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Author Topic: Frosty stories  (Read 218 times)

gaitedappylady

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Frosty stories
« on: August 26, 2014, 07:17:54 pm »

In 1999 I decided to get back into horses.  One of my good friends had horses and my kids were always riding with her kids, so I decided we needed some horses of our own.

I had owned a little gelding back when I was 13 years old, and always had a love for horses and horse stories.  I used to be obsessed with drawing horses and writing horse stories.  At that time my favorite horse breed was the Arabian, and when I went to look for a horse I wasn't even thinking "gaited." 

So, being gullible and naive, I went to a horse trader for my first horse, and bought a 5 year old.  The first time I tried to get on him by myself, he bolted, I fell off and broke my left wrist.  Luckily it wasn't a bad break, just a hairline fracture and I only had to wear a wrist brace for 6 weeks.  So, we took this horse back to the horse trader and he gave me a little mare named "Dolly" who was supposedly a "doll."  No, she wasn't.  She was a bucking bronc.  I didn't even get on her since my wrist was broken, but when my son and mom tried her, she bucked with both of them. So, back she went and I got an Appaloosa gelding named "Regis" who was supposedly dead broke for anyone and had disabled kids riding him, etc.  Well, he was slow.  I'll give him that.

So, on our way back from taking Dolly back and getting Regis, my friend Melinda and I were driving on Hwy. 121 through Trenton and saw some ponies in a pen on the side of the road.  One was a pretty strawberry roan and she caught my eye.  I yelled for Melinda to pull in, and she said, "We are nuts! We don't even know these people!" LOL...it was true, but oh well, what could it hurt??  So, we pulled in and a cowboy walked up and we asked him if the roan pony mare was for sale.  He said in a Texan drawl, "Ma'am, everything on this place is for sale!" 

It turned out the pony was broke.  I was looking for a pony for my then 7 year old daughter Morgan.  "Strawberry" was about the prettiest pony imaginable...a cute little strawberry roan with white mane and tail.  She had a 4 month old colt (Shortcake) by her side.  So we bought Strawberry and her baby for $500 and headed home.  My then husband wasn't too thrilled, but Morgan was ecstatic!  We ended up selling Shortcake and Morgan started riding Strawberry everywhere.  She was probably a little Welsh cross, tough as nails and had a TON of attitude!

So we were actually looking for a horse for my son Dustin, who was 14.  Regis was supposed to be my horse.  Looking back now, that's pretty funny...We told the cowboy to keep on the look out for a good broke horse for us. A few days later, he called me and said, "Ma'am, I've got a little roan mare, she's not very big, but she's gaited and she's broke to death. $1150."  So we went to look and I knew the minute I got on she was going to be mine.  I'd never ridden a gaited horse before and was amazed at how smooth and fast she was. 

So, we all started riding.  Regis was a slow poke, and none of my family liked riding him except my Mom...lol.  Regis could walk slower than most horses could stand.  His trot was like a jackhammer, and every time you tried to lope him he would crow hop.  I was totally in love with Frosty!  I had no freaking idea what I was doing!  I look back now at pictures and laugh - poor Frosty - saddle didn't fit, breast collar was so big it almost hung to the ground, wearing a Tom Thumb bit...OMG, I don't know why she didn't kill me!!

More to come...

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gaitedappylady

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Re: Frosty stories
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2014, 07:40:44 pm »

So, I started trail riding on Frosty.  She was very forward and always wanted to lead the trail rides.  She was unflappable.  I had no idea how really good she was until I started riding other horses.  Nothing bothered her.  She just thought "forward" all the time.  Dogs, traffic, flappy things, parades, grand entries, riding through town - whatever - she never flicked an ear

When we owned Frosty about 2 months (I bought her 11-30-99), we decided to go on a big trail ride from Justin, TX to Ft. Worth, TX.  Little did we know what we were getting into.  This ride takes place in January, right before the Ft. Worth Stock Show and Rodeo.  The last day is the parade.  My son and I took Frosty and Regis. Thank GOD we didn't take Morgan and Strawberry.  My friend Melinda had her Tennessee Walker mare Midnight and her son Jay, who was Dustin's age, was riding his QH gelding Duz. (dead broke ex roping horse).
 
It was very cold that morning and the horses were all UP.  There must have been 100 riders or more.  I had no idea about these kind of trail rides.  I started getting an idea when I looked around and saw cowboys drinking from flasks at about 8:00 AM.  In retrospect maybe I should have been too if I knew what the day had in store!

