A small, family farm in Wisconsin

Lady 1989-2009

Lady on her 20th birthday

Lady on her 20th birthday

When Lady joined our miniature horse herd it was the beginning of a 16 year relationship.  I answered a for sale ad, and when I arrived to inspect them, I was dismayed, but not surprised.  The man who was selling minis was one of “those” people who got into minis to make a quick buck.  He had no overhead,  because he provided nothing to his horses.  They had an automatic watering set up, and they were kept on a pasture.  No shelter, no vaccinations, no deworming, no hoof care, no handling.  According to him, they stayed on the pasture year round and  he proudly told me how they can scratch under the snow to eat the sparse, dead grass buried  there.  If they got skinny, he tossed them some hay.  Wisconsin humane laws at that time stated that as long as the animal had water, food, and shelter (in this case trees for windbreak) on the premises the requirements were met and no worries.  Lots of people with puppy mill mentalities bought minis, and in fact, this particular breeder also had dozens of cages of dogs on his farm.  I went there with the intent to look for a bred mare.  I left with Shamrock and her 4 month old colt Irish, and Lady and her 1 month old filly Annie.  Shamrock and Irish still make their home here with us.  Annie lived here until 2 years ago when I knew I needed to cut back and sold her to a gal who bought her for her daughters to show in 4H.

Lady with her 2002 colt, High Roller

Lady with her 2002 colt, High Roller

I always try to do a “background check” on any new horses, and I was able to speak to a woman who had owned Lady  for a while.  I learned from her that her young teenage daughter had been responsible for Lady’s care, and the girl didn’t like her.  She had been abusive to her, hitting her and yelling at her.  The girl’s Mom was NOT happy and took the horse away from the kid, and sold her (the horse, not the kid).  Consequently, Lady came to me with a few issues.  She hated kids, raised voices, and the sight of a whip.  She threatened to bite strangers, especially children, and fiercely protected her foals from everyone, including me.  She despised the vet with a passion, and fought like a wild mustang whenever we had to give her a shot.  Over the years, Lady and I came to an understanding.  I left her alone unless I absolutely had to do something for her, and I kept her healthy and her tummy full.  For her part, she listened to me when I told her to back away from that juicy toddler.  She allowed me to pick burrs out of her forelock, and clean out her feet, and put on her fly mask.  She even tolerated an infrequent bath.  I gave her respect and she returned the favor.  In her horsey way she appreciated her safe and comfy home, and me for providing it.  She had 5 more foals for us, and each of them was beautiful and a special gift.  Over the years she did mellow a little, but she always kept her “leave me alone” attitude. 

Sharing their breakfast, Star and Lady

Sharing their breakfast, Star and Lady

Lady never treated her  friends  as badly as she treated people.  She was good in the herd and was never the boss mare.  Her special BFF was Star, who has a story of her own.  Star was an outcast in the herd until Lady befriended her.

A few years ago Lady foundered, which is the acute form of the hoof disease, laminitis.  It took several months to bring her sound again, but she did eventually improve.  Unfortunately, she had periodic flare-ups over the ensuing years and each one left her with more hoof damage.  The attacks are terribly painful.  We finally had to make the decision to end her suffering, which is why I’m writing this tribute to Lady.  She was beautiful to look at, crabby beyond belief, and she left her mark on my life and my heart.  She’s going to be missed by me, and by Star.

Thanks to everyone…you know who you are 🙂

As always, click on the pictures to see the full size versions.

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Comments on: "Lady 1989-2009" (8)

  1. What a great story Carol, I am so sorry her health had gotten so bad. But she lived a great life with you and you gave her many years of love and care. Big hugs to you, rest in peace Lady.
    Marsha

  2. Lady you sound like quite the girl, may you rest in peace and run on light hooves!! Carol, hugs to you and I am so sorry you have had to say goodbye to such a wonderful and personality filled mare. Thinking of you today.

    Rhonda-Lynne and the Painted Meadows gang.

  3. Carole & Critters! said:

    My sincere condolences to you Carol for the loss of Lady, she sounded like a few I have had that were abused before I got them. May she rest in peace with no pain.
    Carole & Critters!

  4. Lady,
    I got to meet you not long ago, and I just thought you were so beautiful. A big Thanks for letting me skritch your lovely butt! ! ! You are now flying over the green grass at the Bridge and no more pain.
    Your Moma, Carol, loved you so much.. and will miss your for forever! !
    Love and HUGGLES from all on Murphy Mountain! !

  5. Very sorry to hear about your mini Lady. It sounds like you did a wonderful job providing her with many comfortable and healthy years of life. I’m sure she appreciates that. I always love hearing stories about horses that are rescued or brought to a better life. Good luck with the rest of your horses!

  6. “Always blessings, never losses.”
    We can dwell so easily on our losses, and for good reason — they hurt!! But so easy it is to get caught into the loss, and forget WHY it’s a loss. It’s because of the blessings.
    You were an inspiration to Lady as so you are to so many of your animals.
    With sincere condolences

  7. The losses are painful, but the memories are sweet.

    Thanks for sharing this Carol!

  8. Carolynne, Sorry to hear about your LADY. You do an excellent job on your website. Maybe some day I will be able to do some of what you do. I am always getting into trouble with my computer and then I have to get one of my Grandkids to help me out. Love You, Bob

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