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Zeus:

The girl had sold her best friend, a lovely white pony, to buy Zeus, who was a little, fat, fjord stud colt. She had always had big dreams, and she was betting on him to get her there. He began immediately proving himself to be a kind old gentleman at heart. He was a calming influence on all around him, and he quickly made his way into everyone's hearts. His introduction into the sorrel brigade went smoothly; the old man of the group became his protector, and the younger horses his friends. The girl worked with him most days, and he easily learned everything she asked of him. She couldn't wait for the day he was old enough to actually ride, but he was enjoying his life as a baby mostly learning to be a horse from the lessons the brigade taught to him.


The Sorrel Brigade:

The brigade was made of four horses. Each were what some would call plain, but each held an important position. The old man of the group was named Pete. He was a ranch horse, and he knew his job better than the girl who rode him. He put her in the right place at the right time to get things done, and although at times she felt he was slow, even at her young age she knew the importance of what he was teaching her. The next horse in line was also beginning to feel his age and ridden by the oldest child of the family. He was another who would only have been titled a ranch horse. He wasn't special to anyone excepting the girl who rode him; he didn't have much of a handle and couldn't have won a single competition. However, since he had been given the oldest girl, he toted her through many long and hard days and they had always made it home safely.

The third horse was named Bones. He was the main horse of the wife. He had some marks against him, but he was an athletic and humorous little horse. She had intended to show him as a cowhorse, but his talent seemed to lie in the cutting portion of the event. He was also proving himself to be a neat ranch horse because he could read a cow and a situation quickly and react accordingly. He was emotional and busy and extremely friendly. The final horse was a newer addition to the brigade. He was a Spanish style of horse who seemed to carry with his bad attitude loads of talent. The mother called him "the most naturally talented and least likable horse she had met." Luckily, although she was hesitant to admit it, he was straightening up his attitude and becoming a horse she looked forward to working each day. They named him Eeyore.


Lucy:

Lucy was not a part of the brigade. She was ridden by the father. She was a fancy bay filly who put too much effort into moving with a dramatic flair to move very quickly. They often called her a princess, and she seemed to believe them. If she were a woman she would have been beautiful and quite above it all.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Eeyore:

Eeyore was hard to like because he was spoiled. The woman took a chance on him because he moved well and she liked the way he looked, but she hadn’t dealt with a horse who had quite so much practice at being difficult before. It was obvious he had little riding, and what riding he had he’d scared someone. He had amassed quite a few naughty tricks.

He’d been hard, but each battle ended quicker as he realized it wasn’t working for him. So, a few days had passed without any problems, and with his athleticism he had begun to impress the woman. However, today he decided that he had better make sure his old tricks wouldn’t work. He began displaying his irritation with being asked to go out of the yard by trying his favorite trick of solling up. That didn’t make any difference that was positive in his esteem, so they ended up out in a large field where she was making him work, and he thought that running away would be a good thing to try; twice. Neither worked in the end, but during he thought that he might have been making some progress. Since that didn’t work out the way he planned he decided to try a new trick he had been thinking of. Dropping to his knees in a fit might do the trick of not having to trot circles, after all, trotting circles was not his favorite thing today. That was a new one on the woman, and she felt a little shook, but she tried to not let him see that he effected her (although he must have realized it did since he tried it three times). She made him disengage a few times for each, and they ended on a good enough note. She hoped it was just a bad day.


Bones:

Bones was bored. He didn’t understand why he was stuck tied to the rack while she rode that new horse he hated yet again. He’d done nothing wrong, and he didn’t particularly like sharing his ride time. He loved being rode; he liked learning and seeing new things.

At first he had been excited to see a younger horse arrive. In the brigade he was the only young horse, and he wanted to play with someone. His idea didn’t end up taking place though, as the new horse was a jerk who bossed him around. Eventually the new horse played with Zeus when he was out, but he wouldn’t let him join in the fun. There was nothing to like about the new horse as far as he was concerned.

His boredom grew when he finished the flake of alfalfa left for him. He’d been practicing untying knots, and he was getting quite good. So, after getting himself freed to explore he decided that taking the rope that tied the bin of rice bran off was a really fun thing to do. It wasn’t even just fun in the end he had a drum of rice bran to eat! The woman rode back in the yard then though, and for once he wasn’t happy to see her when she ran up and ruined his fun.

