Foxvangen's Ruby Slippers is full sister to Foxvangen's
Summer Heat. Her dam is Gambler's Jasmine the first
Missouri Foxtrotter we ever owned. Her sire is Foxvangen's
Braveheart Two, a lovely stallion we bred from Foxvangen's
Toy Boy and Chief's Magic Ribbon H.
Because the cross between Gambler's Jasmine and
Foxvangen's Braveheart Two had been so successful
the first time, even though that occurrence was by
fait, we determined to make the cross again before
Braveheart was scheduled to ship to Europe.
With great anticipation we endured the long gestation
period which thankfully in Jasmine is generally rather
shorter than with most mares. When finally the birthing
day arrived, if I am to be honest I admit the results
struck me as being rather disappointing!
Ruby was a real frail
looking plain Jane at birth
Typical to form for her Jasmine foaled in 315
days which also brings as a rule a smaller foal that
is rather less robust than some that carry longer
termed foals. In this case the resultant foal looked
remarkably fragile and spindly. Certainly not the
strong, stout beauty her full sister had been at birth!
This tiny scrap of a foal was so frail looking
I was afraid she may break! Yet she was much stronger
than she appeared and was quite active and robust
in her behavior. Within an hour of birth she was striding
out with a full stride and using her body remarkably
well. Still, I really have to admit to a deep sense
of disappointment in this new little filly.
I was disappointed that Braveheart had not given
this little filly his wonderful bone. She did get
better joints than her mother has and she is adequate
in her bone but we like to have a bit more bone and
joint than this filly got.
At two hours her legs
were straightening up well and her waves were noticeable
It is not our nature to short shrift any animal
on our farm and this little scrap was certainly not
devoid of good care and attention. The more time I
spent with her the more interesting she became to
me. She was a tough little thing with a big heart
and a big motor. She was so gentle and sweet natured
she was a snap to work with and her little brain worked
Another disappointment in this filly is that her
head was rather plainer than we generally produce.
She reverted back to her ancient Barb heritage in
that her nostrils are placed at the end of her nose
rather than at the top of her muzzle. Her ears were
set in a bit low and her eyes were placed rather higher
we like to see. The package had a rather plain wrapper
in my opinion though not really what I'd call coarse
exactly, simply not as becoming as we generally get
in our horses.
Still, there was just something about this little
girl that began to draw me. It's difficult to even
say what that was. Perhaps sympathy? Who knows! But
she intrigued me so she was the subject of much scrutiny
right from the start. Because she was a little Plain
Jane she probably got more criticism than most foals
born here. She was judged very carefully and every
one of her flaws duly noted. Of course we do that
with all our foals but with this one in particular
she was really held under a microscope.
At two days of age she suffered a bout of severe
colic. We had never had a foal colic before but she
had suffered an impaction of retained meconium even
though she had received the normal enemas and had
been defecating milk stool as normal.
Right from birth Ruby
had great extension in her stride with flat knees
and a lot of head nod.
To relieve her of her pain and agony she had to
be given an injection of Banamine as well as 4 full
enemas all at once in order to inflate her gut so
the hard meconium pieces could be floated free.
That is a lot for a baby to go through yet she
suffered the pain and discomfort with quiet dignity.
She was cooperative and seemed to just know I was
trying to help her.
The blockage passed in a few minutes and she settled
down but the episode had really tired her. I sat with
her head on my lap for several hours while she rested
and slept to recover from her painful ordeal.
During that time we bonded. She may not have been
the prettiest foal we had ever produced but she was
certainly a foal with a big heart and a lot of gumption.
At two months Ruby's
curly coat was impossible to ignore!
As the days went by we watched as she began to
fill out and develop to a point that most foals have
already achieved at birth. Her legs straightened fast
and she was up and going on her legs very well though
she could not have weighed more than 65 pounds at
Her name was to be Foxvangen's Ruby Slippers because
she was solid red. She was born darker than any foal
we had ever produced and had not one white hair on
her. She was very dark red even though in photos the
coloring is not quite true to life.
