Foxvangen's Ruby Slippers


Foxvangen's Ruby Slippers is full sister to Foxvangen's Summer Heat. Her dam is Gambler's Jasmine the first Missouri Foxtrotter we ever owned. Her sire is Foxvangen's Braveheart Two, a lovely stallion we bred from Foxvangen's Toy Boy and Chief's Magic Ribbon H.

Because the cross between Gambler's Jasmine and Foxvangen's Braveheart Two had been so successful the first time, even though that occurrence was by fait, we determined to make the cross again before Braveheart was scheduled to ship to Europe.

With great anticipation we endured the long gestation period which thankfully in Jasmine is generally rather shorter than with most mares. When finally the birthing day arrived, if I am to be honest I admit the results struck me as being rather disappointing!

Ruby was a real frail looking plain Jane at birth

Typical to form for her Jasmine foaled in 315 days which also brings as a rule a smaller foal that is rather less robust than some that carry longer termed foals. In this case the resultant foal looked remarkably fragile and spindly. Certainly not the strong, stout beauty her full sister had been at birth!

This tiny scrap of a foal was so frail looking I was afraid she may break! Yet she was much stronger than she appeared and was quite active and robust in her behavior. Within an hour of birth she was striding out with a full stride and using her body remarkably well. Still, I really have to admit to a deep sense of disappointment in this new little filly.

I was disappointed that Braveheart had not given this little filly his wonderful bone. She did get better joints than her mother has and she is adequate in her bone but we like to have a bit more bone and joint than this filly got.

At two hours her legs were straightening up well and her waves were noticeable

It is not our nature to short shrift any animal on our farm and this little scrap was certainly not devoid of good care and attention. The more time I spent with her the more interesting she became to me. She was a tough little thing with a big heart and a big motor. She was so gentle and sweet natured she was a snap to work with and her little brain worked quickly.

Another disappointment in this filly is that her head was rather plainer than we generally produce. She reverted back to her ancient Barb heritage in that her nostrils are placed at the end of her nose rather than at the top of her muzzle. Her ears were set in a bit low and her eyes were placed rather higher we like to see. The package had a rather plain wrapper in my opinion though not really what I'd call coarse exactly, simply not as becoming as we generally get in our horses.

Still, there was just something about this little girl that began to draw me. It's difficult to even say what that was. Perhaps sympathy? Who knows! But she intrigued me so she was the subject of much scrutiny right from the start. Because she was a little Plain Jane she probably got more criticism than most foals born here. She was judged very carefully and every one of her flaws duly noted. Of course we do that with all our foals but with this one in particular she was really held under a microscope.

At two days of age she suffered a bout of severe colic. We had never had a foal colic before but she had suffered an impaction of retained meconium even though she had received the normal enemas and had been defecating milk stool as normal.

Right from birth Ruby had great extension in her stride with flat knees and a lot of head nod.

To relieve her of her pain and agony she had to be given an injection of Banamine as well as 4 full enemas all at once in order to inflate her gut so the hard meconium pieces could be floated free.

That is a lot for a baby to go through yet she suffered the pain and discomfort with quiet dignity. She was cooperative and seemed to just know I was trying to help her.

The blockage passed in a few minutes and she settled down but the episode had really tired her. I sat with her head on my lap for several hours while she rested and slept to recover from her painful ordeal.

During that time we bonded. She may not have been the prettiest foal we had ever produced but she was certainly a foal with a big heart and a lot of gumption.

At two months Ruby's curly coat was impossible to ignore!

As the days went by we watched as she began to fill out and develop to a point that most foals have already achieved at birth. Her legs straightened fast and she was up and going on her legs very well though she could not have weighed more than 65 pounds at the most!

Her name was to be Foxvangen's Ruby Slippers because she was solid red. She was born darker than any foal we had ever produced and had not one white hair on her. She was very dark red even though in photos the coloring is not quite true to life.

