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Horses from your past

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  • Horses from your past

    Anyone wonder about horses from their past? Or horses you had brief encounters with?

    A friend of mine used to have a large volume of horses come through regularly and I rode them for her. There are so many that I enjoyed, some I didn't like at all, and a few I wish I could have kept for myself.

    One was a little bay STB mare, fugly as all get out, but what a sweet pony she was. She couldn't canter, she was kind of a mess really, but she had THE BEST disposition and would trail ride through anything. Totally unflappable too.

    This was 10+ years ago... I think about her a lot and often wonder what became of her....
    We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.

  • #2
    I was just thinking about my "one that got away." Phil was an Appendix gelding, dark bay, very well trained, easy ride. Nasty as heck on the ground though! He belonged to a friend of mine. My DH learned to ride on him, pretty much. He could canter Phil with no stirrups. One weekend when my lease horse had a swollen eye the morning of a show, my friend let me take Phil instead, and we cleaned up! I won my equitation division, and trust me, that NEVER happens! LOL. He was also great to ride on trails. My friend wanted me to buy him when she got preggers, but my trainer vetoed it. I ended up buying a different horse, and it was a huge seven-year mistake. If there is one thing I could do differently in my life, it would be to go back in time and buy Phil when I had the chance. I still wonder what ever happened to him.


    • #3
      Yup. First horse I ever fell in love with. Nice little graying mare, had just turned...4? Something like that. Not sure what breed she was, maybe a Quarab? She was at a dude ranch I went to for a couple days with my church youth group. I never rode her, but fell in love with her on the ground. Sweetest thing in the world. I would go up to the corral while she was eating and call her, and she'd stop and come see me. A couple girls from my group got mad, because they were trying to take pictures with her, and as soon as she saw me, she turned and walked away from them . I have a couple pictures of her somewhere. She must be in her mid-teens by now. My parents were going to take me back there to ride for my birthday, but the place had come under new management and she wasn't there anymore, so I never went back.
      Against My Better Judgement: A blog about my new FLF OTTB
      Do not buy a Volkswagen. I did and I regret it.
      VW sucks.


      • #4
        I grew up taking once-a-week lessons at a local horse farm that had a large lesson program. There were so many wonderful horses & ponies that taught me how to ride. I remember all of them, for their own unique personalities.

        When I went back to visit a few years ago, only 3 were there from my childhood.

        Somebody made a Facebook group dedicated to the lesson horses of this barn from the 1990's, and posted pictures of a lot of them. While it's so nice to flip through the pictures & remember a lot of wonderful rides, it's also very sad as I know a lot of them are no longer alive.

        While I have 2 of my own now, I often think about the horses I learned to ride on.
        <3 Vinnie <3
        Jackie's Punt ("Bailey") My Finger Lakes Finest Thoroughbred


        • #5
          I wonder about the little paint mare I loved at Girl Scout Camp... her name was Pie, and she was already in her 20s then, so I'm sure she's long gone now... but I hope she had a peaceful end, as the horses we had at that camp probably were not in great shape, as I can remember now. ):

          I also wonder about the two horses I rode for my brief wonderful year of lessons when I was a kid... both quarter horses; Sonny Go Ray (Chewy) and Colonel Sal's Bet (Sally). Chewy was the horse I learned to ride on, and I fell in love with Sally. If anyone has AQHA lookup and happens to find them, I'd love to hear any updates that are posted. (:
          "Remain relentlessly cheerful."

          Graphite/Pastel Portraits


          • #6
            I actually found a horse from my past (ten years gone) who had moved about and ended up at a barn near me! This was a mare I had leased, done a ton of stuff with and finally had a nasty accident with her. Before I was cleared to ride, she had been sold.

            I got to ride her ten years later and it was SUCH a blast.


            • #7
              Very first QH mare I bought, big bodied bright cherry sorrel mare with hind stockings and a funky blaze, named Simple Melody. Was in foal when I bought her and she had a gorgeous filly. She was maybe 8 or 9 when I bought her and that was in '86 so pretty sure she's gone now. She was broke to ride and packed both my kids around with all the patience in the world, was a wonderful mother (had about 8 foals for me over 11 or 12 years I had her).....would want you in the stall with her when foaling. Sold as part of divorce settlement (not MY idea!!) and I lost track of her. About 5 years ago I saw her on Dreamhorse being sold as a companion horse and made contact but she'd already been sold. Such a sweet, sweet mare (and from a bloodline that lots of people told me were broncy suckers!...she never did nor did any of her foals give us any trouble in training/riding). Pretty mare with almost Araby head, long clean neck and a butt like an Irish washerwoman!!
              Colored Cowhorse Ranch
              Northern NV


              • #8
                I think about all of them. At least once a day when I'm working with my current guys I will have a flash back to one of my former horses. I used to do a lot of sales, and nowadays I do one sale horse at a time. So, I have memories of quite a few - maybe about 40 or so that I've owned / trained at this point.

