I was part of a facebook group called “Horses Needing Homes in Canada” where many rescues share horses who are available for adoption. I had been searching for a draft cross filly and nothing closer to home had caught my attention (although I had applied to adopt Mystic over a month prior, and hadn't heard anything).
And then this…
When I read that he was in a feedlot my heart sank. It said his group of horses would be shipping by the end of the week. I wanted a draft cross filly that was at least halterbroke…. But I found myself sending an e-transfer to a complete stranger 2000 miles away for $250.
I paid for him to stay in temporary holding for a few weeks as I arranged the haul. It was November in a particularly cold Canadian winter, moving a horse across the country was not going to be an immediate/cheap venture. But I began the work of slowly sorting it out.
And then I got a message on facebook from a woman named Tanya. She claimed that her friend Louise had wanted to buy my horse, but hadn’t sent the money yet. I had beaten her to the punch sending the money to the rescue. Would I consider selling him to her instead? Louise lived in the same province as Henry and could provide a great home. Tanya mentioned to me that Henry was quite well-bred, according to Louise.
I honestly gave it a lot of thought. I felt kind of bad about dragging an unhandled baby horse across the country in the middle of winter. But I decided against it. I decided the risk of selling a horse that I bought from a feedlot to a stranger was not fair to him. I let Tanya know that I wasn’t interested in selling him but would keep her posted on him and would let her/Louise know if I decided to sell. I asked for more information on his bloodlines (mostly out of curiosity/for fun), I messaged both Tanya and Louise. Louise never responded to me. Tanya responded to me saying
“Louise is too hurt and sad about you not selling the horse to her to share the information.”
And my brain said: “Bullshit. This horse is worth more than $250 and Louise doesn’t want me to know why.”
So began my obsession with finding information on Henry’s bloodlines. The woman who ran the rescue, Tracey, told me that Louise mentioned something to her about Henry being by a horse named Piper B.
Henry the baby peanut, his first day at his new home
So armed with that information I harassed many people on the internet! I eventually tracked down Piper B’s breeder, Sylvia. She sent me baby pictures of Piper and she gave me the name and information of Piper B’s current owner. Sylvia was absolutely wonderful and told me that she would help me with the registration process if needed.
Piper was now owned by a man named Larry.
Piper B at his stallion inspection
I figured Larry would have records of which mares were bred and I could do some sleuthing from there. I had a really difficult time getting a hold of Larry. Turns out that he’s a long haul truck driver and was away from home quite a bit. I chatted with his wife quite a bit and gave her the scoop.
After a few weeks of phone tag, I finally got Larry on the phone.
Larry was a bit confused as he had just given all this information to Louise on a horse that she bought from a rescue. Did she sell this horse to me?
No… she never bought the horse.
Turns out Larry had bred Henry from one of his mares, named Rhapsody V. He had dropped Henry and his half-brother off at the auction in November. Piper B was recently put down due to colic and it was a very bad year for hay prices. It sounded to me like he wanted to cut his losses.
Henry’s half-brother was apparently injured and was “stupid” according to Larry. He told me that I was lucky to get Henry, as he was the smarter and nicer colt of the two. He sounded frustrated that no one had any interest in his horses until they ended up at a rescue. I asked him if he’d sign Henry’s papers for me so I could register him, he said yes. And he did!
Pretty insane that I was able to buy a horse from a feedlot 2000 miles away and register him as a Canadian Warmblood! This is the link to his pedigree if anyone is interested.
My whole heart
More rambling thoughts to come in part two! :)