Saturday, May 25, 2013

Rosie on the Trail and Tex, the Kentucky Mountain Horse

We took Rosie on the Amelia Springs trail ride. She did pretty well, for a youngster. I was very proud of her performance at mounting and dismounting. She did well in spite of all the excitement of a strange place, strange horses, and a big change in her routine. All weekend long, I mounted and dismounted from a block or the tailgate of my truck while Rosie stood quietly on a loose rein. She was obviously tired by the halfway point, so we took the short route back to camp from the lunch area. That way, she didn’t have to worry about keeping up with the rest of our group, and we walked a good bit of the way back.
Rosie and me at Amelia Springs
photo by
She was a bit nervous about being alone for a while, but she settled in as other riders overtook us. While all this was going on, the boss was in negotiations to buy another horse. We ended up bringing a Kentucky Mountain Horse named Tex home with us.

We had watched Tex perform on the trail and could see that he was an experienced and proven trail horse. I rode him for the first time the other day. Folks had told me he was hard to catch, and a little “jumpy”. I didn’t have to worry about catching him; the boss had left him in the stall for me, after feeding him. At the hitching rail, I could see what folks meant by “jumpy”. Tex was tense. He stood still, never offering to move or shy, but he flinched nearly every time I touched him with a brush or my hand. Tacking up was no problem. But, even though he accepted the bit, he kept his head high while I bridled him.

He was obedient, but stayed tense as I led him to the arena to mount up. We knew he was a good riding horse, we had seen him working on the trail. Still, his body language had me half expecting him to shoot to the moon when I mounted. But he stood still. He did move off before I got my right foot in the stirrup, but it was a simple thing to stop him and get situated. Once we started moving, I found Tex to be a dream to ride. He neck reins, he stops on command, he has a range of comfortable gaits. We’ll work with him some more and see what develops.

Tex, relaxed and all business under saddle.
photo by Debra Wood Ferguson

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