Monday, March 31, 2014

A New Horse Worth Gold and Silver

Not a lot changed around our place until this week.  

Cowboy's head shaking started up when the days got brighter, I gave him his anti-seizure meds, and it calmed down.  Shadow, our old gray gelding, is about 25 now and too arthritic to be safe on trails, he remained, and remains, largely retired.  

Old Red, our good ol' boy, go-to horse for the grand-kids seemed to be doing okay, but at age 33/34 he is just about toothless and pretty much entirely on pelleted feed.  We saddled up a couple of weeks ago for a little ride and it became clear pretty quick, his arthritic left shoulder has ended his riding career--even for those under 50 pounds.

The loss of Red and Shadow (loss meaning retired, not dead!) left us without a good horse for the grand-kids and guests we have to our house, so I put feelers out among my friends for a good addition to our herd--one that anyone can ride, but still has some spunk left in them, too.

Within days one of my friends offered us her daughter's horse--a mare that many of my other friends have rode or borrowed and that has a reputation for being an absolute gem.  We were hesitant to bring in another horse, but she made us an offer we couldn't refuse--we could test her out for two weeks, no strings attached.

So, I set a time to go pick her up when we both got off work figuring I'd load her and go. (That's the herd watching  me pull out as I left to get her.) 

My friend had other plans.  She invited me and another friend on a "short" ride to give Brandie a whirl.  It was an offer I couldn't refuse.  And--WOW--Cowboy's saddle and bridle fit perfectly.  

Teresa is the kind of cowgirl everyone needs to ride with--trail smart, fearless, and lots of go.  Turns out, a short ride for her is two hours. She forges her own trails, rides with a flashlight strapped to her cowboy hat (which came in handy since we didn't get back to her house until well after dark), and has a campfire going after every trail ride with lots of wine!  If you ride with her, she even makes you your own street sign!  I'm Linda's Lookout--which may be a "Lookout for Linda!"

Here it was in the low 40's and she just had to go belly-deep through the lake!

Brandie was a lot of fun to ride.  She took the lead on the trail, didn't spook at the herds of deer we encountered running off, ate up rocks barefoot as we traversed those non-paths that Teresa likes to forge so we could enjoy grand cliff-side views--or at least they'd be grand views during daylight hours.  My mind was pretty much made up five minutes into the ride.  I just kept thinking, "Man, am I lucky to get this horse!  I hope she doesn't change her mind before I get her in my trailer!!"

She didn't.  I left like a thief in the night with my grand haul of a horse.  The only hurdle left was to convince my husband.  For that, I had to make a bargain: the new grand piano I'd been shopping for in return for Brandie.  That was an easy decision.

And now Brandie is our newest horse.

Going to the barn to play with her is fun. The nieces couldn't wait to see her.  

Our oldest grand-daughter can't wait to ride her.  She'll be able to do so much more now.  Brandie can take her anywhere she wants to go, safely and at any gait.  Her life with horses will really take off.  

A mare like this is worth gold and silver.  She's a precious gift and I thank my lucky stars she's now part of our family.  

And here's my other little girl--Her Grand Spunkiness.  She's not exactly a kid horse, but her antics make life a little more interesting.  Gotta love that!