We tend to keep our animals for a long time including our horses. Ranae’s first horse, Vandy, lived on our property for 25 years. When Vandy passed away of liver disease, Ranae went on a search for a replacement. Ranae likes big horses. Not so much tall as stocky. She found Dusty a Quarter Horse grade gelding. His name when we bought him was Rusty, but we have a dog name Rusty, so for a long time we called him RTH (for Rusty the Horse). The first summer we had him he started to develop these tiny speckles on his back as if he had been “dusted” by something. That coupled with the fact that he likes to roll, stand up, and shake the dust off lead to his new name.
Dusty, it was said by the man Ranae bought him from, spent some time working in the feedlots. He is a big tank of a horse and, since he does not have papers, we can almost unequivocally say he has some Old Joe Baily in him. At some time in Dusty’s youth he managed to get tangled up in some wire of some sort. His eyelid has a scar that causes it to droop and he has a scar on one of his front legs.
Dusty was one of the friendliest horses to be around. He is always curious about what’s going on in his yard. If I’m working in a particular area of our property, Dusty is usually on that side of the pen watching me. He does not much care for any other animals in his pen, especially when he is not eating. If one of the cats or dogs comes wandering in with me, Dusty will playfully chase them out.
Ranae rides Dusty in a mild shank bit and commonly will alternate with a snaffle bit. He has one of the smoothest canters you could ask for. His favorite speed is “slow”. Ranae has done some Trail Trials with him, lots of trail rides, and was on The Horsemaster with Julie Goodnight. Dusty had a problem of kicking up when Ranae asked him to canter and Julie helped her work through this issue. You can see her on the episode “Master and Commander” if it should ever air again.
Jessie is a Foundation Quarter Horse. When I bought her I did not know what the Foundation part of that title was. It means Jessie has 90% or more of the founding bloodlines for the Quarter Horse breed. This really appealed to me because the breed is smart and usually has a good working career. My interest was having a horse that I could ride as much as I wanted without risk of injury. Jessie has been a very dependable horse.
We’ve done some trail classes and also worked with cows, once at at training clinic and several times doing Team Sorting at a local arena. Jessie is a very calm horse and doesn’t get upset over much. Don’t get me wrong, she has her moments, but for the most part nothing gets her too riled up. One of my most proud moments came when we were out riding alone on the 3rd of July. We ride along a canal bank and some kids were using it as a swimming hole. As we got closer on of the kids thought it would be a good idea to set off some fireworks. My training had paid off. Jessie jump a little at the first pop and then just stood there like a statue until the noise had passed.
I ride Jessie in a Clinton Anderson snaffle. Jessie has an energetic trot and her canter is a little bit choppy.