My sweet Katie is a 19 year old Paint mare. She started out as a trail horse, mostly because I started her myself and I had no arena. I would ride her 3 miles to a friend’s training facility where I could use the arena to train in, then I would ride back home. This is a pretty serious training barn with good riders. One day I was chatting with some of the ladies there and noticed it was getting late so I told them that I had to get home, and it was an hour’s ride. Their faces dropped! One of them said “You’re going to ride this green horse out on the street for an hour, and part of it in the dark??” to which I simply replied, “Yes, if she can’t go down the trail I don’t need her!”
Since then she has done so much, most of it trail riding, but also worked with me at the Sheriff’s Department where I was a full time Deputy for 28 years and rode on duty on weekends and holidays for overtime. They prefer “big bay geldings” which are more uniform and some may have snickered at my “glow in the dark mare” at first but she was never outdone on the more than comprehensive 8 hour long annual recertification testing. She qualified for the World Championship event with the EXCA, was the high point English and Western horse at my local club, trained with the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police), worked at the World Series baseball game at Anaheim Stadium in huge crowds, even helped me arrest a drunk that stole a sign and then broke it over my (helmeted) head, Katie and I followed him through a packed crowd and dragged him right back out without a problem, I could go on and on, this horse has done so much for me. We also worked school programs, parks, beaches and patrolled the mall parking lot during Holiday Shopping time. My favorite photo of her and I was taken in a photo booth at the Orange County Fair, my partners all said “NO!” when I sat down in there and asked her to come in with me, but she followed willingly. She has also taken me to many ACTHA wins!
Katie is older now, so once again she is the ultimate trail horse, no more hard work for her. I owe her that and I will take care of her. I can’t think of a better ‘retirement’ (for her and I both!) than to ride down the trail, meeting with simple and complex challenges and enjoying all that life has given to both of us!
By Molly Rush, of Molly’s Custom Silver. Many thanks to Durvet Apple Wormer for sponsoring “This is my Trail Horse”. Katie will receive a gift from Durvet. www.applewormer.com Share your “This is My Trailhorse” story with ACTHA by leaving your story with a photo in the private message box of the ACTHA Facebook page or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.