Thursday, July 7, 2011

Not For Sale

I am blessed with owning a fantastic mare, Miss Bam Bam Command, whom I claimed as my own while she was just a foal on her momma's side, and whom I have owned officially for 19 years.  She is a beautiful palomino, put together very nicely, has outstanding, desirable bloodlines, a sweet, gentle attitude, and back in her early days, was very talented under saddle.  And she is the mother of one of the leading money earners in the NRHA, which makes her other babies a hot commodity.  I have had many, many offers over the years to buy her, but I won't. Ever.  And here is the story why...

Every horsey kid (and some horsey adults) has an Ultimate Fantasy Horse, a vision of what their perfect horsey soulmate would look like.  Mine came to me when I was a little girl, when my grandma gave me a beautiful palomino horse statue, like a Breyer.  The golden shading, the pure white mane...I was hooked!   I grew up showing Arabians and Half Arabians though, so since there are few palominos in that breed, I didn't get a chance to own one until Bam Bam.  I happened to be boarding my Arab gelding at the barn where Bam Bam and her dam lived while I attended college, and I first saw her when she was about a week old.  Now, at that time, I had already owned a bunch of horses, had won 3 National titles, and had been giving lessons and starting to train a few, so it wasn't like I was a newbie.  But I swear to you, the moment I saw her, I was instantly transformed into a little horse-crazy kid.  It was the closest thing I have ever felt to love at first sight.  The moment I laid eyes on her, I KNEW she was my horse.

I purchased her some months later, and when the time came, she received her under saddle training from John Slack.  At the time, John was at the top of his game, and he did an excellent job with her; getting the best he could from all her maneuvers, but maintaining her soundness and sanity at the same time.  I treasure a video I have of him riding her - both showed such talent!  Bam Bam was never shown though; at the time I was a college student at Arizona State, and just didn't have the time or money to go show.  So instead, she came home, and I started riding her myself.  Bam Bam and I rode all over the mountains of Arizona, with friends and by ourselves, and she was a handy, reliable, and cool-headed mount.  Truly, a Cadillac to take down the trail.  Later, I began using her for lessons, and again, the mare showed me how great she is - patient, safe, and careful with every beginner to sit on her.  I never regreted not showing her - she is still sound and happy at age 20!

At one point, I had to nurse Bam Bam through strangles.  I remember that she had a fever of 104, and I spent hours running cold water over her from head to toe, wiping her poor nose, and comforting her.  The mare would lay her head in my arms, and just exhale.  We were so bonded to each other.

A few years later, I heard that a friend had bought into a newly formed Boomernic syndicate, so I contacted him and struck a lease deal. The resulting foal was Commanders Nic, who went on to win $275,000, at a time when that kind of money was much harder to add up.  It wasn't long thereafter that I received a call from a prominent trainers wife, who wanted to buy her from me.  I am sure she thought I would be impressed with who she was, but I didn't hesitate to say, "Sorry, she isn't for sale, and won't ever be."  I didn't even ask what they were offering.  It just didn't matter.   This person was immediately irritated with me, and proceeded to ask if I would sell a filly of Bam Bam's that I had (and still have), to which I also said no.  That filly was my replacement for Bammie and wasn't bred for public consumption.  Well, this really pissed her off.  She began to belittle me, and eventually said that I would always be a back yard breeder if I was that attached to my horses.  Can you imagine??  I am sure her pride was hurt that she wasn't able to bulldoze little ol' me into giving her what she wanted, but she obviously didn't know what kind of horse owner she was dealing with.  My heart and soul are not for sale, for any price, and neither is my best horse.  I have always known that the pain of absence of that horse from my life could never be soothed with money.

Thankfully, other people have fallen in love with Bam Bam too, and I have done well in selling embryos from her.  She has been bred to the best stallions in the business, has produced some outstanding horses; some are money earners, and some are preparing to see the show pen.  But honestly, it doesn't matter to me if she had never had any foals at all.  She is a wonderful horse, in every way, and I know how lucky I am to own her.  I know that if I had sold her, she would have been used up by some big breeder for the money of selling her babies, and who knows what might have happened to her once she stopped producing.  As things are, she will be loved and cared for her whole life by someone who truly loves her.  So if that makes me a back yard breeder, so be it.  I have the MOST amazing mare, right in my back yard. 

Have a wonderful Thursday, and give your favorite horse a big hug today!!

1 comment:

  1. Another excellent blog Shannon. Keep 'em coming!