On May 1, 2010 I became Xena’s 6th owner. Xena is a registered Paint, so becoming her owner also meant I now have her registration papers from the American Paint Horse Association. The registration has a section which lists the names of her previous five owners.
Sue was Xena’s 2nd owner, having bought her from the breeder at the age of 7 months. Of all the previous owners, Sue owned Xena for the longest period of time; from 1993 to 2001. This also meant Sue knew Xena before she was mistreated by the PMU industry, so she was the one person who could answer my questions — What was Xena like as a young horse? How much had she been ridden? What training had she received? Was she innately nervous, or was that the result of harsh handling?
I began searching for Sue through an online phone directory. I knew Sue’s last name and the name of the town where she lived, 10 years ago. Would she still be there? My first set of search results contained over 30 names, none of which listed the actual town. I then tried Google, and within minutes I’d found an obituary for Sue’s mother-in-law, so now I had her husband’s first name. I quickly skimmed my list of 30 names and found one phone number that matched. I’d found the needle in my haystack!
When I called Sue that first time, I had owned Xena for only 4 days. It was almost unreal hearing Sue’s voice, and telling her “my name is Linda and I’m calling from Toronto. I own Docz Solid Sting.” I heard the surprise in her voice, 2,300 miles away. Sue later posted a comment, describing our conversation that day:
May 5, 2010
When I got your phone call today I could not believe it! It broke my heart to hear what Xena to you, Fancy to me had gone through. We sold the mare to people we believed “loved her”. Little did we know that she would end up in a PMU barn.
I am so happy for her that she was rescued by Barb, and then has found you. It brings tears to my eyes to see the connection that you have made with her. One thing that I do with all my horses, whether they are born on our ranch or purchased off is to let them smell me. I put out my hand for them to smell, and then I puff, puff, puff nostrils with them. It seems to be a way of recognition for them.
I have gone through my photos and found a couple, not great because it was before the day of digital cameras, but I will send them off to you! Thank you so much for your time, dedication and love for this horse because she really does deserve it.