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Aug 19, 2022
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SW Oregon
I has clipping sticker weeds in the pasture and I heard the thunder of hooves. Over the crest of the hill black Arago came flying, prancing, nostrils flared and blowing out snorting breaths. Tail flying like a banner, neck arched, head high with his huge antelope eyes. He came to see what it was. He saw it was me, then turned back and went the way he came. I was reminded of something in the Koran about creation of the horse

God took a handful of the south wind and said I bid you condense.
God said "I have made thee unlike any other.
All the treasures of the earth lie between thine eyes.
Thou shalt cast mine enemies between thy hooves,
but thou shalt carry my friends on thy back.
This shall be the seat from which prayers rise unto me.
Thou shall find happiness all over the earth,
and thou shall be favored above all other creatures,
for to thee shall accrue the love of the master of the earth.
Thou shall fly without wings and conquer without sword."
I had a Saddlebred. His name was Domino. He was a hickory-headed son of a boot, but we had some fine times when he wasn't trying to kill me. I gave $1,100 for him. He could run like a scalded dog. But I mean it about that SOB trying to do me in. That horse and I probably fought 5 or 6 times before he got the bigger picture. I wasn't rough on him or nothing, but I don't like being kicked or bitten particularly.

This year makes 25 years I've been riding and I've gone far enough in life to see the bigger picture myself. I still ride as often as I can a which is few times a month or so, but about half the time I saddle a horse these days it's for a kid or my wife. I understand nowadays what it's all about. Last time my azz was in the saddle was last week or so because a kid wanted me to go with her in the pasture for a ride and riding sure beats the pants off of walking.

Here, have a photo. This was my niece riding the other day. I know she's in his mouth hard, I got onto her for it but not too hard. She's going through a lot right now so I call it horse therapy.


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You had fine times when he wasn't trying to kill you.

I've had 14 horses in my life. The first and best was the appendix mare Tamar. I was 15 and bought with my babysitting money. Long distance cross country off trail. 60 miles over the hill ranges to the ocean and back, brought me back at night even in storms. She had fire and heart of the TB with the mind and muscle of a QH. She lived 40 years. I have her bones to be buried with because such a one comes only once in life and does not come again.
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One black Arab stallion,
one mini horse stud I still have raised from a foal, he's 20.

Two grade quarterhorses I rescued starving in west Texas desert. One I gave away to another nurse for her grand kids.
The other turned out to be locoed. Gave me a head injury and broken ribs. She would instantly reverse directings and violently flip over backwards like some kind of seizure. I couldn't sell her or give her away, she would have killed someone. So I sold her for slaughter at the place in San Antonio when this was legal. I looked over the place, it was humane slaughter a lot better than Mexico.

Someone gave me an leaopard Ap gelding that was too much for her daughter. Turned out he was cryptorchid. I gave him to an Indian grandfather I knew. He loved this horse and rode him in parades.
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I also rescued a donkey out of that bunch. He became a ranch calf guardian but counts as an equine.

A ranch horse named Reba, she was a good sensible mare, and her half saddlebred foal that became a circus horse. A saddlebred stud colt I let my ex husband have when I left him, A Saddlebred filly, beautiful but was a nut and got killed in a riding accident,

This palomino mare that was raised as a paddock pony, did not know how to cross water or anything. I took her on a long crosscountry trip to where Tamar and I grew up, the Point Reyes national sea shore. It is mostly mountain ranges and forested hills. I camped with her at the Horse Camp for a month and rode her every day 20 miles or more in the real world.
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She was 5 gaited and floatsd a smooth singlefoot gait over mountains and hills without missing a beat. Went into the ocean too, Hows that for a Saddlebred?
She died of old age.

Now I have this one. Arago is the most beautiful of all my horses. He was a three gaited fine harness show horse in New Jersey. Three gaited are more refined. When he was imported to Oregon across the US and arrived with those horrible shoes and feet. I pulled the shoes, trimmed and let him go barefoot in the pastures. Of all the horses in my life he is the most beautiful. I's going to take him and camp in east Oregon praire and ride him every day all day for a month like I did the 5 gaited. These are pleasure riding horses not practical work horses. For some there is a spiritual link to horses. They is the seat from which my prayers of gratitude rise.


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I've had some good ones over the years. Domino was my best, but others came close. Ruby was so gentle she could eat out of your hand and barely touch ya. Silver was a semi-retired rope horse that only went against me once. Tombstone is the palomino I learned to ride on. We had a horse named DW (won't tell you what it stands for, it ain't polite verbiage) that was crazy as a loon. My sister had a horse I can't remember the name of that I worked with a ton (remembered it, it was Oakley). We had a half mustang that wouldn't let a man touch him unless he really knew you. A woman could touch him just fine. He came off of some ranch out west, I think a man whooped the fire out of him. Had a few other good ones. Only one thing you can be sure of, a good horse is like anything else, if you're lucky enough one day it'll drop dead or need a bullet. I've cried damn bucketfuls over decent horses.
Tamar, the first and greatest of my horses hated men in cowboy hats. Women in hats were just fine. Was she abused by cowboy type pesons?

