Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Special Delivery from Texas

I seriously considered not mentioning this bit of news. After all, it has little to do with endurance or anything of that nature. It doesn’t matter whether any of you know or not. It has little to do with this blog , just like so many other aspects of my life that I don’t share here. In fact, it’s really not all that important, in the larger scheme of things.

And yet.. it is.

Because not too often do you get a second chance on a bad decision you regretted for the next several years. .

Let me rewind to a bit. Approximately 7 years ago we (my husband and I ) decided to get rid of all the mares we owned. We had three of them and wanted to down size and simplify.. He had 4 horses and I had 4 horses. We were just engaged and we wanted to keep the management of the herd as easy as possible. So we sold them. I also ended up selling one of my warmblood geldings, a TB gelding and my TB mare. Tom sold his last remaining Morgan mare from his breeding program, known as Grace. Of all the horses sold, she was the hardest to let go.

As a result, it took us a while to find a buyer for Grace. A potential buyer corresponded with us for 3 months before we made the decision to finally sell her. We wanted to be reassured that this would be a good home. So the deal was made and we shipped Grace to her new home. The owner called a couple times to ensure us that Grace was working out wonderfully. She had bought her for her daughter and that they all just loved the mare. 2 years after we sold Grace, we got a call from another lady, who was claiming she now owned the mare. WHAT???? This alone was a huge shock, since we had the original buyer sign a first right of refusal agreement.
This new owner was calling to get background information on the mare. The new owner was led to believe that the mare had only recently come from Montana, within the last few months. Apparently, the mare was in really bad shape and half starved when she bought her. The original owner said she came to her this way from us. Long story short, we set the record straight and even sent the new owner photos of Grace the day we loaded her on the trailer to go to her new home. The new owner loved this mare and was getting her back to health. Ever since that day, we’ve kept in touch with this new owner over the years and even developed a friendship of sorts as a result of the entire debacle. Grace has had a great home ever since and has been dearly loved. She was groomed twice day by the ranch hands, had a bug free, temperature controlled barn to go into at night and all the grazing she could ever want.

This past December, we got another call. It was Grace’s owner. Things had changed in her personal life due to medical reasons and she was needing to get out of the horse business. She wanted us to buy Grace back. We weren’t in any position to buy any more horses, currently sitting on six head as it was. I even considered selling Maggie to get the money. As the weeks went by, the topic of Grace often came up in conversation at the dinner table. We were worried of course about where Grace would end up next, given the hisotry but we couldn’t give the owner the money she wanted for her and didn’t want to insult her with a low offer. Both of us realized in our own ways that we regretted selling that mare over the years…. but you can’t go back…

In late February, we got another call. It was Graces owner again. This time, she told us that if she had to get rid of her, the only place she felt safe sending her was back home to us and that if we could arrange to get Grace back to Montana, she would give us the mare back. We were shocked. No , we didn’t need another horse, that was certain. But this was mama Grace and sometimes, things work out for reason we don’t always understand. We told the owner that we needed a little time to sort things out, see what shipping would cost (or what it would cost us to drive down to get her). She said take as much time as we needed. She would hang on to her for another year if we needed to but she wanted her to come back to us.

So the shipper arrived with Grace this afternoon all the way from Texas. I can’t wait to see her and give her a big hug.

Sometimes, you really do get second chances…

Welcome home Mama Grace. We missed you.


Melissa Alexander said...

Oh please post pictures! Your story made me cry. I'm currently downsizing, and what happened to Grace is my biggest fear. I have one girl left -- MY girl -- and I'm scared to let her go.

Mel said...

Thanks for sharing. I agree with you that my blog doesn't necessary chronical my "life", but sometimes, something special happens that just has to be posted!

Please give us pics when you do get her! What a touching story.

AareneX said...

Applause! Applause!

Anonymous said...

Thats really cool, I would love to see pictures of Grace!
Karen W.
PS I sold a mare and got her back (just a year later) but thats the one I'm doing LDs on now- I would never part with her again, I now realize she's one of the best horses I've ever had.

Jonna said...

@ Melissa- I have sold several horses over the course of my life, not all turn out bad so have faith! I am sure you will find a great home for your girl. I will work on getting photos this weekend.

@ Mel- something special indeed! She arrived last night and settled right in! She'll need time to adjust however.

@ AareneX- Thanks!

@ Karen- I will work on pics this weekend. Gald your story worked out. Grace is about 18 years old, although she doesn't look it. She could probably do a limited distance with some time conditioning but she'll likely only be ridden lightly, trails, or Horseback Archery.

The Equestrian Vagabond said...

*sigh*, a happy ending, of which there are all far too few. Makes me feel terribly guilty for a couple of horses I lost touch with... and fear the worst for them. i keep putting off writing about them... but I must face the music and do it one day.
- The Equestrian Vagabond

cheyenne jones said...

I read this article, and my heart sank. It brought back all the recriminations I had, after selling a horseClydesdale x TB. He was magnificent!
We had no option to sell, due to a family crisis, and I have regretted that decision for the last 8 years. There is nothing I wouldnt do to have him back. He was regal, honest and trustworthy. Although, huge! He could make you feel like the best rider in the world.
Sadly, I found out that the "honest" person I sold him to, wasnt so. "Oscar", is no longer with us now, but he will never be forgotten.
In closing, I do understand all the worries and concerns hose owners have when faced with this decision.
I also made a serious decision, that I would never sell another horse of mine, without thoroughly checking the buyer out first.

Great blog!

Jonna said...

@ Merri- Sometimes, writing about something helps a person get closure , or atleast acceptance to accept what we cannot change.

@ Cheyenne- Thanks for stopping by!Sorry to hear about Oscar.

et all= the wind is blowing about 50 f%$*^$%# miles an hour today. The pricture thing wasn't working out. Will try again tomorrow!!!