So far this year Beau and I have purchased three and a half horses.
I say three and a half because the first three were budgeted for. The fourth horse — a green 6-year-old named Oz — actually still belongs to Beau’s buddy Clint, who convinced Beau that Oz+Beau is a match made in heaven. So Beau went to pick the horse up to test-drive him, and Beau has been riding the horse…
(that’s Beau and Oz setting a heel trap up there)…
and now Beau has left only to pay for the horse.
Oh, don’t worry, we will pay; we just have to figure out which one of the kids we’re going to sell first.
Our frantic horse-buying binge of 2018 has been spurred (no pun intended) by the sudden realization that we have officially brought 4 little cowboys and cowgirls into the world, and that we’ve been so busy paying for diapers and wipes that we were remiss in building up our cavvy in recent years, and that if we expect these children of ours to turn into the free ranch help we fully expect them to be in years to come… by golly, we need to start stocking up on horses.
Assuming we will have riders of varying ages and abilities in our household for the next 18 years, Beau and I figure we need to buy a couple colts every year starting now. The kids will not ride the colts, of course, until they’re in their teens; here at the PV we firmly believe that a horse ought to have a few years and a few hundred ranch miles under his cinch before a kid takes the reins.
But we’re thinking big-picture here. Accordingly, we Blakes overshot our mark and bought three and a half horses in less than a month. The problem is that once you step into the horse market, there are so darn many irresistible options.
First, we obtained two full brothers from our friend Bud Tappe from Minnesota:
A yearling (the bay) and a 2-year-old (the red dun). They’re pictured here with Frosty on the day we turned them out to pasture with the older gelding — Frosty’s job is to teach the youngsters their first lessons in what it means to be a ranch horse.
We tarried in naming these Minnesota colts. Part of the yearling’s registered name is “Gus,” and so Beau and I were pushing for Gus and Woodrow (because we always like to name horses in pairs when they come in pairs)… but the kids, having recently listened to Will James’ book Big-Enough, pushed for “Big” for the yearling. So we finally settled on Big-Enough for the yearling and Will James for the 2.
Through the years many of our best-loved horses have come from Minnesota, where my dad grew up. Cousins Charlie and Jill send horses like Taxi our way…
and family friends Bud and Renee Tappe have raised handfuls of favorites for us:
(Mosby, who sold to California. We still miss him.)
(Pilgrim, who sold to Nevada. We still miss him. Notice a pattern here? We always miss horses we sell… but sometimes we can’t turn down the cash.)
(Frosty, my current huckleberry — and who actually belongs to my folks.)
(Tomcat, who is, we hope, still healing from a broken elbow.)
(Catfish, the mate to Tomcat.)
(And Doogan, God bless him for watching over our firstborn. Doogan is actually a three-quarter brother to our two new Tappe colts, Will James and Big.)
The third horse purchased this spring came home with us from last weekend’s ranch rodeo in Jordan:
Beau’s pretty proud of him; he’s one of the first horses Beau and I have purchased together that doesn’t come from the lines my own family has been working with for decades. So this little colt — Beau named him High — represents a bit of new blood and a new era.
So much potential in these new investments… I promise to post progress reports!
© Tam Blake