We’re still trying to come up with a name for our mare. We have kicked around ideas, but no matter what one person suggests, someone else has an aversion to that particular name, or they have a suggestion that they think would work better. I’m beginning to think that I just don’t have the imagination I used to have when I was younger. Coming up with horse names was a cinch when I was a little girl.
I have a horse story to share that my oldest sister Kandra has written, telling about her very first horse, Apache. If you’ve read very many of my own horse memories, you’ll remember that my sister is the one who influenced my siblings and I to love horses, and I wanted to know the details of how she came to own her first horse, because it happened when I was just a toddler, and I don’t remember it so well. I have always felt a strong gratefulness to the man who gave her the horse, as his generosity set off a wave of fondness for horses that encompassed my whole world, and changed all of our lives. It is Kandra’s favorite horse memory, and this is how her story goes….
Growing up, the horses that my Dad rode were always the best ones we had. They say wet saddle blankets make a good horse, and that was surely the case with Spider. Of Dad’s string of riding horses, Spider was one of the best. He was a big rangy gray gelding with size and strength and beauty being his best qualities.
One thing I love about horses is their individual personalities. Just as every person in the world has his own characteristics, every horse is wired differently. And just like every good group of friends has a goofball in it, the horse bunch I grew up with had its own class clown, Gunner.
I always think about my black colt this time of year. If you read my previous post about saying goodbye to a horse, and my horse poems I wrote about his death, you understand part of the story. But I would like to tell the rest of the story and give more of a background about this horse that was so special to me.
When I was a kid, we had a paint horse we called Peppy. He was a half brother to both Kokomo and Apache, but he had inherited much more of the Shetland attitude than the other two. He was a naughty pony.
The prettiest horse on my parent’s ranch in Idaho is a 2 year old buckskin AQHA filly named Docs Honeycomb. She is the 2008 baby out of their big bay mare, Steel Hickory, by their buckskin stallion Docs Cold Cash.
When I was a kid, I wanted a horse of my own more than anything in the world. I had claimed one of Dad’s broodmares as mine when I was five, but she wasn’t a riding horse and I didn’t get to spend much time with her because she was always out in the broodmare pasture. So by about age nine, Dad gave me my own horse.
Growing up with Chigger and the chance to ride and work at such a young age is something I wouldn’t trade for anything. Those days were hot, cold, frustrating, tiring, and painful. But I knew better than to ever complain, because then I’d have to stay home with Mom.
In my years of growing up with horses, there was one horse who was there through thick and thin, solid and dependable, and forever golden in my memory….it was Kokomo. He was one of those ranch horses who require no pedigree to achieve greatness.
I can’t remember a time when I didn’t want a horse of my own. When I was about five, I picked out a mare named Blondie from my dad’s bunch of horses, and claimed she was mine. I don’t know where she came from, but she was a registered Quarter Horse. She became my first horse.
I have owned many horses, and have ridden hundreds. But of them all, if I could have just one horse, it would be Beauty. I called her my little Ragamuffin or Muffinhead because she was not much to look at but I loved her. She was the greatest match for me and I’ll never find another horse like her. I love the memories I have of her, and I’m happy with the way things are. She was the best horse of my life.
Rudy is the horse from my childhood who taught me the most. I’ve spent more time horseback on Rudy than any other horse in my life. He is on that pedestal in my memory where all faults are forgiven and forgotten–to me, he is the best horse in the world.