Friday, January 18, 2013


Meet Brego!
He's been distracting me of late.
I've been knitting and spinning, but a lot of my computer time
has been devoted to him.

He's going to be my daughter's first horse.
That is her in the photo.
When we met him, he seemed drawn to Lelia.
And she had been drawn to him over and over again during
her on-line search for her first equine companion.
He's currently a 2-year old ... he'll turn 3 in April of 2013.
He's as sweet as sweet could be!
For a youngster he is quite calm and cooperative.
He's an Appaloosa with an awesome snowcap!
After the sale and transfer is complete, I'll reveal his registered name.

The reason why I have spent so much time on the computer
involving him is because he has a genetic issue called HYPP.
We seriously weighed the issue and because our trainer/teacher/friend
has a LOT of experience working with HYPP horses
and the fact that this syndrome is very manageable,
we went ahead and decided to get him.

It's a complicated issue and Brego will be trained and boarded
with our friend at her Painted Prairie Ranch as his "forever" home.
I wish I could explain why we choose a "complicated" situation
for Lelia's first experience of being a horse owner ...
but it's just one of those things.

If you read about HYPP on the various horse forums, 
it would cause you to run away, shrieking, in the opposite direction.
But I had read the veterinarian pages first and 
found so much of the hysteria to be exactly that ... hysteria.
And yes, we trust our friend that much.
There is no way she would have approved the purchase
if she felt it was going to cause us heartache and trouble.

Brego is what is known as N/H for HYPP meaning 
he has only one copy of the gene.
He got it from his N/H mama.
Unfortunately, the gene is dominant so he has the syndrome
even though he has been asymptomatic so far
and it is our intention to keep him that way.
He is gelded ... we will not be passing this on.

In a perfect world, this would not be an issue.
But this is not a perfect world and I found out a LOT
about the "underbelly" of horse breeding here in the US.
Honestly, no one should be breeding a horse that is either
H/H or N/H.
H/H guarantees passing the syndrome;
N/H is a 50/50 chance.
Brego got the wrong roll of the dice.

But he stole our hearts.
And my daughter has a sterling opportunity to prove
her mettle as a horse owner.
And the fact that she wants to work 
in the large animal veterinary field is a definite plus!

I will encourage Lelia to write all about
her experience with Brego in her blog.
What people really need are REAL LIFE experiences,
told in first-person, about horses who have HYPP.
There are thousands (most likely tens of thousand) of horses who have HYPP.
But I had a very difficult time finding those first-hand stories.

Do you know what really takes the cake in all this?
I'm the one who uncovered Brego's HYPP status.
With NO equine experience.
I was looking at his bloodlines and discovered
that he is several generations down, on both side,
from a quarter horse named "Impressive."
I thought: "cool ... how impressive was this horse?"
So I googled him. He was easy to find as he
is very famous in the quarter horse world.
He was well-named; he was gorgeous!
And HYPP has been traced back to him.
He never showed the condition, just passed a mutated gene.
When I called my trainer/teacher/friend and told
her Brego had Impressive as an ancestor,
she responded with a simple: "Oh."
Then, after a long pause, asked about his status.
It was unknown at that moment, but I had
already asked for a genetic test from the seller
since the seller did not know.

That's another underbelly of the horse world.
Not everyone is forthcoming in these issues (and there IS more than one).
We were dealing with the equine manager of the selling ranch,
not the actual owner, and I truly believe the manager did not know.
But either the current owner, or the ranch that sold
them the mama, who was pregnant with Brego at the time of the sale,
did not reveal the status.

I called the ranch, from whom they got the mama, outright 
to ask about the mama's status and was told she is N/H.
Some one, somewhere, was keeping the status quiet.
Needless to say, I'm not naming names as I do not
know who was trying to keep this on the hush-hush.
Nor am I prepared to confront ... I just want my daughter happy.
Brego makes her happy.

If you've followed me this far in this rather long post,
the bottom line, what I learned, is to research, research and research
some more when making a choice to buy a horse.
Know what the genetic issues of any particular breed may be
and get the prospect tested!
These tests are not overly expensive (HYPP cost all of $30)
and knowledge is power.

Thank goodness I'm a curious sort of person.
We are going forward with eyes wide open!


Cindy@NorthofWiarton said...

My 100% Foundation QH mare came out of that line; however tested negative for HYPP. He looks lovely

Nicole said...

Brego is so handsome! Thanks for stopping by!

HeY J said...

He is a very handsome guy and curiousity isn't always a bad thing good for you! I have no horse knowledge, but I tend to google things more and more lately which has left me knowing more about things here and there then yay google and yay for your girl becoming a horse owner and yay mom!!

Jacquelineand.... said...

Brego is a handsome fella! Good for you doing your research and make a careful, reasoned decision to proceed. Brego, and your daughter, are lucky to have you in their lives!

Create With Joy said...

Wow, Hilary, that is quite a discovery! Your daughter is quite lucky to have such a beautiful horse. I am glad that you are moving forward with your eyes wide open!

