With a fly mask on, which she is usually never without, to protect her eyes and muzzle from the sunshine
Go make a cuppa first..... I have discovered a new equine gene. It is the M gene, or maybe we should call it the MM gene.
Eagles Moonmist Onyx (AKA Misty, or Mumu, or Mumu Mama) is a ´not quite´ foundation Appaloosa (a little too much arab in her bloodlines). Her story in a nutshell is; bred by lovely people, sold on to lovely person, hard times hit and a promise by someone who turned out to be pretty unscrupulous led Misty across the pond, all the way from America, to me. Contact was later made with breeder, and we are still in touch.
When Misty arrived in the Principality of Espiritu del Viento, her hair was matted with mud, her hooves badly overgrown and one tooth missing and a further two ´bashed´ out of line. Mentally I can have no idea what was going through her beautiful head. Mumu is not everyone´s cup of tea, with very pink skin around her eyes, further exaggerating the Appaloosa ´human eye´, many find this disconcerting, accustomed as they are to the solid dark eyes of all other horse breeds (unless they are blue of course).
Being a few spot, she also have very pink skin on her muzzle and around her genitalia. Something that almost caused me to sell her a few years back, when we got caught out by an unseasonably early scorching hot day and all her bits were burnt, flies homed in with a vengeance, and subsequently maggots came out. For nearly 3 weeks, twice a day, and sometimes 3 times a day, I was having to open scabs and virtually scoop out maggots from around her girly bits, whilst also attending to the burns on her muzzle and around her eyes. For all of this faffing, pulling and poking, Misty stood, untethered, and never moved a whisker.
To say she is green broke is an understatement. After producing and weaning off, 2 stunning fillies, I decided it was time to back Misty, then aged 9 and only halter broke! Two days in the school on the ground. Day 3 I put a saddle on her back, slithered up, and walked around the arena for about 15 minutes. Day 4 we went on a 20 km trek. Yup. I just knew we could. Obviously, we did not go alone. Accompanied by three other riders everything was going really well, even a little trot. But then we came to a spot where we would be going from bright into a dark
"tunnel" of trees, and I knew the ground would still be wet, slippy, clay after a rain fall a few days previously, so I began to pull Misty up, but forgot to communicate this to the other 3. As the others pulled ahead Misty was not to be left behind and broke into a canter. My common sense, rather than the foetal position, kicked in and I let her go. We got to the front of the group about 2 strides into the tunnel, whereupon she began to slip. But as quick as she began to slip she came back to walk - not an abrupt halt! - sorted herself, sized up the situation, and went back to trot again. Now, I don´t know if this was due to my lack of interfering because I ride bitless, or because I don´t ride using reins as braces anyway (bit or no bit), but I do know that I did not put that head on that neck and it was not the first time Misty had shown what a smart Mama she is.
I had long since become very aware of how sensitive Misty was to human moods. If I approached the fence to her paddock, where there could be anything from 3 to 7 horses, and, in a particularly sad or tired mood, I just propped myself against the fence to watch the herd, guaranteed Misty would sense me and come straight over. She would push her nose under my hands or forearms and tell me ´it´s really all ok´. You can always rely on Misty to make you feel on top of the world.
So where is the information about this new gene you have found? I hear you all say ;) Come on, I´ve finished my cuppa, time to get the cork screw out...... .....Misty became Mumu Mama. She has produced 3 stunning foals. Her first EV Etesian Kiss The Moon (AKA Lunita, or Luni Toon) soon showed signs of being the carer. When her little sister came along (EV Kaver Onyx Heart, AKA Indi Pop), Lunita took on the role of guardian, very subtly, but with a quiet strength, just like her mama, she watched over Indi Pop, and her half-sister Sexi Legs (EV Taku Blue Moon). Indi Pop definitely stood behind her big sister, sending her to deal with anything she didn't´t like! LOL When Sexi Legsi sold to her fabulous new home in Aragón, Lunita became even more careful to watch over her little sister.
Lunita is now living like a queen with her new Mummy in the UK. But for a very long time it was apparent that both sisters, Luni and Indi, missed each other immensely. Say what you will, I know my horses, their bond was incredible. Even new Mummy Jenny, in the UK, sensed this separation that Luni felt.
Now integrated into a new herd with, amongst others her Auntie Anni, Indi Pop suddenly stepped up, and made it her job to look out for her Auntie. Anni, as some of you may know, is our autistic mare. She needs her herd around her, but doesn't´t particularly like them "in her face", and Indi Pop clearly sensed this and has decided it is her job to protect her from everyone else.
Though I have seen the way Cappuccino steps between Kissy Boo and other horses on many occasions, today, I truly saw that he too, little brother to Lunita and Indi Pop, has also inherited the MM gene. Cappuccino, though younger than Kissy Boo, is far more level headed. If he were a human he´d be the tall, very handsome, slightly gangly, cool geek scientist type.
So there you have it. The MM gene is an incredible gene that Mumu Mama has passed on to all her stunning babies. It is the "I can read your soul" gene. It is the "Iistening, compassionate, I have no agenda, connection" gene.
For photos that truly capture the spirit of your horse, I am honoured to call this lady a friend, but would highly recommend her work without any doubt. LJB Photography