Baby Steps

Novels for Horse-Lovers

The Tipped Z Ranch books feature fictional stories but real horsemanship.

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It feels like the horse gods frowned on us for pretty much all of 2016, but as 2017 begins we have been trying to forge ahead in the simplest way possible and just put one foot in front of the other. With so many horses manifesting special needs, we’ve honestly been feeling overwhelmed. So finally we decided to pick one problem, focus on that, and let the others go for a while. Right now, the simplest and most urgent of our issues is Laredo. He needs to live in an environment different from the one we can offer him, which sadly means he needs to find a new home. None of the challenges with our other horses are in any way time-sensitive. In fact, (fingers crossed) Piper seems to be getting more sound by the week, so here’s hoping she stays on that trajectory if we give her enough time.

So, Laredo. Our primary objective right now is to get him back into shape. He’s very very broke, but he’s also a little chubby and out of the swing of things. We want to polish him up just a little before we reach out in search of his next home. We also need to get some decent video that shows what he’s capable of. To that end, we’ve been getting him back into regular light work. The main problem with this isn’t him, it’s us. I’m still recovering from the bad wreck I had in September, and Brian crashed his bike a couple weeks ago and probably cracked a rib or two. So we’re just parceling out the rides and trading him back and forth like the old days.

I haven’t really ridden Laredo much in recent years, and it’s easy for me to still think of him as the 3-year-old we probably weren’t totally qualified to own. Then I get surprised when I ride him and realize he’s going-on-8, very mature, very accomplished, super duper soft and responsive and light and steady and … well … grown up. It’s hard to totally comprehend that we’ve had him for almost five years. He was such a kid when he arrived. Now he’s not.

Please disregard us both seeming orange and plump in this photo. We’re just both wearing our winter coats. Really. It’s pure fluff I swear.

Seeing Laredo go will be sad. He was our first real project, arguably our biggest guinea pig ever. But he was always a total champ when it came to tolerating our fumblings and letting us learn from him. I know he’ll be an incredible match for someone who needs a super solid and personable partner in crime. In all reality, he deserves that after being passed back and forth between me and Brian for so long. He’s never felt exactly like ‘my’ horse or Brian’s horse in particular. He always was a joint project. Still, I will miss him when he goes.

Horseback Hours YTD: 5:30


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Erica
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"With so many horses manifesting special needs, we've honestly been feeling overwhelmed." –Cross out "horses" and just say "critters" and this is pretty much how I feel all the time. 🙂 Good luck getting Laredo back in shape.