I was wondering if Y'all would be willing to share your horses stories. Cricket's is kind of fun. Cricket was the light at the end of my tunnel. My story is sort of long.
The ranch I rode and worked at had a great deal of drama. From one sh*tty boarder who stole things, to a family of sh*tty boarders who stole things and then started alot of drama between our ranch family. The whole "He said, she said!!" crap that all turned out to be lies. Almost ruined an amazing friendship. After that, the owner of the ranch (My best friend was ranch manager, I cleaned corrals and rode and helped train her horses, her husband was the muscle. We made an awesome team...) went a little crazy and, without warning, sold everything on the property. So I come home from school to turn horses out, I have a horse in each hand, and I got out back and... Wait a minute, this place is empty. Big arena, gone. Round pen, seeya. Every pipe corral was gone and the place was littered in beer cans. I call my friend who is on her way home from work, and her husband comes out of the house and he's astonished. We go and talk to the owner and she says:
"Life changes. You can deal with it."
Well no, we can't deal with it. Because we have a three-year-old mustang, a five-year-old mustang, a donkey, and a twenty two-year-old throughobred and no place to work. We had to figure something out fast. The conclusion was that Shrek and Ninja, the two mustang brothers, would have to be sent to Carolina to my best friends mothers ranch. I cried my eyes out for days. I was incredibly depressed. It was probably a month after they left that my parents and I went to Georgia for a week of vacation during summer. I, of course, was depressed because my entire world was turned upside down (as dramatic as it sounds, it's true. What Im telling you is the very, VERY mild version of what happened. I could probably write a book about it... It would be a best seller, lol) and I didn't have very much fun. My parents understood and layed off me for a while. Well, I called my best friend one night while I couldn't sleep (three hour difference...) to talk and throw in her face that I got her a surprise when she says "Oh yeah, well I got YOU a surprise..." I was completely thrown off. She never surprised me with anything. So of course, I asked what the heck it was and to give me a hint. "It starts with a M and ends in Y..." Then she hung up the phone. It tortured me all week. When I came home, she promised she'd give me the "surprise" when she picked us up from the air port. Her husband handed me a Milky Way bar. I was kind of bummed, but I got over it.
The next day, she called my parents to invite us to the ranch. Why, I didn't know at the time. But my dad piled us into the truck and we went to the ranch. I almost cried when I got out because it was empty aside from Major and Rosy the burro. Then Fran, (she's like a grandmother to me) hands me a manilla folder and says "I brought something from work I think you should see. It's something you might want to volunteer for..." I was thinking my big surpise was that I was going to go to a different ranch to help volunteer and ride... But I was pleasantly surprised to find that the paper said:
"Hear ye, hear ye, hear ye
To all present let it be known that by decree of Ye Ole Woman Who Lives In A Lighthouse, (She lives in a renovated light house home on the ranch property) that the fallowing is bestowed upon the fair maid, Allison.
"Misty" ( NOTE, it starts with an M ends with a Y)
A bay, six year old Appendix Mare
With the fallowing Proviso:
That said fair Maid shall NOT roach thy horse's mane, nor shall she cut thy horse's tail above the knee joint!
Thou promises to keep thy horse, Misty, well fed, groomed, feet trimmed, UTD on shos, treated with respect and most of all, LOVED.
Fair Maid Allison accepts Ye Ol Woman's gift of Misty this 15th day of the month of July in the year of our Lord 2009."
Then I had to sign it, because it was also a contract that I wasn't allowed to roach her mane or cut her tail... Because Molly (best friend) knows I love roached manes and cut tails... Hahahaha.
So, of course Im confused. I didn't get what the heck the paper said. So I ask "Wait, it's a horse?" and everyone started cracking up. My mom was crying, like the wuss she is. And Fran just nodds. And so I ask, "Wait, is she here? Like... right now?!" and Fran just says "Oh, she's somewhere close..." I didn't notice that Molly was gone from the table. Todd kicks me from under the table and shakes his head somewhere over to the left. I look and from around the corner Molly shows up leading the most pitiful horse I had ever seen in my life. Hahahahahaha. I was stoked. My mouth was on the floor and everyone was laughing at me.
