Sunday, February 5, 2017

My name is Alice and I'm a horseaholic

I have never been able to have "all" the horses I wanted. I'm not sure I'll ever have all the ones I ever wanted, but right now I have plenty.  We have 10 horses here.  I love telling people that I assess that I'm a cat crazy, dog crazy, horse crazy kind of farm girl.  Of course, I've only recently become a farm girl. Before that I was a wanna be, owned property but had no idea what I was doing farm girl...except for 5 years in the middle when I had a place, knew what I was doing, but couldn't always accomplish everything on my own, but needed to. I have been married to 2 men before Michael...One was a city guy who wanted no part of country living and the other loved country living until he didn't and then our marriage kind of went to hell (but we are good friends and have a gorgeous daughter so that's ok)

As I look out at the horses from my cabin office I think about how lucky I am.  They are all so gorgeous and I don't know who I would rehome if I had to...well, I do know, and one of them is on the "chopping block" so to speak, but of course, it's the one we can probably have no luck selling.

Of mine I will start with the oldest:

Freeley: given to me in 2005, he had many endurance miles before I acquired him and then went on to be one of Maggie's first competition horses and I competed him as well. He was retired in 2008 when his arthritis became to much and lived with my dearest friend Teresa Musgrave.  When I moved out to Woodrock ranch in the fall of 2015 I got to be around him again and when I moved to Flying T Ranch to live with Michael I brought him with me. He will be 27 in April but still has a lot of spring in his step and still gets ridden if I need a super beginner horse. I never thought he'd mellow this much, but I do think there is still a fire in his heart. He's a sweet and gorgeous boy who does not look his age.

Gorgeous Dixie, Maggie's first competition horse. She is supposed to be around 17 or 18 but the vet says she's likely in her early 20's. Still sound and willing to go, but mostly retired at this point. Her trot is so rough no one wants to ride it.  She keeps the boys hopping in the field b/c she is a total hussy.  We had hoped she would foal this spring but she did not get pregnant so no baby.  She is a horse that has never been completely tame but she will occasionally acquiesce to carting someone around...until she decides to take off trotting and that person has to hold on for dear life.  Mike rode her at Juggs this year and they did well together, except that she beat him to death.

Sherman: Technically he belongs on the Mike side of the whose horse is whose list, but I will claim him. He will be 19 this year.  He is a very solid and well trained TWH and he loves Mike.  He takes good care of him on the trail. He can be a real jerk at feeding time, but he's good with all humans. Recently he has been taking friends and beginners on very slow and steady trail rides, treating them kindly and like the passenger they are.  I am amazed how gentle he is with these people who he could dump in a heart beat.

Liberty: My competition horse who I love dearly.  He is my best equine friend and there will never be another like him. He's getting some much needed time off this winter, though I'm not sure he's totally down with it. He likes to go and be ridden.  Right now I'm looking at him through the window and he's hanging out by himself while Dixie, Freeley and Hermoso all eat hay.  Riding Liberty is like putting on my favorite jeans or riding boots. The fit is right every time. He is 15 currently and it's hard to believe I have been riding him 9 years. I think I have never had a horse this long as I look back at my horsey life. One thing or another always moved them along sooner.

Joe Bob...not his real name. He is a 12 year old TWH who was given to me by a friend of a friend and he is amazing. I was looking for a gaited horse to ride with Mike so we could match.  He is the horse you always dreamed of someone giving you that other people were given but not you. He is just so much fun to ride. He knows a lot and he has a ton of training but he's a little slow. You have to get him focused to get the most out of him. He's big and I had forgotten how cool it is to ride a big, big horse. He is the horse I will compete on this year in NATRC.

Hermoso...not his real name. He is a rescued paso fino gelding who came from FL. He is reportedly 11, but since I have not yet sent the DNA off we don't know for sure.  He is also well trained for the show ring, but is learning to go on trail. He is speedy and zippy and when I'm not terrified a ton of fun.  He was a stud not too long ago I'm told and he still commands Dixie as though he is a stud. He loves the women.  Yesterday Mike road him and they did really well. Mike is so much more chill than me they had less trouble. And a plus: Hermoso is short and Mike tall and he can mount from the ground.

Vandamere III aka Vandy...this may be the sweetest horse I have ever owned. He makes my heart so full of love. He never takes a bad step, he never gets upset. He has a cut on his leg and while I was hosing it today the dog jumped up to bit at the water and all he did was move over when most of the other horses would have kicked or stomped.  He's six and came from the kill pens...he was saved by Chandra Ward. He looks like a TWH but he doesn't gate. He does have an 8 mph trot that doesn't bounce at all. And his personality is so awesome...and the HAIR. Just a gorgeous sweet boy.

Mike has 3 horses:

Dixie: She's the one who is for sale, for something...she's part haflinger pony mare I think. No idea how old. She is broke to ride, but we don't b/c we have too many others. She's a little pushy.

Duke: Dixie's almost 4 year old soon to be gelding. He's stunning and we are hoping he will eventually be a riding horse.

Stormy: Duke's almost 1 year daughter from a mare who is no longer here. She's a cutie pie too and I'm hoping she won't look too much like her grandmother, but the older she gets the more hope I lose.

What I have learned is that feeding this many horses gets to be expensive...but who would I have give up?

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