By Patty Wilber
Lucy got here in July and quickly wormed her way into my heart.
She is a rather calm sort.
The only thing that I don’t care for so far is that saddles like to ride forward on her, so I think, for the back country, I will get her a britchen.
Granted, normally you see these on mules, but on that ride 13, the saddle and I were up on her neck coming down the last hill to the house. She didn’t mind that I was trying to ride her neck, but I did! A britchen will keep all the apparatus and the rider in a better place.
On ride 14, I took her down to Ed Krausses. She warmed up and did her thing (walk, trot and starting to lope) while taking essentially no notice of any cow, horse or human drama in the adjacent pen.
The next day, I took her to a show and she stood tied to the trailer all day with a bag of hay. No pawing, no crying and I think she caught up on her ZZZZs.
She has a long walk, a reachy trot, she carries her head level, and she sits on her butt to stop. Oh boy! I am excited about her future!
Atti is three. As you may recall, her bad behavior had me in tears of frustration and embarrassment at a show in January, and she practically gave me saddle sores getting her warmed up to show in May and June.
But persistence and experimentation on when and how to reprimand her and and how best to help her, are REALLY paying off.
She is a much happier and respectful horse around the barn. Last week, she did a wonderful job as a working back-country horse and crossed live water for the first time.
This week she went to the New Mexico Buckskin Horseman Association’s Ranch show and came away as the high point Open Ranch Horse.
We have a lot to work on, in preparation for the 2019 Appaloosa World Show in a year, but she took a cow down the fence for the first time (albeit a very slow cow), she entered cutting for the first time (and did not lose any cows), entered reining for the first time and got one of her lead changes….(let’s not talk about the other one).
I have not gone to the rescue Walkin N Circles to see him (in part because I am afraid I will crack and try to bring him here, when he clearly belongs there because of their expertise with rehabbing starved horses, attention from many volunteers, and potential for adoption). I do get updates about three times a week, and pictures, from Mary Ann Shinnick! I forgot to mention that he had his teeth done two weeks ago. He had some sharp points, so with those gone, he ought to be able to eat even better! He has put on a bunch of weight! He continues to be easy going and very sweet.
Walkin N Circles always needs volunteers and of course as a charity 501C3, accepts donations. They are having a Halloween fundraising show tomorrow at the Stanley Cyclone arena on Hwy 41. Check the WNC website for more info (link above.) Yours truly will be the trail judge.