So I jump up and walk over to her and Molly says:
"So we had some trouble on the trailer..." she lifts up her forelock and TWENTY SIX purple stiches adorn her noggin. "And she's kind of skinny..." She's VERY skinny. And then She lifts up her leg. "Oh, and she has a bad habbit of lifting her leg. She's totally sound! We had the vet AND farrier come look at it!"
Im completely stoked. I don't think I spoke the rest of the night. AND what made it even BETTER, was that the next day, my dad gave me $160 and Molly took me to Mary's to buy new stuff. Yeah... It was a good day.
We had gone to a dude ranch called Clear Creek Ranch (CCR) once before and we were coming back another year. It's a one week horsebacking riding vacation in the mountains. We were in the process of thinking about buying an 11 year old paint mare named Mutly back near where I lived, but I was kinda open-minded to others. Anyways, the year before, I rode a QH named Maverick and fell in love with him. I really wanted to ride him this year too. He was NOT the horse to buy, he's a tyrant but he's really fun to ride. Well they had leased Maverick out over the winter and he came back iNsAnE, so they told me I couldn't ride him. I thought I was going to die. They put me on other horses that they were trying to sell, but they all spazzed out and bolted on me, so I didn't wanna buy any of them.
Soon they proved that Maverick wasn't insane and they let me have him later in the week. YAY! Happy ending! Not so much for my mom. The horse she rode spooked and bolted. She fell off and almost hit a truck, so she was in a lot of pain. They put her on the calmest, smoothest, sweetest, most bombproof horse they had, and that was a 5 year old Tennessee Walking Horse named Spirit. She loved him SO much that she wanted me to ride him, but I didn't want to give up Maverick, and besides, it was my last ride on him. She finally wore me down before the ride and I rode Spirit and it was L-O-V-E. So we bought him <3 <3 <3
Spirit was not doing well at CCR. He was bullied out of his food because he was a slow-eater, he was over 200 pounds underweight, he coliced 3 times already from stress, he broke his leg when he was little and the week before we came to CCR, he had gotten stuck in this stall and the wranglers found him hanging by his neck with all of his 4 feet off the ground. He was put in the sick pen to recover for a week (the week before we came).
So . . . If my mom had not of fallen off of Clyde, then they would not have put her on Spirit, If she had not been put on Spirit, then she would have not gotten me to ride him, if I hadn't of ridden him, then we wouldn't have bought him, and if we hadn't of bought him, then he would still be at CCR and even the wranglers said that he wouldn't have lasted much longer there. It's funny how all things work for good for those that love the Lord (Romans 8:28).
I had always loved horses...when I was 15 my mom surprised me by telling me I was getting my own yearling filly. A friend of hers liked to help get young girls/women into horses and gave my mom a break on price to help her get me my first horse.
They picked out the horse for me so I had no idea what I was getting except she was a quarter horse.
The day came where we were to drive to pick her up. (it was a 6 ish hr drive) I can remember being so excited that I could hardly sit still. It seemed like that drive took forever but we eventually made it to the turn for their driveway.
I can remember driving up the drive way and looking to the right and seeing this "small thing" tied to a log. I thought it was a mule or donkey at first. I remember thinking, "please don't let this be my horse". But sure enough this ugly pitiful thing was to be my yearling filly. <sigh> So we load this unbroken, not halter broken, wild foal up and made the trip back home. Her name was Carla. (we didn't name her and didn't consider changing her papered name, lol)
I can remember constantly having to try to corner her to catch her that first month...she was also so small that she would roll out under the fencing and end up on the flight line where my dad worked. (I was a military brat.) I would go out to see her and spend HOURS just sitting with her and "being" with her. I read everything I could get my hands on regarding training horses and breaking them. I learned so much about horses that year. The following year when she was two, she didn't even know I wasn't suppose to be on her. My family wasn't well enough off to have money for a saddle..(I can't even remember when I got a bridle.) so I rode her for the longest time with nothing but a halter and lead rope. She was everything to me. She was my best friend. I loved her so much. I trusted her and she trusted me. I could walk under her, or go to her when she laying down and just lay on her back. We'd lay that way in the sun during the summer. We went on to showing in western pleasure and speed events and just plain trail ride whenever we could.
