At that time, we didn't know if Cowboy would ever be ride-able again. I didn't own Beautiful Girl either. Effectively, I was without a horse.
Until I saw this ad (picture below): a two year old paint filly from Quincy Dan lines (my first horse was a Quincy Dan horse and I loved him--super smart and gentle--practically trained himself--and Cia has turned out to be EVERY bit as smart and sweet).
Though all four of her feet grew irregularly and she'd been trimmed so poorly she couldn't lope a circle without falling (poor thing), I fell in love with her absolute gentleness of spirit and brought her home.
Here's one of her grandfathers--Quincy Sun Dun.
Her former owner took these next pictures.
And the next summer.
Now it's her turn to step up to the plate. She needs to be worked out on the trail and she's the most ready to go. In four days I'm trailering her down to my trainer who I've always loved and trusted with my horses. They come back from her with a work ethic. When I lived nearer her I would send ALL my horses to "the ranch" for a couple days every March/April. She'd take turns riding them to find and gather cows at her parent's place and I'd get them back ready and willing for anything. We called it their spring tune-up. Cia will be ridden up and down hills, over rocks, gathering cows, basically, doing jobs.
The other thing I used my trainer for was test-riding any potential horse I wanted to buy. She could tell you everything about any horse after an hour with it. She was better than any vet--better than anyone. You knew what you were getting into. Since I lived here when I bought Cia, which is two hours away from my trainer, she didn't get the inspection, which makes me nervous now. I WILL find out everything about my sweet horse after the first couple of days she's there. I sure hope she passes muster, but I'll be holding my breath.
I separated Cia from the others two weeks ago so it would be less stressful when she's taken away. I had our vet out a few days ago to finish up her immunizations and give her the okay and I had my farrier make her a new set of shoes--her first ever.
It's quite an experience the first time your horse gets hot-shod. I wish I'd taken pictures. The smoke that comes up when they're measuring the hot metal against the hoof really scares them, but eventually they find they're okay and settle down. It doesn't hurt them in any way shape or form, it's just unnatural having smoke coming up from underneath you. I'm usually not a shoe fan and the riding I do rarely requires them, but there is no way she'd survive this training without them. Usually my trainer keeps them unshod for the first week and then has them shod when she starts the hard work, but my farrier will be too far away, so I had her done beforehand.
I've signed up for the Charlie Hansen clinic when she gets back in May. He's a rancher/trainer and his clinic is strictly trail riding and training and cow work. It's all about using your horse for a job. What a perfect follow-up that will be to her training--both for me and her.
I was going to give an update on Cowboy and Beautiful, but I'm too tired to continue writing, so I'll take a break for now and write about them later. There's a lot to say.
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