So off we went.  This ride was challenging to say the least.  A lot of it was on the shoulder of main highways.  Some of it was on country roads.  About 20 minutes in, we were riding next to the highway when a semi hauling a mobile home came by, and the big white plastic was flapping on the mobile home.  About 5 or 6 people got bucked off their horses (that I could see - no telling how many really did!)  Luckily our horses weren't bothered by it.  Stuff like that never affected Frosty - she couldn't care less.  So I thought were were doing good for the moment..

My son started off riding Regis and I was riding Frosty.  As I said before, Regis was slow.  I was constantly circling back with Frosty.  When Dustin would ask him to lope to catch up, he would start bucking.  AND, every time a horse came by to pass him, he would kick at them.  OMG.  I don't know how we survived that ride.  So Dustin and I would trade horses every now and then so we could take turns riding Frosty and trying to survive on Regis.  We ended up at the very END of the 100 riders.  At one point we had to cross some railroad tracks.  Regis refused to cross them.  I thought they were going to have leave us behind!!  We finally got him over them after 15-20 minutes of trying.  The drag rider stayed with us and we finally got caught up.

This ride was something else.  At one point we crossed a major highway - they went out and stopped traffic for us to cross.  I just kept praying Dustin and I would survive this ride and be able to go home, because I couldn't WAIT to get Regis out of my pasture!  We did survive, thank God, and we packed up and went home that night.  We were supposed to camp and ride out the next day for the parade, but there was NO freaking way! 

Frosty was awesome, unflappable, forward and smooth.  She handled everything with absolutely no problem.  I was so happy when I was riding her and so PISSED when I had to get back on Regis..lol..but I had to give my son a break!

The very next day, we took Regis to the cowboy we bought Frosty from.  We were looking to trade him.  I told Bo what Regis was doing, and he put his son on Regis and said, "lope him."  Now Regis was a pretty little Appy - a cute red roan - too bad he was an ASS and we were clueless!  So the first couple of times Regis loped around really nice.  I was like, Oh brother - he's not gonna do it!  But, he did. The third time around Regis got tired of working and started kicking out.  Bo, Jr, took his split reins and spanked him hard on both sides.  I'll never forget the look on Regis's face.  Bo, Jr. continued to work Regis until he was a very humble little appy.

So, we traded Regis for a 20 year old ex roping horse, Boots, who was much more our speed!  He was a delight and my kids learned to ride on him.
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gaitedappylady

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Re: Frosty stories
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2014, 07:53:47 pm »

So, I started learning about gaited horses.  I had no idea how I lucked out finding the horse I found.  I must have had a guardian angel watching over me when I got Frosty.  I have found out how hard it is to find a good gaited appaloosa, and I had lucked into this little mare for $1150! I started riding with my friends and my horse would do anything.  If she didn't want to go somewhere...then we shouldn't be going there.  She was fearless, unflappable, smooth and she LOVED to lead the trail rides.  She was auto gaited...just sit there and enjoy!  When I first got Frosty she did a little running walk and a foxtrot.  Later, she would learn to rack and that's when we really started having fun!

She definitely wasn't perfect.  Frosty had a fast walk, a foxtrot, a rack and then there was something missing - oh, the canter!  Walk, foxtrot, rack and full out gallop - those were her speeds!  lol...it was aggravating but hey, they all have their quirks.  She also didn't like NOT leading trail rides.  I always joked that she felt she was the only one "qualified" to lead.  Well, she was pretty darned good - rarely spooked at anything, just a very brave and confident horse.  If someone else did happen to be leading, and their horse wouldn't cross something, I could bring Frosty up and she would plow right through. 

Also, Frosty was very wide in the shoulders.  When I first got her I had a semi QH tree cheap Abetta saddle.  I can only imagine how it must have hurt her!  I started getting a clue and I did buy a wider treed Big Horn saddle but it still wasn't wide enough.  I did eventually figure out how to shim the saddle to make it fit better, but she never really had a saddle that fit her until I bought my first Crest Ridge saddle in 2005.  Little 14 hand Frosty took an extra wide saddle...I never knew!

