A lumpy-legged mare destined for slaughter until a fearsome young girl intervened, made her Pony Club showing debut this summer in the next chapter of an “incredible journey” that began in a depressing auction house where all hope seemed lost.
Watching from the sidelines and rejoicing at the near-miracle that brought together her 12-year-old daughter Emma Myruski with the beautiful black mare Ruby, longtime Thoroughbred advocate and parent Kay O’Hanlon Myruski says she could not be more proud.
“Emma’s dedication and hard work never ceases to amaze me,” says Myruski. “She is an old soul in a young body. She feels what a horse needs and instinctively does it. Her knowledge doesn’t come from textbooks, it’s decades of horsemanship lineage in her DNA that has brought about this incredible journey with Ruby.”
The young girl found the unidentified Thoroughbred in 2014 at the Unadilla Auction in Upstate New York, tied with bailing twine to a long, oak feed manger, and frightened. So moved was Myruski that she sat with the mare, stroking her head and promising her better days ahead. And, she whispered, “No matter what happens, I’ll get you out, and you’ll be safe.”
Making good on that pledge, Emma later tearfully pleaded with a meat buyer to let the horse go. And with the help of her mother and other Thoroughbred advocates, the child and older horse left the auction house to face the unknown together.
And in June, after spending time getting to know the mare, Emma took Ruby to Pony Club at Centenary College in New Jersey, after warning her friends and fellow riders that Ruby looked a little different than the other horses.
“I explained to my team that her legs are a little ugly, and that her back isn’t very straight, but that it’s OK. She’s not a normal horse. But I love her,” Emma says.
After earning a 5th place ribbon in the first show, the pair took a 9th place equitation ribbon against 60 other riders at the Tryon Show in North Carolina in August. Buoyed by the experience, Emma says she plans to enter Ruby in more shows. Though the mare has weathered life’s storms, evident in her imperfect conformation, the horse is nonetheless amazing, Emma says.
“I wanted to bring her to these shows because she’s the best horse I had at the time. She still is. She acts like she’s done these shows a million times before. Nothing bothers her,” Emma says. “I think about” how she was rescued “and I feel happy she’s come so far. It was just really special for Ruby to be at a show.”
Emma’s mother agrees.
“These shows are a journey, adventure and a celebration of Ruby’s finest moments in life,” Myruski says. “This horse has never been so loved.”