I've mentioned a few times I have a mare I really like called Bailey and I thought I would mention a little more about her.
I bought her as a weanling in 2004 from the auction mart. I found out later she was owned by my neighbor and he liked her but she was full of zip so he sold her. I'm sure there was more too it, but I'll never know.
"The first week she was here"
Her mother (Tina Patrona-don't you just love that name?) was a ranch horse and used for barrels and gymkhana and anything else they could think of. The sire (Rich Holly Jinx) is his sister in laws and his babies are used for roping and barrels. He is a palomino dun or dunalino which I had never heard of till I seen him.
She wasn't halter broke when I got her, but very friendly. I made her let me pet her everyday before she got to eat, sure didn't take long for her to figure that out. Then one day I brought out a halter, put it on her and she just followed me wherever I went, out in the yard and everything. It was pretty cool. As a yearling I was bored, so I put a saddle on her and a bridle and she just took it like it happened everyday.
"Looking out the shed as I built my round pen"
In the fall she was three, I took her to Lane Berry to start and he said she was really good and brave, but reactive, have to watch her all the time. I knew she was very quick to react to stuff and that's why i took her there, and he does way more in thirty days than I would prolly do in six months. He moved her around the round pen the first day and I told him I saddled fer before and he said o good, but I said it was a long time ago and he laughed and said "it cant be that long, shes only 3" I thought okay, but he put a saddle on her and moved her in the round pen for a few more minutes and said "I think I can get on her tomorrow" I was surprised, but he did and he only rides outside, so she has seen the town of Hanna, maybe more than me, lol.
"As a two year old in the corral"
I took her to the barn and I rode her there with Lu and Susan in lessons. Every time for the first six months she bucked every time I rode with someone else. It took me a long time to figure this out, but she was awesome by our self and then attitude with others around. She got over that and sometimes I forget and think she is like that still. Although she hasn't been bad really ever.
"In the barn"
In the summer of that year (she was 4) we had a community trail ride and I took her and we did everything, walked through brush, went swimming (which I'm not sure I want to do again on any horse), seen wagons, and she just followed and sometimes led. Even when I rode in a wagon, cause riding in wet jeans is sooo not comfy, we just pulled her saddle and bridle and she just followed behind. All Winter she kept losing weight and we were trying to figure out why. She was on good feed, we had her teeth done and they weren't that bad, I was only riding 2 or 3 times a week and not that hard, and finally we did a massage on her and wow her hamstrings were so tight, she didn't want to put her head to the ground. After 2 more, she started gaining weight and it was like a whole different horse!
"Bailey on the trail ride (look how skinny she was!)"
In September that fall, she had hernia surgery and had lots of time off, that's kinda a neat operation to watch.
"After her surgery"
I found out one day how much she trusted me and it really scares me sometimes to think about it, After not riding her for 6 months, I took her outta the field and saddled her up, loaded her and took her to Brooks to the Silver Sage arena to ride with the 4H club ( I was the leader). Not thinking, I just walk up to the roll up doo (which she never see before), rolled it open and turned around to see lead Bailey into the arena, and she was just standing there, eyes wide open, no snorting, so jumping, no pulling on the rope or anything and when I asked her to walk through it she just calmly did, like it was no big deal. I was shocked!
I took her to a horse show in Oyen, and never expected to place, we just went for fun, but in Junior Horse Western Pleasure, she got a 6th place ribbon. (Yes there were more than 6 entries!) I was really surprised, as we were passing everyone at the lope and just basic not listening to me. I figured out there, she needs a good half hour or more to warm up,but I think we won it in the line up. The judge asked us all to back up one at a time, and I hardly lifted the reins and she took two steps back and the judge looked impressed to me. There were many others who couldn't get their horses to back. And there was one horse who wouldn't lope at all.
"With our Ribbon"
We rode outside lots and moved cows and tried roping, barrel racing, and anything else I could think of. Last fall as we were moving our cows out of the community pasture on a really cold foggy snowy day in mid October, we were loping after a cow and my saddle slipped. I said whoa and waited for her to stop, which she did after making a small circle, I stepped on the ground and fixed it and we went and got the cow. I never thought much about it till later, when Neil says what happened, did Bailey buck you off or something? I said no, my saddle slipped. and He just looked at me like I was crazy, cause I didn't panic. I knew then I could trust her, cause she trusted me.
"Not the best pic, but look how much fatter she is is!"