Today’s Guest Post is from Robin Coblyn. You might know Robin from such films as “I Bred a Lovely Horse Named Four X The Trouble.” Here, she writes about the little no-name mare who became queen of the farm, Missy.
I bought the farm. Yes, really.
In the fall of 1997 my husband and I bought a little 10-acre place in Clarksburg, Maryland, a lovely rolling green place that I hoped would satisfy my need to get back to the country. Of course it would have to be peopled, with horses naturally. I had leased out my last horse when I found that after having my son it just wasn’t very easy to get to a boarding barn and ride as often as I desired and my horse at the time needed. His name was Just Whistle and he was an OTTB as well, but that’s another story. By spring, we had put up a barn and fenced in 8 of the 10 acres, and the groundwork was laid.
A dear friend who had connections to a local TB breeding farm mentioned a mare whose owner had abandoned her to whatever fate after she aborted her foal. So I went over for a look. She was dark and shiny and full of attitude! And though she was only 14.3 on a good day she ran circles around her pasture mates.
“What’s her name?”
“I don’t know,” was the reply. “Whatever you want it to be.”
So Missy found a home, instead of another fate through the Eyler’s auction in Thurmont, Maryland.
After many calls to the Thoroughbred Protective Agency — the group that records all the markings and tattoos for Jockey Club registered horses — I found that Missy was Flight to Freedom, a Maryland-bred filly from the last crop of the famous Maryland stallion Rollicking. She never had much of an affinity for racing, and the only race she ever won was because the horse that actually won was disqualified, but you couldn’t tell this by her over-abundance of self confidence. She was the queen. Small and mighty, for years she ruled the roost, cowering much taller and stouter equine pasture-mates with a mere twitch of an ear.
To ride, she was similar: it was pretty much her way or the highway. Most often with finesse you could convince her that what you wanted to do WAS actually what she wanted to as well. She was dragged, and dragged me, through hunter paces and local shows, being company for eventers on their cross country schools, jumping things that might make a larger horse hesitate, and slogging the rocky trails in Little Bennet Park. She shined on the trails — she was fearless for the most part and would run all day long if you let her. She was the best trail horse I ever have had, it was her THING and an activity that just made you smile when you were on her.
I outgrew her talent and found another ride to show, but Missy stayed. She taught the babies I raised respect for their elders, and the youngsters who they could and who they could NOT annoy. I believe her complete control of her charges made starting them so much easier, as they were very used to paying attention to the most subtle of cues. She was fiery to the end when ridden, a pussycat to work with on the ground and the ultimate ruler of her domain, her Thoroughbred heart never broken.
Thank you Missy — fly off to freedom…