Fun topic I saw another fun blog I read… and I decided to promptly steal it! 🙂
Take a moment to appreciate the pros (and maybe even the cons) of the equines that are in your life! I’ll start…
There are so many Pro’s to this horse I don’t even know where to begin. Chewbacca started his life with me back in August 2010. In a few months, we will be “celebrating” our 4 year anniversary together! In the time I’ve owned him, he’s gone from a neck reining barrel running rodeo horse to a low level hunter, a low level dressage horse, and now a driving horse. He has done everything I’ve ever asked of him – ever. He’s been shown in hunter (under saddle), and driving CDE – dressage, cones, and obstacles (4 times, actually).
He’s quirky and likes to do things in his own good time, he’s very slow, and lacks impulsion, but he has a good brain, and despite being laid back, he has a “take charge” confidence, especially with driving. Let him work out his own problem-solving, and he can do anything.
He’s been driven about 215 times, he’s been to clinics, shows, trails, parks, down the roads and anywhere else I think to take him. He is as fun to canter around the trails as he is to just walk down the road. He’s logged over 200 miles on the roads, about 100 miles on trails, and Chewbacca has brought home ribbons, too. He’s my go-to guy gem that I just love driving! I’m even more proud that I taught him to drive myself, despite so many professionals telling me he would never drive.
Where do I start with Luke?
There are so many pro’s to this pony he qualifies as simply the best equine I’ve ever known and certainly the best I’ve ever owned. Luke came to us a scrawny, strangles-carrying typhoon Mary (thanks for that), muscle-less little pony way back in January of 2007. Who buys a pony in January??
But right from the start, I knew he was special. We bought him for my husband, and despite having “not been driven in a year”, using a cart held together with duct tape, and a harness that was put on backwards and held together with bailing twine, that little pony hauled my husband down this loooooong stretch of dirt road in the middle of nowhere. There was no way he wasn’t coming home to us.
Since then, that pony has been a driving machine, has confirmed my love of hackneys, and has been an unbeatable show pony for my husband in every event he’s ever done. Luke even tried his hoof at CDE last year, and that marked the first time I’ve actually shown him. Luke has been driven just over 600 times since we bought him, he’s logged over 400 miles on roads, a couple hundred miles on trails, he has more blue ribbons (and trophies) than I will ever see in my life.
He doesn’t really have any drawbacks. He’s sharp as nails, catty and athletic, super fast, and smart enough to drive you around without you holding the lines. He knows his job and he’s all business. He has busted up the cart a couple times, and certainly bucks when he’s feeling his oats (that he stole from Chewbacca, no less). Luke knows his job so unbelievably well, there’s little that challenges him (except maybe bending!). I hope someday to put him in a pair, or all equine-Gods willing, a hackney 4 in hand!
The little muffin. Oh Dixie, Dixie, Dixie. What can I say about Dixie. She’s a mare. She’s a diva; a princess… a cow when she chooses. Dixie was the second-to-last mare we (ever will again) purchased, all the way back in April 2006. I have to give credit where credit is due. If not for Dixie, my husband probably never would have taken up driving, and certainly I would not have either. In fact, the day we bought Dixie was both of ours’ very first “crash course’ in driving…. well, without the crashes. Dixie, who has a malformed, collapsed trachea and “honks” when she breaths (think roarer on steroids), was rearing and being a little drama queen when my husband first sat in her cart, but he trotted her around the field as happy as could be, and thus, Dixie came home.
Since then, she’s been our teacher, our moody little bull headed pain in the butt, but a charmer none the less. She’s loved by all, and she was a teacher to my husband and myself. She never did anything truly constructive as far as showing, she’s a terrible trail/road pony, and that time she ran us both in front of an oncoming truck was the last day I ever took her out on the road.
She’s been worked in tandem with Jesse, and has had several young children take her for a drive. On the farm, she’s an easy to handle and educational teacher, good for any kid. She’s 19 now, and just gets pulled out once or twice a year for a child to take for a short drive. She’s a golden little gem to be the type of trustworthy horse to do that, and despite her flaws, we love her and she’s earned her life of hanging out, being too fat, and enjoying her big pile of hay.
Last but not least is the little Jesse man. Ok, technically he’s not mine… yet. But he’s been mine “in spirit” for the last nearly 3 years as I’ve been leasing, training, driving, and showing him.
Jesse is an extraordinary little dude that, if you can believe, was nearly untouchable a few years ago! He is now about 12, and at one point he had papers (which have been “lost”). He’s had at least 3 owners that I know of by the time he was 7. The last lady who had him, prior to him coming to the barn, just had him as a “pet”. She had no tack of any kind, and he pretty much just hung out. When she could no longer afford to keep him, he ended up at our barn and the barn owner took him in. That was about 5 years ago.
For almost 2 years, he was just an ornament. He could barely be caught. The first day I went to work with him, I spent over an hour trying to catch him out of a 2 acre field. The next time, I lassoed him, after “herding” him out of the field and into a small holding area.
From wild and untouchable, to driving single and tandem leader in 6 months, Jesse quickly became a show pony nearly equal to Luke. He’s been on trail, handles the roads like a tried and true champion, and has been in classes with 25 other minis, draft horses, and all kinds of other equines, and he has a fair standing of ribbons, including blues and a trophy, too!
Although he’s a little jumpy & a little distrusting of others, he comes when he’s called, and is always eager and happy to work. He’s bold and brave, and there’s nothing quite like zipping him around obstacles!
I really hope someday Jesse will be in a leading pair of a mini 4. He can teach the youngies how to stay in line.