Tag: Quarter Horse

My Horses Over The Years – Mufasa Pine

My Horses Over The Years – Mufasa Pine


After too many year of arguing with Wrangler, I was a bit leery about another Quarter Horse. Rawhide was different. He wasn’t pleasure bred, but cow and reining bred. He was born at the barn where we board (and still do) so I’d known him for a good portion of his young life. Although he lived in the pasture with the herd and wasn’t handled much, he was quiet and laid back. Just what I needed after Wrangler put the fear of riding back into me.

I bought Rawhide as a long yearling stud colt in September 2008. For the first time he had a stall and his own person. He took to his new life and his lessons well and learned quickly. We had quite a bit of work ahead of us if he was going to be ready to start breaking as a 2 year old. he learned everything he needed to except how to lunge/round pen. He was so attached to me I couldn’t get him far enough away. Oh well … not a big deal. he wasn’t going to be the type of horse that needed to be lunged before he was ridden anyway. In November he figured out he was a stallion and I had to make the decision I didn’t want to make. Being a gelding was going to be a much better life for him so he was gelded.

When Rawhide turned 2 he wasn’t big enough for Greg to start so I was the first one on his back. It had been many years since I was on an unbroken colt and Greg helped me quite a bit. Although he was really good, Greg & I decided I was too old to be possibly get bucked off. There was a young trainer at the barn. We were told he was really good so we let him have Rawhide for 30 days. Little did I know at that time that decision would cost both Rawhide and I dearly for the rest of the time I owned him. (See my post entitled So Many Trainers …. Which One Is Right For My Horse?). We had a great summer trail riding, learning how to work cattle, doing turn back for cutting and everything else I could think of exposing him to.

In the spring just before he turned 3, we decided to move him to a barn that was closer to our house. It was a beautiful place. He and Koko had the choice of suing their stalls or being outside. There were hills and a creek that ran through their pasture. We were looking forward to having them close enough to go almost every day. He got off the trailer, poofed up like a peacock and was never the same. he was wild, arrogant and study. He herded me around like I was one of his mares. When I rode I wasn’t sure if he was going to buck, rear or take off with me. He was growing into a little tank and his behavior scared me. Greg was tired of riding the trails alone so he decided to hand walk Rawhide on the trails to see how he was.  Rawhide was relaxed and grazing. It was going well until Greg was ready to head back to the barn. He pulled Rawhide’s head up. Rawhide went up and struck out with a front foot. Although he was corrected hard and quickly for all of his misbehaving, he still continued to be arrogant and belligerent. Our trainer friend stopped by on his way past to see what was going on and if he could correct it. My colt turned into a rodeo bronc. Reprimand made him worse. We were at our whits end and I was terrified to handle him on the ground, let alone get on him again. Little did I know this was the beginning of the end. We were only there 2 1/2 months when I decided Rawhide had to go back to his old barn. We trailered him back on a Friday evening. Rawhide went out in his old pasture with his newly found attitude.  The next morning we went to check on him. Docile, laid back Rawhide had returned with a few added hoof prints on him. A few of his buddies didn’t like his new attitude and “told” him about it.

Over the next few years our relationship was on a downhill spiral and I didn’t know why. He became afraid of, well… everything. He was afraid to ride in his pasture, the hay fields, trail rides, the trailer. He was alright in the ring.  Ring work became mundane and he was getting ring sour. On the rare occasion I could get him on a trail ride he spooked at everything. It was getting old. I thought things were starting to turn around. He was 5. He’d grown up and matured. We traded the slant load in and bought a brand new 4 horse stock trailer thinking if he had an entire section to himself, he’d be more willing to go in. We loaded Koko loose in the front and put Rawhide loose in the back of the trailer and drove to Green Lane. We had a great ride. We were out for hours and on trails he’d never been on.  He was perfect.

