Crazy Cow Country Farm

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My horse, Silver

September 20th, 2007 · 4 Comments · Uncategorized

A couple months ago I was looking on the Internet and noticed *PRICE REDUCED* on a grey mare for sale that had caught my eye earlier this spring.  I called the lady and asked if we could come over to take a look as our boarder’s had left their trailer for our use while they were out of state.  Now, I knew darn good and well that we had about $50.00 in the Horse Fund but there was just something about this horse and I wanted to see her.  We arrived on Saturday after driving an hour to get to her place and the lady told me she was listing Silver for sale the following morning in the paper for even less than she’d had her for online – she needed her in a home quickly as her new horse would be arriving within a few days.  As we walked to through the fence Silver lifted her head and walked right up to Ed.  She immediately began rubbing her nose gently on his arm and asked him to pet her.  We fell in love with her and, contrary to what we’d been told by a “natural horsemanship trainer” we knew that her intent was affection and not misbehavior so we didn’t punch her in the face like he recommended (that’s a whole ‘nother story there). 

I started visiting with the lady and mentioned that my husband, the auto mechanic, worked in Wichita.  Her eyes lit up and she asked if we’d like to trade some truck work for the horse.  Being a single mom didn’t always afford a healthy bank account and car work can add right up.  She was smart and had already done the calling around so she knew the figures were right about even for the horse.  The next day we picked Silver up and as I lead her into the barn I realized just how tall she was.  And the point was really hammered home when I put my saddle on her and saw there was no freaking way I could get my foot in the stirrup – I have to use a mounting stool or chair.  This girl is tall!  She’s also got some spirit and I was quite intimidated the first few times I rode her.  Not only that but she hates to ride alone so she was quite clear in telling me she would follow my requests but only because she was trained to, certainly not by choice.  I mentioned this to Jennifer, our boarder, and she said Cartman was the same when it came to riding alone so we set up a riding schedule a couple times a week to go together.  The horses love it and so do we.  We usually just take off through the country roads or any field not planted and we’re gone for over half the day at a time. 

With her spirit and her size, I was intimidated – although never scared of her.  She’s the kind of horse that no matter what she’s doing or what her mood, the instant a lead rope is clipped on she literally stands at attention and behaves wonderfully.  Two weeks ago we were riding and some dogs came at us barking and growling.  I had no idea how Silver would react and Jen could tell I was struggling to keep calm so I wouldn’t lose control.  I noticed Silver bend her head just slightly towards me as if to say, Not a problem, I’ll be fine.   And sure enough, she never broke gait and never gave those dogs more than a glance even as one got within inches of her back hooves. 

Last week Jen couldn’t come out until the afternoon and since we’re gone for several hours Vincent wanted to ride behind me – this would be the first time we’d doubled on her and the first time he’d been up without an adult leading him slowly around the house.  I’m sure we were quite a sight coming down the rode, this massive horse carrying the two of us, Jen on her Mustang, and Jack the lab trying to stay out of the way.  Now Silver and Cartman always, always, race a little deciding who’s going to lead.  And anytime one or the other gets a little ahead (it’s usually Cartman because she likes to forage through stray milo stalks as we go) the other canters to catch up.  Do you know that horse left all the beautiful milo alone and never once picked up speed.  She never once startled or acted the least bit spirited at all.  It’s almost like she knew that she was carrying a child and she was on her best behavior.  Even coming home up the drive she didn’t even walk fast and y’all know what the sight of the barn normally does to horses.  But not this time.  It’s the only time she didn’t try with everything she had to lope back home. 

A man once told me to only buy a horse that I knew someone else would want.  In fact, in his particular case, I think that’s his only criteria.  I can’t imagine thinking of a horse like that.  I can’t imagine not wanting to get to know that horse, bond with her, and keep her.  I can’t imagine someone just thinking of them for their “resell” value and I think it’s a sad thing – to view these beautiful animals like that.  Then again, we later learned that this man was just a wanna-be cowboy con-man and, as it turns out, didn’t know much about horses at all.  I’m sure he’s still out there horse-trading and giving the con to someone else and it sure gives the horseworld a bad name.  But that’s a whole ‘nother story for another time.

Well would you believe, on Tuesday I received in the mail the registration information for Silver.   I never realized that with registered horses you can trace her lineage like that!  You can trace Silver’s all the way to Man O War and it includes Leo as well as Grey Badger II.  Her previous owner was kind enough to send me an article on Grey Badger II along with a picture and I must say, it’s like looking right at Silver, even down the the short tail.  I’d say that weekend of working on that truck was time well spent.  And I couldn’t care less whether anyone else would want to buy her or not. 

Our plan was to keep an eye out and next spring pick up a shorter horse for me because Ed can ride her comfortably (he’s well over 6’).  I broke it to Ed that I think he’s out of luck.  As always, he took it well and just shook his head.  I know.  I figured as much, was all he said.

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