The Lovely Lady Lonza
Birth date: June 15, 2002
Lady Lonza is more than a horse to SuzAnne. She is the first horse to be born at Dunrovin and to be raised by SuzAnne. She is a direct connection to her late father as Lonza was foaled on his birthday the year after he died.
Lady Lonza’s unusual color is called apricot champagne which is described in the International Champagne Horse Registry. In the sunshine, her color is reminiscent of a new born fawn. Luckily she has dark skin around her eyes and on her nose; light skin is more susceptible to skin cancer in horses.
Every person who meets her completely understands the need to put the word LOVELY in front of her name. Her looks are stunning, she has a soft eye for people, and she adores being groomed and scratched. She is also a joy to ride with a VERY big stride – few horses can keep up with her when walking downhill; she eats up the ground with every step of her long-legged, sure-footed stride.
The herd geldings, however, might want to add a different word to her name – something along the lines of HORRID. It would be a polite understatement to say that she is consistently unpleasant to them. She is smart. She knows that while under saddle, or when standing with her handler, she must refrain from “bullying the boys” – but all one has to do is to walk away, and immediately her ears flatted back, she turns her dangerous butt to point at any nearby gelding. Her behavior with the geldings is the main reason that Lonza is not used very often to guide trail rides. Dunrovin reserves her for times when SuzAnne rides with other experienced horse riders who know not to tie their horse within kicking range of her or when SuzAnne goes off by herself. Lady Lonza is very happy to be alone on the trails.
On SuzAnne’s Father’s Birthday
In the post on this site entitled Lonzo Becomes Lonza, SuzAnne describes the circumstances and intensely personal meaning of Lady Lonza’s birth. It was a very emotional day for SuzAnne and her mother. Braced to pass her Dad’s birthday without him being alive for the first time, they anticipated a grieving and lonely day consoling each other. That all changed when Lonza made her way into the world and brought joy and beauty in place of sadness.
And the birth was just the beginning. SuzAnne had never before raised a horse on her own. There was so much to learn and so much fun to be had. Luckily, Dunrovin was surrounded by many, may skilled horse people who assisted SuzAnne along this new path.
Annie proved to be an exceptional mother who confidently let SuzAnne imprint Lonza by firmly holding each of Lonza’s legs and releasing only when Lonza relaxed and stopped resisting, by rubbing her hands in her ears and mouth and around her eyes to accustom her to human touch in sensitive areas, by tapping on each hoof, and rubbing her all over. She was vigilant about keeping the two geldings that SuzAnne owned at the time, Power and Denali, away from the fence whenever Lonza wondered over their way – although one afternoon, SuzAnne came home to find that Lonza had rolled under the fence and into the pasture with the two boys while Annie was frantically running up and down along the fence. No one was hurt, and Lonza quickly ran to mother when the gate between them was opened.
Raising a foal opens the door to so many new horse adventures. Although Annie was lame and could not be ridden, SuzAnne would ride Denail, pony Annie, and let Lonza run behind. It gave Lonza lots of great exercise to develop strong bones and muscles and it helped familiarize Lonza with lots of the challenges that she would later encounter under saddle. Annie LOVES the water and splashes in the river every chance she gets. She happily followed SuzAnne and Denali crossing the Bitterroot River and Lonza seemed equally happy to jump right in and bring up the rear. Once Lonza was large enough to be ponied on her own, SuzAnne took her on many trail rides and over obstacles so she could learn from the equine trail expert, Denali. It was a wonderful couple of summers with Lonza either loose or on a lead coming along on many backcountry trails.
Lady Lonza’s first foal, Sona, was tragically killed in Dunrovin’s pastures by an archer – we will not call such a person a hunter, as true hunters always are sure of their quarry before firing their weapon. She was found early in the morning. It was a day that Dunrovin will never forget – a painful and horrifying memory.
Lady Lonza’s second foal, Serena, happily lives in Helena, Montana, with her owners Daniel and Monica Birlut. Serena was a gift to Daniel for his years of service as Dunrovin’s ranch manager. Serena had a colt of her own in the spring of 2015.