Claire and Marike

Date posted: 12th January 2011


This is my account of how I came to find the most wonderful horse & trusted friend I have ever owned, my Friesian mare Marike. It is a story of trust, perseverance, negligence & warning, a story of broken dreams, tears, support & in the end the exhilaration of owning such a magnificent animal……. I cannot speak more highly of Janine Mason & her horses. Read on………..

I brought my 5 year old Friesian Mare from Janine Mason in Jan 2010. Having looked on the internet for Friesians & enquiring about a few I was relieved to find Friesians Scotland as I had uncovered a lot of scams surrounding this breed & horses in general. Lots of detail listed on line, difficulty setting up a viewing & then asking for prepayment, that kind of thing. These horses listed on the internet don’t even exist! I reported several bogus sellers so as I said was relieved to find Janine. A real person with a real Scottish accent who really loved & believed in her horses. January & thick in snow it was impossible for me to get up to view the horse (300 miles away) that I had my eye on any of Janine’s horses but desperate as I was & after speaking to Janine & lots of emailing I decided to do the unthinkable crazy thing – to purchase this horse un seen! Let me explain, this was a very special horse & one which Janine knew well. The mare had been previously sold & then when the owner contacted Janine no longer able to keep the horse Janine gladly brought her back some months later rather than have one of her horses sold on. Thank god she did! When the Mare arrived back she was in a horrifying state. Thin & un kept this horse needed special care & when ready a special home & I was ready to provide that – a home for life. I had trust in Janine that this was a genuine horse & the horse I was looking for & thankfully she accepted my offer to provide the horse with a home & purchase her. Janine placed a lot of trust in me I know & for this I am grateful, this mare had been through a lot & Janine wanted to make absolutely sure she was sending her to the right home. I know Janine would much rather have met me as she likes to meet all her horses buyer but she trusted me & transport was arranged. Having dealt with some dodgy seller before my husband was especially nervous about giving over the money before seeing the horse, but again Janine was reassuring & trusting. Marike arrived to our delight on 18th January. She was hairy & still under weight but in a short time she is returned to the full splendour she once was. Muscled , shiny, proud & very much admired!

Friesians are undoubtedly dream horses, but like any horse they do need time to settle completely & Marike took longer than some probably due to her history. The lasting bond & trust we now have had to be earned & on both sides & took I would say a good 6 months. Like any horse you will have your ups & downs, challenges & achievements. The last thing I wanted was a boring horse, this she is not. We have grown together & now have a wonderful relationship.

3 months after Marike had arrived we were going away & thinking I was doing the right thing booked Marike in for Livery & training with a locally well known dressage yard. Here they practiced natural horsemanship & seemed to be the right place for her. I hired a locally recommended transporter to take her the 5 miles to the yard but then a terrible thing happened. On loading the transporters did not tie her up at all short enough & she became wedged under the partition. At the time ‘seemingly’ unharmed I told the Livery yard my concern & what had happened & instructed them to check her back thoroughly & not to hesitate in calling the Vet if there was a problem but they reassured me the next day that she was absolutely fine & completely sound. So off I went for 2 weeks in Florida. Having not been contacted at all with a problem I returned expecting to hear how well she’d been doing only to be told she’d been an un ride able, wild, bucking, rearing raged horse. Didn’t sound like my horse at all! I was horrified & listening to these ‘professionals’ became very concerned. They told me ‘You’ve brought the wrong horse here, she’s an Alpha Mare, an intelligent but way out classed horse with physiological problems & that I must send her back. I was told never to hack her out, not to ride her again, that she was disturbed in a school….. all these things but I’d had no problems with her before…. My world had fallen apart! Janine & I had long conversations both upset by what was happening, Janine could not have been more supportive or genuinely up set as I was. Janine’s instinct was right, something had happened to this horse & digging deeper I found out what. 3 Vet exams later & xrays it was established that she had suffered a Dorsal Spinous compression injury (fortunately no facture!) during boxing & this was causing her agony where weight bared (completely sound otherwise). Janine was absolutely brilliant. When ever do you meet a seller who would genuinely have taken a horse back? Janine would have done. This lady is a rare gem in the often dishonest, crooked world of horse dealing. She is genuine, caring, knowledgeable & stands by absolutely every horse she sells. I honestly think she finds it hard to part with any of them!! It is like they are all her very own. I can’t thank her enough for giving me the courage & support to stick with this wonderful horse through this time. I am pleased to say that after 3 months rest & initial painkillers & a nervous first mount Marike was back to her old self. I am gifted with the most wonderful animal, my baby, my Marike x. Thank you Janine.

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