Archive for the ‘colt’ Category

MISTY

May 3, 2018

Misty (2)

After the loss of my first horse, I was afraid I’d never find as good a friend as Sugar. I was so wrong. This amazing black gelding came into my life: MISTY.

My Misty was the sweetest, most wonderful horse a kid could have. We were never sure of his breed, but I always considered him a Morgan. Misty had a Morgan’s calm, trustworthy nature and good sense. We bonded instantly. I could ride him bareback the first day, barely signaling turns and gaits, as if he could read my mind. In the mornings, I’d open my window, and Misty would stick in his beautiful head to say hello. I could hardly wait until school was over so I could see my friend again.

4-H Horsemanship came to town, and Misty was the perfect horse to teach me the tricks of the trade. He was a natural, getting the right lead before I even knew what that meant (leading with the inside leg at a canter). He rode as well with an English saddle as he did with western gear, so I was able to learn both.

In the first book of the new series, Horse Gentler in Training, from Winnie the Horse Gentler: The Early Years,  young Winnie teaches a horse o say yes and no.  I really did teach my horse to say yes and no, much as Winnie teaches Royal Princess in this book. Misty proved over and over that a horse can definitely be a kid’s best friend.

 

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ANGEL & ROCKET

April 30, 2018

Angel and Rocket

The bottom picture shows Angel and Rocket in our pasture. Some of our horses let us ride them into the pond, and some did not. We set up jumps in the back pasture, and there was a very short trail  that circled the pond behind the trees. I learned to drive our old station wagon on the long, dirt lane that led from the gravel road down to the pasture gate. Far too young to drive on the road, I’d steer down the lane (under the supervision of my dad), then back up the long lane when done riding. To this day, I’m better driving backward than forward.

The top picture shows the pen, or the fenced-in yard beside our house. You can see how close the house is to the fence. Farther to the left was my room. At one time, the outside wall of my bedroom formed one side of the pen. If I opened my window, I could hop out and join the horses . . . or they could stick in their heads. In the bottom right corner of the first picture you can see the rim of a round, metal horse’s trough. On hot summer days after a ride, that trough became my tiny swimming pool. My horse drank while I cooled off.

Two of the books in the Winnie the Horse Gentler series feature foals. In Gift Horse, Winnie helps with the difficult birth of a foal. Then we see more of that foal in Friendly Foal. I was, of course, remembering Rocket and Angel.

ANGEL?

April 19, 2018

Angel and Dandi

We loved our “Angel” and delighted in every new sign of growth. Our colt liked to be brushed. This picture is of our pasture, where Angel loved running with Rocket. He wasn’t easy to catch, and he did not like to be led. When he grew big enough, we tried to teach him to pull a little cart, but he kicked it to pieces. Still, we loved him. I didn’t know then what I know now, and I let him get away with too many bad habits. I remember when my two great-aunts came to visit from Illinois. I couldn’t wait to show off my sweet Angel. They came with me to the pasture and watched as I expertly caught little Angel. Angel, probably expecting to be fed, even allowed me to lead him up to them. I gave him a hug and let him nuzzle my face as I pressed my cheek into his. He bit me. I put my hand to my cheek to make sure it wasn’t bleeding, but that smile never left my face. The aunts never knew. There was not an ounce of bravery in me. I was just too embarrassed to admit the Angel bit me. Take a look at Angel’s ears, flat back. That’s a sign of anger, one I’ve used a lot in Backyard Horses and the Winnie books.