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Celebrating Mares - Win Me Over, Winnie

Margaret Donnelly LR

Name: Win Me Over

Stable Name: Winnie

Breed: registered British Sports Horse. TB x DWB x ID by Mill Law.

Age: 7 years old

Size: 16.2hh.

Owner/Rider: Margaret Donnelly

Winnie is my one and only home bred horse.  Her mum Tango was off work for a year with an injury so I decided to breed my own horse on the basis that I would know everything there is to know about this horse.  I had got fed up of buying horses who ended up with twerks that I didn’t know about at the time of purchase.

Winnie was a lovely filly foal and initially I was disappointed because I had wanted a colt but she won me over with her sweet nature and that is why I called her ‘Win Me Over’.

She unfortunately developed a problem in her hocks because of a growth spurt when she was 5 months old. I went away with work for a week and came home to find a very lame foal. The Vet said it would eventually settle down and it did.  Her hocks do not cause her any pain but there is not the full flexion that normal hocks have and it was the reason why Winnie was not backed until she was 4 years old.

As a 5 year old, Winnie went to Kylie Roddy to bring on.  She was competed at unaffiliated dressage with respectable scores around 65% and enjoyed her trips out.  Kylie’s verdict was that whilst Winnie was a very trainable, sweet and kind mare, her hock problem would mean that she would not be suitable for a competition horse.

This news was very disappointing but in many ways a blessing too because it meant she could become my horse to ride. If she had had the potenwinnie foal 2tial to be a top competition horse then she would have been placed with a Pro Rider to compete (probably Kylie) and I would had not ridden or seen much of her.  I have a few problems myself with arthritis so I now have a nice quiet horse to ride at the odd unaffiliated competition and to hack out. So in the end Winnie has turned out to be the perfect horse for me.

What are Winnie’s best qualities?

She is a very sweet and kind natured mare and will always come trotting to me, if I call her in from the field. She’s not aggressive or dominant and knows her place, which is at the bottom of the pecking order!

Does she have any quirks?

Generally she is a very easy mare, although she has always been difficult to get her bit in when tacking up.  I do have a solution for this though – a tiny handful of simplyirresistible works a treat and she can’t resist it.

What advice would you give to somebody who is thinking of owning a mare/bought a new mare.

For some mares, you do have to be mindful when they are in season. They can be a bit slower or sluggish than usual and you may find that their mind just isn’t on the job or they lack focus.   I would recommend adding a feed supplement targeted to mares and their hormonal cycle to help balance her temperament.