While sitting with her with nothing else to do my attention was drawn to her thick, silky coat. There were waves all over her back and sort of marcelled deep waves on her rump. Her mane was so kinky curly it looked as if she didn't have a mane at all. Her tail was a full, curly mass that reminded me of a squirrel tail! Bushy and crimped waves.

She had deep waves on her face and the back of her ears and some waves on her legs as well. The hair was quite short but there was no mistaking her hair was not straight by any definition of the word.

We had produced a number of curly coated foals sired by Toy Boy and we welcomed them because those individuals are most generally hypoallergenic even though at baby shed they lose their curly look.

While her hair was short the curl was more in the nature of waves. Her tail was kinky curly.

Ruby Slippers, however, was not sired by Toy Boy so it was rather a surprise to see the curls on her! Since Braveheart was still with us, I went to examine him more carefully. What I found was interesting in that Braveheart at that time had a very, very long straight mane and tail and his coat was extremely short and dense in winter but on his neck in a patch near where the neck joins the shoulders he had waves! I'd never noticed that before. Further examination showed he also had curl to his long fetlock hair. Could he be a curly in disguise?

When Jasmine was put to the same scrutiny she, also, had a patch of waves! Her patch was far larger but it was located in a similar position to that on Braveheart. Jasmine has a very wavy mane and tail and she has kinky whiskers ...could that indicate she is a curly carrier?

It was years later we found the answer to some of those questions ( see articles on curly) yet these discoveries indicated that we had more than one line of curly running through our herd but perhaps some expressed so subtly we simply had not noticed it before.

By the time Ruby was two months old, her coat had grown fairly long and was extremely thick. The texture was something akin to wool and indeed she began to look like a sheep! The longer her hair got the more curly it became but because of the wool-like texture it sort of packed together into one big cotton ball! It did not mat and it had a lot of spring to it but the individual curls grouped together to make it all one mass. Rather hard to explain and even more difficult to photograph. The photo below was taken early on while the hair was still in waves. She was so soft to touch it was difficult to even know you were indeed touching her, the hair was so incredibly soft.

At three months she had long curly hair that looked like lamb's wool. Everyone loved to sink their fingers into her ultra soft and silky hair!

Ruby Slippers looked more like a lamb in horse shape! Her mane was so kinky it hardly showed.

My daughter has a very keen sense of smell. She declared Ruby smelled like fabric softener sheets! A number of our horses that have this type of hair smell according to her. I have little sense of smell since I have allergies and asthma so I have to take her word for it.

By the age of 3 months Ruby had endeared herself to us in many ways. She moved with incredible smoothness and grace. She was sweet natured and never out of sorts. She gaited up a storm and had wonderful rhythm. She galloped like a Thoroughbred. AND she had the most amazing coat!

Visitors to our farm couldn't keep their hands off Ruby's curly coat. It was so downy soft and spongy feeling they would sink their fingers into her coat as they spoke and didn't even realize they were doing it. Ruby's coat was the talk of the farm!

Tolerant and amiable, Ruby was game for anything we wished to do with her. Ruby was two and a half months old when Christmas came. She was our farm Santa horse and wore her hat without a fuss. She seemed to get as much enjoyment from it as we did!

Ruby was so amiable right from the beginning she was happy to participate in anything we asked of her.

She enjoyed human contact and always welcomed it yet never demanded it and was never pushy. She was very mature in the brain for one so young and was patient and kind. Everyone loved her to bits because she was rather like an over sized Teddy Bear.

By nine months Ruby's curls were gone. Her mane and forelock were frizzy and soft as cotton. She was no longer frail looking and was showing a hint of what she was going to become.

We had other foals at the same time and they were all good babies with kind spirits but among them Ruby stood out as being extra gentle natured though by far not a lazy little thing.

When Summer came around Ruby began to shed and like others we have had with this sort of coat her hair didn't shed hair by hair, it shed in mats. Clumps would come off at one time more like a molting buffalo looks! My goodness that was an ugly time but she came through it fine.

