If you follow Chinese astrology and calendar at all, we're at the leading edge of the year of the Horse. In addition to the sequence of animals, there are five elements that also rotate through a sequence and this year's is wood. So we have the wooden horse. I do not think we are talking here of the broomsticks some of us 'rode' as kids before we could even aspire to a pony. But wood is the element of life and perhaps aspirations since trees reach for the sky. Horses are very powerful beasts even in Chinese lore--and I really do like some of the ancient horse images in Chinese art. I won't expound or explain all that as many can cover it better. Instead I thought it was an auspicious time to revisit some more of my past equines.
A dear friend of mine from those early days has taken up painting and she is working on a picture of me with my beloved Tina. I am really excited about this. That mare was so very special. I think most anyone who has worked with quite a few horses has one or two that they recall as being extraordinary in one way or another. Tina was definitely one of those! She was middle aged in horse years before we retired her from the active work she did so well and let her bear a couple of foals. By then we'd added a registered Appaloosa stallion to our herd and he sired two fine colts with her. Sadly neither of them turned out to be spotted but at that point the breeding for color was still not really well established to the point where any Appy produced 100% colored offspring. I am pretty sure Chief had some Quarter Horse in his ancestry although he was marked with a nice "blanket".
Tina's first was born on March 16, 1964. He was the image of his mother, also a blood bay with a star instead of her blaze face (which was almost a star and then a snip, very fine line between them) and quite a handsome little guy from the first, He ended up, along with his brother, being favored roping horses and 'cow ponies' on a big ranch out west of Prescott, AZ. The second foal was born on my birthday, April 27 in 1965. He was a bright sorrel with some white socks and a big blaze. He was a big stout colt but took a lot out of his dam. In actuality she never really got back to good health afterwards. We probably should have let her rest a season in between the foals but we did not. Twenty twenty hindsight is always so clear.... She stayed up and going long enough to wean him, but we lost her that winter. Broke my heart, of course!
Anyway here are shots of Yavapai Chiet, Tina again with her first baby, and the two colts that we named Bravo and Rico. Sadly I did not get to break and train the two colts although I had worked on Brave some--he was nearly two when we had to shut down the business and I shortly went off to collage. I could tell though that he was going to be an outstanding horse and was later told that both of them were. They went to a good home and did valuable work, anyway. I am glad of that.
First, me riding Chief. He was a pretty well-behaved stud and very manageable. He'd been roped off etc. He was a gorgeous bright sorrel red with the nice blanketed rear and generally a Quarter Horse build, about 14 1/2 hands tall..
Next is Tina with Bravo on his first or second day! And below is Rico at about the same stage. And last is Bravo as a long yearling, shaping up to be a pretty good looking guy even in a winter coat.
I wish I had good color shots of them all but color film was costly in those days and I could barely afford the black and white I used to picture my pets!
So no wooden horses here but may you ride this year's mascot off to your dreams and a wonderful year! Happy trails, all!!
Welcome to my World
Welcome to the domain different--to paraphrase from New Mexico's capital city of Santa Fe which bills itself "The City Different." Perhaps this space is not completely unique but my world shapes what I write as well as many other facets of my life. The four Ds figure prominently but there are many other things as well. Here you will learn what makes me tick, what thrills and inspires me, experiences that impact my life and many other antidotes, vignettes and journal notes that set the paradigm for Dierdre O'Dare and her alter ego Gwynn Morgan and the fiction and poetry they write. I sell nothing here--just share with friends and others who may wander in. There will be pictures, poems, observations, rants on occasion and sometimes even jokes. Welcome to our world!