In 1999 I bought a 2 year old red mare named Johnie, she was the first horse I had owned since 1976 because I had never needed to own a horse because I had other peoples horses to ride for so long. But I felt that it was time that I owned a horse.
Like many people say, never own a red mare.
I started Johnie under saddle in March of 2000 as a 3 year old and have never looked back. After I had her under saddle for 60 days and I had a good stop and turn on her, it was time to start her on cattle.
Now I bought Johnie so I could train her to be a cutter and so I could have the pleasure of showing my own horse. She is a very well bred mare that is bred to be a cattle horse, so I figured starting her on cattle would be a breeze. Quite the opposite, you see I forgot one very important factor about horses, just because they are bred to do something, that does not mean they will do it well or even do the job that they were bred for. That being said, the first time that I put Johnie on cattle that damn red headed mare tried to run the other way at the first sight of a cow.
Needless to say, I was a little disappointed at Johnie's first performance as a cow horse.
I was bound and determined to get this mare trained so I could show her. The next night I took Johnie to a local arena for a cutting practice, I started to turn back for a friend of mine and let Johnie have a good look at the cattle all night. She threw in an occasional crow hop, but she never tried to run away.
The next night I took Johnie to the same arena to work with my friends, we put a cow in the round pen and I rode Johnie in the pen alone with the cow. Johnie and I worked the cow on the fence, a little tug here a little leg there, a few small corrections and the next thin I knew, Johnie cut that cow on her own. She gave me 3 of the best turns I have ever had in my life.
All that I remember from that night, was feeling Johnie take over and work that cow, and my face hurting from that permanent grin that was on my face.
I did show Johnie a few months later, on my first cut, the moment that I dropped my hand that mare went to work. She won her first class!
Have a good weekend!
Update on the Morgan story
6 years ago