I remember the many times my dad lamented that it all started because he made the mistake of buying me a black cowboy hat. That cowboy hat began my life-long love of horses and my dad’s never-ending equine expenses.
First it was the hat, and next it was a big white mare of mixed breeding with a not so pleasing combination of Percheron and something else which ended up looking like a horse put together by a committee of blind men. I did love my first horse and I remember the excitement of watching her being unloaded from the big truck that delivered her. My brother had gotten the first horse my dad purchased because it was a black gelding and I wanted a WHITE horse. Even at five, I knew what color horse I wanted. I have not changed much…read a recent story about Rocky Bear my new white horse. The story is titled, “A Dream Ride Five Decades in the Making”.
My brother and I spent hours riding our horses in the neighbor’s cow pastures herding the dairy cows to the barn for milking. In my mind I was on a cattle drive like those on my favorite TV shows — Rawhide and Bonanza.
When riding a horse, you can be anything you want. You have power and speed far beyond those unfortunate enough to be left horseless. Maybe that is why I love horses so much. Maybe that is why I am so passionate about matching potential buyers with ex-race horses.
Another brother and sister learn to love horses
I recently had the pleasure of introducing another brother and sister to the love of horses. I have to say that it gave me almost as much pleasure as when my brother and I got our first horses.
Their mother is one of the Thoroughbred owners we place horses for when their racing careers are over. She is already aware of the expense of horse ownership. Grin, frin, wink, wink.
We were all grinning from ear-to-ear as her children got to meet their first horse, Lacy.
Lacy is a mini of undermined age – “somewhere in her teens” according to our vet.
“Early or late teens?” we asked.
“Teens” was all he would commit to.
She was supposed to know how to be ridden and driven. None of the Thoroughbred owners at Bits & Bytes Farm was small enough to ride a 30 inch tall mini horse so it was up to five year-old Braden to be the first rider.
We came up with a plan. I would lead Lacy by the halter and mom would have a hold of Braden by his shirt ready to pull him off if Lacy proved too exuberant. Lacy marched off like she was carrying the Queen of England. She was so happy and proud to have a special job and took good care of her young rider who kept telling mom to, “Let go, let go mom.”
After riding, Braden wanted to lead Lacy around. He ran around the arena with Lacy running along behind him like a boy and his dog.
Next it was three-year-old Abby’s turn to ride. She wanted her brother to lead Lacy for her. Braden led Lacy, and I kept a good hold on the halter, and her mom had a hold of Abby. Abby was thrilled to be on her first horse.
After getting off, Abby wanted to do what her big brother did — she wanted to lead Lacy around. Now you can likely guess what happened when a three year-old tried leading a determined 30 inch mini horse around the arena.
All went well, at first, because Lacy was interested in the poop in the arena. Then, Lacy spotted the green grass in the corner and took Abby over there to enjoy eating grass without the muzzle she usually wore. Abby wanted to take Lacy for a little walk while Lacy decided it was time to cut loose. Abby was left staring in disbelief that Lacy took off.
Round and round the arena Lacy ran – right through Kathy Duke’s lesson happening at the far end of the arena. It took about five adults to round her up and capture her. My days of herding dairy cows paid off.
Placing Thoroughbreds is My Passion!
I get great pleasure watching others fall in love with the Thoroughbreds we place. Their success stories make me grin from ear-to-ear when I read them. I feel their happiness and excitement. I hope that others will want to experience the thrill of Thoroughbred ownership for themselves.
We try extremely hard to find safe sane Thoroughbreds who will transition quickly to life off-the-track. We are not just grabbing pretty Thoroughbreds at the track and flipping them for a large dollar amount. Nor are we a rescue, taking in the Thoroughbreds who are down on their luck hoping to find a pasture or pleasure home for them to live out their lives at. We are different. I do not make my living as a ‘Horse Trader”. I have a real career in technology that pays the bills and allows me to have the skills to market our horses to people who want competition Thoroughbreds. Our mission is promoting the Thoroughbred as a sport horse after racing and helping caring race horse owners to find great home for their Thoroughbreds after racing.
We work hard to match riders and horses because we understand that when the match is good, it is good for everyone: the horse, the buyer and the seller. Don’t be offended if we question your skill level – we want you to be safe and want to help you find the right horse.
If we seem overly passionate or come across as pushy, it is because we want everyone to have as much fun as a child with her first horse. We are just as excited for our Thoroughbred buyers as we were to watch Abby and Braden ride their own first horse!
Abby and Braden will ride their mom’s Thoroughbred ex-race horses when they are older. Braden is already enjoying riding one of the Thoroughbreds at our farm while Abby is content to ride her smaller horse.
Call us if you are ready to enjoy riding your own Thoroughbred.
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