Here is Kisima, a particularly cute home bred Arabian. This horse has been kind, giving, straightforward and honest since the moment we started working with him when he was 4. He has always approached life with an open, willing attitude. If horses could shrug and say, “why not?” that is what Kisima’s response would be every time you asked him to do something. A total prince, the sort of Bitterroot Arab that makes people reconsider any preconceived notions they might have had of Arabian horses.
This is Richard’s horse, Pirkko (it was Hadley’s middle name before she and Richard married!). She was a PMU foal in Canada. Pirkko was taken from her mother shortly after birth, so that the mare could be impregnated again. She was a lucky foal, compared to many, in that she was bottle raised and given a chance at life. Richard got her at the age of 2 when Hadley moved to Wyoming in 2007. She is a dream for him to ride— a savvy cow horse, a hell of a walk (nothing drives him crazier than a slow walking horse), and she has an impeccable work ethic, even if she’s only ridden a few times a year. She also has some major quirks— there’s trauma in being separated from your mother and raised by people. She won’t stand to be tacked— she has to be in motion— and she can be quite, even dangerously at times, pushy with her body during the tacking process. But they have a beautiful partnership— Richard understands her limitations, he accepts her, and she shows up for him completely in the ways he needs.
Laredo is over 30 years old and is Bayard’s horse, who is 92, and it’s hard to say who is aging better! This horse is such a character— he could still probably out-walk any horse in the herd. Like Bayard, Laredo wastes no time.
Seville, the sorrel mare on the left, has an Arabian dam and was sired by a Thoroughbred/Andalusian stallion. Here she is with her best friend, Isabella, a grey Azteca (Quarter Horse x Andalusian) mare. Seville is one of Hadley’s personal horses. She and Isabella are two friends who are very similar— fiery, sociable, strong, unintimidated, bossy. Not an opposites attract situation with these two! And in between them, you see an adorable profile of El Chapo, Hadley’s wonder pony!
Berbera and Tamu. These guys are half brothers, born the same year at the ranch. They have been best friends since they were foals. We even started sending them on pack trips together, since they are happy anywhere as long as they are with each other. Our pack trip Arabs! They both have a similar quirky sense of humor. Tamu is a little slower, a little more forgiving; Berbera a little more interested in biting a cow, a little more concerned about where he puts his feet; both are roly poly creatures with big bellies and are total pets.
Sienna and Mikumi. Sienna is a gorgeous retired Quarter Horse at the farm, Mikumi a younger Arab. They have recently been connected at the hip and I’d like to think that Sienna is educating her about how to be a successful guest horse at the ranch, giving her all the tips and tricks. There isn’t a better horse to learn from!
Streak, the grey, and Taveta. These two are funny because they could not be more different under saddle. They are an opposites attract friendship. Taveta, a home bred Arab, is as mellow as they come. Slow walk, steady trot, a round, glacially paced canter. She is totally unconcerned about being left behind. Streak is always in overdrive. His walk is big, his canter is fast, his jump is enormous, he doesn’t wear out. His sire is a race horse (he was not bred at the ranch), and no one is going to beat him. Yet, somehow, these two, who would never in a million years go out in the same riding group at the ranch, find friendship in the pasture. Ain’t love grand?
Stockings and Silver. This duo makes me smile so much. Stockings, the black Quarter Horse mare, has never had a friend in all her years at the ranch. She had a foal, Blaze, and he was very devoted to her, but once he was weaned, she wasn’t interested in looking his direction ever again. Silver, another Quarter Horse, arrived recently, and he’s such a polite gelding with both people and horses. Their relationship has blossomed, and they are never more than a few feet from each other. It seems Stockings kept to herself for so many years until her perfect fit arrived.
This is a funny trio. Misty (grey Quarter Horse mare) and Minihaha (paint pony mare) have been best friends since the moment Minihaha arrived a few years ago. The devotion and kindness between the two of them is so endearing. However, they are not particularly socially successful in the equine world. They are a horsey island that no one else wants to visit, in all honesty. At least they have had each other! Nova, beautiful, massive Nova, a Belgian mare, joined the herd end of last season. She was kept in a separate pen at the ranch, knowing she would better integrate with the herd at the farm. What we did NOT expect was her joining up with the two misfits, Misty and Minihaha, making them a powerful threesome. BUT THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENED. Horses, like people, continually surprise.
These are three sweet old, grey Arabs who have been stalwart mounts for many years. They are Kalenjin, Pemba and Kisumu, all born and raised at the ranch and the dearest of friends. The older they get, the friendlier they get with people, and are eager to come to gate to say hi.
Here is another shot of Kisumu, one of our favorite Arabs. He’s a bit picky about who he likes riding him, but after all these years, we can tell just from a conversation with a person (not even one about horses!) if they are a good match for him. He’s such a light horse to ride with the cutest bounce to his step. He’s a horse who loves to go out and see the world.
Charlie Brown, on the left, is a mustang gelding, and Marshall, a Quarter Horse gelding, did not arrive to the ranch together, but soon became good friends!