We collected the hair for examination purposes. It was very springy yet extremely silky to the touch. It would not mat down like regular horse hair will. Instead it stayed fluffy.

By nine months of age she had shed her curls but her mane and tail remained curly. Her forelock was basically a ball of frizz and was totally unmanageable. It was soft as down but had so much kink to it, the thing would not lay down so it looked like a powder puff between her ears! We would joke with her and say she was having a bad hair day. NO amount of brushing even with water or oil would tame that forelock and her mane was little better!

As a long weanling, Ruby had found her best friend in Trade Winds. The two fillies were nearly inseparable but they spent much of their time racing one another. It was delightful to watch.

Even with a head start Trade Winds was no match for Ruby's speed.

Even though Trade Winds was five months older and quite a bit bigger, Ruby could out run her. Trade Winds tried over and over again to best Ruby but never managed. Even when she had a head start, Ruby would catch her and pass her by.

One day as they were having a race up the hill Trade Winds had a good long start on Ruby. Ruby just dug in and flew up that hill until they were nose and nose racing up the fence line. I happened to have my camera with me as I watched and though the photos are not the clearness I'd like, they did capture their race.

Ruby flew up that hill like a dynamo until she caught Trade Winds. For a few strides she stayed with Windy but then just as if she switched gears, Ruby pulled away from Windy distancing her more with each stride!

Just to think there are people out there who believe gaited horses cannot run or show speed makes me chuckle! They simply have not seen a good Foxtrotter or they would know different. We breed our horses to be using horses and expect them to have all the attributes of such even though they are superbly gaited!

Though five months younger than her cousin, Ruby could out run her.

Ruby grew well and was a quiet natured filly. Her favorite pastime was to run. She loved to run and does to this day! She would run like the wind just for kicks even if she was alone in the pasture but if she had a play friend the race was on!

Whenever she slowed down we could see her foxtrot or sometimes she would running walk or even on occasion rack but if she wasn't running the foxtrot was her gait of choice and what a delight to see. She had perfect form and always extended her front leg fully. She gained our admiration and our affection.

Ruby was just beginning to show a hint of things to come when she turned a yearling. Still not a beauty by any standards she was quietly pulling all her bits together into a pretty nice package! She had nice posture as well. She remained calm and sweet natured and was not prone to spookiness.

Being a "plain Jane" Many visitors would still pass by Ruby to go to another of our horses, generally one with chrome or color. Our little solid red filly did not garner a lot of outside attention but that was ok. By then we knew she was not going to be for sale anyway.

Ruby and Trade Winds loved to run laps around the perimeter of the pasture

We like our horses to learn to be horses before they are asked to work. We do not ride our babies preferring to allow them to grow and develop both physically and mentally before putting them to saddle. We want them to have all their teeth in and their mouth comfortable before they are asked to carry a bit.

Because of all that we send the long weanlings to our lower pasture for summers. We keep an older mare with them for support and guidance but the foals learn to be horses there and are not coddled or pampered. We check them daily and interact with them as we fill water tanks and check them over but other than that they live a free existence and learn herd dynamics while they grow.

At the age of two Ruby was really beginning to pull herself together. Her symmetry was becoming noticeable and she was developing a particular solid elegance that tickled me pink! Her color had gone from deep red to a sort of brownish red. Her kinky mane had gone from tight crimps to deep waves and her tail was a mass of waves.

Still a plain Jane at a year, ruby was beginning to put her bits together.

Though she was two years old she had not outgrown her love of running. The field she was in has a perimeter of about a mile. Most any time of day a person could see Ruby running laps around the field. The shear joy she emitted as she ran was a thrill to see.

In the late fall, after the first good frost we bring the horses back up to the upper pastures where they are stalled at night. I believe part of training should be to show a horse it can be confined part of the time without worry and they need to also learn it's ok to be alone some times. We teach our young stock these things early on so when they go to new homes they are more able to adjust to any situation.

