Meet the horses that train the girls.
Cole’ (LBI) is my personal mare. She has trained three beginners and has advanced beyond teaching the basics. She is smart, beautiful, talented, wonderful, and I am not biased at all… Okay, maybe a little. She really is a nice mare. She is my Parelli levels partner and has put up with me since 9/11/01.
Mint (RBE) – has been here the longest of the teaching horses. His owners called me up when he was 14 months old and told me if I could load him into a trailer he was mine. I was looking for a horse to teach with at the time so I drove out to see him.
I didn’t understand his story until I saw him and asked a few more questions. His owners had bought him as an 8-month-old stud colt for their 13-year-old daughter to ride up and down the street on close to downtown OKC. He was getting to be too much for them and too big for their one acre lot. They had sold him twice, but neither purchaser could load him; that explained the offer of a free horse if I could load him.
When I got there he was in sad shape. You could count his ribs through his dull brown coat. The attempts of the last people who tried to load him left their marks. I was told that both times he had flipped over and bloodied his nose and both front legs. The swollen oosing bumps bore out the story. He was wearing the same same cheap halter they had bought him in. Fortunately it was too big and hadn’t started growing into his face, but it was stiff from ground in sand and dirt. I checked under it and found red raw spots where it had been rubbing. His hooves were chipped and cracked from not seeing a farrier.
He was not the teaching partner I was looking for, but I couldn’t leave him there. I started feeding him that day. I wanted to use a soft rope halter to teach him the basics. Because of the ground in dirt I almost had to cut his old halter off of him. I found he had learned to push his people around, but he was chronically afraid of everything. It took me three days to get him confident enough to step into my trailer without fear.
Once home he has adjusted and learned a lot. His coat is now black with white spots. He eats almost anything slower than he is and borders on being fat. He even tried to bite the cat. The cat learned to stay out of reach. He enjoys playing with any horse that will play with him. He is gaining confidence and loves repetition. He has taught ground games to seven girls so far and loves it.
He has come a long way from the pushy, skittish colt I rescued. He is becoming the calm, steady, respectful teaching partner I have always wanted to help me teach this program.
Countess is the newest member of my herd. She was sent off to be trained by her previous owner, but instead of being trained she and the other colts from her year were starved almost to death. When her owners found out, they rescued their horses, bringing them back to Oklahoma. They realized she was too far behind developmentally, and would never race, so they gave her to me. It took her a while to catch up on her weight. She may never be fat, but she is now healthy.