I had her until I was 19 and made the decision to follow in my dad's footsteps and go into the military. Thinking my parents would keep her for me, I didn't consider the ramifications of my new adventure until my parents told me they were selling her. I died a little that day inside when I had to load her up for another family to take away.
I've always thought about her and tried for a while to find her, wondering how she was and what had happened to her. She would be around 23 years old right now.
Here she is when I was 19. She was about 4 yrs old. Carla was a dun buckskin.
I got Lillie this year after finally being in a position to get a horse. I got her because she reminded me alot of Carla.
Most of my horse stories aren't quite so interesting... ^^;
Frosty wasn't so interesting... Dad tells me he offered someone a pool table in exchange for her sometime around my birth, intending to use her to keep the weeds down around the field and not much else.
Shilo came shortly after her -- Dad went to a nearby farm to buy a truck he'd seen advertised in the paper, and a scruffy little sorrel horse with a star shaped perfectly like five-point star was tied to the bumper. The truck seller refused to sell the truck if dad wouldn't take the horse, and the truck was a pretty good deal, so they somehow convinced the pony to get into the truck bed and drove it home like that.
Both of them were sold when I was young, and I have vivid memories of them being trailered away down the hill -- Frosty just turned around and started, and Shilo -- who'd never been trailered -- screamed and kicked and squealed so much it was depressing. Frosty ended up at a farm, and a few years ago, while me dad was talking to the owners (they were sort of friends), I learned that she'd died... the cause: They'd decided that they had to breed the poor 30-something mare to their stud, and she'd died giving birth out in the woods. Shilo I came across by accident on my Jr. High field trip: we went to mideval times, and a friend and I were sitting near the front when they started the jousting tournament. One scruffy little sorrel horse with a perfectly shaped five-point star on it's forehead came trotting out decked out in blue. I screamed and almost shoved over one of the waitresses, and she asked me what was wrong, I started crying and said "It's Shilo! That's my horse!" She found me after the show (Shilo's rider won!) and took me back to see him and his rider. It was one of the happiest days of my life.
A few years after Frosty and Shilo were sold, I was dragging my dad to horse auctions left and right, and almost every horse that trotted through the ring was met with "Daddy, that one! That one!" Well, my mom came along on one auction, and we wandered around the staging area while they were selling llamas, and came across this little pen that had six or seven ponies packed in, milling around, and one skinny, sorry looking thing tied in the corner without a lick of hay. So I rescued some from a neighboring pen and hand fed the little pony for while my parents talked to the owners.
Then we went out to the auction and sat to watch all the horses go by, and I started pointing out all the horses again. Then the pony herd was run in as a group, and they started selling "buyer's choice." A few went here, a few went there, a few more went, and then all that was left was the sorry-looking little pony that I'd been feeding. They started over at $25, and just before they closed the bidding, my mom took dad's number away and bought him. Probably not a good move -- we found out from eth owner afterwards that he was a 30-something year old unbroke stallion, used for breeding all his life and now proclaimed infertile by both the owner and his vet, and, in the owner's words "probably won't survive the winter." Well, he did survive the winter, and our vet initially told us that he would have too many complications if we had him gelded, and since he wasn't acting very "studdy", we didn't have him gelded. He was an awesome little riding pony once we had him broke, and other than one mishap at the triner's farm (he got out and bred her big QH show mare... no pregnancy came of it, though, thus reinforcing that "infertile" claim.) We kept him until a few years ago, after he bred Ruby twice and she had two foals from him, yet our vet still said having him gelded could be dangerous.
2-Pak came from my uncle. When I was small, I could bareback Frosty and Shilo (the first one), but the only horse I could truely ride was Sunshine, my uncle's pretty little buckskin mare. I rode her up until she became pregnant (a paint stallion that someone was boarding at my uncle's), and that's when I got Shilo II. Anyway, when she had her foal -- a blood bay colt -- I helped my uncle to raise him: halter breaking, leading, weaning, etc. When he was two, my parent's bought him from my uncle, and we had him broke shortly thereafter. It's been a rough time with his training, but he is one of my favorite horses none the less.
Ruby was another auction house horse... we got her once I outgrew Shilo I, but 2-Pak was still too green for me to ride. Her old owners were from a nearby farm that boards, breeds, and trains, and I'm told she was used for reining...