They trotted out after that. He enjoyed the lazy trot through the snow as did she. She loved watching the snow fly up from his hooves, and he was happy to just go on this day. No work and no training, just moving out and seeing the world covered in sparkles was what they did.
 

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Lucy:

Lucy was finally feeling better. She had had a difficult month. The absence of the pony was felt deeply by her, and she had given herself an ulcer worrying over it. She was lonely. She may have bullied the pony, but she was her friend.

The man was the first to notice she was sick. Her bad attitude had been apparent to all, but the sweating was a new development. He discussed the problem with his wife, and they decided that they would give her Zeus for company as well as some ulcerguard.

She was awful to Zeus in the beginning. However, his calming influence took effect on her after those first days. She realized he wasn’t as fun to chase as the pony had been, but he was nice to have around and he comforted her.


Zeus:

Zeus was not happy. He loved being a part of the sorrel brigade. The mare was nasty and nervous and she made him uncomfortable. The first days were the worst. He knew to move when told, but she wasn’t like the horses from the brigade; she seemed to enjoy causing him pain. She was cruel and he looked longingly toward his old friends. She seemed to mellow, but still he wished himself back into the joy of the brigade.


Eeyore:

Eeyore started the day expecting a fight. He was surprised when it wasn’t given to him. The woman did things differently than he was anticipating, and although he was always on that edge, he found himself enjoying his time in the snow.


Bones:

Bones was looking for excitement. When the geese came squawking around he begged to work them. The woman seemed on board and he had a blast giving them chase. Finally he pressured them into a spot where he could sit down and work. He was proud of himself and childishly enjoyed the game.
 

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Zeus:

It was cold. When the woman brought him in several other animals came to see if they could steal some of his feed or get out of the cold. She laughed at the lack of desensitizing required on the place.

Zeus enjoyed getting to move and warm up on the windy ride. He tried to do everything asked of him with a good attitude and his athletic abilities showed. The woman was relieved and enjoyed herself. When it was time to come in his body gave away his desire to stay out.


Bones:

Bones was happy with his newfound skill of getting the rice bran pail opened. Again the woman caught him quickly, but this time he saw the humor of it all.

For his ride the man came and brought out Lucy, which was a pleasant surprise in his mind. He wanted to move out, but the woman held him back as the man worked on the mare. As they made their way into the cold they went a different direction, and he was so excited when he saw the cattle. He thought it must be a work day then, and he shook with anticipation.

Much to his disappointment they moved on from the heifers before he was allowed any work, but he was enthralled watching the dog work with the cattle. He hadn’t actually seen a dog work before and he thought it was pretty exciting even in his disappointment.

When they left he saw a weed sticking out of the snow. He picked it up and began to play. He was having so much fun, and he threw it around and took a couple leaps celebrating the fun of it all. The woman laughed and felt the joy of the snow flying and the horse playing.

The man didn’t hide his smile when he complained. Even he couldn’t deny the happiness of the moment. Bones irritated the man. He felt the horse displayed everything that was wrong with the cutting industry. He was overbred in his esteem, and his lack of focus for anything other than cattle annoyed him. He didn’t like his small bones, or how he could get hot, and he especially blamed his breeding for the horses main flaw: his self mutilating behavior. However, in that moment, and many other times the horse did make him smile. He couldn’t deny Bones had a sense of humor.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I cannot figure out how to edit the post. I meant Eeyore not Zeus. :(
 

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Subbing, I'm loving the writing and pictures so far
 
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Eeyore:

It had been a cold day. The sun glowed bright though and the wind took a break from blowing. The brigade laid themselves out to enjoy the warm moment. Their bellies were fun and they were happy. When the woman came out Eeyore wasn’t as quick to meet her, and he decided to lay and wait lazily for her approach. The sun and the relaxed mood carried through his ride. The woman worked with him on the beginning of a spin and backing. She was happy as he with the sun and the break in the wind.


Bones:

Bones also felt relaxed. The woman took him out the same direction they had gone the prior day though, and he remembered the heifers and the closer they became the more the excitement pushed away the calm. Again he didn’t get to work, but he still loved being around the cattle dreaming of working. In his excitement he pushed his head over the fence to smell the cattle, but when he went to bring it back his bit hung up. The woman jumped off quickly with calming words and unhooked the wire. He never did worry too much about these types of things though, as he knew the woman would fix them quickly.
 

