A Dream Come True!
BR Lakota's Dream song
This is Peppers story, a sweet little Dun mare that has captured the hearts of all that know her. Pepper was rounded up by the BLM in December of 2000 and shipped back east for the BLM adoption in Virginia. This little mare was heavy in foal, saw the hardships and glory of freedom in the vast Mountains of Utah for seven years. Little did I know in the year 2001 how this mare would change my life and those around her.
My Husband Fred and I are avid breeders of Foundation Quarter Horses and Reg. APHA paint horses. No matter what we tried in our breeding program we could not produce a Buckskin or a Buckskin Dun. The genetics were there but still not the color so desired by my Husband. For Birthdays and Holidays I would always ask what he wanted, the same reply I would always get "I want a Buckskin mare" The story I will now tell is a miracle to us, how a little Dun Mustang mare came into our lives and taught us so much in the limited time she has been here.
Fred's parents live close by and were having some of their property logged out; we stopped by for a visit and started talking with the man that was doing the logging. Of course Fred mentioned horses and this went on to a long conversation on breeding and type. The man told us that he had a farm close by and asked if we would like to stop by and see his horses, since it was a nice summer day we agreed and followed him.
As I walked into his barn I was shocked to see a little Dun mare walk in that was completely emaciated, I asked the man what was wrong with her and his reply was "Oh, she is a Mustang and they all look like that" He went on to tell us that he had adopted her in Virginia and that she had a filly foal nineteen days after he adopted her. This person then went on to tell us that he had bred her to his Arabian stallion, she was due to foal in six months. He gave her a small scoop of grain in a pan, I walked up to her, she was fearful but so hungry that she did not move. As I rubbed my hands across her back I could feel her relax, she turned and looked at me with the most beautiful sad eyes, thankful for the grain and a soft hand.
Fred and I looked at each other, without speaking to each other we knew that we had to get that mare out of there, she was so thin we knew that she would not be able to carry her foal to full term, or they would both perish from starvation. We asked this man if she was for sale and he told us no, he wanted the foal she was carrying.
Now my Husband is not one to take no for a answer, we have done rescue work before and we knew what we were up against. That night we could still see those large sad eyes looking at us, hunger worse than what she had when she was feral. The little mare stayed on our minds, more so than any other we had come across, we had to do something.
Fred called this person and asked him what he thought the mare and foal were worth, a hefty sum was placed on her. To my amazement my Husband said "Sold" and we brought Pepper home. Fred finally had his little Buckskin Dun, she did not come with fancy papers or pedigree only her title and the Sulphur pamphlet. My sister came over and was in shock at the condition she was in, all of our hearts were breaking for this poor little mare. So pitiful she was and so grateful for all that we did for her, within weeks she started to show progress of good flesh and clear eyes. We fell in love with her immediately, we watched in amazement as she communicated with our other horses. Pepper was using the true language of the horse, something you rarely see in domesticated horses. Pepper gained her weight back and gave birth to a Dun stud colt on April fools day, very healthy and lively.
We did not know at the time that the Sulphur's were growing in popularity; my sister did a Internet search and called me on the phone to let me know. I was amazed at all of the information there was on the Sulphur herd. Pepper learned quicker than our others, the trust and bond they form is one that cannot be explained in words. Would we trade this mare for a Buckskin Dun of another breed with a fancy pedigree, the answer is absolutely "No".
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