A Note about Sugarbush Draft Horses

I see it over and over again, and no matter how many times it's said, it's still wrong. "Sugarbush Drafts are just an Appaloosa Draft Cross". Uh.... no. The Sugarbush Draft Horse was a breed created many years ago in Ohio. While the initial cross was made using Percherons to Appaloosas, in the many generations following, the breed has been solidified into a consistent type. Saying these horses are "just" a draft cross makes as much sense as saying that AQHA horses are "just" a Thoroughbred cross, American Cream Drafts are "just" a dilute Belgian, or that Morgans are "just" a grade.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Nakai gets his Dream Home!

This is Nakai.  He is a 9 year old mustang, that was up for sale by a client/friend of mine.  He's a short little guy, standing around 14.2 hands, and he's been out of work for a while so needs some training.  We were open and honest about what he needs, and where he's at.  Naturally this made finding a home for him harder. 

So, along comes this lady named Olivia, and her daughter Zoe.  They came out to look at him, and for the first time ever, Nakai seemed some what interested in the humans.  He's not really a mushy gushy horse, and usually just does his own thing, so his interest had me hoping.  They look at him, and then are going to talk about it.  A few discussions pass between myself and the potential buyers, and then nothing.  Well, bummer.

So, last weekend, I got an email.  Olivia (the mom) had been running some numbers.  She decided that another horse was very do-able, and wanted to make an offer on him.  We checked her references (glowing!) and set up the deal.  Unbeknownst to me, Zoe was out of town, and her mother was being sneaky.

So, while I check references, I naturally marked him as "sale pending".  I had been getting quite a few views on his site, and had him advertised in many places, so I figured that's the most honest way to go about things.  If any one is interested, they will know that there's an offer on him.  Well!

Zoe had been checking on his page, looking at his pictures, and watching his video over and over.  She was simply in love with this horse, and all of his good aspects and problems.  In her heart, she knew he was meant to be hers.  Even while out of town, she had been sure to check up on him, and daydream about having him in her pasture at home.

So, when Olivia arrives to take him home, I naturally mark him as sold.  Uh oh!  Zoe checked on her horse, and found him no longer for sale, and her parents hadn't said a THING about it.  She did what any natural 10 year old would do at the thought of losing her dream horse.  She paniced.  (Ok, so maybe it's not just 10 year olds... I think most of us would react the same way).  She called her mother, devestated about the loss of her horse.  Because for her, Nakai was already a part of her heart and family.

Olivia calmly tells Zoe that who ever would want this horse with all these needs would have to simply be a crazy horse lover.  Zoe wanted him, right, and she was a crazy horse lover.  She never said that some one else had bought him, but left that open just enough that poor Zoe could imagine the worst possible things.

So the day comes for Zoe to arrive back home.  Olivia picks her up, and the whole drive back Zoe is talking on and on about Nakai and how it just wasn't right.  That was her horse, and why would some one want an unbroke mustang?  He's not exactly the most sellable horse out there, and it's not right that someone bought him.  She was very upset, and poor Olivia had to struggle to keep a straight face.

As they pulled into their home, all of the complaining and stress, and distress at the loss of her horse vanished.  There in the yard was a no good, 9 year old, black mustang gelding, that only a crazy horse lover would be willing to buy.  Everything her mother had said was true.... she just hadn't mentioned that the owner was now Zoe.


According to Olivia, Zoe was so excited, shocked, and awed that she couldn't make any real words come out.  As she excitedly hopped out of the car, she made those happy noises we all know, and I won't even try to type!

Nakai of course knows exactly who to suck up to in the family.  As you can see, he simply adores his new home, his new people.  Isn't that the face of a happy pony?

And Zoe is NOT the typical 10 year old.  When they came to first see Nakai, I thought to myself that she was a true horseman.  Zoe acts like she's been around horses for 30 years, and is just a natural.  She is safe but with out true fear.  She is knowledgable but willing to learn more... in other words, she's exactly the type of person that Nakai has always needed.

Nakai is going to be Zoe's next hunter.  Her first real horse (not pony) it sounds like.  For any one that knows Nakai, his movement would be perfect for hunters, and his temperment is that he's a work-a-holic.  I think he will excell, and be everything that Zoe ever hoped for.

Even better, the women of that family are not large.  A 14.2 hand horse will fit them as adults as well!  I'm so excited, and I hope that he can be everything they hope for.  He's already gotten his first saddle lesson, and it looks like he did wonderfully.

And, the deal for Zoe to get this horse?  She has to keep us updated with his progress.  I plan to attend their first show, and cheer both of them on!

I'm so happy for Nakai, I can't even put it all into words. 


  1. What a wonderful happy story. I am looking forward to many more from them!

  2. congrats to Nakai and his new family. I can't read to read updates either!!!

  3. How cool is that ! Congrats to everyone, especially Zoe and Nakai =)

  4. I can't believe grumpy old Nakai is letting that little girl hang on this face! I love it!

  5. I could not have told the story better myself.... I am in tears reading it ... Happy Tears... thank you for posting. And thank you for providing the resources to bring him into our lives... Olivia (AKA- Zoe's Mom)

  6. This is the type of story that would make a fantastic book. I had tears in my eyes. What a happy, happy, surprise!
    Thanks for sharing! I love it! This is something Zoe will never, ever forget!

  7. So delighted! I would have loved to see that surprise.

  8. Fantastyk VoyagerJuly 22, 2011 at 12:12 AM

    How exciting! I'm so happy for both Nakai and Zoe.

  9. How exciting! I am happy for both Nakai and Zoe.

  10. Please remove- double post

  11. How wonderfully exciting for Nakai and Zoe! :)

  12. NAKAI UPDATE: nakai has been doing very well in his traning.He dosnt mind the saddle at all. we r soo happy about that.but..... he has the moast wird appate he wont eat apples, peaches, or pares but he LOVES Carrots SO MUCH...... zoe (aka nakais new owner

  13. Zoe makes her parents proud every day, she is a very special little girl. Must admitt
    that I was very moved by this blog and all the wounderful comments. Thanks to all of you!! I am sure she will keep everyone posted on Nakai progress. Love You Z Dad!

  14. To say Zoe goes at things 100% is an understatement. When she makes a decision about something she has considered at length, it is firm, final, and not up for debate. When she made her decision about this horse she literally wills the good outcome. She is the same about everything and that is why we all love her so much.
    Lynda (AKA Zoe's Granny and Paw)

  15. What a sweet story! :D

  16. In Zoe's grandparents home, there was always a large pottery urn on the floor filled with a number of stick horses, many of which her grandmother had made. It was not uncommon for Zoe to come galloping through the house screeching at the top of her lungs with glee! I'm pretty sure that the sound she couldn't get out of her mouth upon the realizaztion that Nikia, now standing in her yard, was actually hers, was the same high schreech.

  17. NAKAI UPDATE:Sarry so late, nakai is doing great. he did nont dogood with the farreor tho.but i still love him soooo much............. zoe ...(nakais oner)