Most of the time my blogging has been to promote the adoption of wild mustangs. I like to share how they progress, what I learn, and how their 'happily ever after' came to be. But, I would not be able to do this work without a very special mare named Malibu. She taught me so much and as we all know, words just can't ever explain how an animal makes us feel.
In May 2001, I brought my dressage trainer out to a farm that had a green broke APHA/PtHA mare for sale. She was pretty scrawny and nothing special when you saw her under saddle. My trainer Jenny looked at me and said "You know she is not going to get very big!" I sort of agreed, but couldn't stop thinking about her.
June 1, 2001 I bought her. I wanted her breeder to know she was in a good home and I wrote them a letter. To my surprise, she wrote back! She told me that her dad (Painted Ninja) was a successful dressage horse and that Malibu had the nickname 'Milkweed'. For those of you who are not from the midwest, that is a plant that the monarch butterfly likes to cocoon on. We used to collect them when I was a kid up north.
She came to MSU with me in Fall 2001, we rode on trails and in the arena. She was happy wherever she went. As a mare, she never gave me any freebies (no push button) but would always respond to correct and balanced seat and hands. Many tears came from the frustration of a mare who has her own ideas, yet she was never nasty or mean. Just simply not going to give in until I asked her the right way. About a year later, I brought her back to the barn where I had grown up taking lessons. Jenny and I began working with Malibu. We even wound up in the paper featuring an article on her barn!
She was considered a tovero, meaning she was a mix of tobiano and overo markings.
A few times, we hitched a ride to a local show. We placed in most of the classes, and to this day I still drink out of the mugs we won :)
Always an 'outside' horse, Jenny made sure she had her 'nanook' blanket on when it got too cold!
She was not really herd bound, but certainly appreciated her equine companions.
She was not only special to me, but to everyone at the barn. Lovingly known as 'missy malibu' she was known for not liking to walk through puddles, never wanting to be locked in a stall, and always being the first to greet a new horse (and first to be bored with them too).
An old stifle injury seemed to bother her for a few years and steadily grew worse. The past few months Jenny tried to get the input from everyone on how to keep her comfortable. In the end, the only thing to do was let her go to a place where she no longer has any pain.
I am so grateful for all the lessons she gave me. I promise to continue my work helping others in honor of what my mare has taught me.
Love you always missy malibu...