When I first emailed Doubletail about a horse, I was looking for something safe, friendly, safe, older, safe ... you get the point. I was broken-hearted and adrift from the long illness and recent death of my beloved husband. I'm middle-aged, over-weight and I own several older safe riding horses. What on earth would I want with a two-year old? When I first mentioned my "wants" on the phone to Tom, he suggested I might think about a younger horse. Having been for years around young thoroughbreds, warmbloods, standardbreds, field hunters and morgans, I dismissed this notion at first. The idea had some small appeal, however (the growing old together thing) so I kept an open mind when I visited Doubletail. The rest, you can surmise. I bought Magic, a two-year old. I have never regretted the move. Magic is a dream come true.

Where ever Magic is on my 17-acre farm, he comes running when I call him. He understands voice commands and body language so well that I can manouver him around the barn and stalls without halter or lead-line. He is PERFECT for the blacksmith and he has even remarked how good Magic is for a 2-yr old (and this farrier does trim other drafts). But Magic is no dud. He is playful and clever --- I cannot leave laundry out overnight on the clothesline when he has access, for he distributes the clothes all over the yard. I'm on my 4th group of clothespins because he has learned to take the clothespin bag off the line and carries it all over, dispersing the clothespins as he goes. He once snuck up on an 80-year old woman (all of about 4'11" and maybe 90 lb) and nuzzled the back of her neck. You could almost see him laughing at her surprise. He towered over her, but was as gentle as can be. She still talks about this with much pleasure and fondness. Despite my admonitions to "Watch the FEET!!!" kids can clamber all over him and he never moves.

Whether it is ground driving, riding, hitching and cart work --- anything I can think of --- Magic never disappoints.

Magic loves to spend time with me, so he always is eager to work, and to be groomed. He is quite interactive --- using his intelligence and good humor to keep me engaged. Magic has truly been magical for me, and I believe he and I were meant to be together. He got me through some very tough emotional times as I adjust to widowhood. I have four other horses here (plus two boarders) and I love them all, too. But Magic is special.

Perhaps what is best of all, is the integrity of Pam and Tom. They represented Magic correctly, 100% honestly. Magic has remained 100% sound and healthy; Doubletail's veterinary care is the best. I also know that they are my safety-net, should I get into any problems with Magic. I am planning to visit this fall several times and hang out with their trainers so that I can do the best job I can with Magic. This honesty and support is invaluable to me.

Pam and Tom haven't asked me for a reference, but I wanted you to know how easy and rewarding my Doubletail youngster has been.

Susan Donoghue, VMD