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Meeting Quinna

By Audrey Pavia, Urban Farm contributor

Monday, February 20, 2012

Spanish mustang

Photo by Audrey Pavia

Me and Quinna, Milagro's mother.

Most horse owners aren’t lucky enough to know much about their horse’s history. They have to research breed registration records or hire animal communicators to learn about a horse’s past. I’m fortunate in that my main man, Milagro, came from a breeder who is a friend of a friend, and only lives 25 miles from me.

I’ve wanted to meet his dam, a glorious Spanish Mustang mare named Quinna, since the day I got Milagro, six years ago. I’d seen photos of her, and she looked incredible. Along with an unusual grulla color with a black stripe down her back, she had a thick, black mane that hung close to the ground.

I knew a man named Cash, Milagro’s breeder, still had her, and that she was in her 20s. However, coordinating a visit wasn’t easy. I tried for years, with my friend Kelly as the mediator, but finally gave up.

Then, two weeks ago, Kelly texted me and asked if I wanted to go meet Quinna. Kelly would be trimming her feet, and I could tag along. Of course, I jumped at the chance to finally lay eyes on the horse that had given birth to my special guy.

So, this morning, I met Quinna. She was standing in her paddock, and right away I could feel a similar energy to Milagro. I could see that she was very intelligent, and sized me up right away. But unlike Milagro, she was reserved. She didn’t rush me for the horse cookie I offered her, but politely nibbled it from my hand.

Kelly encouraged me to go in the paddock with her, so I stepped inside Quinna’s space, approaching her quietly. I could tell she wasn’t the type of horse you just walked up to and started petting. I let her sniff the back of my hand while I spoke softly to her and tried to telepathically communicate with her: “I have your son.”

I’m not sure if it was the way I handled her, the telepathic message or the cookie, but she took to me pretty quickly. She stood close to me, with her head resting against my shoulder. As I chatted with Cash, I absentmindedly reached under her head and began stroking her face.

“She really likes you,” Kelly said. “She doesn’t let me do that.”

I was surprised to hear this. Being Milagro’s close relative, I figured Quinna would be pretty friendly once she figured out that a person wouldn’t hurt her. But I guess like many horses with mustang blood, she chooses her people carefully.

Although age has taken a toll on Quinna, and her once magnificent mane is not as long as it used to be, she has a quality about her that speaks of her heritage-rich bloodlines. Only four generations from the feral horses that were the foundation of the Spanish Mustang breed, she is a living relic of the Old West. And on top of that, she’s my boy’s momma. It’s a combination that can’t be beat.

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We adopted two BLM mustangs in 1992 and still have them. At 23 & 22 years young - both look maybe 1/2 their age. They are definitely unique animals and the toughest horses I've seen yet. The gelding came down with EPM a couple years ago and we thought had come to the end of his time here on earth with us. He was at the point of not being able to stand and could only lay on his side for several days. But with treatment, to our amazement he pulled out of it fully. The mare had a real tough start as well in that she delivered a still born foal about seven months after we adopted her; which was a total surprise to us that she was even pregnant. Both of these horses have such a unique "horsenality" that you would hardly believe they roamed wild at one time in Nevada. It is true that these horses "choose" their human confidants slowly and carefully. They are also very intelligent - sometimes too much so.
Bruce, Menomonie, WI
Posted: 3/9/2012 10:33:04 AM
yes, it is importante to know about the horses past!
alex, destin, FL
Posted: 2/24/2012 9:44:06 AM

About the Blogger

Audrey Pavia

Audrey Pavia
Keeping farm animals in the city can be a real hoot. Follow freelance writer Audrey Pavia's adventures in Southern California with a yard full of urban livestock, including horses, chickens, a Corgi and an urban barn cat. She somehow manages all these silly critters by herself while working full-time. And you thought "The Simple Life" was out there?

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