Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse
I have been horse crazy all my life! I, like many you, was "schooled" starting at the tender age of three, by a smart sassy Shetland pony who was "slower than a turtle" unless he was moving back toward his stall. My next teacher was a gentle 14.2 chocolate mare with a white mane and tail and a smooth as silk gait. This mare was a kind horse with a wonderful temperament. If there was any way to DNA in the 1970ís, I sure she could be traced back to a mountain heritage!
The first mountain horse I bought as an adult was bought from Carson and Judy Masters in 1995. Little did I know that I had bought a yearling that would become my "heart horse", Holidayís Tornado Star. I began riding "Tory" when she was just a three year old and I was 41. I got tired of riding around in circles, so I started doing some different classes and finally asked my trainer to teach Tory to pull a cart. The mare seemed to take to the cart easily and eventually we went in our first class at the International. I was the only amateur/female in the class, and boy was I scared! I continued to show and drive the mare until about 15 years old when she began to exhibit a the long hair coat of Cushingsís Disease. Tory, now 20 years old is living the life of a retired show horse. She will finish out her years at our farm.
I missed not having a horse to show and drive and had to come to the realization that I would no longer be able to ride and drive because, in my eyes, there would never be another Tory!
I didnít set out to buy another horse, for myself, because we already had a number of horses. However, we didnít have one with the temperament I liked: calm and quiet.
Our trainer, Greg Brewer, had raised a nice little black filly, Lady Antebellum. At age three, Lady was ridden in a lead line class by Gregís three-year-old niece, by his 12-year-old daughter in juvenile classes and by my amateur rider husband Gary and by Greg. After working with the mare during the first half of the show season, Greg talked me into riding this young horse. I was very apprehensive about riding such a young horse, that I didnít "know." I finally told him I would ride her, if he got her used to a mounting block.
When I came to learn more about Lady and began to trust her, I started to ride her and to show her. I asked Greg if he had ever broken a horse to pull. Since he had never even ridden in a cart, we asked Vernon Stamper to work with us. We knew Lady was a nice calm mare and thought she might be a good in a cart. We were right! She proves her wonderful temperament every time I use a mounting block to get on her and drag my bum knee across her back. She continues to prove it when we harness her and hook her to the cart. She proves it when Vernon takes her for some extra "lessons" and drives her in the fields, by the cattle, through creeks and fires a gun near her. Vernon always comments, "You know, I really like this mare. She has a head full of sense!" He tried to talk me into selling Lady after she worked with him last year (a wonderful compliment for me). I told him that horses like her donít come along too often and that I already had two of them in my life and I figured she was number three and I was keeping her until I could no longer ride and drive!
Lady Antebellum has been a very successful show horse in her short career. Last year Lady was the High Point Novice horse, as well as High Point in Driving horse. This year, she continues to finish in the top places in both categories.
Recently, Lady was examined by our chiropractor/acupuncture vet and friend, Dr. R.E. Wharton. Dr. Wharton has treated a number of our horses for several years now. She continues to be impressed by Mountain horses, their temperament and beauty. Lady just took to the exam, adjustments and needles in stride. Dr. Wharton frequently gave Lady reassuring pats and commented on how kind and calm she was.
Lady does have a head full of sense! She is patient with me as I mount and dismount. She has been a consistent horse both under saddle and in harness. I think I am on my way to having another heart horse in my life. I have truly been blessed by all the horses that have owned me through my life! I am one lucky lady!!