Ruby had an innate respectfulness about her. She was patient in a group when it was time to come in. She never pushed or shoved her way to the front of the line. She was very smart to keep herself out of trouble if one of the other youngsters got pushy. She would stand calmly waiting her turn. That quality really pleased me greatly. She had a lot of maturity in that little brain of hers.

By 18 months Ruby had developed into a very symmetrical, elegant filly!

The next spring when the youngsters went back to the lower pasture Ruby once again began her racing. About mid-summer we noticed that her solid red face was getting a few white hairs in it! Where she had formerly had no white hairs there was a group of white hairs that were almost forming a small star on the forehead but of course the skin under it was not pink so it was not a true star, but rather a small patch of roan.

Over the course of the summer and early fall that patch grew and grew until by the time Ruby was three there was a distinctive splash of roan on her face. It is likely an expression of sabino and most likely the SB2 variety but it was an oddity. The mark is not centered on the face but sits on the right side with a straight line from the middle of her face over. It became several inches long from above the eye to about a third of the way down the nose.

No longer a plain Jane at the age of two Ruby was a fair beauty.

Her color by age three was back to being the wine red tone she had initially been. There was no sign of her curly coat other than her mane and tail remained heavily waved. She was seen by several people with horse allergies and none had any reaction to her which assures me she is hypoallergenic at least to some people. Her coat was so glossy it looked polished yet it was 100% natural. Her hair was so fine it was like silk.

At three her gaits were still just as pronounced as they had been all along. We saw more and more of her foxtrot and running walk even though she continued to also run. She was not a big filly and was so unassuming she was still overlooked by the majority of visitors but by then it didn't matter to me because I was positive she was going to develop into a lovely mare and would be an asset to our farm and our breeding program. Most of all I looked eagerly forward to the day when I would be able to ride her!

To get the horses from the upper barn to the lower pasture we pony them with the truck. Our farm is divided in half by a road. So we roll down the window and while my daughter drives I lead the horses. We go at various speeds and during that time I often place my hand on the horses back as it gaits along with the truck. Ruby was bold and enjoyed these trips. My hand on her back would glide along as if on air. She was so smooth!

At times if grass was short we used my sister in law's front pasture for extra grazing space. She lives the next farm over. To reach her farm we have to go down our long drive, then a little over a quarter mile up the road, then another quarter mile up to her driveway to the pasture gate.

At two and a half Ruby was sleek and beautiful. She still had a downy forelock but her mane finally became hair though fine and was manageable.

One time I decided to pony Ruby and Windy together. They were tied off to one another and I led just Ruby because she is the bolder and faster of the two. Where she went Windy would follow. There is an odd rock outcrop along the road partially hidden by brush. It is situated going up a hill next to an old, deserted milk barn. The way it sits makes it a spooky place for some horses because the brush hides it until they are right up on it then suddenly there is a large, white THING there.

Ruby developed a beautiful neck and top line by the age of three. Her shoulder and hip are lovely and her head began to shape up nicely. She was so glossy naturally it looked as if she had Show Sheen on her!

As we went along the speedometer read 12 miles per hour and the fillies were foxtrotting easily! When we started up the grade Ruby was virtually pulling Windy along and was still clocking an amazing 15 miles per hour. When we neared the rock Windy began to pull back but Ruby pulled her right along. As soon as we pass the rock there is a mail box standing next to a concrete pad …another scary thing. Ruby didn't even look at it, she was just enjoying an amazing foxtrot up the road!

We turned the corner to go up the lane to Jan's gate. By then both fillies were really working into a competitive foxtrot race. Never once had Ruby broken stride! I was in total awe of how that filly moved and now Windy was right up there with her! It is such a thrill to see the fruits of one's labor. All the planning that goes into the breeding of our horses is worth it when one can witness such a thing!

At four she was beginning to bulk up. Her right knee here shows the enlargement due to her injury.

