Thursday, January 15, 2009

Growing up Horsey

Lil Mama grew up 'horsey'. I was a young and single mom, so of course I took her everywhere with me. The earlist picture of her on a horse is aged 6 months. When she was about a year, I'd put her in front of the saddle and take my trail rides as usual. I had a great little horse named Radar, and he was bombproof- but looking back I'd guess it prolly wasn't the safest thing to do. Ah-bygones...

I bought her this pony, Little Bit, from the county pound. Paid a whopping $50 for him, and that was a lot of money for a pony! He was a typical little Shetland. Gin rode him around a little bit, but she really wanted to ride the bigger horses. I sold him to a girl for her son, made $100 on the deal and started letting Gin ride my bucksin mare. Gin started riding in horse shows when she was eight. Not lead line classes, but in the show with the adults, loping around a big arena. I had hand signals I'd give her when she got close enough, but she tells me she always ignored them. I would run down the outside of the fence as she came around the ring, and boy was I pooped by the time the class was over. Good thing I was only a kid myself!

She rode that bucksin mare in 4-H and Open shows, showed that good reining mare in showmanship, trail and pleasure classes.She carried the flag for our MHA shows and in parades. I kept that mare until I had to put her down. She had uvitius and it affected her brain. She was about 23 years old.

When Gin turned 16 I gave her this little black mare she called Tess. I bought her for $1.00. She had belonged to a girl who couldn't pay the board, but didn't know anything about horses. She'd walk over you, lean into pressure put her head into the halter and pull you around-generally a spoiled pain in the ass. She wasn't broke AT ALL- so we started her and Gin rode her everyplace. She had a quick mind and a willing attitude as long as you didn't try to force her into accepting anything. She is the only horse I ever considered 'throwing' to get her mind right. Luckily before I had to do that, she had a major breakthrough and after that we never had much trouble with her. There is even a picture of Gin and Tess on a glossy brochure put out by the Muir Land Trust around here.Tess wasn't a pleasure horse, but Gin did some gymkahna, carried flags, took her in parades, and rode the fool right out of her. Unfortunatly when she was at my sisters place she escaped a box stall and a fenced pasture (so I'm told)(she was a Houdini from the get go) got out onto a highway at 3 AM and was struck and killed by a car. The driver was unhurt (Thank the good Lord) but it just broke our hearts something fierce.

Gin was always the girl that wanted to go to the barn with me, where as her sister OD never really was that into it. For punishment I'd tell Gin "You can have a spankin' or you can stay home from the barn." She always took the spanking.

There were plenty of other horses in Gin's life through the years, I always have horses coming and going, but she finally purchased her very own horse- Bar Hoppin Bob about seven years ago. He had been in training with David Busick ,but the girl that owned him needed something smaller. Bob is 16.2, Gin is 5'2". They look cute together, and that horse is just in love with his mistress! At the shows he squeezes his face against the stall bars so he can keep an eye on her as she walks away!She can ride him brideless, has taught his some tricks and done pretty well in the show ring too. Right now he is 'on a break', - his mane is long, his tail short, his coat hairy, but he still will just go into his frame and act like the show is tomorrow if she asks him too.

I always tell everyone I couldn't afford to ride with a trainer full time, so I raised my own! That girl is just a great little rider.

Now it's time to start on the next generation!


Pony Girl said...

Great post, it was fun to read about your daughter's journey into horses. Bob is gorgeous! I laughed at Gin's height on the 16.2 hand horse....I'm the same height and thought I looked little on my 15.2 hander! ;)

gtyyup said...

Gin looks great on Bob...what a pair! Thanks for sharing the old days with to read about that~~

Jocelyn said...

That is so awesome!
I rode the devil out of my grade mare for years.

She was a SAINT.

Star.... hmmm not so much. We are getting there. I always wanted a mini me girl to do the horse thing with...

You are so lucky!

The Wife said...

What a great post! Really enjoyed it.