Thursday, January 12, 2012

Sheila

Across the valley from our ranch, lies Sheep Mountain, stretching up the south side of the Shoshone River. Above the breaking cliffs near the top, once mountain sheep roamed, but growing up it was known more for the herds of wild horses.
Every year a group of ranchers who held hunting trips would take a ride up to the top and try to round-up as many horses as possible herd them into make-shift corrals, then work to train them enough to trail them down to the ranches, so they could use some for pack horses for the hunting trips, some for riding horses and those that were wild to the core were sold as bucking stock to the rode
One year during the round-up a wild mare escaped leaving her newborn colt behind.  The question was, what to do with this little filly, who was only a few weeks old.  They couldn't turn her loose-mama was long gone and the wild animals would surely get her. She was too young to make the difficult trip down the mountain. One of the cowboys, a compassionate man, picked up the little horse, put her in front of him in the saddle and brought her to the base camp, then loaded her into his vehicle and brought her home. He named her Sheila. Daddy, with Mom's help bottle fed her, she would wander into the summer kitchen, nuzzle for some lovin' and a carrot. I think she believed she was the family pet.
Horseman, that Daddy was, he laid down the law, she was not to be ridden until she was two years old.  Ya right--us kids would play with her, crawl on her back, pretend we were Indians and she was our wild mustang, we would use a piece of string or our head scarves as reins.
When it was time to saddle break her, Daddy was amazed at what a gentle, smart animal she was--didn't even buck once!  He said she was one of the best saddle horses that he even had.  Sheila, born in the wild, raised with love.

16 comments:

  1. oh, such a nice story. I like horses....but from a distance. I do think they are beautiful animals.

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  2. I love this story! The old rule surprises me very much as it doesn't hold true in any application I can think of. One wouldn't allow a plant to go willy-nilly for two years or even a child. You kids were smart! ☺

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    1. Marti, the usual means of leaving a comment seems to be missing at the moment (Blogger bugs again, I suspect), so I'll leave it here. Your childhood is the childhood I pretended to live all the time I was a child! :-) That's a wonderful story. We lived on a farm, about all my dad watched was westerns, so I definitely had visions of the wild west in my head from about age 7 until probably age 12.

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    2. I'm glad I'm not the only one having trouble with commenting and replying!

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  3. I am a huge horse lover, so this story really warmed my heart...BRAVO!

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  4. I've always loved horses and this was a terrific story! It makes me think of some of the wonderful horses we had on the farm.

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  5. That must have been loads of fun being horses all the time. When I was a kid, I always wanted to ride a horse. I believe I sat on one just once. It was so big and I was so little. However, I discovered the horrible truth - horses attract flies and they smell horrible. As beautiful as they are, I'll just admire them from afar. However, the little girl in me still wishes to ride one. I guess, I'll have to gallup off in the sunset only in my mind. Thanks for sharing just a sweet story!

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  6. What a lovely story, and beautiful filly!! Sheila was a lucky girl to have such good care. :-)

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  7. What a nice story. One thing you'll be shocked at: I've always been afraid of horses. My whole life long! I know. You probably think it is sad. I've been told they can be a lot like dogs. And I LOVE my little dog!
    xo, Cheryl

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  8. What a lovely story. I grew up in a small town and my grandparents lived just out of town on some land. I wanted a horse so badly. I enter a win a wish contest when I was 7 saying I wanted a horse. I had planned to keep it at my grandparents and ride my bike after school to their house to ride my horse and groom it. I was certin I was going to win! I was not that lucky but I still to this day, want a horse of my own.

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  9. Aww..that is so precious! I had to re-read it to make sure you were talking about your own family and not just sharing a cute story you had heard. WHat a wonderful memory.

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  10. What a lovely story. I bet she was the best horse ever.

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  11. Horses are commanding animals - but they are beautiful ones too. sandie

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  12. I always wanted horses, Marti! So sweet! You were so lucky...and blessed!

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