This is the on going story of two lovely Spotted Draft mares.
In early March I was contacted by a woman in Northern Vermont. She told me a story of two mares that she had purchased just two years earlier. The mares were owned by a farmer in Vermont that had come on hard times and had several Spotted Draft horses that he needed to sell. His plan was to take them to auction. Knowing that most of the young horses had not been handled ever it was certainly a bad fate. So stepping into action she purchased two of the young mares now named Thelma & Louise. The mares are full sisters and Thelma was the youngest at just 2 years old and Louise was 3. They have been together their entire young life and not handled by humans so she knew she had a long road ahead. She was ready for the challenge. Luckily the mares proved how great Spotted Draft horses are and quickly became friendly and easy to handle. She was able to start them in harness together and ground drove them many times before hitching. The drove for many days together without any sign of a problem until one day they decided to run and snapped a telephone pole in half. Fortunatley no one, human or horse, was injured however this was not something she wanted to repeat and felt that she did not did have the skills to prevent this as she did not know why it happened.
Driving as many know is very dangerous. Many different things can happen to cause a dangerous situation to arrise. Its very often that a combination of equipment failure and green horses can set you up for a bad outcome.
I decided that I would take on the challenge and I drove to Northern Vermont and brought Thelma and Louise back to my farm. I knew I was a long away from home when I pulled off the highway to see a large bull moose standing by the side of the road. He was huge!!! Anyhow this was only the second time they had been on a trailer and never one like mine. I was surprised that they loaded quickly and never made a sound the entire way home. They both settled in nicely however it was not long before I realized that the only way they were ever going to be successful in the future was to separate them. Being together that long made it difficult for either one to concentrate on anything else but what the other one was doing. That was when I decided to sell Thelma.
Thelma was choosen to sell based on the simple fact of her size. She is much larger then Louise and standing 17 hands at 4 yrs old I knew she had more growing to do. My horse market does well in the 16 – 17 hand range. Louise is just about 16 hands or maybe a bit taller, perfect for me. Louise also has a little different build then Thelma, she is not as hitchy and is a little less “drafty”.
Thelma found a lovely new home in PA and is back to driving already. Although I have not had an update recently I was told things are going well with her and they are planning to breed her to their stallion. Thelma left on April 21.
I have decided Louise would be a lovely riding horse and have begun her training consisting of all ground work until I can gain her confidence and trust. She was a bit unsettled when Thelma left and has become spooky. All of this is fine as she is proving to be a quick learner and appreciates someone there to direct her. The spookiness goes away and she focuses on what I am asking of her now and it looks as if she will be riding very soon. Once I get some miles on her riding I will go back to driving her single however I want to see her become confident and happy under saddle first.
Its possible she may also be a mom next year. Thinking of crossing her with Minty. Louise is homozygous for tobiano and black. Its also very possible that I would sell her. I get calls often looking for horses and she is the right size and color for the market. With her temperament and willingness it wont take too much to make her a great horse. My plan is to post updates on her training. I invite anyone that would like to watch her training to contact me for scheduled times.