January 3, 2013

Photos from Willow's Past ♥

This week I was so lucky to receive two packages in the mail... one from Nancy (Willow's first owner), and one from her friend Laura who met Nancy when she bought Willow (Leona) at the Black Horse Valley Ranch one magical summer back in 1998.  Both Nancy and Laura had flown all the way to California to choose and purchase their first Friesians.  I've heard about that summer from both of them and imagine it to have been glorious and magical... so imagine my surprise when I opened both packages to find VHS tapes of the Keuring (Friesian show) from that trip!  I've heard that Nancy knew she wanted Willow (Leona) even before the show.  She was told that if she purchased her before the Keuring, she could have her for $25,000 but if she did as well as she was expected to at the Keuring that her price would double.  Nancy bought her, and at the Keuring the very next day, Leona was a star...  She earned her First Premium and was designated a "Ster" Friesian.  One of the handlers from Holland was so taken with her, that he tried to purchase her from Nancy on the spot.  Of course Nancy wouldn't part with her...  Here are some beautiful photos that Nancy was so sweet to send me, and I hope to get all four VHS tapes transfered to DVD so I can see my sweet girl shine... ♥

Isn't she amazing?  This is the first time I've seen Willow under saddle!  And I love her mane braided like this...  (Photo by Susan McAdoo)
Canter... Look at her!

And I can't believe this one!! This is Willow (Leona) with her filly!! This one, in particular, made me cry!! (Photo by Dana Adam)

These photos are so precious to me... I am forever grateful to Nancy, Laura, Dana, and Hayley for sharing photos from Willow's past with me.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart. ♥ 


  1. What beautiful photos. Like you the one with her filly took my breath away. Willow has had a full life and I can't even imagine why anyone would abuse her like they did. She is so lucky to have you in her life now. I believe the two of you were meant to be together at this time in this place, to love and heal each other.

  2. What a beautiful animal..you should track down her foal and buy her:)

  3. gorgeous!!!
    (and never forget, you never cry alone!)

  4. Oh my goodness! The one of her and her baby made me cry! She is beautiful!
    I feel like I know you and her personally.... thank you for saving her. :)

  5. Look how proud she is with her filly! So beautiful! Thank you for sharing these with us.

  6. I'm enjoying this story more than you know...Having loved horses since I was little girl, having learned to ride and then have my own horses...well this story you share makes my heart sing. To know that Willow has come home to you is like a fairy tale. I may not always comment but I'm following just the same....these photos are amazing

    1. Thank you so much Ellen... that means a lot to me. She makes my heart sing bigtime. :)

  7. I also love this story so very much.... but for some reason I was so moved to see that Willow is a mom!! And I find it encouraging that the spirit of the beautiful, strong, proud horse seen in these photos still resides in your Willow.... I don't think I will ever understand the 'why' behind her experiences in this life, but her story is remarkable and your love for her so moving.... way more captivating than "Black Beauty" - and I loved that movie!! lol
    All the best for you and Willow - I wonder if she knows she is a star again??
    ~ Kim

  8. Love the one of Willow with her filly. She looks so regal.

  9. Gorgeous, gorgeous mare she is!