Monday, October 27, 2008

Meet Harmony

You have already had a brief introduction to Harmony in this post. Harmony is an Argentine bred Thoroughbred mare, bred for polo and out of a star polo mare. She has been owned and loved by Cathy for over 18 years. Cathy said the first time she ever saw Harmony she had just bucked off a prospective buyer into a mud puddle. It was right before a polo game in Illinois and the prospective buyer was wearing his whites . . . which were not very white anymore. Cathy says that she is positive Harmony was laughing, and I believe her! She learned later that day that Harmony had broken her groom's collarbone right before the summer season and her owner was furious at her, thus she was for sale.

Cathy and Harmony in October 2002

Fortunately for Harmony the muddy polo player bought her anyway! His groom however did not get along with Harmony either, and that was when Cathy started riding her. She quickly became Cathy's favorite. She said Harmony was just a very active-minded mare and if you gave her something to do she was fine. Simply canter around in circles and she would spook at everything. Harmony reacted to bad hands with rearing and a poor seat by propping on her front legs. But if you gave Harmony a lovely ride she gave you a lovely response.

Harmony in 1985. I love this picture, she looks so young and still has a dark mane. What a gorgeous mare she was and is.

Harmony gave Cathy a good scare pretty early on in their relationship. She colicked badly and spent the night in the horspital. The attending vet gave her only a 20% chance of survival without surgery but Cathy stayed with her all night and walked her in between rounds of IV fluids. Thankfully Harmony pulled through just fine.

Harmony looking in the door of Cathy's house; this picture was taken in the early 1990's

Harmony standing in Cathy's garage; this picture was taken in 1999
Harmony blossomed with age - she played polo, she jumped, she ran barrels and poles, and even taught some lessons. In fact she improved so much that at a polo game in Chicago another player made a big offer for her. Harmony's owner - by then Cathy's boyfriend - was inclined to make the deal until Cathy chimed in that Harmony was a really good deal because Cathy came with her! Harmony stayed, and so did Cathy.

Harmony teaching a young rider how to jump; this picture was taken in the early 1990's

Harmony and Cathy in 1992

Harmony outlasted that relationship and most of Cathy's other horses. When Cathy got a job in Toronto in 2000 she moved Harmony and her friend Lacy up there with her. The mares stayed in Toronto while Cathy travelled around and did other things and basically got out of horses. They lived on a small, private farm and had five acres to themselves. It was a great situation for them until Lacy started having trouble keeping weight on in 2006. After a blood panel and a long discussion with the vet Cathy decided to move the girls to a warmer climate for Lacy's comfort. In the fall of 2006 Harmony and Lacy made the trip to our farm in Tennessee.

Harmony in 2005 saying "For God's sake mom, move me to Tennessee. I hear the winters aren't like this!"

I am more than happy to let everyone know that Cathy feels that was a great decision (wink wink)! Lacy fattened back up and looked wonderful until she passed away in December 2007. Harmony continues to enjoy her life of ease and luxury. Cathy ran into the brother of Harmony's original owner and breeder a few years ago and told him she still had her. She said his jaw dropped!

Harmony in 2003

I love how Cathy summed up her relationship with Harmony: "Harmony was a lot of peoples' nightmare, but she was and is my treasure. Nothing makes me happier than seeing the pictures of her grazing in horse paradise, and knowing she is getting a reward for all of those years of hard work." I think that first sentence is just wonderful (I like the rest as well!).

Harmony and Cathy in 2005

Although I have many pictures of Harmony that I could share, and have shared some of them, Cathy had several pictures of her and Harmony that she sent to me. I hope you have enjoyed all of these old pictures of Harmony and reading her story. She is a really special mare with a lot of personality, and she certainly deserves her life of ease here with us!


ezra_pandora said...

Love the pictures, and I will DEFINITELY have to use that little part about me and my horse being a package deal. My horse is a little mare from heck too, but I love her and wouldn't give her up for 100 perfectly behaved horses.

RuckusButt said...

Cathy...that red t-shirt in the 1992 picture - do you remember where it was from or what it said??

fuglyhorseoftheday said...

The red T-shirt was from my friend Les Baddeley's polo farm...I cannot remember the farm name at the moment but he used it as the name of polo teams he was on. This would be in Chicago, 80's, early 90's.

RuckusButt said...

Ok, I was wrong. It reminded me of a t-shirt I bought while participating in Vermont's bicentennial heritage journey (1991) which was essentially a month-long trail ride through the state. It is still among my favorite horse-related experiences and I was only 13 at the time!