If you have been following my blog from the beginning, you have probably read the stories of my childhood ponies, including the Shetland black stallion look-alike, the crazy pony that reared and bit, and my perfect pony. I really want to get to the story of how I got My Boy, because without him, this blog would not exist. And I almost did not get him. It is a good story. But before that, I need to finish up with the story about the final horse I owned.
It was the late 1980's. I was graduating from ponies, I was ready to have a horse. I was still involved with 4-H. Everyone else was going to soccer games or cheer practice (I tried out and didn't make it.) I cleaned stalls after school at a stable. My best friend boarded her horse there. She showed him in AQHA classes, which I thought was so cool. I would go watch her and her peers ride their $25,000 show horses and just drool. This horse show lifestyle was not in the cards for me. Regardless, I wanted a Quarter Horse! After cleaning stalls, I would play with one of the yearlings in the barn. She was a little buckskin, bred for cutting or reining. Her name was Loosey.
I would lounge her, groom her, wash and braid her tail, and pose her for pictures. She was my little project. Her owners liked that I spent time with her (less horses for them to work.) She came up for sale and I considered buying her. But the owners had another option for me. They had a 2 1/2 year old broke Quarter Horse filly that they were selling if I was interested. Interested? Do cowboys wear spurs? I know, I know, you are already wondering why Pony Girl would get another young horse after my previous experience with a challenging greenie. But I was smitten with this mare. She had Smooth Town bloodlines and 120 days professional training in western pleasure. She was a gorgeous blood bay with a flashy white blaze. I paid a down payment with the funds I had sold Saber with, and then cleaned stalls to pay the balance off. Smoothie's Sparkle was mine!
Sparky was a nice mare. I do not remember anything negative about her! However, she had a lot of energy, and often ran herself silly bucking on the lounge line (I lounged her before every ride!) But she was easy to ride. Responsive. She knew how to give to the bit, jog slow....she never attempted a crow hop, buck, or rear under saddle. I had fun pretending we were preparing for an AQHA show, even though I knew it would never happen. The closest we got to showing was at the county fair that summer, my senior year in 4-H. When I put her in her stall at the fairgrounds she reared straight up. But she settled right in and was amazing. The show ring was her comfort zone. I had borrowed silver adorned tack from a friend. I showed her in the green horse classes using a snaffle and training fork. We won grand champion. I was so proud of her!
Goodness, that teal blue is old school. Wait, isn't it back in again? We still have that outfit. I wore the hat while riding My Boy in a schooling show last spring. I'm bringing teal back, baby!
When my community college days came to an end, I transferred to a University out of town. With new adventures on the horizon, I realized it was time to sell my Sparky. I did not find her a new home before I left for school, so my sister handled it for me. She ended up being purchased by a friend of a friend for their daughter. I heard through the grapevine that she went on to be successful in the show ring. Maybe she made it to that AQHA show after all? I also heard she was used as a broodmare for a Paint horse breeding operation. Sparky is probably the only horse from my youth that could potentially still be living. She was born in 1984 so she would be around 24 years old today. I would love to know what she is up to. I always regret that I did not keep Sparky and "stick with horses." She had a lot of potential. But when you are young, priorities in life change and horses are often moved to the back burner. I am glad that I was able to go full circle and have horses in my life again. The funny thing is, when I started wanting a horse a year and a half ago, I was determined to have another Quarter Horse! So just how did I end up with an Appaloosa?? To be continued.....the story of how My Boy came into my life is around the corner!