I want to tell you about a mare I once owned and trained named Smoothsational. I bought this mare when she was two years old and broke her out myself, which was easy. I showed her successfully for two years or so and really enjoyed riding her, then I leased her to one of my students. For the rest of her working life she was leased and successfully shown by my teenage clients.
This little AQHA mare did everything. Hunter, Western Pleasure, Equitation. She did Showmanship, Trail, Western Horsemanship and Western Riding. She was also good out on the trails. She loved horse shows, always jumping in the trailer to go. She stood patiently for her many baths, even when it was cold outside. And, she never minded being clipped until the very end of the season came - then enough was enough!
I called this mare Sadie. She loved her job and won at everything she did. When the horse show days were long, she'd just take a quick nap and be ready to go again whenever asked. I used to laugh because she would eat anything the kids were eating, even bologna sandwiches. She took everything in stride, never worrying or fretting.
Truth be told, Sadie was a quirky mare. Anyone involved with Sadie needed to know and respect her quirkiness. If Sadie had a halter on (preferably with a short catch rope) she was the nicest mare you'd ever want. But when she was free, she was hell-on-wheels. She loved to spin around and kick with both back legs when turned out. Sadie would only be caught on her own terms. She always had a sense of herself and the devil take the hindmost when she was "free". And yes, I did try to break her of this but it was to no avail. We even tried roping her but that did no good, she was too smart. Sadie was her own horse.
Yet, I have never had a horse with a better work ethic. She knew her job and loved it. She also knew when she was free and loved that as well. Sadie was one of a kind. She always took good care of whoever was riding her and I allowed her to be her own inimitable self.
Sadie was just one of the horses I considered myself priviledged to have trained and worked with. When I decided to retire her, I found a really good home for her and she is much-loved by her owner. She has a wonderful life. It was my way of thanking her for all she did for me. See you next week, JD