Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Mouthy Monday

I know,I know, the disorganization queen strikes again.

This story comes from "Slippin" our cutting buddy.

I think this is next in line.

In high school, I was not popular nor was I into sports.

I constantly talked about horses and found myself drawing them on my papers in class.

I rode a paint gelding bareback because I couldn’t put a saddle on without asking for help. I wasn't quite strong enough to pick it up that high without a major ordeal of getting a block of wood to stand on. I only weighed about 75 lbs soaking wet in high school.

My sophomore year, I went to work at a cutting horse barn cleaning stalls after school and on the weekends. I had never heard of cutting, nor had I ever SEEN it. One day I was watching someone work a horse on the mechanical cow and was fascinated by how that horse could turn on his hind end like that.

I was sitting on the rail intently watching when, my now long time friend, asked me if I wanted to try it out. I looked at her wide eyed and said, "Who ME?? No! I will fall off! That horse moves way too fast!"

She laughed and said, "No, you will be fine, just watch the flag and hold onto the horn and if you get scared, you can always pull on the reins and stop her"

That was a new concept to me...my gelding that I rode bareback at home didn't have very good brakes...he pretty much went where he wanted to go most of the time.

I nervously climbed down off the fence and walked over to the mare and climbed up in the saddle. She gave me a few pointers on how to hold the horn and how to sit relaxed. Then she told me to step the mare up towards the flag with my hand forward and reins loose.

My friend gave me a warning and said, "OK, I'm going to make the flag move, so put your rein hand on her neck and be ready for her to move to the right...I remember clamping down on the saddle horn and getting a big knot in my stomach.

I have always been told by friends and coaches that I couldn't do anything because I was too little and not strong enough, so I immediately started doubting myself, but before I could say anything, the flag moved and the horse gracefully dropped down and made a nice swinging move to the right, then trotted a few steps and stopped, then did the drop and moved 180 degrees to the left.

We made about 5 or 6 moves and I started laughing so hard I couldn't concentrate on the horse or the flag! When I got done working the horse, I yelled out, "That was so much FUN!! I have GOT to get me one of these!!"

About a year later, I found myself buying a 4 year old grand daughter of Freckles Playboy and after a year of lessons I started showing.(my mare needed some finishing touches on her training, so that slowed us down some too).

She was a hard headed tough mare that had a lot of grit and guts and weaved in the stall. I started calling her the "Ice Princess" because everything had to be her way, or she wasn't happy.

I used to worry about her weaving all the time, but no matter what we did, she wouldn't stop, so my trainer told me to just think of her practicing her cutting moves. She did slow down as she got older. She was one of those that shouldn't have worked out. She was still kind of green and I was still learning to cut. Usually those 2 combinations don't work out very well.

In 1992 I went to my first BIG show. The Pacific Coast Cutting Horse Association Derby! I wasn't showing in the actual derby, but they had a weekend show during the Derby.

I had entered in the 2,000 limit class and this time, my parents couldn't go, so I had to get a ride with another client of my trainer(friend).

When I got there I went and checked out the draw...I was MAD. I had drawn up LAST out of 50 horses. So after ALL day of loping and wearing my mare down(she needed to be loped a lot), I went in and WON the whole thing!!!

The best part was when I called home on the pay phone. My mom answered and I said, "Hey, WELL, there were 50 horses in the class, I drew up dead last, I marked a 221.5 and won! I think my check is going to be around $500. "

My mom said, "You did not! What really happened?"

I was shocked and said, "I did too win!"

she said, "You did not!"

I said, "C'mon! I didn't put a dang $1.35 in the phone to call home and tell you I lost a cow!"

That was the last I heard from my mom, that’s when my dad got on the phone and said, "Ok what did you do? Your mother is crying"

I laughed and told him what I did, he said, "Well its about time you did something on that horse!"(he was joking of course!)

A few years more of showing and a move to Texas in the "cutting horse capital of the world" I was still beating people on my little sorrel mare. I marked big scores on her and our best scores where when we drew up DEAD LAST! I have won 4 buckles on her and pretty much everything else you can think of...except for a saddle.

I had also been offered good money for her, but, as my grandpa has told me, "that’s when 2 fools met...one to make the offer, and one to turn it down!"

But she was the one that helped me through school and helped me prove to all the people that told me that I couldn't do anything because I was "Too little" WRONG! I couldn't even think of selling her. A few years ago, she died but she will always be my little "Ice Princess"


DarcC said...

What a great story, thanks for sharing!

Scamp said...

Oh, that was a good story! It sounds like the Ice Princess was a Good Horse.

Breathe said...

Amazing story - her weaving, was that just from being bored? She sounds like she loved the challenge of cutting.

Anonymous said...

I know Slippin & the Ice Princess, they were truly a wonderful pair!

Shanster said...

What a fabulous story! Thanks so much for sharing it!! I enjoyed reading it!

nagonmom said...

Happy story for human and horse, I like that! Thanks.

Bif said...

Fun story, Slippin!

A boarding barn I worked in during college had a guy who had a futurity winning cutting filly. He didn't have a flag set up at the barn, so he recruited "the help" to act as cow... that was a lot of fun, but really, really tiring!

The hardest part was remembering to back down from the horse, when I was so used to being the "cutter" to catch toughies in the field. It was quite different to shift gears and be the "cuttee"!

mommyrides said...

Loved the story!! It just goes to show you that good things really do come in small packages!!! Hope you will write again.

Slippin said...

Thanks for the comments guys! I LOVED that "Ice Princess". I wish that I had her still and could show her again. I was watching some of our videos about a month ago and started crying, so I had to go ride my gelding to make myself think of something else!
Breathe: She weaved because of nerves. There were times that when I warmed up at home, I would go cut a cow out of the herd and as soon as the cow moved, she would squeal and leap in the air, so I had to trot her up a steep hill about 10 times, just to get her nerves to settle down. Thanks again for the comments! Make me feel good after a rough day!

badges blues N jazz said...

that was a wonderful story! thank you!

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