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I want to write to you to tell you about my horse. Jazzysplash is a 14.2hh breeding stock paint mare, where the only white on her is her blaze. Jazzy came into my life a month before my eleventh birthday, making her the best birthday gift any kid could ever get and making my parents the best in the world. My little girl is quite a dream now almost 9 years later, however she wasn't always so wonderful. I had been riding for several years by then so a nice calm little horse seemed perfect to grow up with. And with Jazzy I certainly did.
MY HORSE MY PARTNER
At nearly midyear of 2007 and at age 53 my life changed in a way I never expected. My wife and I had recently moved to the country and no sooner where the boxes unpacked she informed me she wanted to get a horse. Neither of us had every owned a horse and I was completely against the idea.
Well shortly thereafter she got her horse, a 20 yr old Arabian named Elmer. Feeling left out a bit it was decided I would begin searching for my first horse. We looked around and one Saturday morning was invited to join another couple that was going to look at a Foal they had considered adopting at Pure
I decided to go along and take a look. When we arrived I began looking around at all the horses on the property. It was explained to me that they where horses that people had discarded for one reason or another and all needed caring homes.
I came upon a 13 yr old Chestnut Paint Gelding who was very frightened, almost impossible to catch, and very,very head shy. His name was BuckShot (aka Joe Dirt) which is another story.
Not fully understanding what I was getting into we decided to adopt BuckShot. It was also decided that he would stay at Pure Thoughts until we could build a suitable shelter for him on our property. During which time I made the nearly 45 minute trip to visit him several times weekly, taking basic lessons with him, and getting to know him.
Six weeks later and now mid July our 3 stall barn was completed and it was time for him to come
home. He was again taken from familiar surrounding and the stall mates he had come to know. Another trip in the metal box, new sounds, new smells and most of all, frightening new people.
This is where our new lives began. We attended a few riding clinics, none of which where very helpful for the most part. I was actually advised by one trainer that he was probably not the right horse for me and should consider finding another horse that was more suitable to my skill level, which at the time was about a -1 on a scale of 1-10. After actually considering this option we decided to enlist the services of a truly talented and professional horse trainer to assess BuckShot first.
Bob's first assessment of BuckShot was that he was very troubled, probably from abuse by his previous owner or owners. Most likely being forced to do things instead of taking the time to train him properly. Also because of the firebrand on his hip he was likely from a cattle ranch, which is a hard life for most horses. Easily spooked and very head shy, he decided to start him off with basic training much like you would with a new unbroken horse. After a month or so of basic training it was time for me to learn to ride and work him myself. Needless to say I was petrified.
Slowly, one day at a time, BuckShot and I worked together. Learning each other's personalities and working through our fears together. Everyday that goes by I learn more and more about him and him about me. After about a year we revisited Pure Thoughts one afternoon and they could not believe the difference in him. In Feb 09 I had the chance to spend a week with one of the best horsemanship trainers in the United States at his ranch in north Florida. I learned so much about my horse and myself, the most important thing I learned and rode away with was, to trust my horse, let them make mistakes then correct them. That way they learn what's right faster than me anticipating the mistake and correcting before they know they made it.
It's been almost 2 yrs now, after reading countless books, watching video after video, hours of sore muscles and biting my tongue from frustration at times Buckshot is a different horse, and he has learned to truly trust me. When he is scared or gets spooked he looks to me for guidance and protection. We trail ride many miles quite often coming across wild Hogs, Dear, Alligators, and a lot of other things that jump out of nowhere. We have moved into a new faze of horsemanship we are learning to work cattle which he really seems to like as do I.
BuckShot is my horse, my friend, and my partner. I can't even think about how bad I would feel having not given him the chance to know and have a better life, a normal life, and a new home, A FOREVER HOME!
For this I thank Bob Faath a truly great horsemen and trainer for taking the time to teach me what great creatures horses are. Riding off into the sunset really is the best. We will always continue to learn and solidify our bond; training never ends, not even on a good day.
My name is Ray Williams and BuckShot is my PARTNER and my HORSE.`