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Celebrating Mares - Minnie
Alexandra Hopkins pays tribute to her pocket rocket mare, Minnie aka Waldon Wild Ruby.
“Minnie is my first mare, it was love at first Facebook picture when her breeder posted the most stunning foal picture I’d ever seen – I had to have her! I bought her unseen, a totally crazy thing to do, but there was something in her eye which told me she would be special. Cheeky, but very special. She is half sister to my Advanced gelding with top blood lines on her maternal side – what more could I want?
Minnie stayed with her stud farm pals for the first couple of years of her life being a horse, getting dirty, muddy and generally being a bit feral moving up to be with me just after her second birthday. As well as being my first mare she was my first real youngster, I’d had just backed 3/4 year olds but this was different she knew nothing! Right from the start we bonded, spending time lying out in the summer sun in her field dozing, scratching her, grooming her, fussing over her, she knew what she liked. She wasn’t so keen on being told what to do though, I learned very quickly to ask and not tell! Once things were her idea we were away playing with the ground work and generally having a whole lot of fun.
Fast forward 4 years and we’re still having a huge amount of fun, my first home produced baby has been to BD regionals at Novice Open and Novice Gold, BD Area Festival Finals at Novice Open, qualified Elementary regionals for 2017, placed 3rd in both her BE80s, tried her hand at showing, show jumping and hunter trials. Never have I had to push her, she continually pushes me and surprises me every day with her maturity, her bold nature and her total trust in me. I am honored and quite flattered she carries me around to such successes. She still reminds me when I get things wrong – which has done great things for both my riding and my sense of humour – but I’m getting better!
I’m also incredibly proud, Minnie is only just 15hh, often the smallest horse in the warm up she holds her own and has scope to burn. She is also truly beautiful and has opened my eyes to how amazing mares are – true partners for life.”
What advice would you give to somebody who is thinking of owning a mare/bought a new mare?
“My best advice would be as you form your partnership treat your mare like a new human best friend, learn how she likes to be spoken to, learn what she likes, what she doesn’t and treasure that knowledge. Be consistent, loyal and forgiving and in return you will have a best friend for life. It has been a steep learning curve for me having only ever had geldings before but I’m a total convert now!”