In order of appearance.
Catawba Dawn (Little Girl)
Little Girl is a 15 hand, 1992 registered Appaloosa mare. When I was 16 I bought my first "own" horse, Last Lucky Frolic. I trained her myself and showed her in 4-H. When I was in vet school I bred her to a Quarter horse and got Little Girl. I had high hopes for her. She was to be my children's show horse. When I trained her she had the smoothest jog and lope of any horse I had ever ridden. I would ask, "are you sure she's trotting?" One day when she was 4 I tried to round up some cattle with her. It was early morning and there was a glare to the sun, we were in a field I had never ridden her in and the cattle started running. Little Girl went into the worst rodeo buck I've ever been on and I was catapulted into the air and landed on my tail bone. I broke my wrist and sacrum and wasn't able to ride for some time. My sister sent Little Girl to a trainer but when she came back she was jumpy and skittish. I brought her to our farm when we moved here and rode her but she was never quite the same horse.
Then, when she was about 10, she injured her stifle ending any riding career. I tried to breed her twice with no success. She is a very pretty pasture ornament.
Peponita Doc Bar (Pep)
Pep is a 14.2 hand, 2001 Registered Quarter Horse mare. We bought her in June of 2006 as a 5 year old at a Professional Auction Services horse auction in Lexington, Va. At the auction, you could watch the sellers ride and work their horses and most were letting potential buyers ride also. I rode several that day and had a list we were wanting to bid on. Then I saw Pep being ridden. I loved her stride, the way she moved out but still looked smooth. But the seller wasn't letting anyone else ride her. Well, we bought her anyway and brought her home and soon found out why he wasn't letting anyone else ride. She wouldn't go. She would plant her feet, toss her head, then start kicking out her back feet. She was great when she would go but the stubborn spells were awful and this was suppose to be E's show horse. E was only 10 and had an impossible horse. I discovered that we could make her go better with a whip than with kicking so E started riding with a crop.
By the next year, we had things figured out and E was Reserve Champion Western Pleasure Pony at the State 4-H Horse Show. Pep has turned out to be a great little show horse for E. She does western pleasure, showmanship, equitation, trail, and ranch riding.
Jessica is a 14.2 hand, 2001 grade mare. We bought her as a 5 year old in August of 2006 for V to ride. We didn't want V and E to compete against each other and V wanted to ride faster than western pleasure, so we got a hunter. We have no idea what breed she is. We have speculated about a Standard Bred, Quarter Horse Cross, but who knows? The lesson barn we got her from had bought her at a local horse auction. They said they sold her as a therapy horse but had to take her back because she was too pushy. She definitely has a mind of her own. Poor V struggled with her for several years, never having very much success in the show ring. Jessica just didn't have the look, the attitude, or the way of going to excel as a hunter show pony.
Then I discovered endurance riding. This is what Jessica was made for. She loves to just go, go, go, without any thought other than getting down the trail. I took her out on her first endurance ride in 2009 and J has been riding her since.
Hank (The Wonder Horse)
Hank has been "my horse". I did loan him out to V to show her last year in 4-H (with great success), and to E to show when Pep was lame (with great success) but mostly he's mine. Hank had two speeds when we got him, walk and canter. His trot is so rough that I think out of self preservation to keep people from bouncing mercilessly on his back, he just never trotted. It took awhile, but he now does a gorgeous posting trot and his canter is like a rocking chair. Along with showing hunter, he also has done speed barrel, trail class, he is my go to horse to get the cattle and he has been my endurance horse. And who can forget vaulting. He is great at letting the 4-H kids jump on and off and twirl around on him.
Part of her learning has been going to shows. She is smooth and easy going but doesn't have "the look" to excel at western pleasure. I'm just happy to have a horse I can ride anywhere on the farm at any speed and just relax. Loping across the bottom for half a mile is just heaven.
Just An Otoe (Brother)
We bought Brother in October of 2012 from the same breeder that Otoelene came from. Brother is a 2011 Registered Solid Paint. He is for J to replace Otoelene who he gave to me. I still have helped a lot with Brother's training, but this really is J's horse. Shortly after we started riding him in February, 2013, he started having hoof problems which put any riding on hold for the whole summer. When we finally got him sound again, he took off like there was never a 4 month break. He has been just as easy as Otoelene to work with, well, maybe a little pushier being a teenage boy.
He won a blue ribbon out of 12 in a W/T/C class at his first show and J has been riding him out around the farm with Otoelene and sometimes alone. I think he's off to a good start.
Invested in Hot Chips (/Wrangler)
Wrangler is a 2010, 15.1 hand, registered Quarter Horse gelding. My sister originally bought him as a 2 year old with about 60 days of training. But she lacked the facilities to really be able to work with him as he needed. After getting thrown off, she was ready to get rid of him and gave him to me.