While sitting with her with nothing else to do
my attention was drawn to her thick, silky coat. There
were waves all over her back and sort of marcelled
deep waves on her rump. Her mane was so kinky curly
it looked as if she didn't have a mane at all. Her
tail was a full, curly mass that reminded me of a
squirrel tail! Bushy and crimped waves.
She had deep waves on her face and the back of
her ears and some waves on her legs as well. The hair
was quite short but there was no mistaking her hair
was not straight by any definition of the word.
We had produced a number of curly coated foals
sired by Toy Boy and we welcomed them because those
individuals are most generally hypoallergenic even
though at baby shed they lose their curly look.
While her hair was short
the curl was more in the nature of waves. Her tail
was kinky curly.
Ruby Slippers, however, was not sired by Toy Boy
so it was rather a surprise to see the curls on her!
Since Braveheart was still with us, I went to examine
him more carefully. What I found was interesting in
that Braveheart at that time had a very, very long
straight mane and tail and his coat was extremely
short and dense in winter but on his neck in a patch
near where the neck joins the shoulders he had waves!
I'd never noticed that before. Further examination
showed he also had curl to his long fetlock hair.
Could he be a curly in disguise?
When Jasmine was put to the same scrutiny she,
also, had a patch of waves! Her patch was far larger
but it was located in a similar position to that on
Braveheart. Jasmine has a very wavy mane and tail
and she has kinky whiskers ...could that indicate
she is a curly carrier?
It was years later we found the answer to some
of those questions ( see articles on curly) yet these
discoveries indicated that we had more than one line
of curly running through our herd but perhaps some
expressed so subtly we simply had not noticed it before.
By the time Ruby was two months old, her coat
had grown fairly long and was extremely thick. The
texture was something akin to wool and indeed she
began to look like a sheep! The longer her hair got
the more curly it became but because of the wool-like
texture it sort of packed together into one big cotton
ball! It did not mat and it had a lot of spring to
it but the individual curls grouped together to make
it all one mass. Rather hard to explain and even more
difficult to photograph. The photo below was taken
early on while the hair was still in waves. She was
so soft to touch it was difficult to even know you
were indeed touching her, the hair was so incredibly
At three months she had long curly hair that looked
like lamb's wool. Everyone loved to sink their fingers
into her ultra soft and silky hair!
Ruby Slippers looked
more like a lamb in horse shape! Her mane was so kinky
it hardly showed.
My daughter has a very keen sense of smell. She
declared Ruby smelled like fabric softener sheets!
A number of our horses that have this type of hair
smell according to her. I have little sense of smell
since I have allergies and asthma so I have to take
her word for it.
By the age of 3 months Ruby had endeared herself
to us in many ways. She moved with incredible smoothness
and grace. She was sweet natured and never out of
sorts. She gaited up a storm and had wonderful rhythm.
She galloped like a Thoroughbred. AND she had the
most amazing coat!
Visitors to our farm couldn't keep their hands
off Ruby's curly coat. It was so downy soft and spongy
feeling they would sink their fingers into her coat
as they spoke and didn't even realize they were doing
it. Ruby's coat was the talk of the farm!
Tolerant and amiable, Ruby was game for anything
we wished to do with her. Ruby was two and a half
months old when Christmas came. She was our farm Santa
horse and wore her hat without a fuss. She seemed
to get as much enjoyment from it as we did!
Ruby was so amiable right
from the beginning she was happy to participate in
anything we asked of her.
She enjoyed human contact and always welcomed it yet
never demanded it and was never pushy. She was very
mature in the brain for one so young and was patient
and kind. Everyone loved her to bits because she was
rather like an over sized Teddy Bear.
By nine months Ruby's
curls were gone. Her mane and forelock were frizzy
and soft as cotton. She was no longer frail looking
and was showing a hint of what she was going to become.
We had other foals at the same time and they were
all good babies with kind spirits but among them Ruby
stood out as being extra gentle natured though by
far not a lazy little thing.
When Summer came around Ruby began to shed and
like others we have had with this sort of coat her
hair didn't shed hair by hair, it shed in mats. Clumps
would come off at one time more like a molting buffalo
looks! My goodness that was an ugly time but she came
through it fine.
We collected the hair for examination purposes.