Ruby was scheduled to go to training as a four year old. Because she was a fall foal that meant she would be nearly four and a half by spring. Our trainers only work spring through fall. I spent the winter doing ground work with Ruby in preparation of her going to training. She was a very quick study and enjoyed our "games". She was so quick to learn I had to resort to other more complicated things with her to keep her interested. She loved working and looked forward to our sessions as much as I did!

Finally the day was nearing for her to leave for her training. I was so excited I was nearly giddy. This filly was fulfilling a long standing dream for me and the thought of finally getting to ride such a lovely creature just put butterflies in my stomach!

The farrier arrived the day before she was scheduled to leave. As usual Ruby stood perfectly still as the farrier put her first set of shoes on her lovely feet. He commented on how nice she had turned out. He had been trimming her all her life and had seen her develop from that spindly little ugly duckling to what was a lovely, gracious young mare.

Maturing well Ruby was a lovely mare at the age of five. No one could call her a plain Jane any longer. Her disposition and personality could not be any nicer.

Then tragedy struck. We had been having so much rain the pastures were like soup. Because we live on a hill top we are akin to being a natural lightning rod. We get so much lightning here that all our neighbors have lost horses and cattle during the storms because of lightning strikes. We have had lightning hit trees near the house and we have had lightning hit water tanks sitting right in the paddocks of our barn!

Not wishing to chance it, we bring our horses in during these storms. We keep them on dry footing so the lightning will not travel through the ground to get them. It had been storming for days so the horses had been kept in. Finally the weather broke and we put them all back out.

At that time the horses had access to the south pasture, the lane from there up to the barn and to the side pasture and front pasture. There was little grass up yet so we gave them free range of those three pastures.

After being so pent up they all went racing down the lane to the south pasture. Ruby went with them because I felt she was due for a good romp prior to her going to training. The mares raced around the south pasture which is about 1500 feet long and 400 feet across. They race the fence lines so they circle the field.

The first thing she did when allowed out after her injury and long recovery was to run and buck and play.

When the mares settled down to grazing Ruby didn't. She was still romping and having fun. When she does that she does not get hyped up or flighty, she simply has a joy for running.

Just how it happened I cannot say but a little while later the mares were back up to the front pasture. I was going about my chores when I saw Ruby come flying up the lane from the south pasture. She was going full tilt when she turned through the gate to the side pasture and was still going full out when suddenly she deviated from the path. The gate to the front pasture would have been right directly in front of her had she stayed straight but for some reason she deviated and turned down field in the side pasture.

We had a huge compost pile there that we use to fertilize the fields with. All our barn cleanings go there so it's a mountain of black earth basically. There is a space of perhaps 30 feet and then a big pine tree. It was between the compost pile and tree that Ruby's path took her. But it was one area the sun had not gotten to yet so it was still wet there.

We live on an ancient ocean bed that has been heaved up over millennium to form the Ozark mountains so much of the land here is sandstone, sand, and rock. BUT we also have clay. When it is wet it is so slick it's nearly impossible to stand upon much less walk or run over.

Unable to bend the right knee as much as the left she still could canter and run without a limp. This photo was taken the first day she was allowed out.

Ruby, going full tilt hit a patch of that wet clay and began to slide. As I watched it was like seeing a slow motion flick. Everything just happened. Her front legs began to slide and she was attempting to correct her balance but she was going so fast it was a losing battle. She slid down onto her belly with her font legs out in front of her. She was sliding nearly as fast as she had been running but then she came up BAM against the pine tree root. Her foot hit that root and stopped her short. She sprang up and then lost footing in the hind and went down again. I was already racing to the gate knowing in my heart she was hurt.

Before I could get to her, however, she had regained her footing and was off running for the front field! SO I thought, whew, she was lucky! Surely had she been hurt she couldn't have run again!

That night I closed the mares in the front field. In the morning I went to open the gate to allow them to range again. The mares all came through the gate headed out for the south pasture. All except Ruby. Ruby stood behind a hay bunker watching them all leave but she didn't move. I thought that was odd but my mind was thinking "she's probably stiff from her fall" All the same I went to check her. As soon as I saw her legs my heart just stopped. She was standing three legged with her right front leg held off the ground. The very leg that had hit that root!

