bit of a rush to beat sunset, and, because we didn't take our time, Zoe threw a bit of a snit--bucking across the arena. But I lunged her a few more minutes, then climbed on board and she was her usual well-behaved self. C tried her out, handed me a certified check (that's how sure she was that she wanted Zoe), loaded her, and headed for home.

She got home after sunset, but the dark couldn't hide the J's joy as he first met Zoe!

She has since become his mountain horse.
C checks in now and then with news and photos. They are really pleased with Zoey.

Off hunting!
Zoe has found her forever home.
But now I'm in a quandary: I really like this bloodline (Quincy Dan)--all four babies I've gotten (including Zoe's half brother from Misty) have been sweet, trainable and well-built.
I have sold Kate's momma--Kate is the only one I have left!
And I have a commitment to sell her!


  1. Zoe is a good looking horse. Nice long and interesting post.

  2. Sounds like she has found the life that good breeders dream of for their horses -- lucky Zoey! And she is a lovely one. I know that people like chrome, but give me a horse with minimal markings any day.