Monday, December 7, 2009
A Great Trail Horse
"Great Trail Horse" is a term that gets thrown around a lot without much of a definition. To a great extent NATRAC competitions seek to define the term with the variety of tests that contestants are subjected to. I can't argue with anything that is done in those events.
My test is cruder, simpler, and granted, probably not as good of an assessment tool as a NATRAC course.
Good trail horses do great on the trail, but to be great a trail horse must be able to handle the challenge of proceeding where there is no trail at all. Often I take my riders through stretches of woods that I have not been through in thirty years. Yesterday I took them through a stretch that I had never been into in my life. We are in the wettest season that I have seen in my life time. Each step that the horses took in the woods sunk them into a mire, some deeper than others, but each draining the horse's energy and at times leaving them staggering as they sought firmer footing.
For the last couple of weeks I have been putting a lot of time into Persa, my little Shackleford mare. She is smaller than Holland, and so far is not as tough as he is. However, she has not had the hundreds of miles of conditioning riding that Holland has had since last spring.
She whipped the muck. She whipped the briers. She whipped her flight instinct when we jumped a herd of deer. On higher ground she trotted on in a beautiful Spanish gait that makes other breeds seem to be missing a wheel. She took the lead the entire ride and went every where that I asked her to. And her thirteen hand frame carried my 200 lbs plus body with ease and grace. She already is a great trail horse with probably less than 250 miles under her.
I put her in with Tradewind, my bay Corolla stallion. I hope that she conceived.
Easy to handle, comfortable gaits, able to carry children and adults, small enough to require about 60% of the feed necessary to maintain a large quarter horse, stylish,historic, beautiful, unbelievable endurance--yet the wild horses of Corolla stand on the brink of extinction.
Get involved with our off site breeding program. Next spring I will be breeding a few Corolla mares that are in captivity to several Corolla stallions. I do not sell these rare foals. I give them to breeders who are serious about carrying on this work.
Even if that is not in the cards for your family, if you would like to have a half Corolla foal I currently have Three Corolla and one Shackleford stallion available for breeding to outside mares. HOWEVER, those 1/2 Corollas will never be part of the breeding program. They will simply be super horses.
Posted by Steve Edwards