It was very springy yet extremely silky to the touch.
It would not mat down like regular horse hair will.
Instead it stayed fluffy.
By nine months of age she had shed her curls but
her mane and tail remained curly. Her forelock was
basically a ball of frizz and was totally unmanageable.
It was soft as down but had so much kink to it, the
thing would not lay down so it looked like a powder
puff between her ears! We would joke with her and
say she was having a bad hair day. NO amount of brushing
even with water or oil would tame that forelock and
her mane was little better!
As a long weanling, Ruby had found her best friend
in Trade Winds. The two fillies were nearly inseparable
but they spent much of their time racing one another.
It was delightful to watch.
Even with a head start
Trade Winds was no match for Ruby's speed.
Even though Trade Winds was five months older
and quite a bit bigger, Ruby could out run her. Trade
Winds tried over and over again to best Ruby but never
managed. Even when she had a head start, Ruby would
catch her and pass her by.
One day as they were having a race up the hill
Trade Winds had a good long start on Ruby. Ruby just
dug in and flew up that hill until they were nose
and nose racing up the fence line. I happened to have
my camera with me as I watched and though the photos
are not the clearness I'd like, they did capture their
Ruby flew up that hill like a dynamo until she
caught Trade Winds. For a few strides she stayed with
Windy but then just as if she switched gears, Ruby
pulled away from Windy distancing her more with each
Just to think there are people out there who believe
gaited horses cannot run or show speed makes me chuckle!
They simply have not seen a good Foxtrotter or they
would know different. We breed our horses to be using
horses and expect them to have all the attributes
of such even though they are superbly gaited!
Though five months younger
than her cousin, Ruby could out run her.
Ruby grew well and was a quiet natured filly.
Her favorite pastime was to run. She loved to run
and does to this day! She would run like the wind
just for kicks even if she was alone in the pasture
but if she had a play friend the race was on!
Whenever she slowed down we could see her foxtrot
or sometimes she would running walk or even on occasion
rack but if she wasn't running the foxtrot was her
gait of choice and what a delight to see. She had
perfect form and always extended her front leg fully.
She gained our admiration and our affection.
Ruby was just beginning to show a hint of things
to come when she turned a yearling. Still not a beauty
by any standards she was quietly pulling all her bits
together into a pretty nice package! She had nice
posture as well. She remained calm and sweet natured
and was not prone to spookiness.
Being a "plain Jane" Many visitors would
still pass by Ruby to go to another of our horses,
generally one with chrome or color. Our little solid
red filly did not garner a lot of outside attention
but that was ok. By then we knew she was not going
to be for sale anyway.
Ruby and Trade Winds
loved to run laps around the perimeter of the pasture
We like our horses to learn to be horses before
they are asked to work. We do not ride our babies
preferring to allow them to grow and develop both
physically and mentally before putting them to saddle.
We want them to have all their teeth in and their
mouth comfortable before they are asked to carry a
Because of all that we send the long weanlings
to our lower pasture for summers. We keep an older
mare with them for support and guidance but the foals
learn to be horses there and are not coddled or pampered.
We check them daily and interact with them as we fill
water tanks and check them over but other than that
they live a free existence and learn herd dynamics
while they grow.
At the age of two Ruby was really beginning to
pull herself together. Her symmetry was becoming noticeable
and she was developing a particular solid elegance
that tickled me pink! Her color had gone from deep
red to a sort of brownish red. Her kinky mane had
gone from tight crimps to deep waves and her tail
was a mass of waves.
Still a plain Jane at
a year, ruby was beginning to put her bits together.
Though she was two years old she had not outgrown
her love of running. The field she was in has a perimeter
of about a mile. Most any time of day a person could
see Ruby running laps around the field. The shear
joy she emitted as she ran was a thrill to see.
In the late fall, after the first good frost we
bring the horses back up to the upper pastures where
they are stalled at night. I believe part of training
should be to show a horse it can be confined part
of the time without worry and they need to also learn
it's ok to be alone some times. We teach our young
stock these things early on so when they go to new
homes they are more able to adjust to any situation.
