When Franziska Pütz abandoned her new life in America a year ago and returned to her native Germany, she took with her a little souvenir named Texas.
Texas was just a grumpy Thoroughbred mare who, for reasons Pütz can’t readily explain, touched her so deeply that she threw caution to the wind in January 2012 and purchased the Pennsylvania-bred animal.
Even now, pondering a decision that to some would seem absurd, Pütz laughs as she recalls how she, a liberal arts student at a tiny college on Boston’s North Shore, would think to buy a horse.
After all, she was short on funds and Texas was short on personality.
“The day I went to look at horses, I think I must have looked at 30. I didn’t like any of them but then I saw this one in the back, and they said, ‘That’s Texas, she’s grumpy!’ ”
Not from Texas
New name: Mardie’s Falling Star
Sire: Broad and Locust
Dam: Jans Time to Dance, by Judge Smells
Foal date: Feb. 26, 2006But the unfriendly little mare had a beauty about her, and when Pütz saw her move around the round pen, she was quickly smitten.
Against all wisdom and good advice, she purchased the mare and stretched her budget thin paying board to keep the mare in Hamilton, Mass., near her college.
“After classes, I worked with her everyday. I didn’t have the money for a saddle at first, and it was a very risky thing for me to do financially,” she admits.
But she vowed that she would not put her horse at risk no matter what the future may have in store.
True to her word, last year when she was making plans to return home to Germany after divorcing her husband, Pütz didn’t buy one plane ticket. She bought two.
Selling her car, she used every cent to fund a four-week stay in a quarantine barn in New Jersey, an international flight to Amsterdam, and a long van ride to Munich.
“I remember when I told my family I was bringing the horse, they thought I was crazy. I said I don’t care. I’m going to take her. Because I think that if you buy a horse, you take on a responsibility, and you just don’t give it up,” Pütz says. “Sometimes it’s financially hard, but it’s our responsibility.”
And while Texas has had some challenges settling into her new German home—even sustaining a deep cut on her leg, which later became infected—she bounced back nicely with the faithful attention of her adopted mom. Pütz has created a Facebook page to chronicle her mare’s adventures: Texas aka Mardie’s Falling Star starts a new life.
Pütz now teaches riding lessons and works in a coffee shop to support her mare. An American Thoroughbred living among European Warmbloods thanks to the dedication of a true horseman, a designation that knows no borders.