The Rundown: Missin' My Girl

If only horses had cell phones, social media or Skype – it might make long-distance relationships a little easier.

The American Quarter Horse Journal

"Bunny" may have left me, but at least she left me with her first-born, "Jules." (Tara Christiansen photo)

Whoever said long-distance relationships are tough hit the nail right on the head. At least with human-to-human connections, you have the great inventions of phone calls, online video chatting and various forms of social media. Horse owners aren’t that lucky.

One of my sweet mares, Blues Nu Boon, made the journey back to Washington State a few weeks ago. In the interim, I’ve been missing “Bunny” something bad. Who knew that I’d yearn for her morning routine of gnashing teeth and pinning ears? Granted, it wasn’t aimed at me – my other mare, Lenas Fillynic or “Nikki,” received those unwarranted ghastly stares. No, all I got were precious come-hither-with-that-Safechoice looks.

Now my sassy Bunny is 1,826 miles away. And while I’m certain she’s running, free as a bird, through my parents’ green – albeit muddy – pastures in Snohomish, Washington, I can’t help but pine for the pony I have lost. I know I should console myself with the thought that my parents now share the joy of Bunny’s daily antics and that our gelding, TC Lena, has rekindled his old flame with my gray mare. I try to remind myself of the cherry on top of the sundae – Bunny’s got a date with some frozen semen and, fingers crossed, a 2014 foal on the way.

But none of this really softens the blow that I no longer get Bunny’s warm alfalfa-laced breath in my ear on a cold Texas Panhandle evening, nor am I able to enjoy her quick cow sense and smooth little sashay of a jog. (No offense, Nikki, but your trot is nothing short of teeth-jarring.)

Don’t think that I’m selling Nikki short in this deal – I’m not. You see, my mares are like ying and yang – quite similar in some respects, but polar opposites in others. Together, they made our horsey family whole.  

There is a silver lining to this cloud of missing Bunny, though. This is what gets me through each day: While Bunny journeyed back to the homeland, I luckily received a gift in her stead.

Soula Boon, aka “Jules,” is Bunny in miniature – seriously. As Bunny’s first born, 4-year-old Jules is a bit more like Bunny than I initially gave her credit for. Thankfully, all that I learned from training and showing Bunny is easily applied to her “Mini Me”; a fact I’m sure will save both me and Jules a lot of headache. Each day I ride Jules, peeling back the layers of sassiness, I rediscover again and again her similarities to her dam.

I had an epiphany – it healed my broken heart and dried my teary eyes. All I had to do was remember our logic behind breeding Bunny: When she’s gone, her legacy will live on.

Although I can’t dial up Bunny’s cell phone number, send her a personal Facebook message or call her up on Skype, I do have a direct line to her DNA on a daily basis. I thank God for Jules, also known as Bunny 2.0.