Friday, May 27, 2011

Doing the best we can with what we have.

The ever serious Winfield

Ever since it was suggested to me that I need a new horse, I have been thinking why we have the horses we do and what is our motivation to use and keep them when they are not the best choice for what we do.

A few months ago I decided to close the circle on a driving career of one of our Morgan horses by entering him in an upcoming pleasure show where he began his driving career 16 years ago.  LH Winfield Scott made his debut at the driving classes at the Motherlode circuit show held at the Nevada County fairgrounds where the famous annual Draft Horse Classic is held.  Due to poor scheduling that year, the driving classes didn't start until 10 p.m. and so it was "stand around and wait" until the wee hours in the morning.  For a young Morgan gelding, it was a testament to his good start that he patiently awaited his classes, under full lights and loud metal grandstands to show.  From that show, Winfield went on to provide good driving experience to inexperienced owners...(that would be us) while we embarked on our driving journey that took us to undreamed of heights. 

Winfield, although obedient and steadfast, never achieved the success that our other Morgan climbed to in sport, but that does not mean he didn't deliver what was asked.  He was bred for performance but didn't quite have the conformation or mind set to make him a more than willing outstanding athlete.  Just how many horses have what it takes to reach the top of sport?  Not many I think.  I think one can breed for the necessary traits, but life or circumstances can derail the best candidates and they may never get the chance.  It is about being at the right place, at the right time, with the right horse, with the right guidance. 

 The Marlboro Man on his working horse Win
Winfield would have excelled in another area involving western working.  He showed a real aptitude to move cattle and would rather hang with the bulls than his own kind.  A sort of rugged individual with a serious demeanor. A working man's horse.  He did work well at that job, but now at age 19, and our advancing age, we don't do that work any longer.  Winfield has been relegated to occasional trail riding and trail driving with an occasional odd request from myself like the upcoming show next month. 

I realize he is not the best choice for the Gig type carriage horse I will try and present, but I am going to do the best I can with what I have. 

LH Winfield Scott being a road horse at a Traditional Day of Driving

We have been fortunate to have had Winfield in our lives and hope to have him for many more years before he sleeps the big sleep. 

Here is to the people who keep on with their trusty, yet not totally perfect horses.  And here is to the longevity of the nicely bred Morgan horse who continues to give safe service albeit not totally willing.

working for the upcoming last show