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The Introduction

Julie Christiansen and Lad's Roubidoux Ruby Z
Julie Christiansen and Lad's Roubidoux Ruby Z.

continued by Brenda Zeigenbein
continuation of previous story entitled, Brave Or Foolish

We’ve met a lot of interesting people over the years through foxtrotters and foxtrotter activities. A few years ago, we placed an ad in the Journal. A woman from the St. Louis area called about a black mare we had for sale. She wanted to come see the mare but the weather was bad and she said she would have to wait until it cleared. Several days and weeks went by and finally the weather cleared so she could get her trailer out of the barn lot. On the day she was to come, we patiently waited for her to arrive. Finally, she and a friend showed up. She had gone about thirty minutes out of her way and got lost. She was shaking like a leaf and smoking like a chimney, she was so nervous. We walked over to the stall to show her the mare she had come to see. She took one look at her and shook her head and said, “No, I don’t want her”. I was really surprised she would come all that way and not even want to get her out of the stall to look at her better. Her friend convinced her she should at least see her rode. We got the mare out of the stall, groomed her, and rode her. A few minutes later, we asked the lady from St. Louis if she wanted to ride her. She did. About two laps around the barn and a big smile started to light up her face. She stopped in front of us and said, “I’ll take her”. Just like that, she went from not liking or wanting the mare - to buying her. Then things started getting even stranger. She and her friend pulled envelopes out of purses and pockets and started counting out the cash. As it turned out, she had been hiding money from her husband so she could buy a horse and she had stashed it everywhere, even giving money to her friend to hold for her. That was our introduction to Julie Christiansen. Julie’s husband didn’t know she bought the mare until it was time for her to foal and Julie started staying late at her barn.

Since that time, we have had many other dealings with Julie, some of them just as strange. One time Clarence came home to find a very large box on our front porch. He opened it and discovered a new Hereford Madison saddle. The next day, Julie called to tell us to be expecting a parcel. She had found the saddle and wanted to buy it but her husband told her she would have to sell her other saddle first before she could buy the Madison. Julie knew the Madison would be gone by the time she sold her saddle so she called the tack dealer, charged the saddle to her credit card, and then had the saddle shipped to Clarence. Once she sold her Circle Y, she came down and hauled her new saddle home as if she had just purchased it. Obviously, there is more than one way to do things.

Julie’s husband, Mike, is not a horse enthusiast – he is into cars and racing. He has come to our barn with Julie a few times. One time Julie saddled her mare, Lad’s Roubidoux Ruby Z., and told Mike he could ride her. Ruby started off walking slowly but as she approached the other end of the barn, she started going faster and faster. As she came up the other side of the barn, she was nearly running. Just as I stepped out on the track to try and slow her or stop her, she ducked into the middle, went into my cross tie and turned around to be unsaddled. To this day, Mike tells me he trained Ruby to do that. After that little episode, I made a deal with Mike – he don’t train my show horses and I don’t build his race cars.

When Mike talks about Julie and her horses, he always says, “Julie has three horses”. As he says this, he holds up ten fingers. Three is the number she tells him she has, and ten is the number he suspects she MAY have. He hasn’t a clue how many horses she does have. He jokes about it but I don’t think he really cares. The truth is he is proud of Julie and her accomplishments with the horses.

It has been fun to watch Julie as she learned to ride and show. She is very determined and is really dedicated to her horses and to showing. Her knowledge and ability have improved a lot through the years. She is one of the hardest workers I know and deserves whatever honors come her way.

Anyway, that strange and peculiar introduction was the beginning of a ten year relationship – a business relationship and a friendship.

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