We’ve had some storybook horses in the five decades of our life with equines. Probably one of the most memorable is the little Sorrel blaze-faced mare we knew as “Annie”.

She quietly changed our lives. A grand daughter of the mighty cutting horse Mr. San Peppy, she had flunked out of cutting school, and had been donated to the college as a lab horse. The professor who had her thought she deserved better than to become a statistic in scientific research, so he encouraged me to take her for a ranch horse.

When we got her she was a little bit lame, and had a big healed scar on her left shoulder, the same side as her blue eye, which made me wonder if she might be a little vision impaired on that side.

A known cutting horse trainer had worked her for a little after she arrived at the college and he said

“she shore has a pretty way of lookin’  at a cow!”

We discovered in her one of the fiercest cutters we’d ever known. She would cut out a cow and hold it, with no help from the rider and at times on a hard turn you could touch the ground with your stirrup.

She competed in the newly formed Texas reining horse Association, introduced countless riders to their first cutting horse (I can still hear them giggle as she ducked and dived to hold a cow) and did many exhibitions of work without a bridle.

Once I started a show saddled, coming into the arena bucking as she was always a little cold-backed and did a reining pattern. By the end of the fifteen minute show I was doing a reining pattern without bridle or saddle and standing on her back doing rope tricks and cracking a bullwhip.

Yeah, Annie was a piece of work!

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