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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Rambling about Jessie (and other horses)

So last night when I should have been sleeping, my mind was wandering...again.  I got thinking about how I was a little nervous to ride Razz the other day.  Pretty silly when even though she was kinda worried and being kinda a nut, she still responded to my cues instantly.  But this and how nice Jessie is and how I wished I had her as my first horse got me thinking.

It all started when I worked at the ranch, before that I had always wanted a horse but knew I could not afford one so I never even really thought about it.  But at the ranch was space and feed and for a while even another employees horses at my place.  Sooo one spring day I headed to the Brooks horse sale and was sure I wanted a horse.  I didn't have a big budget but figured I was OK   Neil headed in with me and I found a 10 year old mare that I really thought was a good one.  Of course she sold for more than I had :(  But Neil pointed out this 8 year old gelding that had been pasture rode.  I was kinda iffy about him, but bid on him anyways cause I was so determined I needed a horse. Stupid thinking now, I know.  So I got him and took him home and first off he was hard to catch, ugh not a good start.  Then he hated being brushed.  But he saddled fine with all my incompetence he did not care so that was one good thing.  And he bucked.  And he bucked.  So many times I actually learned to land on my feet, lol.  He would give no indication either, I thought I was crazy but no just going along at any speed and he just would buck.  Well that was no good for me, but I did try the rest of the summer and then kept him all winter and took him back in the spring and resold him.  But there was not enough left over for any good horses so I went home with an empty trailer.  Was sad, made me just wonder if I shoulda kept him anyways.

But not to be deterred I was gonna go to the sale next month, this was April I think.  And I was getting married in July that year so I was not in a real big hurry, I knew I could ride one of Neil's old horses, but it is not the same as having my own.  Then about a week later, Neil's dad said we had to go to the horse sale so he could buy me a horse as a wedding present cause every rancher needs a horse!  Was I excited!!!  Although a little worried it would not be one I wanted,, but I wasn't overly picky at this point either.  So we head down there and he was there before me and had picked out the only horse there he thought was suitable.  And he was cute :)  but only a 2 year old.  I knew that was not what I should be getting and he knew too but said he thought he would be OK cause he was so quiet and I was also worried if he went for too much I was not getting a horse again.  But he sold and we got him.  So again off to home we went and he was so much better.  Super easy to catch, loves being brushed and still awesome to saddle and bridle.  I had a corral that wasn't being used to I rode in there.  We walked trotted and loped and then after about 15 minutes I had no idea what to do.  I had never rode a young horse before I did not know what to expect or what to even do or even how long to ride.  I also had not rode much besides on trails so that did not help either.  But we did that everyday for a few weeks and since the cows were right out my gate, I really wanted to ride him out there.  But I was nervous I knew he never did that before so I called over some friends and they said they were coming over anyways so I was gonna go with them.  Well I underestimated how excited he would be to see other horses!  Oooh guess I shoulda rode him before they got there so he was a little tired.  But I thought he would be OK and he was good but just wanted to go, well before we got out to the cows, he went left and I went right and fell off.  No fault of his, or mine, it just happened.  Well turns out my arm was broke so that was the end of that.  And then I moved and got married and he come with me and after my arm healed up I rode him lots around cows and out on trails and took him to clinics and just really enjoyed him.

Then after a couple years I realized I wanted to do more with my horses and I think he was 5 and I started taking lessons.  Sure made me realize how much more there was to riding a horse than just getting on, lol.  I made a lot of mistakes with him but he was a pretty darn nice horse despite all my mistakes.  I was really lucky to have him and I think Neil's dad was right and picked me a good one.  But I sold him a couple years later to some friends that love him (and have since they first saw him) He was really rough and my knee hurt all the time on him and I thought that was just the way it was gonna be so I ignored it most of the time.  But then I got Bailey and my knee never hurt riding her so I knew I would not want to ride him and his roughness and all the mistakes I made with him bothered me every time I rode so he got a good home.  I see them every once in a while and ask about him and they still love him although I would kinda like to go see him again one day.  Wonder if he would remember me?

Then I got Bailey, actually got her as a weanling the year we got married (its how I remember how long we been married, as old as she is)  and I got her started by an amazing horse trainer.  If I knew how good he was I woulda left her with him longer.  But anyways she had 30 days or so on her and wow that is not very much!  She was not near as quiet as Henry and she liked to buck too.  But not crazy and not to get me off (which only happened once when I dropped the reins for some unknown reason) but mostly cause she was spoiled and full of energy I think.  I took lessons with her after I brought her home from the trainer and that was a good thing cause she challenged me everyday and sure taught me a lot.  Even now she is gonna be 9 and she still has some of that attitude left.  But she is so awesome she will try her heart out for me and everyone loves her cause she genuinely loves people.