After Trade Winds moved to her new home, Ruby became best friends with her older sister, Aysha.

I went to the barn and grabbed a halter. Normally the horses will come with me just because I ask them to but Ruby was reluctant to move at all. Laboriously, hesitant step by step I got her back to the barn and into a stall. I felt her leg up and down. There was no swelling in the leg at all but there was heat in her ankle. I felt she was inflamed there due to bruising and she was guarding it. All the same she was not going to be traveling to the trainer that day!

She was too sore to get into a trailer and we have no proper vet here locally so I hosed the leg and put her on some Bute for the pain. I stalled her in a deeply bedded stall and hosed her four times a day.

About four days later she was no better except she could put her foot to the ground. I loaded her up and took her to West Plains to the vet. When he came into the exam room he whistled. He commented on what a beautiful horse Ruby was. He just kept saying over and over how lovely she was. I was sooooo proud of our little Ruby. It was the first time anyone had recognized her beauty and coming from such an equine expert it was a real compliment he paid her!

Ruby and Aysha both enjoyed racing just as Trade Winds had.

He x-rayed her ankle and said there was nothing broken, just a bad sprain but he felt there was something higher up the leg that was bothering her from the way she was moving. He tested and x-rayed her knee. My gosh what a tragic thing! Ruby had torn the wide, main tendon that holds the knee in tact. She had also burst the bursa in the knee. All the same there was STILL no heat or swelling in that knee!

The vet said she may heal with stall rest but she may also not heal. Much would depend upon how the body dealt with the injury and how extensive the damage truly was because x-rays couldn't see the soft tissue well enough to know the real extent to the damage.

One thing was sure. Ruby would not be going to training…not for a year and maybe not ever. My heart just broke but mostly I was devastated at the pain and suffering she was going through so stoically.

We went home and Ruby went back to her stall. My lovely Ruby who loved to race and run so much was now stuck in a stall for at least six months! How would she manage?

The vet really wanted us to have surgery on the leg but when I asked him what guarantees there were of a successful outcome he could not say. Being a knee it is very difficult to keep a horse from moving it and the success of surgery depends on the joint staying still! He said she was such a wonderful young mare it would be a pity for her to be lame the rest of her life.

As she had with Trade Winds, Ruby never lost a race with Aysha.

Giving serious consideration to all he had said I could not justify surgery on Ruby. Why? Because without the surgery she would heal and be able to get around. She would likely develop early arthritis in her knee but would be able to get around. WITH surgery she would then have an open wound to heal and the outcome could be the very same as it would be without the surgery. Why put her through all the extra pain and confinement?

The day after we saw the vet Ruby's leg swelled! I mean to say it swelled massively! It's anyone's guess if she had done something to it during the night or whether this was a result of her having to stand braced in the trailer for the 120 mile round trip to the vet or whether it was simply a delayed response to the injury itself. No matter the cause the swelling was massive and had to be dealt with. She was swollen from a few inches above the knee all the way down to the foot.

Hydro therapy six times a day, Bute and stall rest. Weeks and weeks of it. All during that time Ruby was the perfect patient. Each day I spent much time with her in her stall to help stave off her boredom. During those visits I massaged Ruby and played little games with her that didn't require her moving. We became even greater pals.

It was several months before the swelling went away and stayed away. The support wraps were taken off and Ruby was again allowed to walk. I hand walked her several times a day for short walks to begin with. Gradually we increased the distance walked and then the vet said she could at last have access to her paddock which is only 12x 40 feet. But at least she could see outside and get some sunshine and move around a little bit.

Her wine red liver chestnut coloring and her elegant style make for a lovely picture.