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We finished our ride and put both of them in the trailer loose. We got back to the barn and  with lead in hand I went to unload my horse. He wasn’t there. I hopped up on the running board to see if he went down, but he wasn’t there. I was panicked and hear commotion from the front of the trailer. Both horses were in front and Rawhide had Koko squashed against the side of the trailer. She wasn’t happy. We unloaded both of them. Not a mark on either, but he was shaken up. The only thing we can figure out is that the center partition wasn’t completely closed so that it latched. It was very stiff and hard to close since it was new. During the ride it must have swung open. Somehow Rawhide got around it to get upfront with Koko, it swung back hard enough it latched and locked both in front. I’m so thankful we never tied them in the trailer. Unfortunately Rawhide wouldn’t get in the trailer again, regardless of how much we worked with him.

We were stuck in the ring again. He hated the ring, but now he refused to go anywhere except the ring. I couldn’t even ride him across the parking lot that he’d ridden across hundreds of times. I talked to Greg on several occassions about selling him over the following few years and Greg always talked me out of it. He’d ride Rawhide once in awhile and had no problems. The more I rode the worse he got. I’d ask for a trot, I got attitude then a trot. I asked for a canter, I got a buck before the canter. I smacked him for bucking, he bucked again.

I didn’t realize it at the time, but when he changed so drastically after moving to the new barn and I became afraid of him, he started loosing confidence in me. I gained my confidence in him back, but he never trusted me again. It was time for both of us to move on. I showed him to a girl that just loved him. He was absolutely horrendous for me ad an angel for her. I knew I made the right decision. It took 3 people to shove Rawhide into the trailer, but he went to his new home shortly before Christmas 2014. I heard he was doing well and even being used as a lesson horse for beginners.

I met TJ on December 28, 2014. He was delivered on New Years’ Day 2015. TJ is a special horse. He was so special his story needed to be shared. You can read it in my other blog From Show Pen to Kill Sale and Beyond.

My Horses Over The Years – Six Bars of Steel

My Horses Over The Years – Six Bars of Steel


Foaled in April of 1991, Dundee was by Steel Test out of Tender Gold Skipette. The 7/8 Skipper W colt was bred by Bill Devito and was intended to be his next show horse and eventually breeding stallion. Sometimes plans change.

He was a rank 10 month old stud colt (soon to be a gelding) when I bought him. We spent the next year continuing his ground work and showing in halter at Penn Jersey Horse Show Association’s monthly show, where he did quite well.

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At 2, he was big enough to start riding. My (non horsey) husband at the time wouldn’t let me break him so he was handed back to Bill for 60 days of training. Shortly after he was started, he threw Bill and broke 4 ribs. It was no fault of Dundee’s, but rather Bill trusting his colts too much and not paying attention as much as he should have. A few months delay in his training while Bill’s ribs healed, I got him back ready to ride on the fall of 1993.   In the meantime I continued to show him all summer at Penn Jersey. He was so tall and leggy I switched to hunter in hand.

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Winter came and riding ceased. It was so icy all winter horses could barely get out and riding was out of the question. Spring finally came, the ground thawed and we could start riding again. At almost 3 years old, Dundee was 15.1h. He grew quite a bit over the winter and turned into a very nice looking horse. I lunged him several times before I started riding again to get him back into his work routine, but there was no need. He had a good work ethic and it’s like he never had a day off.

At that time my husband and I were renting a house at an old Girl Scout camp that had been closed for years.  Rent was cheap and we had 65 acres to play on, a creek for fishing, hunting and skating. We were having a blast. While we were saving for a house, we weren’t saving as much as we should have. Just as I was really getting back into riding after a long icy winter, a letter from the Girl Scout Council came in the mail. They decided to sell the camp and we had 60 days to move out. We didn’t have enough saved for a down payment on a house and couldn’t find anything suitable to rent. His parents offered to lend us the rest of the down payment, but the toys had to go. He was forced to sell his mud truck and dirt bike and Dundee had to be sold. I was heart broken. The horse of my dreams would no longer be mine. At not quite 30, I had to suck it up once more and be an adult, put my priorities straight and sell my horse in a hurry.

Quite a few people looked at him, but he wasn’t what any of them were looking for. We found a house and the offer we put in was accepted. A settlement date had been set and was approaching rapidly, as well as the date we needed to be out of the house we were living in. Dundee still didn’t sell. We were down to the wire. I had no choice but to take him to the sale. He was run through the Hamburg sale.  He sold for far less than he should have, but I kept my commitment to my in-laws and sold the horse. I signed the transfer report took my money and left as quickly as possible without even knowing who bought him.

