The Homegrown Surprise 

The sweetest surprise for a colt starter is to find a colt who is smart, willing to learn and doesn’t buck! This week that surprise was a homegrown Azteca filly named, apparently inappropriately, Habanera. (Named for a very “hot “chili pepper) we might ought to have named her Sugar Bear! Her daddy was our Lusitano,Trovador, and her mama a quarter horse mare named Jodi, who traced her lineage to such famous cutting cutting horses as Son’O’Sugar, and PocoTIvio , with some Driftwood and Hancock thrown in. Jodi’s daddy was called “Bud” and he was the nicest, calmest stallion I’ve ever ridden or known. He lived with Charles and Kelly Prude, in Fort Davis, Texas. When Habanera was born she was plain brown with no more white markings than seven and a half hairs of white on her forehead, which was wide, flat and handsome. She grew up out on the range, but always came to be petted and scratched when we went to that pasture. Now a fine stout bay mare we’re starting her under saddle, I suppose she’s been ridden a dozen times. Much of the time I have to devote to “outside” horses, so she’s had intermittent education at best. I was loping circles with her the other day when I noticed Sallie trying to move a group of cows. The cowhounds( catahooligans) had them bunched, and with only one horse she couldn’t get them to budge. So, I rode this green filly out of the pen to help, her first time outside the round pen. I guess It’s just a cowboy thing, I just shrugged my shoulders and said “well Habanera, let’s go help!”

This should have been a formula for “disastrophe”.The filly walked out of the pen, through the arena, and out to the field with bawling cows, and baying hounds as if she were going to Sunday school! The filly showed no hesitation as she pitched right in to help move the cows, sometime loping and stopping to turn a cow. It was as if I were mounted on a twelve-year-old ranch horse. Sometimes when you breed you get sevens and elevens, sometimes you throw snake-eyes, so when you get a good one you celebrate! This time a good daddy, a generous grandpa and a fine mama produced a princess! She sure ain’t leaving here!

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