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Lucy:

Lucy was irritated. She had watched the woman ride horses while she sat in her pen managing Zeus’s actions. It wasn’t the riding so much that morning that irritated her as she watched the woman train on Eeyore, but it was the moments she saw her reach down and run her hands through his mane. He was nothing. He obviously wasn’t as beautiful as she was, and he didn’t move with any sort of dramatic flair.

That afternoon when the man came and haltered her she thought it was about time. If he had continued to make her wait she was going to have to resort to banging the water trough again so that all would know how awfully she was being treated. She was even happier to see that they were going further outside and away to explore, although her excitement only could last so long after he expected her to continue on and about like a peasant.


Bones:

Bones was happy to be doing something new again today. How he loved seeing and doing anything out of the ordinary. He hit a long fast trot through the brush and hoped his legs would take him far into an adventure. Suddenly something was wrong. He was tumbling forward and he couldn’t quite get his balance. As his shoulders began to hit the wet dirt and snow he managed to get his legs back underneath him, picked himself up and looked up to see what had happened. The woman stepped off a bit shaky and checked his leg and replaced his brushing boot. She was relieved to see he didn’t show any worse for wear and she walked back to see the badger hole. It had been covered just right so neither her or Bones had seen it.

When she stepped back into the saddle and asked Bones to move he walked strong and again she breathed relief. He broke back into that long trot headed into some faraway place. She was tight for the first few moments following the hidden badger hole, but eventually she relaxed into his movement. She smiled when she looked over to her husband trotting along on his beautiful bay mare. It was a pretty day for a Sunday ride, and as much as Bones had needed a change of scenery she realized it was doing her good too.

On their way back Bones was playful. He flung snow with his nose and played with weeds he found along the path. He chased the dog as much as the woman would let him, and when they came back into the yard he pushed towards the garden where he knew he could jump the railroad ties. Coming back over the jumps the mare went first. He’d never followed a horse over jumps before, and he was suddenly very excited. The woman laughed as he crossed the first and overjumped so dramatically she could have fallen. The jump out of the garden he rushed and took a few good hard excited jumps after. The woman picked him up and disciplined him, but she knew he was just happy and had been allowed to play around quite a bit on the ride.
 

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Bones:

Bones watched Eeyore being ridden from the pen. He remembered back when he learned those same lessons not that long ago. He did notice that Eeyore seemed to put a bit more speed into his lessons, but this didn’t bother him as it just looked like work when a cow wasn’t involved. Eeyore could have that work as far as he was concerned.

When it was his turn the woman used the book of exercises again. She even added some new ones, but he made his way through each with style in his opinion. He didn’t know where she got the idea to use the dressage book; he was a cow horse.

After they finished exercises the woman pointed him down a road he hadn’t gone in quite a while. He wondered what they were going to do at the house where the big arena was, but it was funny to him because they just stood on the asphalt while the woman from that house went in and out bringing out different things to show them. This entertained him for longer than the woman expected, but eventually he started losing his patience and goofing off.

When Bones saw the horse in the window he was amazed. Who was that horse? He tried to smell him through the window, and soon he prepared to fight. The woman kept pulling him away though which was quite irritating. After he saw the horse in the window he found big cowbells that made different sounds. He enjoyed all the exploring and was disappointed when they went back home.
 

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Eeyore:

Eeyore had what in his mind was a huge gash in his ear. If the woman tried to touch it he was going to panic it hurt so bad.

The woman rolled her eyes at him as she took apart the bridle. It was a tiny cut, and she was pretty sure any other horse wouldn’t be so dramatic, but in appreciation to his sensitivity she willed herself to play along and take the bridle apart so his ear wouldn’t have to be touched. “Better to avoid a simple problem now than create a lasting issue” she thought to herself. His reactivity was proving to be a major benefit anyways, and she was learning from him tiny feely things that she had always seen but never actually benefited from.

When she stepped onto his back they stood for a bit and watched Lucy and Zeus celebrate what must be a coming storm. He watched with curiosity rather than nervousness. During his lesson he picked up requests quickly and correctly, and he didn’t even feel the need to argue on this day.
 

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Eeyore:

Eeyore had done really well on his morning ride, and he sat in the corral watching Bones go through his lessons. He enjoyed watching other horses. As far as he could tell the woman was happy with Bones.

When she turned Bones loose with the brigade he came to greet her happily. She kind of shook her head and haltered him. She was sure she was having either a very good or a very bad idea.

