Recently I was going through horse papers so I could send off Sassy's papers to BEC. I ran across an old faded copy of an auction receipt which I knew came with Trax when I bought him. I had contacted the person who was listed as the buyer but had never been able to find the seller.
The buyer was the one who had told me about how every time he tried to rope on him he got bucked off.
I looked at the name of the seller again and thought "what the heck" and I plugged the name into Facebook. The name came right up, I could see that she was a horse person and was from Northern WY, so I was reasonably sure that I was on the right track. Then I noticed that she and I had a mutual friend. It was none other than the love of my life, TC. Figures!
So I sent her a message with a photo of my boy. I sent it from my account and from TC's. I waited a couple of weeks and got no response so I figured I must have had the wrong person or perhaps her experience was so bad she didn't want to talk about it.
This morning I was drinking my coffee,checking my Facebook and much to my surprise there was a response.She told me that,yes they had owned him and his name was "Sota". They had purchased him from somewhere back east and brought him to WY. He was a trail horse when they bought him and her girls had ridden him a lot and he loved those girls very much. They were equally fond of him. Then they trained him to be a fair heel horse and ran him through their production sale.
I was really surprised by this story as I would never in a million years feel safe putting a kid on my run away freight train. not even one who was an experienced rider. He is just too unpredictable.
I had to ask how old her girls were and if they ever had a problem with him when they were roping.
She swore that they never did and she sent me this.
This is her 12 year old daughter riding him bareback in a halter.
She doesn't even have a death grip on him!!
He is not trying to run away with her. He doesn't even looked concerned that her legs are dangling by his side.
(keep in mind that the one time we tried to ride this horse bareback he bolted uncontrollably and my friend who was on him had to bail into a mound of dirt. If I even kick my feet out of the stirrups when walking, he gets very upset instantly)
It kind of brings to question, what the hell happened to this horse?
How did he go from being a perfectly good trail horse, safe for youth to ride, to being a run away freight train who is so unpredictable I'm afraid to let hardly anyone else ride him.
Of course I may be a bit over reactive because I am sure that any experienced rider could handle him just fine. It isn't like he is a bad horse.
Anyway, once I got done crying over this picture (more happy tears than not) I started thinking about what I know about his journey.
We will start at the beginning.
He was born in 1999 somewhere back east. (that was the most she could tell me there) He was a perfectly acceptable trail horse. He was purchased by the MC family whose young girls rode him extensively (bareback in a halter). I was told that he absolutely loved those girls. The MC family buys and sells horses for a living, so they taught him to be a heel horse and then put him in their production sale. He was a perfectly acceptable heel horse, according to MC herself.
He was purchased for the sum of $3000 by the JC family. The Matriarch of this family is listed as the buyer. She is a barrel racer and roper. She has several sons, one of whom decided that he was going to take "the paint horse" and further his roping training. He didn't get far with this though, as every 5th or 6th cow the paint horse would "take to bucking, and he weren't nice about it either. Put me in the dirt many times." Now just for the record, I do not know the JC family personally, but TC grew up with them. They are Bascos and known for their short tempers. Also livestock are not feeling animals, but tools for them. So one can imagine all sorts of evil scenarios, but a middle of the road guess is that he took to bucking one time too many (for what ever reason) and it became a clash between the short temper and a horse who is pretty good at shutting down and getting himself out of what he considers to be a bad situation.
The JC family sold him to a kid who was living with the daughter of a family who ran rough stock. I know that he tried to rope on him, and according to the girls father she "tried some of that fancy nonsense training" that everyone is into today but it didn't work with him. He also said that they had attempted to use him to round up rough stock but that went very badly. Of course one has to ask, did they also attempt to see if he would make a decent bareback bronc? Of course I'll never know the answer, but one can always speculate. Especially since clearly he used to be fine with bareback riding, and now he isn't.
Then he was sold to SM for who only bought him because he felt bad for the kid and the girl who "needed money badly." SM rode him 2 times in the year that he owned him, but most of the time he was left to stand in a pasture with two other horses. SM had no clue of his history what so ever. No one said "He can be a little broncy" or even that he was hard headed. They just said, "He'd make a great heel horse, we've roped off of him a few times." SM did not need a horse, did not want a horse, but wanted to help the folks out so he bought him.
I bought him a year later and of course the rest of that is chronicled between here and face book.
Sure there is a lot of blanks which will never be filled in. And of course I will never know how accurate MC is with her info, or anyone else for that matter. But the picture doesn't lie. She is riding that horse in a halter, which is not something I would ever attempt.
I want to go out and hug him and tell him I am so sorry for what ever happened to him. I know it won't matter to him, but it might. What I do know matters to him is that he is my horse now, and will remain so forever.
For some reason I have concluded that my search for his past is over. I did not press MC for more info. I did not elaborate too much about the horse he is now, other than to say that something had gone terribly wrong in his life and that we have been working for years to get him over his fear of ropes. She was happy to hear that he has a good home now, and she said she would make sure her girls knew too. She said they always remembered him for some reason.
I guess knowing that someone loved him once, besides me, is enough.