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!