Bandit was born *exactly* 11 months after we bought Ruby, and so at the time, we believed that she'd been bred in the sale barn or something. We did realize that she was pregnant a few months ahead of time, though... at first, it was just her getting upset about being girthed up... I got worried and asked our vet, and he checked her over and said she was pregnant.
Dante was born 11 months after that... and we didn't even see him coming. Ruby didn't show any signs, and I'd just assumed she'd never lost the "baby fat" after she had Bandit, so I never noticed her get big. And then, one day, I got up to go to school, stopped to check the water tank, and Ruby came up to me with a still-wet newborn tottering alongside her.
It was shortly after that that we decided Shilo had to go if he couldn't be gelded. I'm just happy that I could give both "accident babies" a good home here, and that they are both very intelligent, level-headed boys.
Tanner and Magic have a bit longer story...
About a year ago, my mother's family was planning their family camping trip to be at an equestrian campground up near Decorah. I was looking for another trail horse at the time -- my dream horse, something well broke with pretty colors, preferably a mare. When I found out what area we'd be in, I started looking at all the horse classifieds for that area, and found a well broke 10 year old Red Roan mare, a blue roan mare that could ride and drive, and a palomino paint gelding with blue eyes.
At the campground, we settled in, and the second day, went around to see all the horses I'd picked out. The red roan had been sold the day earlier, and though the dealer tried to interest me in a sturdy sorrel galding he had, I just didn't want another sorrel. The blue roan wasn't all the ad had cracked it up to be... it had some kind of umbilical hernia, it's hooves were in horrid condition, and it hadn't been worked with because the owner was too busy training other people's horses and breeding her blue roan stud (she too tried to convince us to buy this weanling baby that she had, and though it was positively adorable, I already had my two babies to deal with -- no more training projects were allowed!). The palomino gelding ended up being owned by the person running our campground... and it was still in training. He was a big QH breeder, though, so he went and showed us all of his horses for sale... two others in training (one just needed a few more days, the trainer said), a handful of weanlings to yearlings, and a kid-broke POA pony mare that was just too little for my tastes.
That night, we were the only ones in teh campground (due to the flooding, the lower portion of the campground was in poor condition, so apparently no one wanted to camp there) and we invited the campground owners to a cook out with us. One of my friends, an avid anti-slaughter believer, overheard them comment on taking some horses up to slaughter the next day, and she ran to me yelling that we "have to go look at them!" So I did, thinking I'd find some sorry-looking old nags that had been bred into the ground, or a horse with a bad leg, or something like that. Instead, they took us into the barn and their daughter led out a pair of white-grey mares, one a bit overweight, the other starting to show some rib, and both badly in need of some hoof work, but in overall good condition. She led them around, backed them, handled their feet, and invited us to do the same. They both showed off some awesome ground manners, and then the girl went on to say that thet were mother and daughter, a 10 year old and 14 year old. She'd used them to run barrels, and placed and whatnot, and then her father went into their breeding and papers (which I mostly just politely nodded to, but didn't really listen -- I never did care about papers.), and they mentioned that neither had been ridden in five years, because the daughter had gone to college. I looked them over again, and finally asked what was wrong with them. They said it was because they weren't being ridden, they might as well get rid of them. That kind of pissed me off, but I didn't really say anything, and then the father said that he'd sell them to me at the same price the slaughter house would give him for them -- $300 each. I went back and had my parents come up and look at them, and they had my uncle look at them, and my dad finally asked "Which one do you want?" I decided Magic, because she was younger, but also pointed out that if I rebroke them, Tanner would probably be good for mom to ride. And then my uncle pitched in that after I rebroke them, if we didn't want Tanner anymore, he'd buy her. And my friend unhelpfully cried "You can't make us play god! We can't pick which one lives and which one dies!" After a lot of negotiating, someone talked dad into buying both of them, and we somehow managed to get them home (we had two trailers with us that were already nearly full... we technically only had room for one more horse.)
I can't say I regret getting both of them -- they both have such sweet personalities that, if I'd known them prior to buying them, there wouldn't have been any hesitation. I do think it's a shame that they were just about to head out to slaughter...