Today was a milestone for Eeyore. He had thirty days of riding in his new home. He’d been ridden before in one of his prior homes, but he’d been ridden only enough to learn to scare a rider. His last home he was ridden a couple of times before that owner decided he was not worth the effort of trying. Eeyore had been a horse growing a record and likely after a few more trades he would be on his way to eventually becoming dog food.

So, when the woman brought him out and saddled him in an English saddle she wondered if she was crazy. He’d been so good that morning though, and she wondered how he’d look. He did look a pretty picture!

He stood as she stepped up onto him quickly. He didn’t know why she was scared of a different saddle. He was such a sensitive horse, and he felt her even more easily in the new saddle. He had his turn working on some of the book exercises, and he was happy to do so.
 

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I am loving your journal and writing style!

No name though is given to the second sorrel gelding mentioned, the one who was given to the eldest girl. I have to go back and re-read the first post to keep the characters straight. It says there are four sorrels and then the bay Lucy, correct? Nothing is as precious as the 'plain' older broke horses...they all deserve to have their own person who sees them as the most special of all!

I keep filling up with tears though, every time I see the first line..."the girl had sold her best friend.." awwww, nooooo....
 

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@Dragoon the unnamed sorrel gelding is called Beamer! He was a colt we bought when we were first married and he was the most ugly thing you'd ever see! His ears were too big for his head and he was kind of little and squat. He went straight to work on the ranch though, and he grew up to be a real beauty! I think he looks like the old statue they gave away for AQHA shows. :)

Yes, it makes me sad too that Moon is gone. She was a little white pony. My littlest girl begged and begged to start a business breaking and selling horses. We said okay, but she had to start with a pony. Well, we all fell in love with Moon. She was the perfect pony. If she were a horse I think we'd have begged husband to call her a loss and keep her. Now my little one looks at the picture of her on the wall and tears up sometimes. I told her to think of us as a training stop for Moon. It was a chapter in Moon's life that was a soft spot. She was loved and everyone had so much pride in her. We were all lucky to have had her!
 

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Eeyore:

Eeyore felt the woman was asking a bit more out of him all the sudden, and he was correct in his line of thought. Oddly, at least this day, he did not feel the need to fight her about it and willingly gave a bit more. They loped circles and did their exercises, and then the woman took a chance.

It likely wouldn’t have been a big deal for anyone else, but she was pushing herself as well as Eeyore when she asked him to ride for the first time to the house where the big arena was. It wasn’t too long a ride at all, but a bobwire fence followed alongside the rode and with his propensity to run away and ignore obstacles she had avoided the ride. Today she felt ready, and she must have been because soon they were on the road there.

Eeyore was simply meandering along in the direction she pointed him. He looked down the road and saw several horses. This was fine in his head, but as they became closer and he saw all the new things to see he started to tense up and lose focus. The woman kept bringing his attention back to her though and soon they were standing by a house with asphalt. There was another woman in the house, and he was asked to walk little circles and pivot while they spoke. Interesting to Eeyore, as he relaxed the new woman walked into and out of the house. When she came back she had a carrot! He knew what a carrot was from somewhere in his past, and he was so happy. He completely relaxed then and was friendly and easy to ride for the walk home. He was finally contented in his new home now that he knew they knew about carrots.


Bones:

Bones was happy Lucy was with him, but he really was feeling lazy when the woman caught him. He didn’t put a lot of ambition into his walk when he saw that they also headed down the road to the arena. He looked over at Lucy when she got snorty over a dog fight, but he didn’t feel like joining her. It was hot in comparison to most days, and he didn’t want to actually go into the arena.

Other horses were being ridden when they walked up, so he knew he would be expected to do something. Usually this would brighten him up, but he wanted to go to work and see cattle, not run around for no reason today. Something was different and interesting enough to bring him out of his mood though. There were loose horses in the arena too! That was a new thing he had never seen before. When the woman asked him to work he kept an eye on the old paint horse.

Although he was supposed to be working on spinning he watched intently as the old paint decided to start following Lucy around. He wondered if this would get interesting and was getting a bit tight and pushy watching, and really not paying attention to what the woman was asking. The paint lost interest in the mare after a few minutes of having to trot though, and when he stood still Bones lost interest in him. Eventually the lazy feeling crept back in and he was happy when they left the arena, although he didn’t even want to hurry home.
 

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