Monday, May 16, 2016

TL;DR -- More Boring Background

For those of you who are “meeting” me for the first time via this blog, you might be a little curious how on earth I ended up with Andalusians. The short answer? I have no idea. The long answer? The universe works in very mysterious ways! This is a long post, so if you want to skip it, I’ll put a TL;DR at the bottom, just for you. Because I’m warning you -- *very* boring background ahead.
It's a little convoluted, but I promise if you stick with it, it will all make sense in the end! (Whether or not you find it as interesting as I do is out of my control, but I’ll pepper the post with lots of photos) This will also give you some of the necessary background about the other animals (besides horses) in my life, so that’s a plus!
My childhood Lab, Cody (aka the best dog ever)
When we moved to our property in the summer of 2009, DH and I decided to get a dog. We both had dogs growing up, but between college (me) and apartment life (him), we were dog-less. I always had pretty big dogs growing up (labs, greyhounds, etc), and we were moving to 17 acres, so naturally I assumed we’d be getting a big dog. To my surprise, when I asked him what kind of dog he wanted, he replied “a miniature dachshund”. I thought he was joking at first - “you mean one of those dogs that’s the size of your shoe?” “Yup.” 
You want a wiener dog?
Welllllll, okay then! So I found out what his preferences were (male, smooth coat, miniature, and if at all possible, a black and tan dapple) and got to work researching AKC breeders. I contacted several, and nobody had any puppies (or future litters) that would meet this criteria. Finally, through a referral, I found a breeder that had an upcoming litter that might have what I was looking for. So we got on her list and waited for the puppies to be born. Luckily enough, of the three puppies, exactly ONE was everything my husband wanted, so we put down our deposit. 
Hayden (Photo by Pam Langrish)
Over the next eight weeks, we eagerly watched her website for updated photos of our little boy “Hayden”. In perusing other puppies she had bred and sold, my husband became obsessed with one that was a chocolate/tan color (I promise, this story DOES have a point). We picked up Hayden, and I mentioned to the breeder that if she had any chocolate/tans in future litters, we might be interested. 
In the meantime, I was a senior in college and interning in WWU’s University Relations -- one of my jobs was to research and write featured articles for The Woods magazine. At the time, the WWU Equestrian Chair was someone with a background in Andalusians, and he was actively working to get more of them donated to the riding program. Since I was the only intern with horse experience, I was selected to write a story featuring WWU’s Andalusians, and also mentioning that donations to the University were tax deductible! *wink wink* I interviewed several students and faculty who were working closely with WWU’s Iberian horses, and wrote a really enjoyable article. Along the way, I became a little bit obsessed with owning one. After I submitted my article, I did some online window shopping. It didn’t take me long to figure out that this was most likely not an attainable goal, so I shelved the idea and moved on. 
Frazier, one of WWU's half-Andalusians
The following spring, the dachshund breeder contacted us to say that she had a litter of full siblings to Hayden, and while none of them were chocolate/tan, there was an extremely rare blue/tan. DH saw photos and immediately fell in love (I mean, how could you not, look at that face?) and so we eagerly waited for “Indigo” to come home and join us. While we were waiting, the original breeder contacted me again to refer me to a friend who was getting out of dachshund breeding, and had an older chocolate/tan puppy that she was needing to sell. 
Baby Indigo
Indigo (Photo by Pam Langrish)
In for a penny, in for a pound, right? How much trouble could three dachshunds be if we already planned to have two? Or in our case, how much trouble could FOUR be? The breeder ended up making us a package deal on the chocolate/tan pup (who we named Snickers) and also her father (Rufus). Yes, I’m fully aware we’re insane. At least we can be insane together? In a house full of dogs? 
Snickers (Photo by Pam Langrish)
When we met up with the second breeder to get Snickers and Rufus, somehow, we started talking horses. It turned out that they had several half-Andalusians, and I told them about my article and how much I’d love to own an Iberian horse. They told me I might be in luck, because the breeder of their horses was selling off most of her stock due to some life changes, so they put me in touch with her.
Rufus (Photo by Pam Langrish)
I was afraid to even inquire, but I bit the bullet and sent her a message. She had two mares she wanted to sell, one 6 y/o purebred (KA Especial) and one 3 y/o half-Andalusian (Topaz de Plata; she was actually 3/4 Andalusian and 1/4 Quarter Horse). Even at extremely reduced prices, they were still out of reach for me, so I told her I’d share the information with some friends. We continued to communicate for some time, and the more we talked, the more I wanted them, particularly KA Especial. I begged and pleaded with DH to see if we could somehow come up with the money. Even though I couldn’t come up with the full amount she was asking, we did finally agree on a price on the two mares as a package -- while I was falling in love with the idea of them through our conversations, the breeder also decided that she thought I would be the perfect home for them. As with so many other things (both before and after this), it was just fate. 
 Not the best photos, but I knew I had to have them.

TL;DR I became enamored with Iberian horses in college, and through a bizarre twist of fate, I was able to purchase two mares the summer I graduated. 
Also, gratuitous shot of adorable dachshunds. Just because.

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