The Horses

Durango Bullet Bar "Bullet"

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My husband’s Quarter Horse Bullet.

05-04-01

Big, strong, handsome. We bought Bullet when he was just a hair over age five, to be my husband’s #1 trail horse after he “retired” The Bean. Bullet had been purchased by a breeder as a yearling with the intention of eventually using him as his breeding program’s main stud horse. He had everything going for him: great conformation, good genetics and fantastic color. Unfortunately, Bullet proved too rank for the man’s taste. As he put it, “I didn’t get into breeding to get hurt.” So he gelded the cocky young stud and gave him some time to chill out. After lightly starting him he decided to sell him as he didn’t have the time or space to house a gelding. Once the gelding “took”  (it took two tries) the pushy young stud morphed into a complacent, lowest ranking member in the herd. It was a complete turnaround. Go figure.

The thing we liked most about Bullet was his conformation. He’s truly exquisite. He has that nice old foundation build that’s made to work like a tank and never show any sign of fatigue. He’s got great feet and superb balance that gives him a natural athleticism for the difficult terrain we ride. And because he’s so muscular he ops to conserve his energy for when it’s really needed. So don’t expect any jigging or jogging from him! He has a steady Eddie, get the job done kind of attitude. But don’t be fooled by his lumbering appearance; this boy can turn on a dime and be as fast as …. well, a speeding bullet …. when asked. Temperament-wise, Bullet’s a mixed bag. Generally he’s a kindhearted soul who willingly does whatever is asked, but he has a pesky side too. He kind of reminds me of the Cowardly Lion from the Wizard of Oz: Full of hot air, but with an, “Aww, shucks” kind of sweetness deep down. He’s always the horse that other horses shove out into the pouring rain or sleet, but Bullet never seems to mind that he’s not sharing the run-in shed or closed up in a cozy stall. He never, ever complains about anything and is just happy as a clam to lie down in the mud or manure pile as anywhere else. Lately, since our old gelding died he’s been kind of grumpy. I don’t think Bullet’s happy being the only male and he probably wishes he had another gelding around to take some of the pressure off him.

I’ve ridden Bullet maybe all of two or three times. He’s got an incredibly soft mouth and a “Whoa” that will pitch you right over his shoulder if you’re not careful! He’s really 100% my husband’s horse and they have a great relationship and understanding.

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Ever watchful

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The unrelenting chow hound

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CA Dharla

(Crossen Arabians)

05-05-06

Dharla is a Patron, Padron, Padron Psyche, Santana mare on her dam’s side with Bask++ on both the top and bottom and Negatiw and Tezsiw on her sire’s side.

Dharla is a young, lightly started Arabian Sport Horse type mare. I found Dharla only six weeks after sadly losing my beloved mare Tia. At the time, I wasn’t really looking to purchase another Arabain and had pretty much limited my looking to Quarter horses. But I saw the ad for Dharla and since her breeders didn’t live that far away I decided to have a look. I was impressed by this young girls sweet temperament and athleticism. At the time I had no idea what a Sport Horse was, but rode her and decided I liked her. I also rode her full sister. A year younger and sporting a much higher price tag, her sister was exquisite, but I was looking for a trail horse, not a show mount. After riding Dharla I rode a few more prospects but I couldn’t get the sweet doe-eyed girl out of my mind. I bought Dharla a few weeks later and after working under the guidance of her trainer for a month, we brought her home to live with us.

It’s been a bit of a roller-coaster ride ever since. Dharla’s basically a good girl with a kind heart. She has impeccable ground manners and a cuddly demeanor, but under saddle she can sometimes be a bit willful. That’s not unusual given her gender and breed, but I’m taking things slow. In fact, that’s what this blog is all about: our progress and journey. I started taking English riding lessons shortly after I bought Dharla. Although I’ve ridden (western) since I was a young girl, I want to learn as much as I can about riding better. All my life I think I just rode instinctively, which doesn’t necessarily mean I know what I’m doing. Yes, I have a good seat, good balance and soft hands, but I don’t really have a true grasp of the nuts and bolts that are the finer points of riding. I’ve decided that there’s no time like the present to learn and better late than never!

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Dharla Darlin'

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So Dharla and I are on this journey together. I know we’ll make mistakes and they say that’s OK. I’m just starting to feel some real true affection for my new horse, not just that giddy/new project/replacement horse feeling that I had at first.She’s a smart girl and I think that if I can conjure up some patience we’ll make a great team. For now, my goal is just to help turn Dharla into the best horse she can possibly be while I become the best rider I can be. Perhaps somewhere in this process I’ll decide I want to “do” something more specific with my horse, but for now we’ll just stick to the basics and trail riding. Life IS good!

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