Ruby had an innate respectfulness about her. She
was patient in a group when it was time to come in.
She never pushed or shoved her way to the front of
the line. She was very smart to keep herself out of
trouble if one of the other youngsters got pushy.
She would stand calmly waiting her turn. That quality
really pleased me greatly. She had a lot of maturity
in that little brain of hers.
By 18 months Ruby had
developed into a very symmetrical, elegant filly!
The next spring when the youngsters went back
to the lower pasture Ruby once again began her racing.
About mid-summer we noticed that her solid red face
was getting a few white hairs in it! Where she had
formerly had no white hairs there was a group of white
hairs that were almost forming a small star on the
forehead but of course the skin under it was not pink
so it was not a true star, but rather a small patch
Over the course of the summer and early fall that
patch grew and grew until by the time Ruby was three
there was a distinctive splash of roan on her face.
It is likely an expression of sabino and most likely
the SB2 variety but it was an oddity. The mark is
not centered on the face but sits on the right side
with a straight line from the middle of her face over.
It became several inches long from above the eye to
about a third of the way down the nose.
No longer a plain Jane
at the age of two Ruby was a fair beauty.
Her color by age three was back to being the wine
red tone she had initially been. There was no sign
of her curly coat other than her mane and tail remained
heavily waved. She was seen by several people with
horse allergies and none had any reaction to her which
assures me she is hypoallergenic at least to some
people. Her coat was so glossy it looked polished
yet it was 100% natural. Her hair was so fine it was
At three her gaits were still just as pronounced
as they had been all along. We saw more and more of
her foxtrot and running walk even though she continued
to also run. She was not a big filly and was so unassuming
she was still overlooked by the majority of visitors
but by then it didn't matter to me because I was positive
she was going to develop into a lovely mare and would
be an asset to our farm and our breeding program.
Most of all I looked eagerly forward to the day when
I would be able to ride her!
To get the horses from the upper barn to the lower
pasture we pony them with the truck. Our farm is divided
in half by a road. So we roll down the window and
while my daughter drives I lead the horses. We go
at various speeds and during that time I often place
my hand on the horses back as it gaits along with
the truck. Ruby was bold and enjoyed these trips.
My hand on her back would glide along as if on air.
She was so smooth!
At times if grass was short we used my sister
in law's front pasture for extra grazing space. She
lives the next farm over. To reach her farm we have
to go down our long drive, then a little over a quarter
mile up the road, then another quarter mile up to
her driveway to the pasture gate.
At two and a half Ruby
was sleek and beautiful. She still had a downy forelock
but her mane finally became hair though fine and was
One time I decided to pony Ruby and Windy together.
They were tied off to one another and I led just Ruby
because she is the bolder and faster of the two. Where
she went Windy would follow. There is an odd rock
outcrop along the road partially hidden by brush.
It is situated going up a hill next to an old, deserted
milk barn. The way it sits makes it a spooky place
for some horses because the brush hides it until they
are right up on it then suddenly there is a large,
white THING there.
Ruby developed a beautiful
neck and top line by the age of three. Her shoulder
and hip are lovely and her head began to shape up
nicely. She was so glossy naturally it looked as if
she had Show Sheen on her!
As we went along the speedometer read 12 miles
per hour and the fillies were foxtrotting easily!
When we started up the grade Ruby was virtually pulling
Windy along and was still clocking an amazing 15 miles
per hour. When we neared the rock Windy began to pull
back but Ruby pulled her right along. As soon as we
pass the rock there is a mail box standing next to
a concrete pad
another scary thing. Ruby didn't
even look at it, she was just enjoying an amazing
foxtrot up the road!
We turned the corner to go up the lane to Jan's
gate. By then both fillies were really working into
a competitive foxtrot race. Never once had Ruby broken
stride! I was in total awe of how that filly moved
and now Windy was right up there with her! It is such
a thrill to see the fruits of one's labor. All the
planning that goes into the breeding of our horses
is worth it when one can witness such a thing!
At four she was beginning
to bulk up. Her right knee here shows the enlargement
due to her injury.
