I recently posted on Horsetales how different it would be to have one horse rather than seven! Since I started riding Windy three years ago, it seems like she is my only horse. I’ll occasionally ride Butter or Blue; even Ginger for a change – but nowhere near the hours I have put on Windy. And the hours put on one horse makes for a good horse. I have really felt she has went to the next level this year and couldn't be more proud.
Blue and I shared many miles before Windy was even born. He gave me back my courage. He put up with my novice ways and carried not only me, but each of my boys behind me in the saddle for many, many miles. And when they were old enough to ride alone, they each chose Blue at different times in their lives. Today I ride him for the familiarity of those first few years. I know how he feels and what he does. He’s like the old sofa; soft and comforting.
In the early days, Ginger was my nemesis. Fiery and fast, I always felt she taunted me. That she just couldn’t wait for me to get on and she would prove who the boss was! I watched her from afar as she carried John, and occasionally one of the boys behind him, down the trail. After four years, I finally found the courage to not only ride her, but to take her out alone. I took her to Cowgirl Weekend in 2004 and again, on my first competitive trail ride later that same fall.
We bought Butterscotch for Case in 2005 from a friend. We knew the horse; we knew the seller and she has turned out well for my son. I enjoy riding her and if she were given the same time as I put on Windy, she would be even better.
Then there are Baby, Black and GinnyBelle. The “B” team, as I call them. Two are green broke at best and Ginny is just getting started. Sometimes I’ll ride Baby just for a change. More out of guilt that no one has ridden her than for my own entertainment value. And she is fun to ride, in a BIG sort of way! She gets pulled out of the pasture each year, spiffed up and taken to the Saunders County parade for no reason except it’s something she can do.
I bought Black as a weanling; had him broke as a two year old. None of us had much interest in him after that. At four, McCain decided to start riding him. He followed the rest of the herd down the trail okay. But in obvious need of more wet saddle blankets. McCain has a lot of other things to do: dirt bike, video games, football. Riding Black isn’t on his list of priorities. And it isn’t on mine, either. If it weren’t for breaking a young boy’s heart, he could easily find a new zip code.
Ginny is coming three this year. I went through the three year old year with Windy and am not up to doing it again. If the lottery numbers would come in, I’d send her out for 60 days and have someone start her right. But while I wait for that to happen, I’ve been working with her at home. Round penning bores me to tears, but she and I have had a few sessions. Easy rides. Even barebacked down to the pasture following John and Baby. Yeah, she will be nice….. If someone would just put some time on her.
Someone once told us there are four riders in our family; four horses are all we need. They were right. On another chat list, someone referenced their extra horses as “guest horses”. Looks like I have quite a few for the guests! Anyone want to ride?