Countrywoman said...

Im sure your daughter will love that horse

LisaS said...

Interesting story and good luck to you! Found your blog via Grow Your Blog. Hope you are enjoying the tour ;)

Sue H said...

I have to confess - I'm not a horsey person - but I'm amazed by your tenacious research to deal with the issues Brego may represent!

Trawling through a few of your other blog-posts I've been delighted by your yarn-related items! ;-) So much to see here - I'll be back! ;-)

SueH The Knitting Assassin!
Twitter – @Librarymaid

Akuna Kumara said...

You certainly have taken on a challenge but being a horse person I understand when you fall in love you fall in love and the choice doesn't exist it just is a done deal your partnered for life...Thanks for the insight here...I've clicked I'd like to keep up since I do work with many new healing principals with domestic and wild ones ....

EvalinaMaria said...

You have a lovely blog. I'm new follower and 'Grow Your Blog' participant. Have fun in at the party!
Evalina, This and that...

nonniescedarchest said...

Hi Hilary,

I am in Fort Worth Texas. Brego is beautiful. I can see why you have been distracted. So glad for Brego that he found you!

Love your post about Stash. I tend to "stash" a lot myself

It is great to meet you through Vicki's GYB party.

If you have a chance, please drop by

Tammy@T's Daily Treasures said...

When breeders care more about money than the animals, the result can never be good. It's just like with the puppy mills where they are just churned out for profit and nothing else matters. Very, very sad. I hope Brego will continue to be healthy. One thing for sure, he will be loved! Best wishes, Tammy

Loretta said...

Very interesting post. I stop by via the Grow Your Blog Party and I am glad I did.

Loved looking at your stash.

Take care!!!

Cheryl said...

I have a heart for horses but have no experience with them and I'm slightly afraid of them. Following your blog is going to be my connection to the real world of those beautiful animals.

Bogomilla Hopp said...

Hi! Thank you to have visited me...yes, I wrote my thesis about JRR Tolkien in Italian but I read it also in English. I watched "The Hobbit" at the cinema but honestly I didn't like so much. Your horse is so nice, no matter what kind of problem he has if you love him!!
xoxo Bogomilla

Cache-Mire said...

As a fellow horse (quarter, appaloosa) owner, breeder, lover, I totally appreciate what you are going through. Your guy is quite handsome. In my humble opinion I think you have and are doing just what you should be doing. Funny, I was expecting a knitting site, but am totally enchanted with your story. I'll be following...


CatieAn said...

Hi Hilary
THank you so much for visiting my blog via the blog party! I am so delighted to meet you and want to learn all about you and yours. What a beautiful horse. My aunt and uncle raised quarter horses when I was growing up. They were farmed and trained elsewhere but I hung around the stables and helped with grooming, feeding etc whenever I had the chance. We also got to take turns going to their races. I am so excited for your daughter to have that experience.
Good research on your part for uncovering his genetic background.

We learned the horrid side of dog breeding with our oldest when he saved money for two years to buy a registered german shepherd. Max lived 8 months but the last four he spent with canine MS---his nerves were demylenating and we were lucky to have him put in a study at WSU here in washington. It was mostly to study him to help other dogs like him.

Unfortunately when people are in the business for ONLY making money they don't care about the animal or the owners to be.
getting off my soap box now
but will be back to visit often

The Pink Geranium or Jan's Place said...

Came over from GYB...but so nice to see a horse! I am a Paint owner, had over 30, but current 2 will be last..and are lovingly referred to as The Pasture Ornaments!

I have two blogs, The Pink Geranium is my newest and is all things vintage,

Jan's Place is a little more established, and has some posts about my horses .. though not as often as I used to. Very familiar with HYPP and assume it is much more manageable then it used to be.

Paints also have issues with it, as will as Lethal White Syndrom ..I had one Lethal White born on our farm, cried my eyes out for days. Now we can test for the gene, and my other mare is negative.

Your Appy is beautiful, and those Impressive Halter horses seem to have the HYPP a lot, we saw it a lot when we showed Paints.

Oops, I better stop rambling!



Kelly@CCCC said...

I loved reading your story and to be honest, I'm glad you didn't give up on Brego. My first love was a mahogany Appaloosa that I had named, "Chelsea-Rose" aka "Chelsey". She was just under 2 years old. When I got her, her mane and tail were so dry and brittle, that it would just break in your hands. She also had thrush in 3 of her hooves was so bad that chunks of her frog were just falling off. With patience and God's help, 2 years or so later, you wouldn't even be able to recognize her as the same horse. I was fairly young and very inexperienced. I'm glad I stuck by her through it all. She is no longer with us, but I think about her still to this day. Thank you for sharing your story! It caused me to take a trip down memory lane that proved to be very pleasant indeed!
Kelly xoxo

Denise @ Soup Spice Everything Nice said...

Hey! Hilary, I am nominating you for the Liebster Award. I hope you have a great day!

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