Hard work. Big Rewards. Bigger blessings. Life on a South Dakota ranch.
I’ve heard that diamonds are a girl’s best friend. Not mine! And definitely not the Wild Child’s. Her best friends seem to mostly have four legs. From Bootsy…
But her favorite four-legged friend is Speed. Every little girl needs a horse like Speed.
The Big Guy bought Speed several years ago for his older kids. They used him for everything — gathering cows, running barrels / poles, flag racing, goat tying — they could do anything on him. I even remember him crow hopping his whole way home during the barrels at a youth rodeo when someone pulled his cinch a little too tight. Yep, he did it all.
When the Wild Child was born her older sister still rode him, and as the WC got older her sister really didn’t want to pass Speed down. However, we finally convinced her that to keep growing as a horseman and become an overall better rider and better help she needed to ride someone other than Speed. She really did. She finally consented and the move was so good for her. It has been so fun to watch her confidence in her riding abilities grow along with her skills. And Speed? Well, he loves his new life being lazy and taking care of the Wild Child and her friends.
Speed is so loved that he often gets apples. He loves apples. To be honest, he is actually the only horse I have ever seen that would really eat an actual apple! He gets apples AND love.
The first time the WC was on a horse was with her dad while preconditioning when she was five months old. Her love of horses has steadily grown.
She got to ride Dollar (above) while being led around the corral and yard, but Speed is the first horse she got to ride totally by herself out in the big wide open world. She spent quite a bit of time with her siblings leading her around and riding with her.
She even got some Papa time. Good ole Speed. He handled it all like a rock star — especially since he knew there was a big feed pan full of pellets and some apple treats waiting for him at the barn when the torture was over.
Then the day came when Speed and the WC made their own trek out into the big wide world. I ponied Speed and we rode through pairs one beautiful spring morning.
We spent as many days as we could doing that very thing. Her confidence grew. My confidence in her grew, as well. The day I knew she was going to be my tough little cowgirl was when Speed decided to jump about a two-inch stream of water. I wasn’t ready for my shoulder to be jerked off when he sucked back to jump, and the Wild Child definitely wasn’t ready for the ride. Down she went into the alkali hard pan. I jumped off, picked her up, and she spun around and said “What was that for Speed?” She was pissed. Not crying. Not wanting to NOT get back on. Just angry at her friend for dumping her off. We rode on to a well where her Papa was looking at some pairs and she said “Guess what, Papa? Speed just bucked me off in the snow.” We still laugh about that.
Speed is now not only her good friend, but has also became a good friend to the Wild Child’s friends. What a great babysitter he is.
She even gets off pf him all by herself.
What a wonderful blessing Speed is to our family. Everybody needs a Speed!