Horsey Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

My husband will be proud, my post title is due to a David Bowie song that I will admittedly say I do not like.  But, it fit.  I’m finding that the older I get and the more responsibility I get i.e. a daughter to call my own, my tastes and wants have changed a bit.  Granted I still like the “basic” things I always did, though I listen to more kids music now than ever before and I drive more conscientiously.  I have noticed my heart shifting in the areas of horses.  Oh, don’t get me wrong, I still love them but certainly not as I did before I knew the love you could have for your own child.  I used to kind of scoff at those who thought I couldn’t love my dog just as much… Yes, I was wrong… Very very wrong.  But you don’t come to learn that until you have your own child!  So… Back to the horses.  My tastes are changing.  Instead of wanting brio or spirit and showy flash, I want steady-eddie.  I’m not interested in that pizzazz I once thought I liked. 

I recently found myself in an awkward situation, one that was swirling around in my head but I didn’t really want to admit out loud.  I was seeing the love my daughter started having for all things horses and then started truly evaluating the horses I currently own and realizing they are certainly not the safest animals for a 3 year old to learn on.  Not only did I have to watch closely out in the pasture just petting, but I certainly didn’t feel comfortable giving her little rides around the yard without holding her leg.  Sure, my horses are great for ME but not a young just learning little girl who sees no fear in just about everything; except bees and strange bugs.  So I started doing a little research here, a little research there and dropped hints to my husband once in a while.  Finally I said out loud, “I think I am going to sell Cali and buy a horse that I can ride with Annie on.”  It hurt a little to say it because to me, if you say it out loud it will probably come true and I love my Cali!  Plus, my stock in Kiger mustangs is rapidly dropping and I also knew that I wasn’t going to search that particular breed for my next horse.  Of course, I was born with champagne taste on a beer budget (sorry for the lame metaphor but it does get the point across.)  I like things that are different, that people say, “Wow, what’s that?”  I have never liked plain ol’ Quarter Horses and I know a lot of people just choked but I’m being honest; I don’t like Paints either.  There, glad I got that off my chest.  Yes yes, lots of you have those breeds and they’re the salt of the earth, the best thing you’ve ever had… I understand.  I have those too but my tastes happen to not settle for average aka popular.  I’m one of those that if something becomes popular, I run in the other direction… Wonder if that means I’m weird?

So my point is, Cali is moving on down the road to make room for a new horse.  One that is older, shorter, and safer for a small child to learn on and around.  Cali, and many other Kigers I have known or owned do not like small things!  They believe they are to stomp and conquer… Many an unwelcome dog has been quickly escorted out of my pasture by my horses.  I’m sure most of the neighborhood coyotes have had to use their wiles to pass through.  So who, you ask, fits the bill?


Meet “Cookie.”  The one who I’m hoping is going to replace Miss Cali.  Cookie is a Haflinger, a breed that hails from Austria where they were used as all-around family horses.  They plowed, pulled carts to town, baby sat the kids, and were riding horses.  They had to do everything and do it well.  They are small, from 13.3 hands to 15 hands and are very solid built, some tending to be draft in type and others a more modern type that is used nowadays for jumping and more athletic things.  Cookie is 17 and pulls a cart like a champ (what fun that would be to learn to do!) she has been owned by the Amish in the past and has had 3 foals that we know of but probably more.  She is 14.1 hands and is very sweet… Just look at that face. 


I took Cookie out on a trail ride with the owner of Top of the Line Farms in our Big City yesterday and Cookie moved out quickly!  She just zoomed ahead of the group, ears up and out for a ride with a smile on her face.  She couldn’t have been happier out there on the trails.  We often had to stop and wait for the 4 others who were along to catch up and Cookie would stop and wait but she certainly made sure I knew it wasn’t her idea that we did.  She couldn’t care less about the other horses in the group, something I really like because it shows she’s definitely not herd bound!  The whole time though, with deer bounding out suddenly, quail zooming by, and jack rabbits crossing our path, she never spooked.  Didn’t break stride, didn’t hiccup… She was out where she loved to be.  I mentioned to the owner that I sure loved the ride but was concerned with how quickly she moved for my daughter’s sake.  She then assured me that when Cookie has a child on her back, she goes in to “kid mode” and is quiet and gentle.


So we’re bringing Cookie home on Friday for a trial period.  I’ll see how she handles Annie on the ground and in the saddle and then we’ll make our final decision.  I have a big feeling that Cookie is it… Annie is already talking about her new “Cookie Horse.”  I sure hope that they bond deeply and that Annie can grow up with the love of a horse like I had in my Papoose.  There’s not much else in the world that can make my heart feel so free as compared to when I’m out enjoying a ride on a trusted steed.


About mudranch

I live in the country, I love to take photos, I'm a shepherdess, I adore my husband and daughter, I walk in the will of Christ.

Posted on April 27, 2010, in Horses, Life Lessons and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. I’m looking forward to following the Annie and Cookie adventure! I can just see their “manes” braided with matching ribbons 🙂

  2. Children change our world in beautiful ways. I’m looking forward to hearing more about Cookie and how she inspires a new generation of rider…

  3. What a beauty! I hope she works out and I can’t wait to see Annie riding her!

  4. I hear you and I raise you a 20-something pony! Yes, kids do change our perspective in many ways, and having my competition horse more often laid up than legged up has finished the process. I’m not sure how I could fit in regular schooling/riding, much less competition, now that we’re homeschooling, etc.

    I sure like the looks of Cookie! My cousin has the more draft-style Haflingers (you can google Heart-Bar Ranch in the Yukon Territories); they are too heavy for my taste.

  5. I hope she works out perfectly for you and Annie! Although most Kigers are VERY good with kids (dogs fall into a different catagory) I can understand wanting a quiet older horse for her to learn on. I hope Cookie is just perfect.

  6. Though I’m sad to see Cali go, I’m sure you won’t regret buying Cookie. Haflingers are wonderful breeds. I learned to ride on those myself and they are incredible horses.
    We took them out last year for a trailride and had ride on the side of a very busy street. They were completly laid back. Sounds like Cookie is the perfect horse for Annie to learn and love. I’m sure they will soon be best friends.

  7. Funny, I was just going to email you to see if you knew of any broke kigers for sale. My friend rides an Arab with me that is constantly whirling and pushing on the bit and hates other horses, and sees me and my 6 year old adopted girlchild on Belle and really wants one. So please let me know. I know all Kigers aren’t equal, but you probably should have kept Belle. She is the most laid back perfect little horse. Sometimes way too slow to take out with rowdy friends, but always steady somewhere in the middle. Thanks Lana

    • Funny you should say that Lana because Belle is one I always think about as one I should have kept. She was always so sweet and I completely trusted her. So glad that you got her though and enjoy her so much. 🙂 I’ll email you about a Kiger I know of for sale… 🙂 Hey! I know of a transport (taking Cali) going through here bound for Flagstaff in June so there’d be a ride from here! 😀

      • Great let me know whats available and we’ll get them together. I really want her to have a nice horse and quit pressuring me to sell Belle

  8. She’s lovely. Halflingers are known to be a great little horse breed.

  9. The “Princess of Netherfield” is a haflinger cross–and in three+ years of owning her, I do not think I have EVER seen her put her ears back, at anything. She can be a spunk’in when we haven’t ridden her for a long while, but always kind and sweet and pleasant. Congratulations–on the horse and the growin’ up thing. 😉

  10. She’s very cute! I wish you much luck in the search for a new home for Cali, and hopefully Cookie will work out. I totally agree with your reasoning for wanting a different horse. And how exciting that Annie might be a cowgirl someday! 🙂

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