My Two Girls

My Two Girls: Bella & Her New Friend, Lopeh

I never thought I’d have a mare . . . much less mares in the plural. Why I thought that, I can’t tell you, except maybe for the fact that my geldings seemed so well-suited to me and my needs.

I’ve had horses in my back yard for 25 years now, and they’ve always been geldings — until four years ago. That’s when I broke the mold and took my beloved Mustang mare, Bella, and she has gone beyond all expectations in terms of being the perfect horse match for me.

So what did I know? Nothing, obviously, about mares.

Still, after Bella arrived, and we were so perfect together, I was quite sure I would never get another mare. For one thing, none would ever be able to measure up to Her Highness; for another, I didn’t want Bella to feel her supremacy was being challenged in any way.

And then along came Lopeh, a little QH 8-year-old mare who was a rescue from a nearby breeding herd that was being dispersed rapidly — headed for the chopping block if not adopted out fast. I took Lopeh only because nobody else wanted her, which I chronicled in Be Careful What You Wish For.

Two weeks later we lost our alpha gelding, Gabriel, and Bella went into a deep depression. Our other herd member, Copper, was 33 years old and not much into keeping company with Bella, so I thanked my lucky stars that Lopeh had joined our lot and hoped her presence might take some of the bite off losing Gabriel for Bella.

For weeks nothing much helped Bella, though she did naturally gravitate toward Lopeh and the two of them stayed together. But Bella was very sad and unhappy, often seen with her head hanging low. So there was bickering and nit-picking between them while Bella worked her way through the heavy throes of grief she was experiencing.

During those early stages Lopeh wasn’t a very attractive herd mate either. She came to us scared to death and unapproachable, and laid her ears back and threatened to kick if anyone, human or horse, did something she thought might be threatening. I seriously doubted I would keep her because I did not want that kind of energy in my herd.

Fast forward four months. I had Lopeh sold in late January, and thought it was the right decision, but then the buyer flaked out and didn’t show when she was supposed to, so, for some reason I’ll never understand, I decided to keep Lopeh.

I guess that was a turning point in many respects because about that time Lopeh finally absorbed the good vibes of our peaceful tribe and turned from a hot little tart into a sweet, loving, cooperative little lady. She’s great on the ground, hopefully will be a good ride (soon to be determined), and now loves our attention and treats.

And, best of all, she and Bella are now true pals. They’re exactly the same age  so have a lot of youthful energy. We see them running and playing together frequently out in the pasture now, something Bella has never had a real opportunity to do with my herd because all its members were elderly or ailing. And being a rather, ahem, robust draft horse type of Mustang, this is something Bella needs desperately! Bella is happy again, and slim (for her), and Lopeh has become a little pussycat (knock wood!).

So things turned out for the best and all is well in the small horse herd here at Sol y Cielo.

And, the best part? I have learned that I LOVE MARES!!!!!

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5 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Robin Shen said,

    So glad you have decided that you love Mares. I have absolutely now idea why some people don’t like them. Sexism I suppose. Oh well. Great blog and wonderful information for others.

  2. 3

    Julie Lines said,

    What a beautiful story Leta! I loved reading that and I’m SO happy that you were able to allow the relationships to unfold. I too had been led to believe that mares were well nightmares but this thankfully is just not true and have many a strong and loving relationship with mares that I have met and that live at the yard where I keep my wonderful Apache (who is also a robust draft cob type! Love him to pieces!) Love always wins through in the end, provided it is unconditional and pure of purpose. How wonderful for you all to have experienced such a transformation. Thank you so much for sharing and wishing you and your herd much love and light. XXX

  3. 4

    […] If you’ve read this blog in the past, you may remember a bit about the little Quarter Horse mare I rescued back last November. We called her Lopeh. She came out of years of running pretty wild in a breeding herd, and she was only 8 years old. She had had at least 3 babies and supposedly had been ridden somewhere in her distant past. She was the only horse in her herd nobody wanted, and if I hadn’t taken her she probably would have ended up at the slaughter house in Mexico. You can read more about Lopeh HERE and HERE. […]

  4. 5

    […] If you’ve read this blog in the past, you may remember a bit about the little Quarter Horse mare I rescued back last November. We called her Lopeh. She came out of years of running pretty wild in a breeding herd, and she was only 8 years old. She had had at least 3 babies and supposedly had been ridden somewhere in her distant past. She was the only horse in her herd nobody wanted, and if I hadn’t taken her she probably would have ended up at the slaughter house in Mexico. You can read more about Lopeh HERE and HERE. […]


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