Delta Dawn...I don't even know where to start. I think I'll start at the beginning...here is Delta's story :)
Delta was a wild mustang, captured at the age of five, in Carson City, Nevada. My mom, Danielle, was working out there, training horses at a private stable. Delta came to the stable and was soon to be sent for slaughter, as she had been deemed "un-trainable". As soon as Danielle realized the fate of this matted, tangled-maned buckskin, it became her mission to save for from her fate.
Instead of being payed for her horse training services at this stable, she was able to convince her employers to barter...her services, in exchange to own this wild-eyed beauty...event though Danielle was the only one at that point to see Delta's true beauty and potential. She took things slow, showed her the love that Delta hadn't seen in the human race up until then, and with in weeks, Danielle was riding Delta through the rivers and mountains of Nevada.
Not long after their bond took shape, my parents moved back to Canada, to the Okanagan Valley, where they still call home. They purchased a horse trailer, and got Delta all ready for her cross-country venture.
Once settled in Kelowna, BC, Delta and I became inseparable. I was about 10 years old at the time, and Delta became my first horse. I loved her because she had so much spirit...all of the spirit of being a mustang, but with the heart to want to please the ones who showed her love. She loved to prance and dance down the trail, and had such a passion for life. Delta and I competed in barrel racing, among other events. She always ran her heart out with those short legs, and gave those full sized horses a run for their money. She was always game for anything...jumping, obstacles, dressing up, endurance riding, and ended up being an amazing trick horse.
She proved to be smarter than me, when I ran out of tricks to teach her. She could say "yes", "no", shake "paw", kiss, count, hug, rear, bow, make a funny face and even yawn on command. She could pick something up off the ground and hand it to you, or throw it. Delta truly was the smartest animal I have ever met. We performed her tricks at many horse shows, parades and family events...she really was incredible.
Delta Dawn was also our broodmare for many years. She had 7 foals in her lifetime, and absolutely LOVED being a mom. Once, she jumped a 6 foot fence to get to another mare's foal who was being weaned! With her beautiful dun colour, and her amazing temperament, no matter who the stallion, she made some incredible off-spring.
In 2006, Delta became ill with liver disease. She went downhill very
quickly and we weren't very optimistic. To everyone's surprise, but not
to our lack of effort, she pulled through! Staying hydrated was very
difficult for her during the liver failure, so I tried everything I
could to persuade her to drink. At one point, I remember having a
bucket in every corner of her stall...one with peppermint, one with
koolaid, one with apple juice and one plain water. It ended up being
the peppermint water that got her drinking!
One of the greatest moments for me, was when Delta taught my own children to ride. She taught me so much...so much about riding, about competition, about friendship, about life. How great of a feeling it was, to see her teach those same lessons to my boys. Three generations learned so much from one horse...so incredible.
Its not everyday you are blessed with such a great horse...our family feels so fortunate to have experienced life with her. She really did teach all of us so much. In 2011, Delta passed away at the age of 29 on our farm. We miss her so much and will always remember and cherish the memories we have with her, and everything she taught us and joy she brought to our lives. She will leave this lasting impression on our hearts and on our lives forever. I am so thankful for her, and that our children had the chance to know her as well...we love you baby girl <3