Friday, April 15, 2011

Shoot De Diamond a.k.a Princess Cheyenne

Let's go back ten years.  Here I am in my early thirties ready to embark on a rodeo career- well, a weekend warrior rodeo career... until I became a world class Barrel Racer.  I had attitude, dreams, ambition and I had ridden growing up....on dude ranches, friends horses, summer riding lessons, camp.... and now I was going to make it happen.  Yes, I was going to make my dreams come true and be a full blown cowgirl...from the city of Chicago.  One problem, I need a horse and tack and a truck and a trailer and to learn how to run barrels. Sounds feasible...or so I thought. Meet the horse once called "Princess":
She is papered with the AQHA (cannot find the papers to share her lineage but I do know she has Go Man Go and Easy Jet in her ancestry) and was trained to run barrels.  I was warned she was not too fast but a good horse to begin learning barrels.  Angel, the owner at the time had my then boyfriend, now ex-husband, working with her to iron out some of the kinks.  Ed had a few hours on her and had decided it was the kid and not the horse.  To test his theory he told me to climb on and off we went.  I have no memory of anything eventful happening during that ride.  I do remember she was a bit obstinate.  Angel decided that the kid- to- horse match was bad so up for sale went Princess. They say timing is everything.  I want to run barrels and poof here is a trained horse for sale.  SOLD!  Now, there is no way I am going to own anything names Princess.  No way.  Nope.  Hence, the name Cheyenne. 

Up to this point, I had not had a chance to test her skill.  I had ridden her along miles and miles of dirt roads and played the "pretend this is a barrel" game but I had not put her to the test.  Finally we have an arena and ready, set, go!  We are off.  She takes off beautifully and we get to the barrel.  She runs me into it cutting too close on her turn.  Ouch, my shin!  On to the next barrel.  I pull her a bit wider to set her up and bam!  Ouch, my other shin!  Hmmm, I think there is more than a clover leaf pattern happening here.  Last barrel.  Ok, set it up wider.  Ouch, my shin!  Now I understand what was meant by rough around the edges.

Long story short my barrel horse turned out not to be a barrel horse and I am a Payroll Manager not a professional cowgirl.

Over the years Chey has turned into a walking injury.  Yep.  Like my friend Leah's amazing "Jazu the Wonder Horse" I have the affectionately renamed,  "Princess Cheyenne of Bubble Wrap Land."  It has been one leg issue after another.  Just this past fall she cut both her legs on the propeller of the bass boat motor! 

Cheyenne is 18 this year and she is my rock.  When I can ride her, she is a truly great mount. 
And thus ends this part of the story of the first horse I ever bought...

Sunday, April 3, 2011

WynnSong at age 24 still amazes me!

Welcome to my very first blog.  Throughout the coming posts, I am going to introduce the "players" in my life.  Today I am going to begin with WynnSong.  She is a beautiful Arabian and the oldest of my herd.
Born in 1987, Wynnie is a gentle soul and very much a lady.  I first met her in 2000 and in 2002 she had her first ride...and I had the honor.  I will never forget it- I was tacking down Cheyenne (you will meet her next) and Wynn came over and nudged the blanket.  I teased her and asked if she wanted to wear it.  She just looked at me.  So, I out it on her fully expecting her to run off and leave it on the ground.  Nope, she stood.  My husband (now ex) and I looked at each other and said, "huh?".  So, I pushed it and threw the saddle one.  Same reaction., on went the bridle.  So I had to ask if he was POSITIVE she had never been ridden- this was too easy.  He assured me he was just as stunned as I.  So it was time to lean over her.  She shifted a bit and when she did I swung my leg over.  She turned her head and had surprise in her eyes explosion.  We stood a long time.  I think.  Then she took a foot forward and another.  I was at her mercy becuase she had no idea what I was telling her to do but she was Ok with it.  The only thing she tried was a crow hop at the fence line to see if I would fall off and over the fence.  This BTW is her signature move.  Wynn was ridden for many years with Cheyenne and she loves to run.  Then the worst happened.  She got pregnant in 2007 and gave it all to her baby, Wynn Storm.  Now she had never been an easy keeper and was so fat that when the baby came (late) she was a skeleton.  Out came the vet and the baby was pulled at two weeks.  I felt like an idiot. 

I am happy to report that my New Mexico Vets at Meddleton Equine worked side-by side with me and Mom and baby recovered well.

Stormy now lives in Healdton, OK and is a parade pony last I heard.  Wynn, well, she is still running around in my pasture and is retired.  I am happy to report that over the past few years she has begun putting on more and more weight and may just get a rider on her this summer....

Here she is enjoying the day with her friend SugarBush Sweetie.

Yesterday I lunged her for the first time in several years.  She was sassy!  She bucked a little, flipped her head a bit and then settled back into our old routine.  After a few (dozen) cookies and kisses, she was released back to the pasture and ran full tilt boogie back to the barn and started calling for her dinner. 
You have to love...Horse-itude!