After her I had a couple other young horses and a few older horses and then I got Razz.  I love Razz.  I love everything about her, she is super fast, she is super athletic, she is super sensitive but despite all that she is sensible.  never once tried to buck or do anything really bad.  We have had the occasional fight over stuff and she does not make life easy for me, but she is so awesome when we are going together right.  Part of the reason I am a little nervous getting on her after not riding a while is I know she will want to go fast and I am not ready for fast right away when I first get on a horse after a time off.  And I know she always gets a little more worked up in an arena than she does outside too so that is harder to deal with as well.  I actually told Jessie the other day to be faster and more unpredictable so I can be used to riding Razz better, lol.  But she is really not unpredictable, its easy to tell she is just waiting for me to let her go faster.  Always waiting for that.  I shoulda put her on the track, she probly woulda loved it.  And she is way faster than my other horses without even trying.  Never knew what fast was till I got her.  But now that she is broke I know she will not go fast unless I ask her to.  Which is a relief.

And then back to the beginning.  My newest horse Jessie.  She is a sweetheart.  Kinda reminds me of Henry actually. But better trained and not so speedy.  She is such a nice horse and I don't think I realized it when I got her.  I knew she was nice and well trained for cutting.  But even just for everything I have asked of her she has just done.  Must have been a big change for her to go from her old home of almost her whole life to my place with its bare land and lots of grass and making her ride outside so much.  And she just goes with the flow.  If I woulda gotten her sooner I think I woulda learned so much more, not just about cutting but really about riding.  There woulda never been a concern of if I should take her as there was with my young horses (although not with Henry cause I never knew better) And no worries of falling off cause she just is a protector as well. And no worries of taking her somewhere and her being goofy cause she has been so many places.  And even just riding out alone from the yard, not a worry even if the other horses are calling. But in the same thread I am not sure I woulda known she was so good or woulda had the need to go out for lessons cause there would never be a problem.  And I think in the long run I am a better rider and a better handler on foot because of all the different horses that I had.  Although still a ways to go I do know that.  But for all people just starting out with horses, I hope they all get a nice horse like Jessie :)


7 comments:

Country Gal said...

Great post ! The best horse I have had was my old gelding Clyde he was so gentle and didn't have a care in the world originally a hack pony but I trained him to be ridden which was easy as he loved human contact and how to turn whilst being ridden he was awesome . I had another horse a paint named Redwing that was truly a wild thing well she didn't last long with me I sold her she was hard for even my trainer to handle ! Now I haven't been on a horse in over 20 years and don't think I could ride any more as I have a bad knee as well ! It is nice when you can connect with animals and have fun with them ! Have a good evening !

fernvalley01 said...

I think it matters more that you got to the place where you can appreciate a good horse, than how, sounds like you did take your learning through a school of hard knocks.Still its learning and a steep learning curve for all of us at one time or another. Glad you have a good one and shared your stories

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Variations in horse personalities and the way they move has been on my mind a lot lately, so this was a very interesting read. My trainer wanted to just train me because she says what she teaches me can be used with any horse. However, I've been struggling to apply it in every situation with different horses, so I've kept the trainer on my payroll to help me sort out the quirks. Both she and I are learning that the exact same training does not work with all horses. You have to make adjustments for their personalities and physical capabilities.

Shirley said...

When I look back on all the horses I have ridden and/or owned, I shake my head at all the stupid things I did, and the assumptions I made. Some horses were good, some were amazing, some. well... not so good. But they got me to where I am today; and the ones I have now are keeping that learning curve going.
Your Jessie is a really lovely horse, and you are at the point where you deserve her and I hope you have a lot of good years with her.

lisa said...

Well, I am still in that learning stage even yet today. Annie is probably the only horse I have had that I have actually felt safe on, too bad she wouldn't of been my first. Great story!

Laughing Orca Ranch said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Awesome, awesome post, Crystal! I enjoyed reading about your horse experiences.

I, too wished I would have started out with my horse I have now, my Apache mare.
But instead I started out with a horse that I felt I needed...wanted...had to have. But she was so wrong for me, but I didn't realize it until she landed me in the hospital with major injuries and surgery a couple times. She sure taught me a lot, though.
And like you said, by having her first, she helped me appreciate what I have now so much more than if I would have started out with my Apache. And for that I would not change a thing.
I hope you have many years to enjoy Jessie.

~Lisa