September 2006


I went from it being the furthest thought from my mind to actually considering buying a young horse!
I first discussed it with my husband, Shawn, and could not have been more supportive. He knew how long I have wanted my own horse. Granted, we were both confused about the process and what was involved. But I knew that if I was serious about doing this, I would first have to find the right place for him. This is a horse that has been on a 300 acre ranch, is used to open space and being with other horses. This would be tough to find in Marin County. Most places I had been to were small and did not have much in the way of pasture space. Or the horses were not turned out, turned out minimally and/or turned out alone. My firm belief is that horses should be turned out together and allowed to be…horses!
I don’t know how I did it but I managed to find just the place and only about 30 minutes from our home. Shawn and I made an appointment to go check it out. We met Jane, the owner who was extremely nice. She showed us around and seemed to know all the horses by name – good sign 🙂 And she could not speak enough about her high quality hay – another good sign! I left there knowing that Jasper would have a good home and be well looked after. And have some buddies to play with!
I let Celine know I wanted to purchase Jasper.

Finally, after years of wanting my own horse, I’ve finally taken the plunge! I wanted to start this blog to document my journey, but also to help any other newbies out there who are going to buy a horse.

It all started with a client of mine. I work as a web developer with clients in the equine industry. I started from scratch when I moved to California and gradually started to build my client base over the years.

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Things are going quite well now. One day a couple of years ago I got a call from a lady in the Bay Area with this amazing story. She had acquired a herd of horses in Manitoba that had been on their way to slaughter. She bought the entire herd in the 11th hour. They were all spotted draft mares and an undetermined number were pregnant. Believe it or not, draft foal meat is a delicacy in some European countries and Japan. She wanted to let the mares have their babies and eventually train and sell the foals and would I design her website? It was a complete coincidence that I just happened to be a Canadian!
She moved the entire herd to a ranch in Alberta and about 50 mares had their foals in spring of 2005. As the foals got older she invested in some ground training for all of the colts with a natural horsemanship trainer named Anna Twinney. Anna was Monty Roberts lead instructor until she

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decided to go on her own. I was lucky to be employed to photograph and videotape these week long sessions. Since then, I’ve seen these guys grow up and I have learned so much just from watching Anna’s skilled gentling of these youngters!
The last photo shoot was in August 2006. We needed some extra footage of some colts that had been ground trained in the winter. I had noticed this one colt on my previous visit before, running through the forest with his mates, playfighting. But this was my first up close look at Jasper and when he was set loose in the arena, he knocked my socks off! He had this incredible movement and a confident way about him. He knew he was something special. And, as you can see from the pictures, he is also beautiful! I couldn’t stop blabbering about him after that, even though at the time, the thought of buying a young horse had never entered my mind. Too much to think about, and where on earth would I put him?

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I came back from Alberta with Jasper on my mind. I scoured my tapes looking for the footage of Jasper. When I found it, I showed it to my husband and he was as breathtaken as I was and exclaimed ‘that is so the horse for you!’.

Maybe he knew something I hadn’t completely realized. I certainly hadn’t mentioned actually buying one of these guys.

I have been leasing a horse about 30 minutes from me near the coast since June. The horse has grown on me but the facilities – had always given me this weird aura. I can’t explain it exactly but I can only say it felt haunted. Maybe because I hadn’t met many people. I had started leasing because I missed riding and I thought I would meet a lot of horsey women. But one of the downfalls of freelancing and being childfree is that not many people have the time during the day that you do.

I just wasn’t enjoying myself as much as I thought I would.

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Also, I think a lot of it had to do with once again, I was riding someone else’s horse. Anyone who has leased know what I mean. You can never truly enjoy yourself because in the back of your mind – always- is this paranoid fear that you are going to damage the horse somehow. I know it’s crazy but the fear is there.

One of the few women I DID meet out there, Wendy, took me on a hair raising trail ride up into the mountains one day. My heart was in my throat half the time, but I really enjoyed it! I found out that she had bought her horse young and had trained him herself. She had obviously done a good job because I never once saw this horse misbehave or take a misstep. She made a lot of positive points about buying a horse young. The bonding, bringing him along yourself. The idea started to grow in my head. Maybe I could do this!