Lilly: An American Paint Horse as Family

Ima Lil Moore "Lilly" browsing early in the morning (8:30 a.m.) before going to her loafing area along the fence line.

I will be posting on Lilly, our oldest mare in our small remuda.  She is twenty-five years old and will turn twenty-six this January.  Her registered name is Ima Lil Moore.  Her pedigree is found on our ranch website, Flying Hat Horses. She is a paint horse and the mother of Star, another paint on our place.

I am posting on Lilly because she is in good condition going into the winter, but she has osteoarthritis and has trouble at times getting up, a bad sign for a good horse.

She is a part of our family.  I mean that in the closest sense.  She has been a companion for our foals when they were young, a good saddle horse for our grandchildren and a constant companion for me.

I want to write about her and explain to you why she is close to me.

Today, she rose on her own after I softened the arena so she could get traction.  Today, she is fine and I am happy.  It’s a good day for her.  Remember that: good day.


Filed under Horses, Lilly

16 responses to “Lilly: An American Paint Horse as Family

  1. “Remember that good day.” Absolutely. Glad to hear of an update on your Lilly. “Long may she run.” Neil Young

  2. Ima Lil Moore… probably THE cutest name in history. Sending love to Lilly, white light for her persisting good health, and a cyber hug to you and the ‘rest’ of your family. I love people who can admit a horse is kin.

    Kristy (from Koda’s Totems)

  3. Ruth Karbach

    She’s won my heart. I love paint horses, and Lilly has had an exceptional life with an exceptional owner.

  4. Kittie Howard

    Today, she is fine and I am happy. It’s a good day for her. Remember that: good day.

    Such powerful words, Jack. The emotion. The heartswell. There are times when man and beast are one…this is one of those times. To paraphrase Ruth: Lilly has an exceptional life with an exceptional person.

    And thank you for the link to Remuda. Learned so much. I read where only six or seven ranches in Nevada have remudas. I’m beyond happy you’re following ‘old ways’…and how patient and dedicated you must be for your horses to walk into the remuda.

    Please give Lilly a hug for me!!

  5. Does that mean Lilly sleeps lying down? Or does she lie down because she has osteoarthritis? I’m not used to seeing horses lying down so it’s a mystery to me.

    I read about the remuda but I’m sort of confused. You actually train horses to walk in this roped circle for ranch hands to choose from while out on the range? (That Wiki article could definitely use some editing!) Seems to be an esoteric subject online. Interesting—can you elaborate? Of course Lilly is a beautiful and classy gal.

    • Hi Debra: Yes, they sleep lying down. Little known is the fact that horses must lay down several times during the day and night. They even snore, perhaps, dream. They don’t sleep standing up although they doze deeply while standing. The average time for lying down is about twenty minutes..

      Lilly has trouble with her left leg. She is in good condition, but her legs are not strong anymore. I’ve had to use a sling and tractor to help her up. I’ve used it twice. It isn’t good.

      There are several ways to control horses on the range: using a picket line with ties, an overhead rope with ties and the use of hobbles on their front legs — not painful at all. A cowboy or cowgirl just walks up to a horse with a halter and gets them if the horse is trained. No problem.

      It’s like you have seen in the old western movies. Those Hollywood wranglers are quite talented.

      • Is the process of aging a painful one for all equines? I have never thought about this. Wow a sling and tractor…I can see how that could be an ordeal.

        I read a little about the life of a cowboy (-girl)—I didn’t realize how absolutely huge those free-range areas are. So the cowboys have a sort of camp following with the people who take care of them and the horses? I never liked westerns, aw I’m sorry. But what a craft the making of them must be.

        You’re an old Texas wrangler yourself aren’t you…it’s quite romantic you know (in a literary sense)!

      • Aging of equines is painful. Colic is a major problem and factor in death. If they age naturally, they are like us, degenerating and having good and bad days. On the large open range (I’ve not been in that setting) there is a cow camp or line shack that is a base point. Chuck wagons (or pickups fixed for chuck) are still in use. By and large round-ups usually focus on stock pens for management (I’m familiar with this) in large operations and the horses can be controlled there. I would define myself as an old cowman or stockman first, then a horseman. Most of my management of cattle was done by cattle calling and training herds to be gentle so that they could be handled stress-free in stock pens and chutes. I’ve used horses for pleasure and field trials for bird dogs in the past. My working with horses over the past eight years has been in training them in ground manners and gentility. I send them to professional trainers to have them trained to the saddle. Yes, an old Texas wrangler and cowman. I must write more about my family’s connection to farming and ranching.

  6. Evangeline

    Very beautiful horse.
    I love to watch a horse as it runs across the fields.
    They fly so free, as their mane whips across their back and their tail keeps balance with the wind,.
    Oh how I wish I could have their freedom to run as if they had no care.


  7. That’s a lovely horse. Nice to see that she looks so good at that age.
    I have now learned a new word! I did not know the name is painted
    horse. When I have seen them here in DK, I’ve called them Indian horse,
    beause I remember having seen them in Westerns!
    My best wishes for lovely Lilly. May she live long and feel well.

  8. O dear, I’ve read it wrong. It’s of course a paint horse and not a painted horse!
    Grethe ´(

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