                Mostly I wonder about my "babies" - those that I broke myself. I have kept up with a few of them but some have gotten away from me.

                In particular, if anyone knows of a chestnut Oldenburg gelding named "Decorum"; 1996 model; Art Deco baby; was last seen performing in dressage in the New Mexico area - I'd love to find out what happened to him. He was the first baby I ever broke by myself.


                • #9
                  I find it kind of depressing. There are several from my past I helped "fix up" that went on to find their destiny without any of my input, and I worry about them. For the majority of the last 15-18 years or so I've taken horses that were so mentally screwed up by inexperience horse owners or legit a-holes and transformed them. I do my best to get them enjoying life again, and leave their horrors in their past, but just like a battered woman is more likely to be beaten by her next husband, I fear the same for them.

                  I find it better when they enter my mind, to fantasize they are in the life I dreamed for them, than search to find the truth.
                  chaque pas est fait ensemble


                  • #10
                    Yes, one in particular I worry about.

                    About ten years ago I rode a 6 y/o Paint gelding that had come into the barn where I rode and worked from the dealer. Lovely little horse, we actually got his APHA papers with him, sweet as anything on the ground. He would follow me around the farm with no lead rope, free lunged like a champ. I loved him.

                    Under saddle, however, he was a nightmare. Spooky, unpredictable, bucked, reared, you name it. But I was young and stupid and would sit on anything, so I rode him for several months, and did succeed in improving him a bit, until the owners decided he just wasn't going to work out for their program and needed to sell him.

                    He ended up going to a VERY inexperienced family that wanted a couple western trail horses. I cried for days after he was sold; not only was one of my 'babies' sold out from under me, but he was sold to what was probably the most inappropriate home possibe. It really scares me to think about what might have happened to him, and the people who bought him. He had the potential to seriously hurt someone. I hope so much that he was quickly sold on to someone who knew what they were doing...

                    If anyone in NJ knows how a cute little sorrel overo named Kid Sunrise Lace is doing... please let me know.
                    Proud member of the "I'm In My 20's and Hope to Be a Good Rider Someday" clique



                    • #11
                      Thoughtful thread.

                      I am very lucky, that I know where a lot of them went and an amazing number of people keep up with me. Sadly too, I have been contacted when horses I have owned or represented had been starved or dumped or sold at auction. The world is a precarious place for horses, no matter how careful you try to be.
                      "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
                      The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.


                      • #12
                        I spoke with a very nice woman about a large pony for sale and I kept coming back to his pictures. Something drew me to him. Alas, my mare hadn't sold yet so I wasn't in a position to buy. By the time my mare sold, the pony had also sold, so it wasn't meant to be.

                        Now I have my second heart horse and I am glad I didn't get the pony because I wouldn't have my big silly pinto saddlebred boy. But I think about that pony and the strange magnetism and think I could have him as my second horse if I ever run across him again.


                        • Original Poster

                          It is sad, as some have pointed out.... because you can't keep them all, and you don't know where they end up or what becomes of them.

                          I suspect, in the case of the mare I mentioned, that she didn't have the best luck. Despite our best attempts to sell her locally to one of the nice homes or lesson programs that came along, she was always overlooked. She seriously was super fugly-- she looked like she was made up of about 67 spare parts. And I have always been afraid that it would ultimately be her demise unless someone took the time to look beyond it.

                          Of the horses I've owned, two are deceased, the other two I know where they are and with whom so in that sense I'm lucky. It's all the other random horses I've gotten to know and appreciate over the years, that came and then went for whatever reason. Some I do still know of their whereabouts and have even happened upon them a time or two. But many are long gone. A lot were just run of the mill horses, but there were always those few that sort of captured your heart for one reason or another.
                          We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.


                          • #14
                            I think we all think about our old friends and worry. I learned at a young age to "let them go" if we've had to part ways or you can get your heart broken. I always advise people not to go looking for their old horses. I know many of mine are long dead and gone and that we will meet again some day.
                            Groom to trainer: "Where's the glamour? You promised me glamour!"


