Three weeks ago I brought a new girl home. A 2 yr old Appaloosa filly. Yes I had gone shopping and found myself what may someday be my next riding horse.
One snowy day over a year ago I was out driving around and passed a field filled with spotted horses out on Succor Creek Rd. I stopped and thought WOW I have got to come look at horses some time. I never forgot the ranch and kept thinking it would be nice to have an Appy again if I could find a good one. In early April of 2012 I contacted the owners and went out to look at horses.
Gene Winchester, owner of Happy Heart Ranch has an old stallion, HH Lever Action, who has a TB sire line of Princequillo. Oh my heart fluttered right there!! Add to that Nasrullah to Nearco for that wonderful nick that produced Seattle Slew and Secretariat. But there were even more awesome racing horses both TB and Appaloosa in this horses pedigree. I decided I wanted a colt by him. The problem was that all his colts were sold, including a lovely 2012 colt about 2 weeks old. But Gene showed me a 2 yr old Lever Action filly out of a well bred mare with lines to multiple ApHC Hall of Fame horses. BIG was my first impression but I liked her. Happy Heart Ranch is home to about 150 horses and the young ones haven't been handled a lot. The owners are getting older and he wants to cut 25 mares before fall. I wasn't sure I could handle a big-know-nothing mare but the price was right so I decided to try.
I picked her up the day after Tough Sucker Endurance ride, just 3 weeks ago. She was halter broke, sort of, she did tie but she didn't want to be brushed and danced around every time the brush touched her. She was easy to load, took us 5 maybe 10 minutes. One foot at a time and in she went. At home she was easy to unload, just turned around and stepped out calmly. She didn't take the big flying leap because they don't know how to step down, she just walked out. I didn't know whether to be surprised or impressed.
She was hard to catch at first, didn't want to be touched or pick up her feet. She really didn't know anything. I didn't keep track of every little thing I did but I did something with her every day. In 3 weeks she is friendly, easy to catch, loves to be brushed and has had her front feet trimmed. I am picking up the hind feet but they aren't ready for trimming just yet. I have led "Diamond" out to the mailbox to get the mail. And tonight we did fly spray and rubbed her with a crinkly-sounding plastic bag.
I think she has come a long way in three weeks. She has also learnt to eat beet pulp and small pieces of carrot, and likes peppermint treats too. Diamond has a real want-to-please attitude so I think she will keep learning just fine. I think she is going to be a real jewel of a good horse. I sure hope so anyway!!