Wednesday, May 14, 2008

My Kingdom for a Quarter Horse

I miss My Boy! The munchkins at school gave me an awful cold virus. I hate getting a cold in the spring. You expect it in the winter. But by the spring, you think you are done, then whammo, it hits you! I am resting up because those weather experts (can I call that an oxymoron?) are predicting temps in the 80's by the weekend. My sister has the horse trailer washed and ready and we are hitting the trails. Kleenex and all!
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!


  1. Oh my, Sis! That teal! That was my first show color! I moved onto black and passed down the teal to you! Sorry.
    Look how big those chaps are on you then! I swear when mom and dad bought these they fit, but I have seen my show pix of me in the black ones and they look huge!
    How did we show with them that big? Apparently we weren't the ones with money to have custom chaps made for us skinny things. And when I tried these teal and black chaps on last year they were HUGE!
    Love the memories. Sparky was a beautiful horse. You probably don't remember this but when you were going to sell her, mom and dad asked if I wanted to sell Knotahe, my show Appaloosa and buy Sparky to continue showing and possibly do QH shows with her. I ended up saying no. I still regret that decision to this day. I even regret selling Knotahe because she was such a good horse. But you know how things change when you are 17 and end up more into your friends and going out than your horses.
    I will always regret selling my wonderful Appaloosa when I was 17 and not buying Sparky to continue my show career, but we all make decisions in our life that we regret. Just look at us now! I have been back into horses for 4 yrs now and you for a year. And we will make new memories together with our new beloved equine best friends for many years to come!!!!

  2. Ha Ha Sis, I am going to say the real reason you sold your Appy mare was because you got into TRUCKS! Of the lowered variety....boom, boomity boom boom. Instead of hauling horses, you were cruising and hauling around friends. be 17 again. How funny that all things go full circle, you are into trucks again, but this time, COOL trucks to pull a COOL horse trailer with COOL horses in them! ;)

  3. Sparky looks a lot like a mare my Very Best Friend had while growing up. Ruby was race bred, and a bit bigger (and from the sounds of it, than Sparky, but that SHINE... and that COAT! Loooove blood bays. Ruby was amazing. VBF and I were talking about that old mare a couple weeks ago- we both miss her still.

    Can not WAIT to hear about how you got My Boy!! Write F-A-S-T-E-R!!!! ;)

  4. Sparky is a beautiful horse. It is too bad that you couldn't keep her, wonder what happened to her. I think that teal is back in fashion and would look great with the right outfit. Anyway feel better, and we'll be waiting to see how you got My Boy.

  5. I can relate completely to your story. I sold my appolosa gelding when I was 17 because I wanted to spend more time being a teenager. I missed him immediately. It took 30 years for me to achieve my dream of owning horses again. Now I have a Morgan mare and my daughter (16) rides an appendix gelding. We live in the country on 10.5 acres and love it. Come visit my blog and you will see pictures!

    Nice to meet you!

  6. You can look up Sparky on AQHA or even APHA and see who owns her now and look at her show points. If you call one of the two associations they will tell you exactly how it's done. She might still be out there with a little kid showing her in a 4-H arena now!! She was really beautiful! You were so lucky to have her. I dreamed of having my own horse. I worked and cleaned stalls to have my two lessons a week. Sparky was very pretty!

  7. oh dear! I hope you get to feeling better asap!

    ahhhhh....those show clothes were the good ole days!

    I can remember in the early 80's when everyone wore a feather in their cowboy hates, too cool.

  8. I've got that cold/flu bug too! Depending upon how sick you are at our house you either have "anthrax" or "ebola." When I was younger (3) I had an appy pony named HE HE.

  9. Andrea, I will explore using the AQHA to get information. I have tried good old google, with little luck.
    Trailboss, thanks for visiting, I will check out your blog tonight!
    Jamie, I hope it's not Ebola, lol! ;) I am heading up to see My Boy Tonight!! I maybe have to breathe through my mouth, but I am determined!!
    Mrs. Mom, I will try to type faster!! Hee. I will have to break the story down into two parts because it is kind of long. I tend to get over-detailed when I tell stories...I am working on that! ;)

  10. Pony Girl you have certainly been blessed with some good looking horses. That mare is beautiful. I bet you can track her down. Contact the AQHA. They can tell you if she has been reported deceased(hope not-24 isn't that old anymore) and who her reported owner is.
    They can be kind of funny about giving out information but if you get someone who isn't very helpful, call back another time and you might get someone who is a little more understanding.
    I don't think they will give you the phone number or address of that person-but may be able to contact them for you.

    Can't wait to hear how you came into the possession of your handsome boy...

  11. Great photos! It's easy to see you enjoyed grooming.

    I am excited to hear about how you ended up with an App, because my first horse was an App as well, and I sure wasn't looking for one (and especially not a mare).

  12. I have a new mission! I am going to contact the AQHA next week. I will keep you updated on what I find out! Thanks for the advice guys!

  13. What a fabulous story!! Don't leave me hanging!! I want to know MORE!!

    And you should bring teal back. You look great in that color. hehe


I love hearing from my readers!! I truly enjoy all of your feedback, advice, helpful tips, and stories. You all make me laugh and I learn so much from you, too. I will try to post replies to your comments as often as I can.

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