July 2, 2013


The other day I decided I should check in on the girl with the bay mare that needed help.  To my knowledge, her feet hadn't yet been trimmed.  I had offered to pay for the farrier but hadn't heard from the girl in days.  I couldn't find her phone number, so I went on Craigslist to find the ad so I could call her.  I used my regular search terms but couldn't find the ad.  Knowing that she changes the ad often, I decided just to type in "Quarter Horse Mare".   Well, I didn't find the ad... but what I did find intrigued me for some reason.  The very top ad was for a grey mare:

Hi, I am selling my 15 yr old QH trail mare. "Misty" is approx 15.1 hh, built nicely with correct conformation. She is very sweet and love attention, being petted, groomed, etc. Stands well for farrier, baths, saddling, grooming, etc. Loads and trailers great, no problems. Misty is currently without shoes and does fine barefoot, not tender footed or stumbly. She has a nice walk, trot and lope. You can neck rein or direct rein her. She has a soft mouth, very easy to control and handle. Also has a great stop and reverse. No problems crossing water, ditches, bridges, puddles, logs and anything else you might find on the trail. Misty rides good in a group or alone.  Serious inquires only.

And she was beautiful.   There was something about her.... Something that called to me.

I emailed the ad to Martha and texted her:

Me:  If I email you, will you check it right away?  You might think I'm nuts... and you have to keep this on the down low for now... don't tell Michael yet. :)

Martha: Uh oh... sounds serious.

Me:  Keep an open mind.  You know my feelings... and Willow....

Martha must have checked my email right away...

Martha:  I think I might cry!  If you don't get her, I think I should!!!  What a GREAT horse!!! Takes me straight to my childhood...

Me:  Omg will you go see her tomorrow for me?  Guy has lots of calls on her... Omg... I KNEW it!

Martha:  Don't think I need to look at her.

Me:  Why not?  My feelings? Your feeling?  Or you just trust mine?

Martha:  She is perfect.  I love her.

And that was enough for me. I called the guy and offered him full price + $100 to bring her to me in the morning.  I already knew before I told Martha that this horse was meant to be with me.  What I didn't expect was for Martha to be so gung ho.  I pretty much broke ALL her rules on buying a horse:  Don't buy a horse off Craigslist.  Don't buy a horse you haven't ridden.  Don't buy a horse unless you've seen it twice. Don't buy a horse without a vet check, etc. etc.   Her reaction was amazing to me... still is.  But I know that Willow had something to do with that.... 

And when Michael walked in the room a few minutes later, he recognized my "Guilty Lucy" smile right away.... "Lucyyyyyy.???  What have you done???"   I explained it to him and rationalized that this way, we could take two mares out on the trail, and one could stay back to watch over Mirabella.  It really was a good plan, if I don't way so myself.  And I guess Michael must be getting used to my craziness...  because he merely answered,  "Okay... but this is the LAST one."  :)

I woke up in the morning so excited to meet Misty, and I texted Martha.

Me:  Oooohhh you are  in SO much trouble with Michael.  You are officially now my ETHEL!  She'll be here tomorrow at 11am.

Martha:  Does Michael know about this?

Me:  yes lol.  He says I, noooo WE are nuts.

Martha:  Yeah, I'm starting to feel a little nuts!

The guy showed up with Misty at 11am sharp.  He pulled up hauling a very old rustic black horse trailer, and he was much younger than he sounded on the phone.  As he walked back to open the trailer, I asked him how old he was and how long he'd been riding.  He answered in a very thick southern accent, "Nineteen Ma'am.  And I  been ridin' since I was knee high to a grasshopper." 

And this was my first look at my new girl...

She was super cute... but she didn't look anything like the photos I saw.  Her mane was half gone, her tail was mangled, she had scars and cuts all over her, and her face was full of grey patches where her fur had worn off... we think probably from her halter being left on 24/7. And her feet had also been neglected and desperately needed a trim. I knew now for sure that Willow had led her to me...   It was clear that she had had a rough life... and from talking to this kid, I surmised that he really knew nothing about her.  He mentioned that she'd probably been ridden hard by a cowboy or two at some point. When I asked how long he'd had her, he wouldn't answer but just said, "Non that long, Ma'am."  And it became clear to me that he was a horse broker.  Rule # 5 broken: Don't buy a horse from a horse broker.

The boy threw Misty's lead rope around her head and hopped on her bareback, "Want me to lope her off?" he asked. I had never heard that expression before.  "No, I said... that's okay... you can just trot her around a little... then I'd like to ride her." Her walk was fast... more like a march... and I noticed that she seemed tense as he rode her.  It was blazing hot, but I walked and trotted her around a bit my front yard. "I love her," I said...

And I did-  I loved her instantly, and when no one was watching, I whispered in her ear,  "You're home now, and here you will be a princess." 


  1. you make me cry Shana. Thank you for taking in these beautiful girls who need love. I <3 horses and can only dream of doing what you do for them. Trust me, I love my life, but man I love your life! Thank you for sharing that life with us. You have truly touched my heart through your photography and your stories.

  2. One word COMFORTING don't ask me why that word but that's what I feel now

  3. I can't believe you got another horse! LOL But it makes me so happy to hear that you have rescued another horse that desperately needed a loving owner.
    I caught up reading the last few weeks of your blog and what I have come to realize when you talk about the horses you have encountered recently - there is obviously a lot more horses in sad situations that need someone like you to find them.
    I think your calling may be to rescue horses. You would have a good following that would donate to such a good cause. Bless you and your family :)

  4. Your are a wonderful person and may God bless you and your family with all the goodness of the lord.