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“Note to Self” my (so far happy) experience buying (a yearling! 🤦🏻‍♀️) from Bowie Livestock

A few weeks ago I was reading a completely unrelated topic over in H/J when somebody posted a link to a horse at the Bowie Livestock Auction. If you’ve never looked in that site, enter at your own risk. https://www.bowietexaslivestock.com/product-category/odwyer-horses/

The horse the COTHer posted was adorable but not my type, but I scrolled through the other listings and looked at a filly who was supposed to be a 3-yr-old. I watched her trot video over and over.

I’m a 57-year-old lifelong horsewoman. Hardened. Professional.

I dreamed about that filly.

In my defense and from a hardened professional standpoint, I laid out her positives. Bay with just the right amount of white, clean legged, good angles in her shoulder and hip. Not coughing. Not afraid of the flag handler. A low, sweeping, loose pretty trot in a small concrete pen. A price tag of $780.

According to her listing I had a week to figure something out. I talked to knowledgeable horse friends, none of whom attempted to discourage me :smirk: I researched quarantine facilities and shipping costs from Texas to Virginia and checked every day to see if she’d been purchased, mostly hoping that she had. I cleared it with my DH, explaining that yes I was dipping into madness and no it probably wasn’t curable.

I texted the number at Bowie and they got right back to me. They run a quarantine facility a mile away from the auction house and they’d be happy to arrange shipping. Here’s the cost and our handy dandy PayPal link.

I reached out again to my knowledgeable friends and COTH acquaintances who continued to happily enable. I hit the BUY NOW button and drank :wine_glass:

I got a few updates while the filly was in quarantine so I at least knew she wasn’t dying. They require that you also purchase a dose of wormer and antibiotic which is supposed to be administered the day the horse enters quarantine. I have no way to know if this happened or not. I also purchased a halter since she was reportedly not halter broke and I didn’t want her arriving to my farm without at least a halter. I drank some more and waited for the two week quarantine to be over. At the end of two weeks she had a dry nose, no cough, and a normal temperature so they arranged shipping. I got a call from the shipper this past Wednesday telling me she was on the trailer and headed to Virginia. On Thursday she had been transferred from one rig to another (they backed them up together and pushed her from one into the other) and she arrived at my farm 7:30 pm. The driver was a young woman and very kind. She backed her rig right up to the gate of my isolation paddock and then it took us about fifteen minutes to convince the filly to get off.

I was able to put my hands on her, switch her halter over to a leather one, and put on a fly mask. She has a gash on her face and she let me smear some meds on it. Then she drank a ton of water.

The next morning she allowed me to catch and then lead her into my isolation stall. She stood at the door for a few minutes before deciding to follow me in.

She’s tiny, has a horrible itchy flaky coat, and most likely will always have an interesting scar on her nose. There’s no way she’s a three year old.

But she’s already brighter eyed, she’s friendly and curious, and our journey has begun.

Her name is “Note to Self” aka “Nosey”.

I have a vet appointment scheduled and a DNA test kit coming from the Jockey Club to see if she can be identified. The guy from Bowie said that she came in with six other babies from a farm in Kentucky.

One got lucky. :heart:


Can’t wait to follow her progress! She’s adorable underneath her current state of the “uglies” :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:



She already looks so much better and happier standing in the grass.

How old do you suppose she is?

Were the quarantine and shipping costs pretty reasonable? They must have a lot of practice there, I would think.

I’m glad you posted an update. I was actually just wondering how things turned out with her the other day, but I was a little afraid to ask. Lol.


“One got lucky.” Indeed.

This is one of the few times I can say that I’m proud to have been a long distance enabler.

Here’s to Nosey! Long may she thrive! :+1::two_hearts:


I think she’s two, but I’m no expert on aging from teeth :slightly_smiling_face:

The quarantine and shipping costs were not outrageous, my total outlay for everything including purchase was under $3000.


Better than twenty. Lol.


Oh yes! I’ll take young and unhandled over old and ruined any day. Although if I had all the money in the world, I’d provide a safe soft landing for every single old and ruined horse out there.


After reading your first post again, I’m wondering how they took her temperature if she wasn’t halter broke. But it’s good that whatever they did to her didn’t seem to put her off humans. Yay.

She certainly took the scenic route from Kentucky to Virginia via Texas.


She’s really nice. :heart_eyes:

I would also guess she’s two. Even if she’s three, I think you can expect a decent growth spurt with groceries.

I hope you get some leads on her breeding from the DNA kit.


That’s not bad to get a young, sane, attractive, very good mover. On top of doing an excellent deed.

Good luck with her!!


You’re going to have an epic Before™️ photo [sniff, dab] for her glow-up series.

Love this well told story, and I’m looking forward to updates.


Two years from now I predict you will post a terrific hunter-pace team photo with Nosey, Henry, you and your pony jock taking a jump in tandem.

(And you know my prediction for Henry came true. Just saying…:laughing:)


This is so amazing and wonderful and I cannot wait to see her blossom!


She has a lovely soft eye in that last photo!


It’s amazing the change in her eye in just two days. From dull and withdrawn to bright and curious. She walked up to the gate this morning to meet me and it was a challenge getting pictures because she kept following me and getting in to my bubble. In the stall I spent some time grooming on her and picked up her front feet.

This filly came from somewhere that she was handled and treated well. Such a mystery.


I hope the DNA test will provide some solid results.


I think that she’s really going to glow up!

Even in her original picture from Bowie, I can see that she has some things going for her conformation wise. The sweet personality is just icing on the cake. I don’t know how to describe it, but she just gives me “good egg” vibes.

You may be able to piece together a bit of her history at some point. It’s wild the connections you can make, even just on COTH. I’m curious to see what the DNA test results will be.

I wish you all the best with her!


I am so happy for Nosey that she managed to find you… and look forward to reports on her progress! Such a sweet face… :blue_heart: :green_heart:


Gosh she is really cute, it’ll be exciting to see what you can do with her and how she grows up! I would wonder if she might actually be a long yearling with a fall birthday (oops baby?) because she looks super immature even for two…. but that’s possibly a nutrition or lack thereof issue.

Honestly based the beginning of your post I assumed she was going to arrive at your place horribly sick/dying. But if the TLC already has her perking up emotionally I bet she’ll look like a different horse in a couple of months!


If someone had shown her to me and told me she was a yearling I wouldn’t have questioned it. She’s about 14 hands and allllllllllll legs, with a teeny tiny body.