Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Te Totally Mine

Here is the story of how we acquired Te Totally Mine and her new life at Harmon PFarms. To learn why we bought her, see my previous post.

One of my vet's clients was an older gentleman who's stallion had just died and had decided to sell his broodmares and retire from breeding. One of the broodmares was Te Totally Mine. She is an American Quarter Horse, (AQHA). The guy had owned "Te" for 10 years and she had produced many foals for him. He told us that she had been a broodmare for her previous owner also and had never been broke to ride. She was 17 years old, blind in one eye and didn't like being caught. He herded her into a paddock for us to see. She did have a foal on her side, so we knew she was still producing. We didn't like her color, ( chestnut just isn't our favorite) but she was healthy and had a beautiful coppery sheen to her coat. We didn't mind too much that she couldn't be caught since we just planned to breed her, get our baby from her and then sell her. The best things about Te were her pedigree, which matched up great with Conclusive Mister's, and her conformation, not as nice as Missy, but decent. Here she is the day we first saw her.

Te's owner offered her to us, with her foal, for $600. How could we go wrong? Here she is below with her foal that same day. We brought them home and put Te out with the other horses to adjust to her new life. We weaned the foal, who had never been touched by human hands, and started working with her. (I will tell her story in a different post.) Te settled down to life at Harmon PFarms. She was quite skittish at first and would not come in the paddocks if we were near. She WAS impossible to catch. We bred her once in June to Conclusive Mister ( artificially inseminated with shipped semen ) and she didn't take. It was too late in the season to get another shipment so the only option is to wait till 2008 and try again.

Te was left to graze at her leisure. However, as the weeks passed, she started to be more comfortable around us. We caught her a couple of times, ( tricked her with a bucked of grain ) and brushed her. We were surprised how gentle she was once she had a halter on. She stood for her grooming like an old show horse pro. Kate felt that Te's manners and attitude were evidence that at one time in her life she must have been worked with more then we had been told. She decided to tack her up and see what happened. Te lowered her head and accepted the bit and bridle. She didn't flinch when Kate saddled her and tightened the girth! On another day, I took out the clippers and Te lowered her head and allowed me to clip her bridle path. Now we were convinced that she had been broke. Kate wanted to ride her, but I was too nervous to let her, so we took Te to Circle C and paid the trainer there to test her out. She passed with flying colors. She had obviously been trained and ridden in her younger years.
A few days later, ( this was in November) we saddled Te up for her first trail ride in at least 12 years. I rode Missy and Kate bravely rode Te. Some horses that are blind in one eye are skittish or spooky on the trail. Not TE! We rode her for over an hour, through the fields and woods, over the creek and logs. She was AWESOME and seemed to actually be enjoying herself. She didn't slowly follow behind Missy, (Missy is the slowest walking horse in the world!), but took the lead and stepped out with gusto.

Kate plans to ride Te quite a bit this winter and perhaps have her back in the swing of things enough for us to be able to let some of the 4-Hers ride her this spring. She will need a little proofing before that, but we think she will be fine. I decided that since Te was going to be a riding horse, she would need to learn to be caught easily. I read up on some training techniques and worked with Te for several days. She now WALKS UP TO ME in the paddocks to get her halter on! Te may be older, now 18, but she is a galloping fool in the pasture with the other horses and shows no signs of arthritis or any other health problems. I am sure we will have her for a good long time. Her personality has just blossomed and she is a sweet, personable horse!What a great deal for $600!

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