Ruby was scheduled to go to training as a four
year old. Because she was a fall foal that meant she
would be nearly four and a half by spring. Our trainers
only work spring through fall. I spent the winter
doing ground work with Ruby in preparation of her
going to training. She was a very quick study and
enjoyed our "games". She was so quick to
learn I had to resort to other more complicated things
with her to keep her interested. She loved working
and looked forward to our sessions as much as I did!
Finally the day was nearing for her to leave for
her training. I was so excited I was nearly giddy.
This filly was fulfilling a long standing dream for
me and the thought of finally getting to ride such
a lovely creature just put butterflies in my stomach!
The farrier arrived the day before she was scheduled
to leave. As usual Ruby stood perfectly still as the
farrier put her first set of shoes on her lovely feet.
He commented on how nice she had turned out. He had
been trimming her all her life and had seen her develop
from that spindly little ugly duckling to what was
a lovely, gracious young mare.
Maturing well Ruby was
a lovely mare at the age of five. No one could call
her a plain Jane any longer. Her disposition and personality
could not be any nicer.
Then tragedy struck. We had been having so much
rain the pastures were like soup. Because we live
on a hill top we are akin to being a natural lightning
rod. We get so much lightning here that all our neighbors
have lost horses and cattle during the storms because
of lightning strikes. We have had lightning hit trees
near the house and we have had lightning hit water
tanks sitting right in the paddocks of our barn!
Not wishing to chance it, we bring our horses
in during these storms. We keep them on dry footing
so the lightning will not travel through the ground
to get them. It had been storming for days so the
horses had been kept in. Finally the weather broke
and we put them all back out.
At that time the horses had access to the south
pasture, the lane from there up to the barn and to
the side pasture and front pasture. There was little
grass up yet so we gave them free range of those three
After being so pent up they all went racing down
the lane to the south pasture. Ruby went with them
because I felt she was due for a good romp prior to
her going to training. The mares raced around the
south pasture which is about 1500 feet long and 400
feet across. They race the fence lines so they circle
The first thing she did
when allowed out after her injury and long recovery
was to run and buck and play.
When the mares settled down to grazing Ruby didn't.
She was still romping and having fun. When she does
that she does not get hyped up or flighty, she simply
has a joy for running.
Just how it happened I cannot say but a little
while later the mares were back up to the front pasture.
I was going about my chores when I saw Ruby come flying
up the lane from the south pasture. She was going
full tilt when she turned through the gate to the
side pasture and was still going full out when suddenly
she deviated from the path. The gate to the front
pasture would have been right directly in front of
her had she stayed straight but for some reason she
deviated and turned down field in the side pasture.
We had a huge compost pile there that we use to
fertilize the fields with. All our barn cleanings
go there so it's a mountain of black earth basically.
There is a space of perhaps 30 feet and then a big
pine tree. It was between the compost pile and tree
that Ruby's path took her. But it was one area the
sun had not gotten to yet so it was still wet there.
We live on an ancient ocean bed that has been
heaved up over millennium to form the Ozark mountains
so much of the land here is sandstone, sand, and rock.
BUT we also have clay. When it is wet it is so slick
it's nearly impossible to stand upon much less walk
or run over.
Unable to bend the right
knee as much as the left she still could canter and
run without a limp. This photo was taken the first
day she was allowed out.
Ruby, going full tilt hit a patch of that wet
clay and began to slide. As I watched it was like
seeing a slow motion flick. Everything just happened.
Her front legs began to slide and she was attempting
to correct her balance but she was going so fast it
was a losing battle. She slid down onto her belly
with her font legs out in front of her. She was sliding
nearly as fast as she had been running but then she
came up BAM against the pine tree root. Her foot hit
that root and stopped her short. She sprang up and
then lost footing in the hind and went down again.
I was already racing to the gate knowing in my heart
she was hurt.
Before I could get to her, however, she had regained
her footing and was off running for the front field!
SO I thought, whew, she was lucky! Surely had she
been hurt she couldn't have run again!
That night I closed the mares in the front field.
In the morning I went to open the gate to allow them
to range again. The mares all came through the gate
headed out for the south pasture. All except Ruby.
