Our youngest horse right now is Lyric. She is the three year old daughter out of my mare, Lacy. Like a typical adolescent of any species, she eats as much as we are willing to give her and it all turns to muscle. She is not yet broke to ride. We plan to start her under saddle this fall after the heat wave lets up. She's for sale. We can't keep them all but we can pick and choose who we sell her to. A young horse needs an experienced owner/rider to develop to their full potential. So we will send Lyric off to a trainer for 30 days or so and then just keep putting miles and training on her ourselves until the right buyer comes along.
Our oldest horse is Yeoldfurt's 26 year old Quarter Horse mare, Scarlett. He has owned her since she was a two year old and, even though she is now retired from riding, she still expects to be pampered and doted on daily. She may be a Pasture Potato, but she is a pampered one! In the 20 plus years Yeoldfurt has owned her, Scarlett has seen sights other horses just dream about. She has explored the open spaces of Florida, the badlands of northwestern New Mexico and seen a whole lot of Texas. She and Yeoldfurt have logged lots of trail miles over the years and even participated in a team penning clinic a few years ago. Scarlett was already 20 years old at that clinic and I don't think the other riders thought they were going to be very impressed with her. They changed their tune after Scarlett's turn came and she showed 'em all how it was really done. There were lots of "oohs" and "aahs" and "how old is she again?" Ha!
Next is Katie. She's now 20 years old and the Paint daughter of Yeoldfurt's Scarlett. She is registered as a breeding stock Paint ...meaning her sire was Paint registered, but she didn't inherit the Paint gene. As of this year, she is permanently crippled with a bad knee. We spent a chunk of change on her last year trying to fix a lameness problem on her right fetlock (ankle ...sort of) and that surgery was a complete success. But she chipped her knee while she was recuperating at the vet and the damage is permanent. Even though she is no longer able to be ridden, she is part of the family so she will live out her days with us. This picture was taken a couple of years ago with our then 10 year old niece riding out through our backwoods. To the 10 year old, it was a sure 'nough trail ride and to Katie, any time she's toting a kid on her back, she's happy.
Next is my mare, Lacy. She is a 9 year old registered Paint mare. She is a red roan sabino and my pride and joy. I've raised her since she was just 4 months old and it's not quite clear even to me whether she owns me or I own her. She allows other people to ride her, but prances and shows off when I ride her. If I happen to ride another horse, she gets highly indignant and vocal at first and then walks off and pouts when I try to make up to her later. She has always taken good care of me on the trails and will come over to just hang out if I walk out into the pasture. She is the tallest of the bunch at 15.2 hh's and probably weighs 1150 pounds. My left ankle is flaky and weak and gives out on me half the time. Since that's the leg you use to step up into the saddle, it makes mounting from the ground quite a challenge. To complicate things further, I cracked my pelvis on the right side back in '99 so just getting my left foot up high enough to reach the stirrup on a tall horse causes pain and stress in the hip. So Lacy will stand next to something for me can get on, and we also had her taught to lay down for me. It's been a great trick. I can even get on her bareback now.
The mare Yeoldfurt rides these is also 9 years old. Lucy is the half-Mustang buckskin mare I mentioned in my blog about the hay ring. She's an extremely easy keeper, probably thanks to her Mustang heritage, and stays fat as a tick on less than 1 pound twice a day. Lucy is always up to something. She has a Dennis the Menace personality, plenty of mischief but no real malice. She can be very opinionated about things on the trail, but Yeoldfurt likes 'em with a little fire in their belly so she suits him just fine.
Last but not least is Dancer. We traded another mare for her about six years ago because we were raising Paints and Dancer is homozygous for the Paint gene. That means no matter how many times you breed her to a solid colored horse, she will always have Paint colored baby. She's a bay/white tobiano (like the horse Little Joe rode in Bonanza, but bay/white instead of black/white) and built like a brick house. She is 15 hh's at the withers (shoulder) and weighs around 1300 pounds. She's downright massive and as solid as a rock. But she's a Baby Huey with her herdmates. She doesn't seem to know she's the biggest horse in the herd and she lets them all ...occasionally even the 3 year old ...push her around. It's kind of embarrassing to watch sometimes! But she is a pretty horse and a good ride. Nothing fancy, no power steering, no power brakes, no fancy gears ...she just goes where you point her and never bucks, bolts or rears. Those are great qualities in a horse.
Happy Trails, everyone!