Thursday, September 17, 2009

Midnight Magnolia aka "Maggie"

It seemed like time to do another post on a beloved horse. Meet Midnight Magnolia, loving called Maggie. She is a registered Quarter Horse and is now 31 years old. I first met Maggie back in 1985 when a friend (Horse Crazy Girl #1 from an earlier post) owned her. She had several horses and would let me ride Maggie since my pony Buck was too much to handle at the time. This little mare was the gentlest, most level headed horse I have ever been around...and thank goodness for that because we did A LOT of stupid stuff with our horses when we were younger....

HCG#1 decided to sell Maggie in March of 1986. I had become so attached to her, I couldn't bear the thought of someone else owning her. My parents were kind enough to buy Maggie for me on March 22, 1986. That was the same day HCG#1 rode my pony Buck for me and got bucked off, breaking the growth plate in her ankle (I think that is why I can so easily remember the was one of the greatest days and worst days of my life!). The break required several surgeries, then the doctors decided to take the growth plates out of both ankles. Poor girl, she was in 2 leg casts and a wheel chair for several months recovering from that ride.

Below is a photo of Maggie about 2 months after purchasing her. Not very conformationally desirable, but she made up for those conformation flaws with her kindness and sanity. She was exactly what a idiotic 12 year old needed and every parents' dream horse for their child.

Here is a photo of Maggie in December of 1987. I had brushed an incredible amount of prairie mud off of her and was so pleased with myself, made my Dad take some photos of a cleaner Maggie. I should have had him take "before" and "after" photos! Don't you love how I put her in a leather halter with a stud chain for her photo shoot? (what was I thinking??) Poor girl - if you need an example of "sickle hocks" or "long back," she is the poster child...

Here we are at HCG#1's barn in December 1987, getting ready for one of many trail rides. I must have lived in that is in several of these old photos!

Ready for another trail ride - HCG#1 and her big grey Jesse. That's HCG#2 riding double. We were all close friends and it wasn't until a little later HCG#2 got her own horse.

Here we are at our first horse show. I believe this was the summer of 1987, but can't remember exactly. I still have and use all of that tack!!!

Ready for our Hunter Under Saddle class!

(I wish I had realized my saddle pad was too far forward...)

A photo my Dad took in the fall of 1987:

Riding in HCG#2's future pasture early one fall morning:

In April 1988, I was preparing Maggie for another little open show in our area. As I wrote in an earlier post, I had bathed her and staked her out on a long rope to graze in the yard while she dried. I learned a hard lesson that day - you never stake a horse on a long nylon rope. They are not like dogs. Maggie got the rope wrapped around her back right pastern and just about sawed her foot off. I was heart broken and poor Maggie was in a lot of pain. Our wonderful vet came and cleaned the wound, wrapped it and taught me how to care for her. It took over a year for the wound to heal.

While Maggie was healing, I focused on riding my pony Buck. We figured out he bucked because he loved to jump. Once we concentrated on jumping, he never bucked again, and so began his show career in hunters and Pony Club.

Once Maggie healed up enough to ride, I decided it was time to find another horse. It was so hard making the decision to sell her, but my Mom knew a little girl who was looking for her first horse. Maggie was the perfect one for this little girl. So, in 1989, I sold Maggie. She changed ownership many times after that, but thankfully stayed in the Pike Road area, so I was able to keep track of her.

The girl I sold her to outgrew the "horsey" thing after a little while and decided to put Mags up for sale again. Another horse friend of mine bought Mags and didn't have a place to keep her, so we boarded Maggie for her for a while. It was nice to have her back "home" for a short time. When this friend got busy with school activities, once again Mags went up for sale. Another horse friend bought her for her daughter and Maggie went to live at the training/boarding barn where I worked. Once her children outgrew Maggie, she was sold to the lady who owned the barn for a lesson horse. Maggie stayed at this farm for several years, living a wonderful life getting loved on and teaching kids how to ride. Some how she bowed a tendon and had to retire.

It wasn't long after Maggie's retirement in 1996 that my shetland pony, Amber, was bitten by a snake and passed away. Buck was alone again, so the barn owner asked if I'd like to have Maggie back. It wasn't hard to answer that question! Since the barn was right behind our house, I walked over that afternoon and got Maggie. I put her in the pasture with Buck, they sniffed noses, sighed heavily and started grazing nose to nose. It was like Maggie never left our place. I was honored to be able to retire Maggie at our place. She deserved to live out her days in a forever home.

Every spring, once Maggie's winter coat had shed out, she broke out in the most amazing dapples!

Buck and Maggie were inseparable:

The below photo was taken after Buck lost his right eye to an injury:

Below is Maggie after her bowed tendon healed, approximately 1998. She was sound enough for some light riding and was kind enough to cart my son around, even when he was being a comedian. (and now I see what a bad Mom I am! No hard hat and no shoes on my kid!)

D all dressed up in his cowboy garb, loving on Maggie:
(the hotwire was off in case you were wondering...)

Maggie never gets a break - below she allows my daughter to sit on her.
She doesn't seem to mind as long as grass is involved.

The below photos were taken in 2007. Maggie was still up to light riding then, so D and I would ride around the pasture on occasion. (Look how short D's legs are compared to the last post!)

Maggie on her 29th birthday, May 8, 2007:

Photo of Maggie taken in summer of 2007:

The below photos were taken on Maggie's 30th birthday, May 8, 2008:

My son, B giving Maggie her birthday carrot:
She looks pretty good for 30!

More recent photos taken in February 2009:
Maggie and her little herd. She is still alpha mare (although it is hard to tell from this photo....)

Maggie and Filly staring at my children running through the pasture:

Occasionally Maggie has a burst of energy and takes of trotting. Her body sags a lot and she is thinner than I would like her to be, but overall she seems happy and healthy.

Most recent photo from a couple of weeks ago after spa day (Labor Day):

At 31, Maggie is doing surprisingly well. It seems as if her hearing and eye sight aren't what they used to be, but hey, for being 93 in "horse years," (according to our farrier) I guess it's to be expected.

Maggie used to be THE horse to trail ride on. I can't remember her ever spooking at anything. She was a fast walker and loved to go. She didn't care what direction you pointed her in, she was willing to go anywhere. Swimming was one of her favorite things, too. We used to swim in all of the local ponds during the hot summers. Several of us crazy horse girls would line our horses up in the water and swim circles around them. Like idiots, we used them as diving boards, but they stood there, so patiently, seeming to enjoy it. Thankfully my parents have been kind enough to keep Maggie all of these years later. Since she returned to our Pike Road farm in 1996, I have married and had 3 children. We all love Maggie so much and it will be hard to say good-bye when it is time. In the meantime though, Maggie deserves a special retirement home - and it's our turn to take care of her.


Anonymous said...

wonderful trip down memory lane!

gtyyup said...

Maggie is a star!! That was a wonderful story and it's so nice that you've been able to take care of her in her final years. She looks great!