Niawen is one of the most beautiful mares we have owned and incidentally one of the largest. She never was much for crowds and only seemed to like certain people. Well, we would load up a few horses every year for the Mufreesboro, TN horse fair and rare breeds expo. One year we had the brilliant idea to take Niawen along with us. The first day was alright and by the end of the day she had enough of all the gawkers and didn't want them touching her. So she was happy when it closed and she could relax. The second day of the two day event, it was only about halfway through the day when she decided it was not fun anymore and she wanted to go home. So we figured we could just put her into the trailer for the last few hours and she would be fine. Well Niawen decided she didn't want to load on the trailer and was becoming increasingly agitated, so we had the on call vet sedate her. With her eyes all droopy and hanging her head she still refused to load. So the vet gave her another large dose. At this point Niawen could not even hold her own head up, we were doing that for her and still trying to get her on the trailer. We would pick her foot up and put it on and in slow motion she would pull it back off. Just to give you an understanding of her, she was a 16hh 1200lb mare that could be as stubborn as a mule. So my brother trying to help out went behind her to push while we pulled and tried to get her feet up on the trailer. This mare that could not even hold her head up of her own free will defiantly picked up her back foot, set it gently on his chest and just pushed. It was just like a cartoon, he flew up in the air and skidded to a halt on his butt. Even thinking about it now I still laugh.
Niawen and the fair...
Why I hate Mustard...
At the horse shows, Ghost Wind and I loved the speed events. There was this one called the Hot Dog Race. They would hang a hot dog from a fishing pole and you would have to run down to the end of the arena stop your horse and make him stand still while you tried to take a bite of the hot dog. We were at a 4-H show so we were required to wear helmets and just to make it a little harder they poured mustard all over the hot dog.
Ghost Wind and I were great at this race so we ran down to the end and he stood great but the person holding the fishing pole was not holding still. So the fishing line caught in my helmet and this mustard covered hot dog was bouncing all over my face and shirt. Needless to say I smelled like mustard for the rest of the day and I still hate it to this day.
Oh yeah, since it wasn't my fault that it caught in my helmet I was given another run. Yes, of course we WON...
My brother Cliff loved to race the horses, but for some reason every time he and I raced one of us would get hurt, lol...
One of the times I got hurt we were racing across a cow pasture and I just happened to be riding the clumsiest horse we owned. Well Alona managed to find the only thing in the entire field (a cow trail) that was slightly uneven. Of course you can imagine we went down on it. She tripped and went down on her knees and I neatly somersaulted over her head... It was super fun (said no one ever) hahaha... I actually didn't get hurt though.
Another race that stands out in my mind was one where it was not my turn to get hurt. Cliff was riding the stallion and we found a nice even pasture to race on. We didn't even get five strides out before his cinch broke and off he went along with his saddle. Eagles Wing ran all of the way home and I walked with my brother and threw the extra saddle over my mount.
When Ghost Wind and I got good at working with each other it became near to impossible to beat us. He was never a fast horse but he is more intelligent than most. So when a race could be won by sheer intelligence we always won. One of my other brothers and I liked to race on paved road because the horses had to use just the right amount of go or they would be in one spot spinning out. Well of course Ghost Wind had it down after just one run. Start slower and then push, I loved beating my brother. We were pretty good at the barrels too because he would gauge everything just right.
I grew up on a farm and loved the life. I want my children to have the opportunity to grow as a person like I did.