On September 28, 2000, something happened that made me start to pay attention to saddle fit.  She had started being very barn sour and wanting to race home all the time.  At the same time, we had bought another gaited horse, a MFT gelding named Speck, and he was faster than her, and she hated it.
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gaitedappylady

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Re: Frosty stories
« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2014, 08:13:24 pm »

On that day Morgan was riding Speck.  My son and my ex husband were out on the trails hiking.  Morgan was in front of me on Speck.   We were riding down into a dry pond, and all of a sudden Frosty bolted.  Oh, I forgot to mention, Frosty was an incredibly fast horse in her day.  She could flatten out and run and she is built like a little stock horse and has a lot of power behind.  She bolted and ran, and I mean ran as fast as she could toward home.  I pulled back, yelled whoa, and finally just hung on for what was going to be a very fast ride home.  I had no room to turn her as we were on the narrow trail with trees on each side.  There was nothing to do but hang on.  It was kind of funny.  I stopped trying to stop her and just rode her.  I could feel her sense that, and was hoping she would slow down.  Nope, she ran faster.

She blasted into the yard and did a nice sliding stop at the gate.  I was shaking. Got off and just thanked God I hadn't fallen off!  My ex husband and Dustin and Morgan showed up, surprised to see I had stayed on..lol.  It was that day I started really trying to figure out the saddle issue.  I also started doing clinics, Mark Rashid, and some local trainers as well.  I put her back in a snaffle bit and for about a year I worked on going back to the basics with her, trying to get a better stop on her, and doing ground work, etc.  I rode in an English saddle for awhile and then finally got the Big Horn which was better, but still not wide enough.  I realize now that a lot of her charginess probably came from having an ill fitting saddle.

In 2001 my marriage started falling apart after years of trouble.  I had been a stay at home mom for 6 years and was faced with going back to work and figuring out what I was going to do to make a living.  Those were some rough years.  I am really glad I had Frosty during those years.  She kept me sane. I started going on big rides, and it was kind of annoying Frosty always wanting to be in the lead. 

In 2002 I started thinking about trading Frosty for another horse because of her issue of always wanting to be in the front and her charginess.  I started looking at other horses - there were 2 in particular I was thinking of trading her for.

There was a Tiger Horse gelding in Arkansas that I'd decided I would try to trade her for.  Went there to try him.  What a joke.  He didn't gait, he was freaking 16 hands tall, and he was spooky and green.  He didn't hold a candle to my horse, so I put my girl back in the trailer and came home!  Horse # 2 was even worse.  She was supposedly dead broke - a little SSH down in Austin.

When I went to try "Lady" I think her name was (she wasn't one!!), I rode Frosty first for the lady who was going to trade me.  Then she got on Frosty and remarked about her "eager, directed little walk."  Yes, that is right...that is exactly how I would describe it.  I got on Lady, who was not nice about saddling or bridling, or mounting, although she was supposed to be dead broke.  Yeah, right.  The other lady was riding Frosty, and we were with 2 other people I think, and "Lady" was starting to scare me.  We had to cross a pretty major road to get to the trails, and I found myself in the middle of the road with a semi breathing down my neck, and "Lady" was spinning and rearing.  OMG.  I survived to the trail on the other side, and then I yelled to Lynn to "Give me back my horse and take this BI*^^!" 





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gaitedappylady

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Re: Frosty stories
« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2014, 08:25:03 pm »

Lynn got on "Lady" and remarked that she really was being a pain.  No kidding!  I again loaded my little mare in my trailer and came home, and I decided I had a pretty darned good horse and would never try to trade her again!

In 2002-2004 life was really rough.  Financially I was sinking.  I decided I must sell Frosty to pay my land taxes.  Well, it turned out being a good thing, because I met Kathleen (singlefiles) that way.  She came to ride Frosty and really liked her.  But every time I thought about selling her, my heart went to my throat.  I just could not bear to see her leaving in someone else's trailer.

It was around that time I found the original gaited horse board and became friends with Kysa.  I can't remember if it was before the Texas Blast in 2005 or after, but Kysa helped me feed Frosty for a few months, I can't remember how long, but she sent me money every month for hay and feed.  She was a Godsend.  If it hadn't been for her I probably would have had to sell Frosty.

In 2005, there was the Texas Blast. What a great time.  I met Kysa and Cyd, Jaci, Ann, Jeannie and Steve, Jenny, and probably some others I can't remember at the moment.  Oh yes!  Terry, Lori and Teddy.  We camped and rode at the Grasslands in October of 2005.  In March of 2005 I had met Jaci and Connie and I think Ann there and we had ridden and that is where Frosty first started racking.  What a fun day that was.  We were riding behind Connie and her big strided TW gelding, Fargo and Frosty hit another gear for the first time.  I kept yelling, "what is she doing???" We figured out that she was racking - how fun! It became her favorite gait, although she would still foxtrot on the trail most of the time.

More to come later...
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