After Sally came to live with us, Mr. B needed a horse of his own. We spent a couple of months renovating the barn, and Mr. B spent many, many patient hours teaching me proper riding, caring and training techniques, but eventually it was time to resume the search so that Mr. B could find his horse.
It was a little more difficult, as his search was much more specific. When we sought out Sally, we were really just looking for a good “beginner” horse for me, but Mr. B wanted a horse with a specific skill set. He was looking for a “cow horse”. Cow horses are trained to work with cattle. They are used for roping, herding, penning (separating cows or calves into pens), and other farm work. On top of these requirements, Mr. B wanted a palomino horse. I can’t blame him, they are a stunning blonde color with a white mane and tail, but a cow horse palomino proved to be a difficult combination to find in our area. (Using horses for ranch and cattle work isn’t as common in our area as it is in areas like the southwest, so there are fewer horses with these skills available in the region.)
Eventually, Mr. B began studying up on how to train a horse to do these things himself. He already had extensive knowledge and experience training horses, but not to do the cow horse stuff. After studying books, searching the web, and watching countless instructional videos, he decided to try find a horse without those skills and train her himself.
Once he decided to search for a horse he could train himself, he heard about a palomino that a childhood friend was looking to sell. She hadn’t been trained much, in fact, she was barely broke, but as soon as Mr. B met her, he saw her intelligence and sweet, quiet nature and decided she was the one. He named her Pistol Annie and brought her home to live with Sally.
Despite her eagerness to please, Annie initially seemed to have a difficult time understanding what exactly Mr. B wanted from her. He was afraid that he wouldn’t be able to train her as he’d hoped. After many frustrating riding sessions, Mr. B was beginning to doubt that Annie could ever become the cow horse he’d wanted. One day though, it just seemed to all come together. Something in Annie “clicked”, and the two have been making great progress together ever since. Sally’s training hasn’t been coming along quite so smoothly, but that’s a story for another day.