Ccbmmom, I am so sorry to hear about your daughter! Broken bones are never fun but I'm sure she'll heal up quickly and well.
In all honesty, most of my personal horses for much of my life have been freebies for one reason or another.
Buck, he was the horse I grew up on. Dad picked him off a killer truck that the previous owner had put him on. Buck had hurt a couple of his cowboys pretty bad and everyone was scared of him so they were just having him hauled off to the butchers with a load of cattle when Dad claimed him. He was with us until he day we had to put him down.
Then, after him was Flash (the sorrel). He was given to my brother after being diagnosed with Navicular at age 5. After some time off and meticulous hoof care, he was sound as any other horse. I rode him for several years until I got Denny and then Flash ended up being my step-mom's first horse when she started riding. He passed away last year at the age of 28.
Denny. He was given to me in exchange for the training bill on him that his owner was unable to pay. I started him all by myself when I was 14 and by the time he was broke enough to send home, his owner was in financial trouble. She offered me the horse to keep from having to pay for his training. He's now 18 years old and retired.
Olen we got from the same folks we got Buck from. The way I understand it, Olen just happened to be on a truck of cattle when it showed up at their place. He was 2 years old, ungelded, and basically unhandled. They didn't want him so they gave him to me and my brother. Olen and I are the same age and he was my very first "horse" I had all to myself when I was a tiny kid. Now, he belongs to my 3 year old niece and he's her first "horse" as well.
Jesse (the buckskin) is yet another freebie from the same folks as Buck and Olen. They own a feedlot and they were having a lot of trouble trying to keep him sound working on the hard packed ground and concrete all day long every day so they gave him to me believing that I would either find a use for him or find him a good home where they were looking for a horse to plod around on and not do much real work. Well, he found a home with my nephew since we lost his horse to colic last year. They clicked right from the start and Braden is much more confident on Jesse than he ever was on Zippo.
Then there's Nester. He belonged to an old cowboy friend of my family who willed Nester to us when he passed away. He's officially my step-mom's horse and they fit together like 2 peas in a pod. He's kid and beginner safe, and really sort of a plug. It's nice to have him around but I am glad that I never have to ride him. He's just too...blah for me LOL.
Of course, there was Bessie, who was given to us by another friend instead of hauling her off to the auction. Pretty much anyone could guess how an ugly 7 year old green broke Belgian mare would have fared at the auction
. BUT, she makes a very nice mate to John for our driving team.
And, to top it off, she was pregnant by a QH stud when we got her, so Rafe was a freebie too LOL.
Then there was Taz, a "whoops" baby from John and a neighbor's paint mare. They were ecstatic about the baby until the husband passed away. The wife isn't very horsey so she asked if I wanted Taz. Even though he was the ugliest foal I'd ever seen, I couldn't say no. Thank God he is growing into his body LOL.
And, last, there is this little girl. I'm going to be getting her either sometime this fall or next spring. She is, as of yet, unnamed and she will be a freebie as well.