About Maggie

Maggie is a (we think) 2008 Mustang x Arab cross. She was seized along with a herd of Mustang and Mustang/Arab crosses by the MSPCA in the late winter of 2011. The whole herd when they were seized were quite unkempt, living outside with minimal food and without shelter, never mind vet and farrier care.

Maggie with her first colt "Beckett" upon arrival at Nevins [photo from mspca.org]
The herd was a mix of stallions and mares and Maggie (who first was called Missy and later Maggy, and now Maggie...because I thought the 'y' was odd, but now I'm kind of liking it better...hmm...) had a foal by her side when she was came to Nevins Farm and already had another one on the way. In June 2011 Maggie was sent to a foster home to give birth to her second foal, later named Merrick.

 Look at that trot! Oh, and the super cute baby horse. [Photo from the Associated Press.]

Me and "Shrimp," my OTTB foster.
At this point, I had been fostering and OTTB for the MSPCA for about a year. He was a wonderful horse with the sweetest personality, but I knew that he was not quite the right horse for me to adopt and I had recently decided that I had brought him along as far as I thought I could given my experience. So, trying to be a good foster mom, I brought him back up to Nevins so that he could get more exposure and hopefully find his forever home (which he eventually did!) But of course, I couldn't go home horseless so the wonderful employees at Nevins took me on a walk around the farm and introduced me to several horses that they wanted to send out to foster and thought might be a good match for me. By this time, Maggie and Merrick had been sent back to Nevins from their first foster home. Maggie was the last horse we visited and we went to see her in her paddock with Merrick. They wanted to send her out to foster so she could continue to get a lot of attention to continue her training plus so they could get her off the premises in order to properly wean Merrick.What I liked about her was that she was immediately curious, while some of the other horses were somewhat standoffish. I immediately clicked with her and I think the MSPCA staff could tell. The one problem was that I had never started a horse before. Maggie could wear a halter and lead, but had still never spent the night inside a barn or had any other sort of training. But for whatever reason the staff at Nevins thought I could do it, so in November 2011 Maggie went home with me.

First time on her back.
I spent the following winter working with her on the ground; leading, tying, being groomed, picking up her feet, and eventually lunging. All these things were new to her. Her curiosity and her food-motivated nature made her a great student and these little lessons flew by. By the springtime I had her comfortably wearing and lunging in a saddle and I had practiced getting up on the mounting block and leaning on her, but I hadn't actually gotten on her yet.

One day after work in the spring all my friends were at the barn; they had just finished riding and I was bringing Maggie out into the ring to work with her. I guess you could call it peer pressure in a way, because they managed to convince me to get on her. We were ready, and, aside from biting my friend that was leading her (I think she was looking for a cookie) she was perfect!

After our first ride down the road.

The second time I got on her was also in the ring (bareback I believe.) We worked a little on steering, but mostly just puttered around the ring. The third time I rode her I got on with a saddle and put her in a rope halter and we went on a mini trail ride down the road. Once again, she was unfazed by the whole event - even when a dog broke through it's electric fence and barked circles around her.

The next trail ride we went into the woods along a trail all the way to a local pond where I discovered how much Maggie LOVES water...

Going down...

Throughout the rest of that summer and fall I continued to take her on lots of trail rides plus work in the ring on steering and trotting. We had a light winter, just some cold snowy trail rides and trailering out to the local beach to ride a few times, but ten the following summer I kicked it into high gear with her training - working on very basic dressage and doing w/t/c plus small jumps in the ring. During late summer 2012 I became a "foster failure" and adopted Maggie myself.

October 2013 was her very first show, where we did the Grasshopper 2-phase division at the Pipestave Hill Horse Trials. I wrote a post earlier summing up her first few shows in order to bring the blog up to speed.

Needless to say, she's come a long way and I hope that she continues to grow and I with her.


  1. Just started following your blog! She's such a cutie!

  2. What an amazing transformation! Found you guys through the FOO Gift Exchange :)

  3. She's very pretty! She reminds me a lot of the horse I had in college: http://diyhorseownership.blogspot.com/2014/11/your-best-riding.html

  4. Wonderful transformation! I'm planning to start a horse, and I think that getting on her bareback in the beginning is a great idea!