This is Sierra, a mustang that I impulsively bought at the Ft. Worth Stock Show and Rodeo auction 2 years ago. I had never bought anything at an auction and had never seen this horse before, much less ridden her, and I’m not generally an impulsive person! What was I thinking?? Well, God knew that she was what I needed, I guess. She was born on a range in Oregon, then rounded up at the age of 3 and trained for 120 days by a trainer named Josh Peebles (of All Purpose Horsemanship in Georgia) who did an awesome job with her. He competed with her in the Mustang Magic competition at the rodeo, placing 4th. Then the auction followed, in which all of the mustangs in the competition are sold (sometimes being bought by their trainers). I began bidding on her and the rest is history! My wonderful parents helped me trailer her from Texas to Ohio, and my husband – after agreeing that we could buy this horse sight unseen! – built a pen beside our barn where she and our other mare could get used to each other for a few days before living together in the pasture.
She has been a delight! Sierra has the most common sense of any horse I’ve ever ridden, has never had a single foot or stomach problem despite eating everything she can find, and is calm and collected pretty much all of the time. One thing to know about mustangs, however, is that they typically bond to one person and remain wary of the rest of the world. That has definitely been the case with Sierra. I can do just about anything with her, but my husband cannot even touch her! It’s a challenge for the farrier and vet to work on her because she is so suspicious of everyone. Yes, we have used sedation more often than I would like, but it’s been necessary at times. She does let my daughter pet and even ride her, however. She’s a great horse and I know we’ll have many more happy trails together.
My other horse is an Anglo-Arabian who is now 18 years old. I bought her as a yearling in Kentucky, and I was hoping to one day use her for dressage. I grew up riding both Western and English, and fell in love with dressage in high school after several years of doing three-day eventing. As so often happens, life got in the way after I bought her, and I was not able to commit the money or time to riding with a dressage trainer. I started her out in my western tack, and I quickly learned that she has great “cow sense”, so I began working her on our cattle. We had a lot of fun with that, and my husband got to see how useful a good horse really is! In 2017 we sold our cows in an effort to simplify our farm operations somewhat. Since then, Darlin and I have enjoyed relaxed rides around the farm, and she is now helping my daughter learn how to ride.