Gwen was born on this day in 1995, to Mama Tess. I cannot believe how the time flies!
Gwen was MT’s first foal and my first foal born at home. At that time, we all lived in Wilsonville, Oregon.
From the start, Gwen was a baby who liked to rear. If I was a trick horse trainer, she would have been an awesome rearing horse! Gwen didn’t stop rearing until last month, I think… OK, maybe it was a few years ago, but you get my drift. She has always shown her joy, fear or rebellion via rearing. So, that made her a challenge to ride, for sure.
Very interestingly, her color keeps changing. At first, she was a bright bay. Then she turned into a blood bay, then brown. Now she is a seal brown. Her dam was a bay and her sire (General Crook) was black.
Oh, and she HATES to be fussed with… she puts up with being groomed, if she has to. And, she loves chest, neck and face rubs; but she doesn’t have the time for all that mane and tail stuff. She has better things to do!
Gwen and I did years of groundwork at my Oregon house or in my friend, Marla’s, arena which was just a stone’s throw away. We went through Parelli certification together, we learned voice commands, and we learned to ride. Of all of my horses, Gwen had the most one-on-one, personal, every day, total groundwork and saddle training – by me.
And then it was time for proper show training… or so I thought. Gwen thought otherwise and I brought her home after a few months of Morgan horse show training.
Gwen was always “hot”, like her Mama… except that Gwen wasn’t quite as talented as Mama Tess, so it wasn’t worth fighting her to be a show horse. She became my 2nd riding horse (after Aladdin). Except, she was too hot to be a fun trail riding horse… so I didn’t really start riding her often until she was around 12 – and she had settled some. (Gwen loved arena obstacles best.)
Gwen is an equine genius, I think. She can open any lock. She learns very quickly. And, most of all, she communicates very well. I always know what she wants… Yes, sometimes she bangs on the gates to insist upon attention, but she also will run to a gate that she knows I can open without any interference from others. She’s smart that way. If she sees an opportunity, she will seize it!
And today, my girl is 24. I just rode her and she still knew all of her cues. She’s amazing – all that ground work so long ago… She can do anything under saddle. To be honest, I wished that I had ridden her more when she was younger – once she settled. You see, I had Aladdin… and then Finn… so Gwen was always the 2nd horse. I regret that. But, I also know that she and I have a very strong bond. She loves getting let out when no one else is let out. She loves extra food and scratches in her special spots daily. She totally knows that she can work treats out of me.
As far as Mama Tess, I don’t see any of MT in Gwen – except her hip. Otherwise, Gwen takes after her Dad. Old style, stout and sound Morgan horse with thick, wavy hair.
I wish they didn’t grow old. Gwen is still in fine health and retains her weight. But, Her Dam, Mama Tess, passed at 25. So, horse birthdays get to me.
She had her special birthday bucket tonight… better than a grooming anyday. As I took this photo I noticed the gray is more dense under her ear and in her throat latch now. Sigh.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, FIRST FOAL AND BEST GIRL!
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