Thursday, May 22, 2008

Just Horsin' Around

It's surely no dear daughter is a horse-nut. Not just a casual absolute full-blown crazy girl when it comes to her horses! Someone told me that a young girl having a horse is like bug-spray for boys. Hmmm....haven't seen many of those pesky critters around here, so I guess it does work! Yippee! (Unfortunately, they also told me it wears off somewhere between the ages of 18-20...bummer.)

Since dd was tiny she has loved horses. We have a video of a big, Labor Day family picnic when she was about 3 yo at my Dad's farm in central Florida. Several of my brothers brought their horses. There weren't quite enough to go around. So when our dd had to give up HER ride, she was very upset and let everybody (especially her dad) know it! She was so cute giving him the silent treatment!

Since before she could actually pronounce the word, she's always said she wants to be a veterinarian. Her love for horses (all animals, really) hasn't let up so far. At 16 and 1/2, she's started getting more serious with the training and care of her animals. Very soon she's going to have to get more serious about school if she wants to be a DVM! At this point, she just wants to be outside...and she hasn't quite figured out how to do Algebra on the back of the horse!

When dd was barely 7, God put a special horse in our path. Although we weren't really ready to jump into the horse world, we couldn't turn away from this sweet 9 year old Paso Fino. Calico Jack (lovingly referred to as CJ) is an absolute dream horse for a little girl. He was well trained, easy going and extremely patient. At 19, he's still all of those things and deeply embedded in a teen girls heart.

Here are a few horsey pictures through the years. (I have earlier pictures...but only have more recent digital pics on my computer!)

CJ puts up with just about anything. Here an almost 13 yo had taken scissors and cut a brand in his rump! You can see the capital 'B' and little hearts!

He even puts up with girls braiding his mane and tail...even though its not terribly manly!

Didn't I say he was patient? This was just last year when a little friend wanted a ride.

Someone once said,"If anybody asks you what you think of their horse and you don't think very highly of the horse, you can always say 'Well, he's got kind eyes!'" CJ really does have kind eyes.

In early 2006, a pretty thoroughbred, Kodak Gold (lovingly referred to as Kodi or not so lovingly as "the Monster") came to live with our family. He's the HUGE, darker horse in this picture. Kodi is 16.2 hands tall. In comparison, CJ is barely 14. He makes CJ look like a pony. When you're on Kodi, it looks like a lonnnnngggggg way down! Kodi is retired from the Leon County Sheriff's Posse. He has arthritis in his right shoulder and can't do long trail rides.

Here's a better picture of Kodi with our foster-dd, Krystal. This was supposed to be Krystal's horse...but that didn't work out too well. She lacks the horse 'gene'. LOL!

Since he didn't get ridden very much, Kodi got quite saucy by late 2006. In October 2006, he dumped me off (complete with concussion!) and thus, kept the girls off of him. My husband was the only one who could handle him until the last few months.

This picture of dd on CJ was taken the day Kodi came to live with us. In this picture, dd is using her favorite tack. Notice her saddle and bridle! Now, she often rides him all over the pasture with nothing but a handful of mane. He's such a sweetie!

About 3 months ago, dd decided she was tired of riding double with her friends so she set out to 're-train the monster!' She's read all of the Horse Whisperer books from cover to cover and has used some of these methods to work with Kodi. He has responded wonderfully to her attention. You can see she is wearing the despised helmet. This is in response to mom's demand that if she's going to ride the monster, she has to wear protection.

Kodi loves dd so much now he'll put up with just about anything--from HER!

It's much more fun riding with a friend!

This one was taken last winter. Its one of my most favorite pic's of dd because it shows her heart (CJ) and sweet smile.

It's amazing for Mom and Dad to watch dd's progress. She has such a knack with animals. Of course, we are totally unbiased in our admiration of her abilities!

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