*Originally posted on Island Natural Horsemanship November 19 2012
I am so thrilled that I’ve had the opportunity to meet the people that brought Justus into the world!
Ann and her husband Cecil are kind, generous people; I have been blessed to meet them and learn all about Justus’ story. Ann has taken the time to write out his story from birth through the 7 years they owned him. I hope you enjoy (as much as I have) hearing about the horse that we all love so much!
Brooklyn has asked me to write a little about Justice (Justus) so that others would know a little about his history, so here it goes…
First I just want to say that I was just so ecstatic to find that Justice was alive and well and had found his way to Brooklyn. You see I had been told a year ago that he had died, so you can imagine the joy I felt when hearing that he was in fact alive.
I will start with how we were blessed with Justice. Missy his Dam was a 17 year old Chestnut Mare. She was up for sale because her owner at the time had to move and could not take her horses with her.When I went to see her she raised her gorgeous baby doll head and ran to meet me leaving behind her two young stud buddies in the field. I was so impressed with her looks and manner that I bought her on the spot, never thinking about her field mates that she was leaving behind.
I was so excited that I had finally found a well trained and totally bomb proof horse that I entered her in the next western show. I rode her in it and was overjoyed that I had found a horse who needed no training whatsoever. I was going to have so much fun. The next show I took her too, she seemed a little off to me so I pulled her from the rest of the events that day. When I got home I called the vet to come and check out her lameness. While the vet was checking her he mentioned her weight. I told him that even though I had put her on a diet she seemed to be gaining. We decided to palpate and sure enough my new mare was in foal…..ergo the 2 studs in the field.
To make a long story short it turned out that Missy’s lameness was caused by a broken coffin bone injury that had not been looked after properly and had healed up wrong, which caused a tumor to grow. In the months of pregnancy ahead we needed to cut away the tumor a few times. Missy was such a wonderful horse, so full of “Heart”. She will always have that special place in my heart. She carried Justice and nursed him and looked after him until the day he was weaned and then she lay down in the field refusing to take another step. Her job was done and she could no longer live with the pain in her hoof. Knowing this day would come I named the foal ‘Heart of Justice’ for his mother’s ‘Heart’ and the fact that I knew the minute I saw his beautiful face and confirmation that he would do his mother justice.
My most favourite memory of Justice and I think of my whole life was being there to welcome him into the world and the imprinting that followed those 1stdays.
Horses seem to have a way of getting under your skin and taking hold of your heart. I find it almost indescribable to explain the feelings and emotions that Justice has conjured up within me. Another vivid memory I have of Justice is at about 5 months of age. We had a video camera hooked up in his stall so we could view him at all times, we had put it in to watch for birthing signs from his mother, and had decided to leave it. We could view everything in the stall on the TV monitor in the house. One morning I could hear one of the chickens making her “I’m laying an egg” sound coming from Justice stall, she was in his hay rack and had decided to lay it right there. But something stopped the sound abruptly so I went to see the screen where I saw Justice standing with a chicken in his mouth. I ran outside and yelled at him to “Put that chicken down”. He spit it out and there were all these feathers falling from him and he looked up at me as if to say “ Whaaat chicken ? “. Needless to say it was not a good day for my chicken. Although I don’t think Justice knew what he was doing, I think he just wanted the noise to stop.
Justice was bold, confident, full of curiosity and eager to learn, so I decided to show him in the next exhibition. So at 4 months of age I loaded him and his Dam up into the trailer and off we went to the show. Justice placed 2nd as “Best Foal in Cowichan Valley”. I was so proud !! The second show I put him in he was 2 years old and he placed 3rdin that show.
I used nothing but natural horsemanship with Justice from day one. I also had a friend who has a horse training business here in the Cowichan Valley come and help me quite often with his training when I felt unsure of myself. He responded with respect and an eagerness to learn more over the seven years with our family.
Over the years some life changing events had affected my health this made it impossible for me to take Justice to his full potential. The hardest decision of my life was deciding to sell him.
I sold him to a very nice young girl who had been coming over to the house on a weekly basis to play with him and groom him. I thought she would go far with him. I thought it was a good fit. Still to this day I do not know what went wrong.
But this I know……I wish with my whole heart for Justice to have a good full life with out pain, abuse or neglect. A life of a happy horse with a purpose. A life where he can live to his full potential and do his mother justice for all of the unnecessary pain she had to endure, because of human neglect and abuse. I hope for him to know love – the same love he was born into when he first entered this world.
I believe he has found this with Brooklyn. I wish you both many happy years together.