Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Our Golden Tuffy…

It’s Tuesday again and time for another "Tuesday’s Show & Tail." This meme is hosted every week by Angela over at West Virginia Treasures, and it is always a lot of fun to see all the interesting posts of the people who join in! It is a meme to share about past or present pets or furry friends we’ve known. If you’d like to join, here is the link to the Guidelines.

I had a couple of ideas about a couple of other horses we’ve had, but found I’ll have to find their pics and get them scanned before I can share them with you, so today, I’ll tell you about my son’s horse that we have out here now. We call him Tuffy, though he has a really long fancy registered name, which my son forgets half the time, because he’s known him as “Tuffy” for many years.

One of our dear friends, Tom Cain, bred and raised some of the top line quarter horses in California for many years. Tom was a friend of my Dad for many years and they’d met up at Fess Reynold’s place, where Tom worked in the 50’s (when those 8MM films were taken that I shared a few weeks back.) He lived about 5 miles from where we live now, and had 5 stud horses and about 30 mares. Over the past 20 years or so, Tom and my son, Mick (Little Bear’s Dad) got to be really close, and Tom taught Mick a great deal about training horses. This is a portrait of Tom’s life that I did last year, just after he passed away. The original is 12 x 14 and it is done in graphite (pencil).

Tom was getting quite elderly and couldn’t do as much as he used to, so Mick helped him a lot and was able to learn so much from him. Tom raised some of the most beautiful horses, but they were priced in a range that was WAY out of our league, so even though Mick longed for one, he never expected to ever be able to afford one.

About 16 years ago or so, Tom sold Tuffy (after Mick had helped green break him) to a woman that wanted a beautiful horse to train for Dressage work. They started him on that, and then she sold him and the next people wanted him to learn to do Quarter Horse Western Riding work. This confused Tuffy and, as with most ALL horses, if you ASK and show them what you want, they will do anything for you, but if you try to force them and they don’t understand, they start to fight back!

This is what happened to Tuffy, and eventually, no one could do anything with him, so his price dropped down to $2500 (about a quarter of what he originally sold for). Tom got him back, about 8 or 9 years ago, and made arrangements with Mick to take payments, and this beautiful golden boy came to be owned by my proud son.

Mick worked with Tuffy patiently for a long time, and he could ride him and do most anything with him, but then when his job required him to move a couple of years ago, he brought Tuffy here. He isn’t sure if he will ever be able to afford to keep him where he lives now, but he also doesn’t want him to go to anyone who isn’t VERY experienced and willing to gain his trust, because you still can't move fast around his head, etc., so right now, he is being a good companion horse to my Cory.

Tuffy is 21 years old now, but is still a gorgeous horse… one of those palominos that sheds out in the spring as bright gold as a a newly minted gold coin. His winter coat, which he is in now, is a slightly dappled dark cream color.


That corgi :) said...

he does look like a beautiful horse Linda. What a great story about him too that Mick was eventually able to have him. I'm glad he's with you too, that you have the property for him. I don't know much about horses and their lifespan. So I'm not sure if 21 makes him a middle-aged horse or an older horse?


Angela said...

Hey Linda!

I love this story about Tom and Tuffy and your son Mick! Tuffy is a beautiful horse! It's amazing the talented group of animal trainers that you know! Is your son Mick still doing any type of animal training anymore?

What a lovely tribute to Tom. The Lord sure has blessed you with many gifts!

Thanks for sharing another amazing story Linda!

Tuesdays' Show & Tail!

Chatty Crone said...

Isn't that amazing - he can have darker hair and then shed to a lighter one.

What a beautiful horse!


^..^Corgidogmama said...

What a story!
What unusual circumstances!
So glad that Tuffy is enjoying his retirement years...and loved.
Beautiful tale!

ocmist said...

Tom took Mick under his wing. We'd gotten Babe (the black shetland)when Mick was born and so he was raised around horses and rode from the time he could sit up... (actually from before he was born because I was riding Gymkhanas until I was 7 months along.) He helped me train several of the rescues the Lord gave us over the years, and he always wanted to be a cowboy.

Tom was one of the last original COWBOY's in capital letters! He taught Mick so much and then Mick did get to live as a cowboy for a couple of years after he got out of school, because he worked on a huge ranch owned by some of our dear Christian friends from our church. He lived with his dogs and his horse out in a little trailer taking care of some of their cattle... branding, fence riding, etc. His dream life. Then he met his wife, and they got together and he got a more permanent job so that he could take care of his family. He still has several big rancher friends, though and gets to go on some of their roundups, etc. a couple times a year, and he helps other friends with their horses if they have a problem.

^..^Corgidogmama said...

Love the artwork you created depicting Tom's interesting, varied life!

Angela said...

I'm glad Mick still gets to go on some roundups every now and then! I'm sure that could be fun!


achieve1dream said...

Beautiful post and a very beautiful horse.

Also, regarding Chrome, keeping him thin is the advice of my trainer (my vet NEVER called me back which I'm still pissed about) and is also what I've read on the internet. Keeping them thin keeps the stress off of their bones. I haven't cut back on hay at all, just the feed. Keeping them thin and cutting back on hot feeds probably achieves the same purpose, people just say it differently, if that makes any sense. Just woke up lol. Maybe I'll try to find some information and I'll do a post on OCD with reference links when I have time.