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With 12 horses… I’ve always been lucky enough to have the HEIR and the SPARE, so to speak. In other words, I’ve always had my riding horse and then my other riding horse, in case the first horse was injured, tired or just didn’t want to go.
I feel very fortunate.
My very first teaming (Heir and Spare) was Damien and Aladdin. You have not heard me speak of Damien because he was my first horse and I ended up selling him because he was really tall and I’m very small… However, I do give homage to him daily because he is the Hunter Horse pictured on the Horse and Man FB page header… He is also on the cover of the HORSE AND MAN TV Series DVD. (Damien did get to retire with his last little girl.)
Damien was a bit too tall for me (a 16’1 Morgan, sheesh!) so when Aladdin grew up, he became the heir. Gwendolyn was the spare. When Aladdin became ill, Gwen was my Go-To. After Gwen started to age, I bought Finn. Finn was the Go-To and Gwen was always standing by.
Well, now Finn is just fine. He’s only 15 and he is still in great shape and has a silly/funny pioneer spirit when on the trail. But, I’ve never had the chance to utilize BG.
I think it is her time.
WHY NOT BG…?
Beautiful Girl is a full sister to Finn. Yet, they are built completely differently. Finn is a more square and robust Tennessee Walker and BG is the typical Walker with the phenomenal Walker gaits. (Finn has a ‘pretty good’ running walk – but an incredible canter!)
Several years ago, I sent BG to a kind, local equine elementary school where she excelled. But, on her report card, her trainer said that she was solid but very, very serious. The trainer wasn’t sure that BG was having any fun – at all.
When I started riding BG, I felt the same way… was she enjoying this at all? She seemed ‘all business’ and no fun.
Besides that, I had no saddles that would fit her, and I went through several (high wither, big shoulder).
So, I turned her out and continued to ride Finn.
WHY BG NOW?
Well, the last two years have been very difficult physically for me due to the awful Lyme Disease. I had intended to ride Rojo starting October of 2012, but after a few months, I became so sick that maintaining my balance while on a recently wild horse – or any other horse – was impossible.
I hung up my boots for a very long time while I was in the throws of the Lyme Disease. During that time, Rojo has gone a bit more wild – although still tractable. But, he isn’t who I’d choose to get back into the saddle with after all this time.
For now, as I put my toe back in the water, I’d rather have someone I trust – like Aladdin. But, Aladdin is gone … so then there is Finn. Finn is great and we have ridden many miles and overcome many fears, but he lacks confidence in new places and around other horses. That didn’t bother me previously… but now, I’M NOT AS SECURE as previously so he and I could be a recipe for disaster.
Alas, I still have Gwen but she’ll be 20 this year (Yikes, where does the time go?!)… so that leaves Bodhi who is a GIANT and BG.
I’ve been thinking it over … and I’m getting the impression that BG would like her time in the sun. She’s been separating herself from the others at feeding time, she has put herself in a separate pasture and called to me… BG seems to be trying to get noticed.
And, I’ve noticed this.
BG’S TIME IS HERE!
So, today I had a chat with her. I told her that she’d be getting extra special attention and care. I told her that she would be delighting in a bit more food to fortify her for work and that I was going to groom her a few times a week… and I was going to put a saddle on her back again – and I’d make sure it fit properly.
Now, I’m not too sure how she felt about the saddle part, but she seemed to be attentive during our discussion.
I also told her that I would bring out her own, special halter and that she would have her own special tack.
Beautiful Girl has been on the range for several years now. Oh sure, I have brought her in a few times each Spring to groom her and care for her… but of all the horses, she’s never been sick, she’s never been fussy, she’s never needed anything and she is very demure and undemanding. She has always liked being left alone, I thought.
But maybe she was just in the shadow of her big brother. I don’t know…
Today, when I rubbed on her, I noticed that she was shedding like crazy and that she has rubbed off her beautiful, golden mane.
I told her that I would fix that … I suggested putting her in her own paddock but she got a bit upset about that – and Finn went crazy. However, I may try that again, just to see if I could get her looking gorgeous again.
And, I promised her again that we’d find a saddle that fit.
I think BG is the perfect fit for me right now because she is confident. She isn’t spooky, she isn’t fearful… she’s fairly laid back yet she does have an opinion.
I like that.
Especially now when I am not at full strength.
I think she will be perfect.
And we will all find out if I am right as Dawn prepares to get BACK IN THE SADDLE~!
Have fun with Beautiful Girl! You’ll have her spit shined in no time. I look forward to seeing some posts on your upcoming rides.
As you know, horses can sense our moods and state of mind, even when we don’t really know where we are! I suspect BG knew before she was the spare, and was not happy with that. Now, you need her, and she can finally shine. I wish many joyous journeys for the two of you!