Christmas is coming! I know there are some folks that are increasing the number of four legged family members! So I thought it would be a great time to tell you about how horses took over my heart and my life!
It all started growing up as a “city girl” with the family ranch known as Z Bar Ranch. Grandma took care of the campfire girls horses in the off season and when the camp closed, we inherited the herd!
I LOVED HORSES!!! This was an odd lot of horses! I could go into detail but let’s just say… the one with the halter on was why I hated ponies. The one in the front was a retired barrel horse that I LOVED and she hated men!!! The brown mare with the white on her neck taught me how to “fix” a problem with training. She was really good at raking people off with low hanging tree limbs! 😱 I fixed it with a snaffle and time! The palomino paint was huge and she often would stop drop and roll in any puddle!
My parents enrolled me in English riding lessons when I was a pre-teen. Grandma wanted me to learn how to balance so that was a great place to start! I learned a lot about how the bit works, how your body and hands play a huge part in moving a horse. I learned about leg, balance and all things English! But it wasn’t for me. Moving forward to Christmas before I turned 13. We won’t name the year…
My folks were sneaky. They bought this horse right here! His name was Tejas Jubilee aka T.J. Green broke, full of sass and the perfect first horse for me! They had gifted me a saddle and tack. I had zero idea that they had bought this horse! We were not shopping. I was excited to have the tack to ride Brandy at the ranch! Meanwhile, my mom was on the phone constantly while we opened gifts. Next thing I know, we are loaded up to go “get my brother’s new car”. Evidently they were trying to get the stable owner to haul TJ to my house but his trailer got stolen!!! So we pull up at this stable and i was told to go look around…. he was in the first stall on the left eating his ribbon with a big sign on his stall saying he was mine!
Have you ever seen a 12 year old (soon to be 13) girl get her first horse as a surprise???? I was ecstatic!!! Of course, some how, my saddle and such was also brought to the stable so I saddles him up and we were off!!!! I honestly think it was one of the happiest days of my teen years! (My wedding and my child will trump it many years later) So TJ was my first horse!!!! We taught each other so much! He won a saddle and several buckles!
I trusted this crazy Appaloosa with my life!!! Sadly I lost him in 2005. But we had so much fun!
While I was in high school, we picked up a mare named Gypsy and I trained and sold her in college. Then came many others. Mostly one at a time! Horses are expensive! We finally picked up a couple of broodmares and I had the opportunity to select stallions to cross on these mares. It was really a neat experience! I learned what I liked and what I didn’t like. This was all in my college years. Finally we actually bred one of the mares that was born at the ranch.
Roxy. Special Project Lynx. She is cow on top, race on bottom and one giant mare! I bred her to a nice Peptonita/Sugar bars stallion and out came ZBAR LYNX TO CASH!
I had tried to sell him as a yearling and honestly, he was an ugly duckling. But man… I loved him! So he came home with me. Then came training, hauling etc… and now he is 12 going on 13 and one of the most amazing barrel horses I have ever ridden!
Horses are expensive! Not only did we breed the mare, foal her out and then weaned said foal… think about the feed, farrier, training, vaccinations, and time that went into having this foal!
So we bred the mare again and… behold PERKS ON THE FLY! Aka Goose!
Right now I have 4 horses and a mini Jenny at my house. I could give you the total break down of what it actually costs to own and compete on one horse. I really can. But I have to say, the cost does not out weigh the benefits! These horses have been a better therapist than anyone could buy. They have made me find myself and figure out how to get over everything negative as well as find a sense of joy that I never thought possible!
I’m going to add in that my husband and my child also bring in this joy! But both know my passion is out in the pasture eating up cash….
But look at this! That is MY human child on MY Equine child zooming around that pasture!!! So if you truly want the break down… I spend about $20K a year to run my Equine business. But the outcome is priceless!