Today’s Horse Facts: Rex – My Favorite Horse of All Time

My favorite horse, Rex (part Quarter Horse, part Tennessee Walker), was a perfect gentlemen.

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Rex, My Favorite Horse of All Time

My Seventh and Tenth Horse

 

Rex, My Dream Horse

I guess every horse facts lover who has owned a horse has had a favorite horse. It’s that special horse with whom you bond or have bonded. The one horse that, even after he’s gone for a long time, you still miss him.

 

Rex and Me a Long Time Ago

So it is with me. My favorite horse was Rex, who was my seventh horse and later became my tenth horse. Yes, I had owned him twice. I had to sell him when we sold our home in the early 70s to move closer to the Christian school where my hubby and I worked. A few years later after we got settled and were able to have horses again, Rex was given back to me, and he died of old age in my pasture when he was about 25 years old. That was over 20 years ago, and I still get tears in my eyes when I think about him. He was quite the horse.

I’m not going to say much more about him; rather, I’ll let you see a few pictures of him. He was part Quarter Horse and part Tennessee Walker and had the smooth stride of a Walker. He was the perfect gentleman with children.

 

Gentle Rex with Kids

Children could even ride him bareback. He never bit; he never kicked. He would lift one foot at a time when I would nudge his leg to allow me to clean his hooves.

One of my fondest memories is when I’d put sugar in my pockets. Rex would nudge me with his velvety nose right where I had hidden the sugar cubes until I gave them to him.

Although Rex had been shown by his previous owners, I never got into showing him or any of my other horses. Although he was always “show ready” with his stance and demeanor, Rex was just my buddy, my trail pal, my best equine friend.

 

Rex Squaring Up

I like to think Rex is waiting for me in heaven. If ever a horse deserved that right of passage into eternity, it was my little blood bay Rex.

Rex, I love you and still miss you.

Happy riding!

Marsha

http://www.marshahubler.com

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Today’s Horse Facts: Buying the Right Horse

Buying a horse? Know the “tricks of the trade” before going horse shopping or you might get stuck with an unmanageable horse.

Buying the Right Horse for You

Coke.HeadShot

Coke, one of the sweetest horses I ever owned

If you’re an equine beginner or you’ve been away from horses for years and want to get back in the saddle, how are you going to find the right horse? What horse facts do you need?

The worst scenario for any horse lover is to go to a public auction and bid on a horse that “looks good and rides good.” Sure, the horse might look good and ride good—for 45 seconds when he’s on display. But what’s he like when you get him home and try to get on his back? You might be heading for a wild ride or large vet bills with “hidden costs” of which you knew nothing.

The best way to find yourself a good horse is to look for sales by reputable horse breeders. However, you might find yourself a good horse by scanning the newspaper FOR SALE ads. I bought several horses this way and learned what to do and what not to do.

Whichever way you go, there are several things you MUST do to assure yourself of a safe and healthy mount. Have an experienced horseman and a veterinarian look over your potential purchase. Make sure the hooves are in good condition and that you can pick up the horse’s feet horse shoewith no problem. Thrush is such a pain in the neck to you and a potential problem that can permanently lame your horse if you don’t clean his hooves regularly. If the horse won’t let you pick up his feet, you’re headed for big trouble. That manure he constantly stands in will eventually take its toll on the frogs of his feet, rotting them and causing you big vet bills and an unridable horse if he’s not cared for properly.

After you find a potential equine friend, walk away from him. In other words, don’t buy the horse the first time you see him. He might have a cute face with Bambi eyes, but behind that sweet little face might be a holy terror. Make sure you ride him several times in different settings: in a corral, in the pasture, in open spaces, and along the road. A horse that’s calm in a corral might go bonkers if he is on a road and a car goes whizzing by.

Another extremely important point to ponder is whether mild-mannered horsie loads and unloads easily on a trailer. A smart thing to do horse trailer 1before you sign the bottom line is ask the owner to demonstrate. If he objects, walk away from the deal. It’s probably not a good one.

Of vital importance is how the horse allows you to tack him and mount him. If he sidesteps or fights the bit or bites you, you’re in for big trouble before you even get on his back. Make sure YOU are the one tacking him, not his previous owner. If you want to build a relationship with a new horse, there’s no better place to start than when you try to slip that bit into his mouth.

Does it matter what kind of horse you buy? How about the color? The breed? It only matters if you’re looking for a particular horse to do a particular task. You wouldn’t buy a Shire to saddle and ride, and you wouldn’t buy a Belgian for dressage. Learn your breeds.

I remember the time I was looking for a horse for trail riding. My prospective horse was expected to do nothing more than give me an hour or two of pleasure a few times a week as we would ride down the dusty trail or through the woods.

I found this absolutely beautiful black Morgan through a newspaper ad. I went to the owner’s place to check out the horse, who was stunning in appearance, and my mouth started to water, picturing him in my little red barn at home.

Well, when I arrived, the horse had already been tacked and stood waiting for me to mount. Ahem. I grabbed the reins and, as I attempted to slip my foot into the stirrup, the horse sidestepped away—again and again and again. Guess what? I never was able to get on the horse. Then I wondered what other quirks the little rascal had that I missed while he was being tacked!

Ask me if I bought him.

Marsha Hubler, best-selling author of the Keystone Stables Series

(website) www.marshahubler.com

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