Thursday, 3 July 2008

Amy's First Dance Recital

Today I went to Amy's first jazz ballet recital. Her ears were very obviously only painted on for most of it but she does seem to have a great time. It was hysterical to watch, especially as I have two left feet. She has close relations who are very good dancers and I think it is probably a bit early to tell whether she will follow ... in their footsteps.

Sunday, 29 June 2008

Serendipity - Welcome Bella

December 1st 2005 is a date I would prefer to forget as it is the day that I got the awful phone call telling me that my beautiful foundation broodmare 'So Gentle' (Genna, pronounced Jenna) had died whilst in the 'care' of someone else. Not only had she died suddenly but she had died after foaling a dear little filly foal who was left and orphan.

Very long story short, I raised the orphan foal for the 'breeder' who was not in a position to do so and returned her to her when she was three months old (bawling my eyes out of course). The 'breeder' soon decided that she was too much like hard work and put her up for sale. I was never notified of her being for sale but found out through the grapevine and after lots of emails, phone calls and secret planning, she ended up with a friend up north, where she still resides and is very happy and loved and cared for (and I believe, rather naughty, hehe!).

So, back to Genna. I had purchased Genna from an advertisement in the Horsetrader magazine. I had seen her advertised and her breeding had caught my eye – I had initially made contact on the off chance that she might have been a filly that I had sold about 8 years earlier when personal circumstances forced my hand. She was not said filly (whom I had adored) but she sounded perfect so we took the float and we went to see her. Genna had already foaled a number of TB foals for the racing industry prior to coming to me. She was 14 years old, healthy, clean legged and beautiful. She would go on to produce my very first homebred foal (Bridie - now in a wonderful home where she is a SJ and Trail riding horse for a farmer) then Bijou (this was a twin foaling and BJ the survivor of the two foals) and then, her last foal, at the age of 20, Roxy.

I had always lamented the fact that I had not retained a filly out of Genna but none of us has a crystal ball to gaze into the future with, do we.

Now, lets travel back in time to last spring. I am a regular visitor to the NZHorses website and last spring one of the board regulars posted an SOS message as he had lost a mare post foaling and desperately needed a foster mare. I put him on to the foster foal service as this is an option we had tried for with Roxy. He was successfully matched up with a TB mare and she instantly took his foal – A wonderful success story! He posted up photos of this lovely mare with her new baby and someone asked her breeding. I couldn’t believe it when I got an email alerting me to the thread asking me if ‘So Gentle’ had been my mare. Amazingly it turned out that Bella, the foster mare, was Genna’s first daughter (her third foal, first filly). I just thought it seemed so serendipitous that, after my recommendation of the foster foal service, the mare that saved them was none other than a daughter of my beautiful precious Genna.

Now cut back a couple of days ago. I was alerted by email to another message on the NZHorses message board asking me if I would like Bella. The drought in the Hawkes Bay (and around the country) has pushed up feed prices and grass is at a real premium and Bella’s owner (the people who had made her available to the foster mare program had gifted her to the foal’s breeder) was looking for a new home for Bella and, would I like her.

I am SO not supposed to be taking on any more horses and have been turning them down left, right and centre but I had to have Bella. I just had to. It was fairly urgent as she was starting to drop condition and they really wanted/needed to move her on so I rang my friends at Woodville Wairarapa Horse transporters to see what they could do. I made that call on Friday afternoon. On Saturday night, she arrived! Big plug for Woodville who pulled out all the stops to get her collected and delivered safely to me.

She’s just beautiful and very like her mum! Taller, rangier with more bone and a different colour (Genna was a chestnut, Bella is a dark bay) but has some of the same mannerisms, the same face and eyes and loves rubs in the same spots and even has the same strange ticking on her face that Genna had. I have to admit I shed a tear when she leaned into me as I rubbed around the base of her ears, just like Genna would. She's obviously been well cared for and loved and I am just so grateful to Nick for letting her come and live with us.

And here are a couple of her last year with her foster babe, Lexus.