woody and doc

After five months with no horse expos, no clinics and no traveling, in the last four weeks I’ve traveled to three clinics. It’s good to be back, and we had fantastic events in Jackson Hole (for the WF Young/Equus Magazine WinADay contest), and at the C Lazy U Ranch near Granby, Colorado.

My youngest horse, Pepperoni, has come a long way this year! To be honest, when the shutdown began, one of my first thoughts was that at least I would get more time on my horse. But in reality, it didn’t work out that way—I was too busy figuring out how to keep the lights on. However, between climbing mountains and going to clinics with him—and, most importantly, Pepper turning 4 years old—we’ve reached a certain milestone. He’s a long way from being a finished horse, but he’s advanced to the stage of being my working partner. For me, it gives a whole new meaning to the phrase, “We’re in this together.”

Doc Gunner is called “Doc” these days. After getting his DNA report back, we found out he is NOT related to the famous QH stallion, Gunner. (Listen to my latest podcast episodes for more on that!) Our 4-year-old foster horse has been with us since May. We took this project on in order to help one horse get healthy and gain the training he needs to be successfully adopted. Our mission is to promote fostering with TheRightHorse.org, and to support horse rescues across the country that are helping horses in transition.

Doc is a beautiful Paint horse who is kind and mellow. He’s working beautifully under-saddle at walk-trot-canter, in the arena and on the trail (alone!). Doc is completely deaf and has been since birth. From my point of view, I see only advantages in his deafness. He’s extremely friendly to people (we can see this trait in his genetic report), and he will leave the herd to be with people. He is amazingly communicative, and has a stronger-than-normal desire to be accepted and taken care of (as if he understands he isn’t quite the same as the other horses). He’s very sound and now quite healthy. He is going to be the horse-of-a-lifetime for some lucky individual. Once we find the perfect human for Doc, he will graduate to his new permanent home. Message me here, or go to his profile on TheRightHorse.org if you think you might be the perfect human for Doc.

Of course, my little mare, Annie, is standing by to do all the heavy lifting for me. Annie is a mature, finished QH, trained as a cow horse. She can and will do pretty much anything I ask of her, and at only 14.0 hands, she is the perfect size for me. I’ve been largely successful in my mission to train her to be a gelding, although she still occasionally has a marish moment. Still, I wouldn’t trade her for gelding of equal or greater value. She’s an awesome ride, and she keeps me humble.

With winter knocking on our door, we are shifting our focus at the barn to washing and repairing blankets, taking fecal egg counts (and de-worming if needed), laying in 20-30 tons of hay and pulling out the insulated coveralls. We are fortunate to have a toasty indoor arena to ride in all year long, but until the snow flies, we’ll take every minute of riding outdoors that we can get.

In the midst of a devastating drought and wildfires here in Colorado, we are desperate for some heavy, wet snow storms. Winter cannot come soon enough. But in the meantime, we’ll enjoy every day of fall riding we get.

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