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Chapter 15 Tezza Pt 1

Posted by greygelding , 08 April 2017 · 537 views


Every horse owner has a horse that sets a standard that every other horse is measured against.

For me Tezza is that horse.

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Slowly we came to the realization that we were becoming horse poor so the decision was made to thin the herd. Shady and Bo were the backbone of the group and we decided to keep Breezie as well, so a couple of others became expendable. Tezza considered me her personal property so with some reluctance I decided to part with Fuego. At that time we were boarding and a teenage girl was hanging around the stables. In exchange for riding privileges she would do horse chores for us. She and Fuego really hit it off so an agreement was struck that if she paid his board she could uses him as hers. She started successfully showing him in small local shows and even rode him in a local parade. When it came time for her high school graduation her parents approached us about his purchase. It seems she had been drifting down a different path, one possibly filled with drugs and the seedier side of life. When Fuego came into her life it all turned around for her as the horse left little time or desire for other things. They wanted to pay for his down payment, if he was priced right, and she would make payments. We agreed to this and sold him for exactly what I had purchased him for. To say she was thrilled would be an understatement, she never missed a payment, and he had the perfect home. She went on to work at a large arabian breeding ranch and Fuego lived happily ever after.

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Tezza seemed quite pleased as her only competition was now a thing of the past. She was now two and a half years old and continued to impress me with her intelligence and affection. We were preparing to move to the Southern California high desert so we needed a place to put the herd temporally until we were ready for them. Finding a 3,000 acre pasture to put them on seemed the perfect solution. There was a herd of cattle scattered here and there among the hills, several pumps busily pumping oil, and two separate horse herds. One had 30 horses in it and there were 29 horses in the other. We were warned that our horses would join up with one of the herds and might become very difficult to catch. Before moving we would come out several times to check on our small herd. On the first visit the people in charge met us at the gate and told us "Your horses are Crazy! We check on the horses twice a day and your horses always come to greet us. Sometimes they follow our workers around and watch them work."

"Yes, that's our kids alright."

Every time we came out they would recognize the car, give a loud neigh, and come racing up to greet us. They never joined the other herds preferring to stay in their own little family. At the end of one visit, we said our goodbyes, got into the car and started to drive away. Tezza came galloping after us calling over and over, seemingly not wanted us to leave. It wasn't very long before the herd joined us at our new home.

We rented some vacant land, up a canyon near Barstow, put our small trailer there, and set up some embarrassingly cheap corrals. It was a unique experience waking up to our horses outside our door. This was my introduction to the real corral personalities of horses. The real character of the ranch was Tezza. She really enjoyed her nap time not caring who was around or what they were doing if she found it uninteresting. Pam on the other hand was a great believer in the philosophy of a horse that won't get up as you approach was probably sick. Much to Tezza's annoyance, Pam would nudge her with her foot to get her up to ensure she was OK. I warned her that one day Tezza would have had enough and sure enough one day Pam entered her corral with the intention of tapping her with her foot. Tezza took one look at her coming, scrambled to her feet, laid her ears, and rapidly started stamping her front feet. As she slowly advanced on Pam, stamping those front feet in warning, Pam decided that retreat would be wise at that point and she never tried to get her up again.

Tezza was a horse that conserved her energy until needed. For fun I started to feed her meals to her while she was laying down and she started to expect them that way. I would toss them to her, landing them right where she could reach them, and she never even flinched. As long as she could snake that neck out, grabbing the flake of hay in her teeth and dragging it to a comfortable eating distance, she was a happy girl. When I spotted her napping, I would grab a cold drink and a book, and lay down with her. Laying with my head resting on her side while she was stretched out I would either read or take a nap with her. She was always careful with her feet and is the one horse who has never stepped on me, something my feet appreciate.

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It was finally time to start riding her so with great excitement I saddled her up. She had the attitude of it's about time. The first ride was just like all the rest of them, no problem at all. She didn't care to buck, had great brakes and steering, had we just walked down the road. The second lesion we trotted and that was just as easy, and the third lesson was the same with the canter. She was really "born trained". On our second ride we were walk/trotting down the trail when I saw a long tree branch laying on the ground. I dismounted, picked up one end, and started to drag it home. Tezza acted like we do this every day. Pam remarked, "You know that's the first time you've done that with her".

"No, it's not. We did it last week".

"No you were riding Breezie"

She was right and that in a nutshell was Tezza.

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July 2018

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