                            • #15
                              Yeah, I always think about the first horse I fell in love with. Her name was Goldie (reg. name is my sn here- She's Pure Gold). 1979 palomino QH mare. She was never mine, but I always wished someday she would be. She got sold when I was 11 and I tried for years to find her, to no concrete avail. She was in MA when I knew her, and supposedly ended up in NY, though who knows. She hated trailering, bucked a lot from what I heard, and was ridden western. Had a large blaze and LH sock, and a large scar on her left hind end from where someone actually took a hot iron (you know, the one you iron your clothes with...) to her to get her on a trailer (yeah, that totally made her enjoy it more! Asshats).

                              Anyways, if anyone knows a old, golden beauty with an iron mark on her butt, please send me a message I can send pix, too, if anyone wants them.


                              • #16
                                I often wonder what happened to my Heart-Horse's dam. She would be 28 this year if she were still alive. She's a 15.2hh grey TBx. She had some pretty distinctive scarring along the right side of her neck.


                                • #17
                                  Reading this thread makes me feel really, really fortunate. The only horse I ever truly fell in love with but didn't own eventually became mine.

                                  I was 16 and volunteering at a 4-H horse camp being held at a local stable. I ended up getting paired with an ornery 20 year old roaning chestnut quarter horse mare with funky back legs. I had never worked with a mare and didn't like quarter horses but somehow this mare and I just clicked. None of the other girls liked this mare because she an old western pony who liked to "cut" jumps during lessons and had a strange gait due to nerve damage that occurred during a trailer accident when she was around 10 years old. I LOVED this mare! Lucky for me because the other girls didn't like her, she was always available for me to work with. Sadly the camp only lasted 3 weeks. The stable owner wanted me to come our and ride the mare for her to keep her in shape, but due to not having a car or a ride to the barn I only made it out once. The mare was put up for sale because she didn't click well with the lesson program. She was older and over priced and I tried desperately to buy her but it just didn't work out. Fast forward 5 years and I've married and had returned to my horsie passion with a firey vengeance. I had decided I wanted to learn to ride English and that I needed a proper lesson pony. While perusing sale ads I came across an ad for a 25 year old quarter horse mare with funky back legs. No. Way, I thought. I finally found a picture of her and sure enough, it was the same horse! I contacted the girl who owned her and was saddened to hear that they had just given her to a lesson barn about 40 miles away. I was completely bummed out, but you can imagine my excitement when the girl e-mailed me a week later to say that she wasn't working out at the lesson barn (I'm starting to see a pattern here...) and that she was available if I was interested. Umm, yes. Less than a week later Rose was mine and we've been happily together every since. She's going to be 27 in May and is doing just loverly!


                                  • #18

                                    Many years ago I had a sorrell QH mare named Holly Jeanne (yes my screen name). I adored that mare and when I graduated from college and couldn't afford a horse on my own, I sold her to my sister. Unfortunately, my sister found she couldn't keep up a horse and school so she sold her on. I've often wondered about that mare and would take a carbon copy in a heart beat. Unforunately, I just found out a few months ago (after 35 years) that my sister sold her without her papers. It broke my heart all over again to hear that. All I can do is hope someone saw what a wonderful horse she was and snatched her up.
                                    Last edited by Holly Jeanne; Feb. 17, 2011, 04:11 PM.
                                    Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Goethe


                                    • #19
                                      I have a happy story.

                                      One of the horses here is just the most gentlemanly, sweet guy. He's pushing 30, and used to be a top show horse. I thought about all the people that must have owned him in his life, and how they must have loved him too because he's such a wonderful horse.

                                      So I posted his registered name on the "Hunter Jumper" forum, and low and behold, his groom from 20 years ago got in touch. She in turn put me in touch with one of his owners and we traded pictures.

                                      A year later, she made it out, and had a reunion with him. The pictures are on my farm's facebook page under "Nickel and Dime" (link in sig. below).
                                      Follow us on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/peonyvodka/


                                      • #20
                                        yes-two horses from one of my previous lesson barns. One was the sweetest mare ever. She would come up lame though and the barn ended up sending her somewhere to be a blood donor or something (who really knows) and that was the last I heard of her. I would have bought her if I could, but it just wasn't feasible at that timte.

                                        The other was the owner's ornery gelding, who would also mysteriously come up lame. They sent him to auction. Found out a couple years later on their website one of the local rescues was there that day and saved him due to his obvious good breeding and weight. He was adopted by a little girl to learn to jump and appears to be sound and trucking along. At least this one is a happy ending!