In case you missed the last few posts, I am introducing you to our horses, which we use extensively in the fall for cattle work.
Royal, a.k.a. Roy-D, is my horse. He is a 13 year old gelding my parents gave to me for Christmas as a yearling. He is out of the same stud as Otis, and was purchased from a local horse breeder.
It was love at first sight and he's still the best Christmas present I've ever received. His breeding includes Hancock, Three Bars and some Quarter Horse racing bloodlines I can't recall right now. I showed him in 4-H for two years, and he was the Reserve Champion Quarter Horse Gelding at the Wyoming State Fair as a yearling. I think he's kind of a big deal...
Partially because Royal is BIG, stout and strong. We joke about Royal having about 2.5 horse power. He steps out well and lives for the chance to run down escaping cattle. He stumbles over imaginary items regularly, but handles himself very well in intense situations. When cutting a cow he doesn't move like a big horse. He's quick, smart, and easily bored. He is pretty much bomb proof, but when bored finds certain rock formations "scary."
He whinnies non-stop, and I have tried every trick in the book to get him to stop with no success. He also believes he is near starvation at all times, and constantly tries to sneak bites of grass, (or thistles, his personal favorite) which I don't allow while I'm riding him.
His most redeeming quality is he has a huge heart. Some people say they prefer mares because they have more heart and try, but I've never seen a horse with more of those traits than Royal. When it comes to work, Royal will give you every ounce of himself without a thought. He will be exhausted, stumbling home, and jump right out and stop a cow if she turns back. Now, if you're just riding along and nothing exciting is happening it's a little different story, but when it counts he's all in.
He won't back out of a trailer due to a little incident when he was young, but will be standing there, ready to go, every time you open the door. He hates it when I roll my spurs along his side to get his attention, gets lonely easily, and absolutely loves to hate cows.
We have chased sheep and cattle all over the eastern half of Wyoming together. I've roped a couple bulls off him, ran a few cows through some fences, and rolled down a hill with him when he was two.
About six years ago he stepped on a nail and had to have everything inside his hoof removed all the way up to a bone in his ankle. There was a 50 percent chance he was done and would never be ridden again. Today he is 100 percent sound after several years of limping along. I am so thankful he recovered!