After a few weeks of that he said she could go to the round pen. THAT was a red letter day for sure… Ruby wanted to roll. My heart was in my throat because she had to use that leg to get back up! As I watched Ruby rolled and rolled and rolled. Then she laid there a while. She had not laid down since her injury months before! It must have felt really good to lay down in the sun.

When Ruby got up it was a really awkward ordeal. She got up using only the good front leg! That of course also puts a strain on that leg but she didn't want to, or could not use the injured leg in that position.

Each day she got outside time in the round pen. After a few weeks she started balancing with the bad leg as she got up but she pulled with her good leg. Then over time she started using both legs and pretty soon she was able to walk without a limp.

Finally the vet said she could go out for a romp. I had fashioned a small area for her so she didn't have to be accosted by other horses and could rest when she pleased but it was next to the pasture so she could see and scratch backs with her friends over the fence.

As soon as I turned her into her pen she started bucking and running around! EEGADS! I was just sure she would reinjure that knee but she didn't. She just ran and bucked up a storm in that small area.

The only thing that ever puts Ruby out of sorts are the biting flies! Here she is avoiding a nasty deer fly but gives a good example of her chest and smooth symmetry.

She was in that space for a few more weeks until I felt she was ready to go back to the herd. Her knee was bulgy looking and she had trouble bending it but as she moved it seemed to loosen up more and more.

Eventually she got where she could run and gait and she looked pretty close to normal except the knee was enlarged due to scar tissue. She can not bring her leg forward and bend the knee but she can have her leg straight down and bend it. So we have to be aware of that when we have her feet trimmed.

The injury affected her timing a bit on her gaits but not a lot. She can go up hill and down hill and can still spin on a dime. I know there are times when it aches and I know eventually she will likely get stiff in that knee but so far she is doing well. She is on a joint compound for lubricating the knee and repairing the soft tissue and she seems happy so far. But it is out of the picture for me to ever ride her. A very great sorrow and pity.

Ruby continued to grow and mature even with her injury. Her leg did not atrophy because she is using it close to normal. She has become a very good looking mare from the front, side or back! We adore her and value her and truly appreciate her for what she is.

Though she is very sleek coated 99% of the time, if we get sudden cold snaps like the freak deep freeze we had in May of 2007 her coat will show wave. It is doing so again in 2009 due to a sudden hard freeze following a warm fall. The pattern of her waves is strikingly similar to that on the neck of her sire and the wave her mother gets.

After snap cold spells, Ruby still tends to get waves in her coat that resemble those of her parents.

We bred Ruby in 2007 to Solaris. She foaled a palomino colt in 2008 that is a real class job. From the instant of birth he had a huge foxtrot and a free wheeling way of running just like his parents. He is a good endurance prospect and the first son of Solaris and first foal of Ruby!

Part of the year Ruby is more liver looking and the other part of the year she is a deep, wine red. She is maturing and broadening now at the age of six.

Ruby sailed through her pregnancy and the growing weight in her belly seemed to help strengthen her leg. She got stronger and stronger on it and was no longer ouchy after getting up or doing something strenuous.

Ruby made a perfect mother and milked well just as her dam does. She will be an asset to our breeding program and her colt got Solaris's bone and joints. We like that cross so well we made it again in 2009 for a 2010 foal and will continue to make that cross though not likely every year.

Our little scrappy filly has turned into a lovely beautiful mare. She is six years old at this writing and is now maturing and bulking up. In another year she will be completely mature. She is balanced, lovely mare with an incredible heart and a foxtrot to match. She still loves to romp and run and is the first to come when I call her. She has never in her life ever offered to be pushy or demanding. She is a lady all the way.

What we want from Ruby to add to our bloodline is her amazingly smooth and natural foxtrot, her outstanding agility, her lack of pace, Her serene nature, her lack of attitude, her quiet docility, and her reach, speed, style and grace.

What we would like to improve upon would be to give her just a little more bone, and perhaps a slightly prettier head.

Ruby's first born was a colt. At only a few days old he was already showing a dynamic presence and solid conformation.


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