A few months later we were settled into the new house and I had some time on weekends that didn’t include painting, organizing and putting things away. My Mom asked me to meet her at Green Lane Park for the National Trails Day lunch. We had a nice lunch. I got to visit some of my horse friends that I hadn’t seen in awhile. Then I saw him. the horse of my dreams was being ridden by someone else. I was crushed, but I wanted to see Dundee again. It turned out that he was purchased by a local horse dealer at the sale. It took everything I had to walk up and introduce myself as his previous owner. I rubbed Dundee’s  forehead, kissed him on the muzzle and walked away. I quickly went to my car and left.

I never saw Dundee again. From his AQHA records, he’s registered to a lady in West Chester, PA, but I could never find any contact information for her. I’ve often wondered over the years how he was, what he turned out like and if he had a good life.

Wyatt’s Story

Wyatt’s Story


Wyatt was born at the barn where we board on May 30, 2014. He was by a Shining Spark grandson, out of an own daughter of Smart Little Lena and the only foal that year. Charlie was getting out of breeding and cutting back on the amount of horses he owned. We saw him when he was 5 days old and immediately wanted him. There was something about that foal. We knew he was special. It wasn’t feasible to own (& board) three horses. Even though I was kicking around the idea of selling Rawhide, I’d still have to pay board for a horse I couldn’t ride for 2 years. I put that idea out of my mind.

He was an ornery little bugger. He wasn’t very old when he took a nip at me and ran. He was nicknamed Brat Colt. I still visited him when we went to the barn and played with him a bit. I had to try hard not to get attached. He was still there when I sold Rawhide and still for sale. At almost a year, he was turning into a nice colt. Still ornery, but very sweet. I passed him up again for the same reason. Paying board for another year + on a horse I couldn’t ride.

When the trainer we bought TJ from delivered him on January 1, 2015, we told her about the colt and persuaded her to buy him. He was loaded into the trailer and off he went to his new home. I was no longer tempted by the colt I couldn’t have and was looking forward to my new, well trained horse.

I only owned TJ for a year when I found out he needed to be ridden more than I could get to the barn. See his blog at TJStheBomb.com for the full story. TJ was put up for sale and I was casually looking for a new horse.

The trainer I bought TJ from had a 2 year old palomino gelding on her website. I called to get some information about him. She told me he wouldn’t be suitable for what I wanted to do, but had the perfect horse. She asked if I remembered the chestnut colt she bought when she delivered TJ. I couldn’t believe she still had him and that she was willing to sell him.  I made arrangements to see the colt that weekend.

He turned into a beautiful colt. A stocky colt around 14h.  Still unnamed and still ornery, a bit cocky, but friendly and curious. He was quick, agile and had attitude. He grew up to be everything I wanted. He was turned out for a year to grow up. He was going to be her personal horse, but she didn’t have time for him.

She had several clients in mind for TJ. Since our trailer was buried behind equipment and 2′ of snow we couldn’t take TJ up. She picked TJ up the following day as a deposit on the colt. A check took care of the balance and after almost 2 years of wanting him, the colt was finally mine. Now he really needed a name. I couldn’t keep calling him Brat, regardless of how well it fit. My track record for naming animals has been bad, so I asked Greg to pick a good cowboy name for him. So Wyatt it became.

 

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We made arrangements for him to stay with the trainer for 60 days. He needed all of his ground work and then started under saddle. I wasn’t concerned about starting him before he was 2. He’s a solid colt and could handle some weight.

Little did he know his life would change drastically. Wyatt was put in a stall and gelded shortly after. I really wanted to keep him a colt, but since Greg’s horse is a mare it wasn’t going to work out well.

His training started with the ground work he never had and then under saddle. He’s been there about 45 days and learning most things quickly. I’m looking forward to him coming home on May 1st. Stay tuned … I’m sure future posts will be updates on Wyatt.

Would you like to hear more about Wyatt?  Follow my blog Growing Up Wyatt.

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