The Story of Chris
 By ImaCoolCowgirl   •   16th Sep 2010   •   3,051 views   •   12 comments
It all started the day my Dad came to watch me ride my horse Buck. We got in the car and headed to the 4 horse (currently holding 2) stable where Buck is kept. I was planning on going on a trail ride that day instead of ring work, but my dad offered to come help me get the work done (I work for board) and watch me ride. After finishing my work I groomed and started tacking Buck, I mentioned to my dad I was planning on trail riding today instead of ring work. My Dad asked why I wasnít and I told him that because he had come I didnít want to leave him by himself. He pointed to the only other horse in the stable and said he could ride him. The horse was Chris a 14 year old AQH.

Barrel Horse

Chris belonged to the owner of the stable (as Buck did before I got him) and her husband rode him. I had groomed him a few times when I had extra time and he was head shy and twitched his skin when the brush hit him roughly. He would freak when he was tied, so I always had to put a little hay down and he always got excited when he saw anyone with a saddle and he was madly disappointed when it was always Buck who got the saddle put on. I had been on few trail rides with the husband of the owner. Under saddle he always seamed obedient but very skittish and ready to run. I noticed he was never groomed except when he was going to get ridden (usually about once in a blue moon).

I ran to the house and asked if it would be alright to take him on the trail. She said it would be fine so I groomed him with my dadís help. I put the saddle on and tightened the girth. Mr. M, Chrisís rider, came out to see how all was going with Chris. He asked who was riding Chris and my Dad said he was.

My dad has ridden mostly trail horses (the nose to tail kind) from trail stables in our area.

Mr. M, knowing my dadís riding experience suggested that I ride Chris and my dad ride Buck. My Dad was fine with it so I put Chrisís bit in. He opened his mouth to accept the bit which was surprise to me (With Buck I have to stick my finger in his mouth and apply a large amount of pressure.). Mr. M gave me a quick low down on how Chris behaves and the best way to ride him. As a fearless 12 year old I was ready to tackle the challenge. Then we headed out for our ride. It was defiantly one of my favorites ever.

After riding him the first time I made more time to groom him and ride him. I learned all I could about him. He was a trained barrel horse in his younger years, but was abused by his rider and refused to run. He was terrified of whips and being tied. He was kept by himself and is terrified of being left alone. He was bought by Mr. M at an auction. He doesnít like cows or dogs (Mr. M took him to a team penning event and when Chris saw the cows he reared and went over). He was bred to run!

I asked Mrs. M if it would be okay to work with him on some of his issues. She was fine with it. I am proud to say he now ties, he loves to run and is wickedly fast. He doesnít mind dogs as much, but he still does not enjoy whips. Mrs. M was extremely happy with the change in Chris. Weíve had some rough times and Iíve taken quite a few spills, but it was all for the better. He is calmer in the stall, but always ready for a ride. She watched me ride and was surprised at how well he behaved for me under saddle. Granted his age may have helped him calm down a little. She mentioned that if we ever move out of the area and take Buck with us, that I could have Chris too! Chris has become such a part of my life and I am glad to have the chance to ride and work with this amazing horse. We are hoping to make it to our first show on Sept 19th. Though he is getting older, he can still put a down a good time in the barrels and Keyhole.

The Pictures:
I had a photo shoot with the horses (Photography curtesy of My Mumsy)
Riding Chris in the Snow
Keyholing Chris
Horse News More In This Category:  Horse Stories      Horse News More From This Author:  ImaCoolCowgirl
Dark Star  
Great article. By the way, you want to keep him from tossing his head when you stop him in Keyhole.
  11 days ago  •  1,821 views
ImaCoolCowgirl the way...He didn't knock that rail down...we just lowered it because he was a little skitting about going in the small space....It was probably between 6x6 and 8x8 feet.
  11 days ago  •  1,824 views
Hey, you look good. Are you going to the show this weekend? Sorry, dad wanted to unhook the trailer and put his cap back on the truck. Once i can drive and have a truck then we will be good.
  10 days ago  •  1,825 views
HPH Polo  
what a great story! He has an awesome rollback. They don't judge you in keyhole, it doesn't matter if his head tosses ) You just need to work on not having to slow down before you enter the keyhole so you will have a faster time. I hope you get to go to the show and write a follow up story.
  10 days ago  •  1,963 views
No Sammy, I am not going to the show this weekend.....because we have no trailer..and you had said you were going so I didn't ask around for another ride...and it was too late for that when you cancelled.
  10 days ago  •  1,824 views
Thanks HPH!!
  10 days ago  •  1,824 views
Dark Star  
I have won Keyhole two years in a row, once by 10 seconds. My horse goes alot faster because I don't let him toss his head, that means he is thinking too much.
  10 days ago  •  1,822 views
Good Job! Keep up the good work with Chris!
  9 days ago  •  1,848 views
Dark Star.....He doesn't toss his head at least not that I can see....He puts it up for a split second because I picked up on the reins.
  9 days ago  •  1,824 views
Dark Star  
Thing is, a horse shouldn't throw his head up to stop, they are saposed to tuck when they stop, it gives you a better stop and it's easier for them to turn
  6 days ago  •  1,822 views
He doesn't out his head up when I stop him. He stops on was when I picked up the reins to turn him he put his head up....Thats how he works....He gets very upity when your on his face so I would rather let him run how he wants too. I don't care if he has a fast turn he makes up for it on the runs.
  6 days ago  •  1,824 views
Seven Sins  
great work, great story
  Feb 4, 2011  •  1,822 views
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