According to her brand she came from the Circle 7 ranch in Colorado. Thats must be why she did so well in the real world of rough country. Also a dominant mare, she may have been the filly foal of a dominant mare. That is where they learn it. Tamar when she was old stayed for a while in the mare pasture of the Point Reyes boadring stable. She would indicate her displeasure by making a sneer nose at the chosen mare at the chosen and my Saddlbred filly would come shooting out backwards giving them both barrels
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Tamar, the first and greatest of my horses hated men in cowboy hats. Women in hats were just fine. Was she abused by cowboy type pesons?
Couldn't tell you, but that was my theory on ours. That horse would not let me touch him until after the day he got his foot messed up and I caught him up and made a poultice for him and packed his wound. Before that, best I could do was hold treats in my hand behind my back (yeah, I know, giving your back to a horse that isn't friendly isn't a good idea, I also didn't think anything could really hurt me back then) and he'd eventually take them.
I got one this week. Well, actually it is called a Nationalbred. The National Racking Horse Assocuation has classes for horses that are 1/2 TWH and 1/2 ASHA/ Both parents have to be registered in their respective associations. She is a bay, 16.2hd, 12 yr old. Bought 2 more mares this week... an 8 yr old OTT, 16 hd Standardbed, and a 8 yr old 16.1 hd, Anglo/Arab. Both of those are bay as well. All of these mars have very high, prominent withers, which is what I want to raise mules. I found a 15.2hd cremello, or double dilute, gaited mammoth jack. Gonna try my hand at raising some buckskin riding mules. Got a friend that collects and freezes stallions, and I took them to his place today, for him to AI when they come in heat. He has a lot of jacks frozen too. He has one client in KY with 150 nurse mares, and he AIs them all with jack semen., He says it freezes better,, has a higher conception rate.... than stallion semen.
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This is Colonel Rochawansky, the man who saved the Spanish Riding School from the Nazis. The Nazis would take the horses for their art and the Russions who would have eaten them. He was the riding master of the school and he smuggled them out of Austria and with the help of General Patton got the stallions and the mares behind American lines. I saw this film The Dancing White Stallions as a child and was enchanted by it. Well, 40 years later he came to Texas to teach dressage and ended up in my hospital at the age of 94 sick and dying. He became so depressed and didn't want to live so we got horsemen and horsewomen nurses for him because he would just light up when talking abut horses and riding.

Finally after 5 months he was well enough to go home to England but in medical transport plane. His friends could not afford that so I said Just get us two tickets on British Airways and I will fly him home, my practice covered across internationa boundries because of the god samaritan act. He still had a feeding tube in his stomach. British Airways, wow, they have huge comforatable seats and real stewardesses. She asked if we would like a drink. I said no thnak you I am on duty and he said in a hearty voice I'll have a bourbon!
Gave a quiet little head shake to her No. But I ordered champagne and flushed his G tube with it. You have to flush the tubes with an effevescent substance. He was pretty happy when we flew over Ireland. Look I said, theirs Ireland. He said Ya. They have some good horses in Ireland but they are hard headed like the Irish. I could not believe how life had turned out. Here I was, flying across the world with this hero of my childhood.

Rocky lived two more years. He stayed in a care home and every morning his friends took him to the stable, pull along side the arena and he gave riding lessons with a bull horn.
I have owned and/or ridden a lot of horses in my life. I have come to 2 conclusions. 1. Really good horses are expensive. 2. They are a lot cheaper than hospital bills. It is also a lot cheaper to buy a good made horse than it is to raise one.
Amen! To both points! Two $1000 yearling geldings. 4 years from now,1 sells for $2500 and the other for $25k, The difference in the prices? Wet blankets!
The best horse of my life I paid $400 of my baby sitting money. A lot of wet saddleblankets and she wanted to do it, could not be held back, climbed mountains like a freight train and lived 40 years.
Back in the 70s and 80s I routinely bought coming two year old saddle horses (gaited = no papers) for about $400 and started them to saddle over the winter. I put one side of my tobacco barn in stalls and could house about six head. They were easy to sell the next spring for $1200 to $1400 and I thought i was making big money.
These Tennessee Walking horses and Kentucky Mountain types were gentle natured and I hardly ever had one buck or act up too much,
The closing of the kill plants ended this way of life. Weigh prices kept a floor under the market and just helped all way around.
I saw more suffering and under fed horses after the kill plants shut down. Something that is not worth anything is not taken care of.

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