How "HCH MAKE MY DAY" made my day!
by Donna in Ontario
"HCH Make My Day" also known as Linus, is my beautiful, sorrel yearling. He is very true to his registered name in that when you present something new to him, he looks at you as if to say "Go ahead and make my day, that thing doesn't scare me". I have enjoyed every moment with him since I first met him in late summer of 2009 and when he came home to me in December 2010. This is the story of how Linus came to be my beloved friend.
In the summer of 2009, a neighbour of mine was really pushing me to buy his 20 something Quarter horse mare. She hadn't been ridden in years, was a massive horse and had a bad reputation for having a mind of her own. She has thrown riders who have loads of experience. She was professionally rodeo trained when she was a youngster even though her owner wanted her only for pleasure riding around home. I could go on about her personality, but it's pretty apparent she wasn't a good fit for me. We hadn't had a horse on the farm in years. We run a herd of about 30 - 40 purebred Black Angus depending on the time of year. I live off farm, but nearby so I can go every day for chores etc. So I wasn't entirely certain my Dad would want another horse around.
This neighbour offered me once again to breed the mare and give me her foal. I mentioned this to my father since he had been aware of the previous selling attempts. He didn't really like the idea when it came to what happens with vet bills, if the mare doesn't catch and so on. Then he surprised me by saying if I wanted to get one that bad I should just get my own. This toyed in the back of my mind for2 months. One evening, I was searching Kijiji to view what kinds of livestock ads were on it. I had a few heifers that I wanted to list and hadn't previously tried this method of marketing before. I stumbled across an ad for a "hypoallergenic foal". I didn't know there was such thing. I beckoned my husband who has severe allergies, especially to horses. We looked at the pictures of this very proud of himself foal and were blown away by his early muscling and how robust he looked. He was gorgeous and very well built. So I inquired about the foal and thus began communications with our now very good friends, Brian and Lynn Downer of Homefire Curly Horses. We arranged to go meet them and see Linus. We are lucky that Linus was a smooth-coated foal or we never would have had the chance to meet him!! It was love at first sight with Linus. Which wasn't hard at all since he was always in your face begging for a scratch or a rub or whatever attention you could provide him. I decided that day that he was the horse for us. I had never raised a weanling or even looked at any other horses. His personality and that of his on site parents was enough. Not to mention that the only thing after Stu's allergies was the barn cat! That was cured with heading into their "den" off the barn and sampling some beer with Brian. They hit it off like a house on fire and were instant friends. If you walked in that room you would have swore they had been lifelong buddies.
Lynn and I stayed outside with the horses and our then 1 year old son Owen sort of ended up going back and forth between them. Not before sitting on the gorgeous buckskin mare "Gold" which he loved. I found out afterwards that someone else had been to the farm before us and thought they were more interested in an older filly that was available too. They called back the day after I put a deposit on Linus to say that they wanted him instead....Thank goodness I made my mind up on the spot!
We tried to visit at least once a month until Linus came to his new home on December 5, 2010. Dad and I went to pick him up and we had a great time during the almost 3 hour drive there. Linus handled the trailering like a pro rather than a first timer. I was soon to find out he handles everything new this way! A year later, Linus is showing HUGE potential to be a fantastic riding and driving horse. For now, he is sailing through training and is a stellar companion.
We still keep in regular touch with Brian and Lynn and though the visits don't happen as much as we would like them to, we do still manage to get together. We gained an amazing horse that poses no allergy threat to visitors and accepts anything you ask of him. We also gained some lifelong friends. We often look back and wonder which part of the deal is the best part!!
About the Author: Donna is part of the International Ride-A-Curly contest 2010 and has delighted us with her stories of her and Linus on a regular basis. She has inspired all of us and has been a true gift and pleasure to the contest and most of all to the Curly Horse world! To read more about Linus & Donna visit the RAC blog.