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I first met Lee on a trailride in October, 2006, at the Elkís Lodge near Conroe, Texas. It was a small ride and maybe thatís why I kept eyeing this horse. I struck up a conversation with his owner, Brandon, who is about 25 years old and can ride the hair off anything. Thatís Brandon in the middle and Lee on the right.


King Ranch
I learned that Lee is a five year old foundation quarterhorse from the Peppy San Badger line (picture of Peppy, copied from King Ranch website). He is a deep, dark sorrel with a star on his forehead. No other markings. He stands right at 15 hands. He could be called a little bit short backed, but other than that his conformation is excellent. So, nothing special so far, you say?

What really caught my attention about Lee was his kind eye and willing personality. This was Leeís very first trailride and Brandon scouted on him waving that orange flag around his head and asking him to leave the group and Lee never faltered. He did everything he was asked to do without hesitation. I never saw him take a bad step all morning. I liked him very much from the moment I saw him.

I also learned that Lee had primarily done arena work . . . mostly team penning. He is compact and quick and can spin on a dime. He has a heck of whoa and he also has impeccable manners.

Great Quarter Horse
By lunch time, I couldnít stand it anymore. I had to ride that horse. Brandon was willing to trade with me and so he rode Rio and I rode Lee the rest of the afternoon. Later, I talked and talked about that horse to anyone who would listen. I knew he was for sale and even recommended him to a couple of people who were looking for a trailride horse, but for whatever reason none of that ever worked out. Great Quarter Horse
If you read my article about Scotty, you know that when I purchased him my granddaughters were one month and two years old. They were really too little to ride by themselves. Now they are five and seven and this spring I started letting them ride Rio by themselves. Rio, by the way, has ten years trailriding experience, so heís very dependable and the girls are becoming good little riders. Andrea is riding Rio and Caysey is with me on a VLTRA trailride back in January, 2006.
Ange-RioCaysey on Rio
Suddenly, about a month ago, my brain flashed back to Lee, the horse I rode last October. If I could somehow get my hands on Lee, the girls could take turns riding Rio and go on some trailrides with me. Great idea, huh?

First things first. I had to find out if I could even afford to board two horses. I talked to Ken Bood Horse Boarding Stables who owns the barn where Rio stays, Good Beginnings, and we agreed on a price. Next, I had to break the news to my husband. I think it was a shock to him at first, but I explained that this was not an investment with a sound monetary return. It was an investment in good times and great memories with the grandkids.

Horses have always been a big part of my life and something about that made it very important to me to pass that on to the girls. Horseback riding teaches balance, patience and safety, but it also teaches responsibility and sound judgment. These are all important qualities that I want the girls to learn. It is also great fun and produces a huge sense of accomplishment each time you master a new skill.

I tell you that buying Lee was just meant to be because my next step was to find out if Lee was still available. Why I still had Brandonís business card is a mystery to me, but I found it in the first place I looked. To my great relief and delight Brandon still had Lee.

There were a few anxious moments for me, but I finally got in touch with Brandon and asked if I could take Ken with me and just go look at the horse. We went over to Brandonís and Ken checked him out and really liked him. I made arrangements with Brandon to come back on the weekend so I could ride him one more time. Brandon never called me back! I was beside myself. What if he had changed his mind about selling him? A million ďwhat ifsĒ went through my mind.

Finally I tried to call Brandon and his cell phone went directly to voice mail twice. Thatís odd, I thought. I asked my two good friends, Ken and Debe, what they thought I should do and both said basically, ďIf you want that horse in your barn, keep calling that boy!Ē I waited another day and tried again. Brandon hadnít called me back because he had dropped his cell phone in the bottom of a lake and didnít have my number written down anywhere. Whew!

I went over to Brandonís that weekend and rode Lee. He came to the fence when called, he stood quietly tied to the horse trailer, he let me groom him all over, he was easy to saddle and took the bit without a fuss. He rode perfectly. He was exactly what I remembered and needless to say, I took cash. He is also easy to load in a trailer. He is everything a trailrider needs.

Lee the quater horse

Lee is mine now and he even gets along with Rio. Even though Lee knows everything there is to know about riding, he has never really been loved on. The first day I worked with him, I had to put him in the stocks just to hose him off and put fly spray on him. I have had him two weeks now and he accepts all that stuff. My next step is to sack him out and just give him new experiences to process. I know I will succeed because he is such a kind and willing student. Plus he gets along great with Caysey and Andrea!

I had the thrill of my life last Thursday when I rode Lee and the little girls rode with me on Rio. It truly is a life long dream come true and Iím looking forward to many fond memories and glorious times.

© 2007, Cindy Staudenmaier & UncommonHorseSense.com, posted 6/2007

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