Espinilla came into my life for the first time when she was 3 years old. The breeder of my Dobres, who is also her breeder, Sr. Pedro from Yeguada Sierra de Guadalupe, sent her together with her half sister, to my friend, when he was downsizing before retiring from breeding. I spent some time in Spain at that time and so knew her for about few months. For the next few years I only met her few times as she went to a mutual friend to her new home, which was about 5 hours of drive more south. Last year, at the beginning of 2015, I spent almost 3 months there helping my friend restructure his business and so got to see her again. As we worked all the time, it was needed to take a break every now and then to recharge, and so every free minute I had, I went to see the horses. That always helps me relax and recharge my batteries :-) My friend breeds horses in Spain as a passsion, as many of the well known business people there do, and he has almost 100 of them. Yes, a lot :-) He managed to put together some incredible mother mare lines and so getting a horse out of him to purchase from these mares is extremely tough - and who can blame him :-)
Anyway, when I saw her at that time again, she was more matured and started looking really impressive. But she was still that gentle soul she always was. There has always been something about her. Almost angel like personality that if you were capable of feeling, was just very special. I developed a very close bond to her and she did towards me. Would love to go spend time with her when I could. Her and Atento were always "my" resting points when I was there. I would just hang out with them. I always knew that Espinilla would have an incredible baby with Dobres, as I know her dam very well, I know that family and what the mother line gives. And when you see the mothers in these lines and you get to see many of the children and cousins and others from the family, you get a pretty good idea for what might work and what not so much. The legendary mom of Espinilla, Legionaria RAM, is in all respects, a perfect compliment to Dobres and to what he gives in his offspring. The colts from that cross are just plain incredible, there is no other way to describe them! I will bring you photos soon :-) Even before Espinilla became calificado, I was in love with her and would have loved to have her. But of course, this is not always possible and my friend really did not want to sell her. He told me repeatedly that he might but only to me. Which was very sweet and I felt very honored, however I knew her value was just too high and I was already getting Dobres so just not a reality for me at that time. But again, if you are following these pages, you know by now that when I have that feeling about a horse, I really want the best for them, and leaving such a gentle soul in Spain was something I really struggled with. But things have a way of working out when you really want them to, I guess...
When I was there, Espinilla was in foal expecting her first baby and so it was a special time for her. I could sense she was a bit insecure about it and that it was a big event for her. Which is what made all of this even more special as I could be there for her. She gave this all back to me too, it was obvious how much she appreciated it. She gave birth to a beautiful baby girl while I was there and few pictures are attached. She let some of our clients come visit this close, even when the baby was only few hours old, as long as I was there. it was very touching and I guess by now you know how much she means to me.
Well, my time there ended and I came back home and went through the whole half a year of mostly Spain and some time here. We were getting ready for the Championship of Andalucia with Dobres and then SICAB with him so things were crazy. I saw Espinilla and her baby only about once per month when I was in Spain and could take the time to drive down there to see her. It was the same everytime, she was so happy to see me. It was touching. And of course I kept thinking about her a lot. I talked to my friend and felt like maybe I could pull it off, find her the right home and make it happen that way for her. I put her up on my website not long before SICAB. She was at the Championship of Andalucia and SICAB as well so I got to see her more finally. And right around that time, her new home contacted me by e-mail :-) I actually made a video for them of her at SICAB :-) It was really like it was meant to be. I cannot explain it in any other way. My friend kept asking me at SICAB if I would ever sell her if I would be him... I remember telling him that if she would have been mine, then no. I would never sell her. Yes, I am always honest :-) Few days afterwards here I was trying to figure out a way to make him change his mind and let her go. Anyway, it was not easy and up until now I still sometimes cannot believe he did sell her. I think it was just the right time, a lot of luck and I was just very fortunate to have been able to talk him into it. And the fact he bread to Dobres and wanted to keep breeding to Dobres helped of course. The more I found out about what kind of a home she would have, the more I really wanted her to have it. Even though it meant that one day I would not be able to get her myself anymore because of that. She was so loving and so trusting towards me that I really wanted her to have a home that would love her and give her all the attention she craved so much and would not get in Spain.
She ended up flying to the USA to the same home as my DINA and they are both loved and spoiled beyond belief. We get photos and updates on regular basis and their new home has nothing but praises for both of them. Since frozen semen from Dobres was also involved, I might even get my wish and she might have a foal by Dobres one of these years. She had a gorgeous colt few months ago and all went well. She is under saddle and loving every minute of it, completely natural talent :-) What more could I wish for? I am grateful that this was possible and it feels really good to know that I played a part in all of this - that my girl Espinilla will have a life that will be so much more like she wanted because she met me. Makes me feel very honored. Thank you to my friend for letting her go and thank you to Judy and Walter Henslee from Rancho del Lago for giving her and Dina such a home.