Ruby stood behind a hay bunker watching them all leave
but she didn't move. I thought that was odd but my
mind was thinking "she's probably stiff from
her fall" All the same I went to check her. As
soon as I saw her legs my heart just stopped. She
was standing three legged with her right front leg
held off the ground. The very leg that had hit that
After Trade Winds moved
to her new home, Ruby became best friends with her
older sister, Aysha.
I went to the barn and grabbed a halter. Normally
the horses will come with me just because I ask them
to but Ruby was reluctant to move at all. Laboriously,
hesitant step by step I got her back to the barn and
into a stall. I felt her leg up and down. There was
no swelling in the leg at all but there was heat in
her ankle. I felt she was inflamed there due to bruising
and she was guarding it. All the same she was not
going to be traveling to the trainer that day!
She was too sore to get into a trailer and we
have no proper vet here locally so I hosed the leg
and put her on some Bute for the pain. I stalled her
in a deeply bedded stall and hosed her four times
About four days later she was no better except
she could put her foot to the ground. I loaded her
up and took her to West Plains to the vet. When he
came into the exam room he whistled. He commented
on what a beautiful horse Ruby was. He just kept saying
over and over how lovely she was. I was sooooo proud
of our little Ruby. It was the first time anyone had
recognized her beauty and coming from such an equine
expert it was a real compliment he paid her!
Ruby and Aysha both enjoyed
racing just as Trade Winds had.
He x-rayed her ankle and said there was nothing
broken, just a bad sprain but he felt there was something
higher up the leg that was bothering her from the
way she was moving. He tested and x-rayed her knee.
My gosh what a tragic thing! Ruby had torn the wide,
main tendon that holds the knee in tact. She had also
burst the bursa in the knee. All the same there was
STILL no heat or swelling in that knee!
The vet said she may heal with stall rest but
she may also not heal. Much would depend upon how
the body dealt with the injury and how extensive the
damage truly was because x-rays couldn't see the soft
tissue well enough to know the real extent to the
One thing was sure. Ruby would not be going to
not for a year and maybe not ever. My
heart just broke but mostly I was devastated at the
pain and suffering she was going through so stoically.
We went home and Ruby went back to her stall.
My lovely Ruby who loved to race and run so much was
now stuck in a stall for at least six months! How
would she manage?
The vet really wanted us to have surgery on the
leg but when I asked him what guarantees there were
of a successful outcome he could not say. Being a
knee it is very difficult to keep a horse from moving
it and the success of surgery depends on the joint
staying still! He said she was such a wonderful young
mare it would be a pity for her to be lame the rest
of her life.
As she had with Trade
Winds, Ruby never lost a race with Aysha.
Giving serious consideration to all he had said
I could not justify surgery on Ruby. Why? Because
without the surgery she would heal and be able to
get around. She would likely develop early arthritis
in her knee but would be able to get around. WITH
surgery she would then have an open wound to heal
and the outcome could be the very same as it would
be without the surgery. Why put her through all the
extra pain and confinement?
The day after we saw the vet Ruby's leg swelled!
I mean to say it swelled massively! It's anyone's
guess if she had done something to it during the night
or whether this was a result of her having to stand
braced in the trailer for the 120 mile round trip
to the vet or whether it was simply a delayed response
to the injury itself. No matter the cause the swelling
was massive and had to be dealt with. She was swollen
from a few inches above the knee all the way down
to the foot.
Hydro therapy six times a day, Bute and stall
rest. Weeks and weeks of it. All during that time
Ruby was the perfect patient. Each day I spent much
time with her in her stall to help stave off her boredom.
During those visits I massaged Ruby and played little
games with her that didn't require her moving. We
became even greater pals.
It was several months before the swelling went
away and stayed away. The support wraps were taken
off and Ruby was again allowed to walk. I hand walked
her several times a day for short walks to begin with.
Gradually we increased the distance walked and then
the vet said she could at last have access to her
paddock which is only 12x 40 feet. But at least she
could see outside and get some sunshine and move around
a little bit.
Her wine red liver chestnut
coloring and her elegant style make for a lovely picture.
