The Resident Horses-
The rest of the family
These are the horses that live here and will be her for a long time to come. They are the partners in crime, the ones that serve in our lesson programs, the ones that hold us in pain and in joy. These are the reason we do any of the other training projects and have a passion for training and pairing horses with the right families.
Zab deserves to be started with because he is the one that started it all. He was gifted to us while Emily was going through cancer as a therapy pony. He was 2 and had forgotten any manner he had ever learned. He was sassy, still a stud and really thought he knew best.
He is now one of my main lesson horses. He is fun and spunky and loves kids. Its like he understands what a special gift he gets to carry around.
Zab is 4, a Bay and a full blooded Arabian. Arabians are one of the oldest horse breeds. They are smart, have a lot of energy and are very loyal to their people. They come from the middle east were they were originally bred for wars and long distance travel in the desert. Zab knows nothing of war, or really of working hard for that manner but he is certain that treats are the best.
We saw Comanche come through a kill pen in the middle of December. Sutton had been talking about how much he wanted a paint so when I saw him I impulse bought him. Merry Christmas babe!
Comanche has a lip tattoo which normally indicates that they have raced in their life. Although a racing paint is not typical we were able to use his lip tattoo to hunt down his breeder who did race him as a 2 year old. The racing world, where the horses are kept penned up in stalls and then brought out to run and run and run can be hard on certain horse personalities. Comanche is one that didn't tolerate that world well and has a lot of anxiety. He has weird little quirks, and due to his anxiety I did not know if he would survive when I first picked him up. He was starved, sick and anxious.
He is now nursed back to health, a giant puppy dog that needs frequent hugs and encouragement and will work super hard and look really pretty for you if you just give him the encouragement that he needs. He is also teaching Emily how to ride dressage and is a very patient teacher.
Comanche is a registered paint horse but when you look at how tall and thin he is you can tell that he has a lot of thoroughbred type influence in his line. He is a Sorrel color with a tobiano pattern.
Ember is an American Mustang. She was gathered from the range in 2018 when her HMA was burned and the horses were without food. She is 6 and we got her in September of 2020 off an internet adoption. We watched a 30 second video of her trot around and said "why not?!" "What's the worst that could happen?!"
She looked incredibly calm in her video and she is, in fact very calm. The thing I didn't bank on is the fact that she is calm because she is a lead, very dominate mare so she has no stress that anyone is going to challenge her. She tried to kill me for 4 months. She would charge me, up on her back legs, striking with her front, teeth bared and ears back anytime I tried to do anything including feeding her. At some point we apparently accepted that Emily is head and she has been a partner in crime ever since.
She is now Emily's main riding horse and is training for dressage and endurance riding. Ember shows great promise of also being a lesson horse after she gets more miles under her.
A few facts about mustangs, the white on her neck is her freeze brand. It is how the government identifies and keeps track of the gathered horses. The brand on her butt is because she was prepped for long term holding. Long term holding is where they are released into large off range pastures to live out their days. These pastures are normally in places where the grass grows easier than the desert and the land can support them.
Anyone can purchase a wild mustang from the BLM (Bureau of Land Management: the agency that manages the health and populations of the mustangs) but they are a different beast to work with. Ember is now what I would consider broke and she is fiercely loyal to me but their are weird things that she does. Like she will see or hear something and we will all have to stop the trial ride until she determines it is in fact safe. There is no making her budge.
All and all Ember has set fire to the mustang addiction. Stay tuned for more.
Durango is our gem. We bought him as an older horse because the more time we spent around beginners and horses we realized we needed a confidence builder. W2 has claimed Durango and has renamed him "Durango Spirit" but he is our main lesson horse. He amazingly knows his job and will work his circles in the arena like a champ without his rider even giving him a cue.
Due to Durango I have considered restructuring my entire purpose with horses and only training and selling the 18+ crowd. The old boys are often the best.
Durango is a master at all things that matter in life like opening gates to let himself and his buddies into the grain or in to the arena for a roll. He is in his 20s so he is to old to care about what the young horses care about but still loves to pack a kid down the trail or stand patiently for demonstrations and grooming.
Durango is a quarter horse. He is a chestnut Rabicano with a blaze. Quarter horses are what Emily grew up on and were developed for the needs of the cowboy. The exile at the quarter mile run (Quarter mile- Quarter horse) so that they can catch the cow that broke out. They have large hind end muscles for short bursts of power and are generally pretty level headed. Quarter horses are the most popular horse in America.
Dakota came from some very loving people that didn't know much about horses. He had an eye infection and a hoof infection when he first came to the ranch. He was fearful and unsure but more kind and willing than I would ever expect out of a horse that felt as bad as he did. He is now showing just what an amazing horse he is and being ever so patient with kids lessons. W3 has now claimed him as "his boy."
He has a reining build meaning he was likely bred to work cattle. He has worked cattle a few times with us and is a complete natural. He can also teach beginner lessons.
Dakota is a Paint horse just like Comanche. He has much more Quarter horse influence in his line than Comanche which you can tell by his build. His color is a Dun horse with that great dark line down his back and he is a Overo paint pattern. He also has a lot of pink skin which can be the curse of the paint. It is un-pigmented meaning he is prone to sunburns and requires lots of high maintenance sunscreen applications and sun visors.