After a few weeks of that he said she could go
to the round pen. THAT was a red letter day for sure
Ruby wanted to roll. My heart was in my throat because
she had to use that leg to get back up! As I watched
Ruby rolled and rolled and rolled. Then she laid there
a while. She had not laid down since her injury months
before! It must have felt really good to lay down
in the sun.
When Ruby got up it was a really awkward ordeal.
She got up using only the good front leg! That of
course also puts a strain on that leg but she didn't
want to, or could not use the injured leg in that
Each day she got outside time in the round pen.
After a few weeks she started balancing with the bad
leg as she got up but she pulled with her good leg.
Then over time she started using both legs and pretty
soon she was able to walk without a limp.
Finally the vet said she could go out for a romp.
I had fashioned a small area for her so she didn't
have to be accosted by other horses and could rest
when she pleased but it was next to the pasture so
she could see and scratch backs with her friends over
As soon as I turned her into her pen she started
bucking and running around! EEGADS! I was just sure
she would reinjure that knee but she didn't. She just
ran and bucked up a storm in that small area.
The only thing that ever
puts Ruby out of sorts are the biting flies! Here
she is avoiding a nasty deer fly but gives a good
example of her chest and smooth symmetry.
She was in that space for a few more weeks until
I felt she was ready to go back to the herd. Her knee
was bulgy looking and she had trouble bending it but
as she moved it seemed to loosen up more and more.
Eventually she got where she could run and gait
and she looked pretty close to normal except the knee
was enlarged due to scar tissue. She can not bring
her leg forward and bend the knee but she can have
her leg straight down and bend it. So we have to be
aware of that when we have her feet trimmed.
The injury affected her timing a bit on her gaits
but not a lot. She can go up hill and down hill and
can still spin on a dime. I know there are times when
it aches and I know eventually she will likely get
stiff in that knee but so far she is doing well. She
is on a joint compound for lubricating the knee and
repairing the soft tissue and she seems happy so far.
But it is out of the picture for me to ever ride her.
A very great sorrow and pity.
Ruby continued to grow and mature even with her
injury. Her leg did not atrophy because she is using
it close to normal. She has become a very good looking
mare from the front, side or back! We adore her and
value her and truly appreciate her for what she is.
Though she is very sleek coated 99% of the time,
if we get sudden cold snaps like the freak deep freeze
we had in May of 2007 her coat will show wave. It
is doing so again in 2009 due to a sudden hard freeze
following a warm fall. The pattern of her waves is
strikingly similar to that on the neck of her sire
and the wave her mother gets.
After snap cold spells,
Ruby still tends to get waves in her coat that resemble
those of her parents.
We bred Ruby in 2007 to Solaris. She foaled a
palomino colt in 2008 that is a real class job. From
the instant of birth he had a huge foxtrot and a free
wheeling way of running just like his parents. He
is a good endurance prospect and the first son of
Solaris and first foal of Ruby!
Part of the year Ruby
is more liver looking and the other part of the year
she is a deep, wine red. She is maturing and broadening
now at the age of six.
Ruby sailed through her pregnancy and the growing
weight in her belly seemed to help strengthen her
leg. She got stronger and stronger on it and was no
longer ouchy after getting up or doing something strenuous.
Ruby made a perfect mother and milked well just
as her dam does. She will be an asset to our breeding
program and her colt got Solaris's bone and joints.
We like that cross so well we made it again in 2009
for a 2010 foal and will continue to make that cross
though not likely every year.
Our little scrappy filly has turned into a lovely
beautiful mare. She is six years old at this writing
and is now maturing and bulking up. In another year
she will be completely mature. She is balanced, lovely
mare with an incredible heart and a foxtrot to match.
She still loves to romp and run and is the first to
come when I call her. She has never in her life ever
offered to be pushy or demanding. She is a lady all
What we want from Ruby to add to our bloodline
is her amazingly smooth and natural foxtrot, her outstanding
agility, her lack of pace, Her serene nature, her
lack of attitude, her quiet docility, and her reach,
speed, style and grace.
What we would like to improve upon would be to
give her just a little more bone, and perhaps a slightly
Ruby's first born was
a colt. At only a few days old he was already showing
a dynamic presence and solid conformation.