Category Archives: Shiney (Shiners Fannin Pepto)

Running With Shiney

Shiners Fannin Pepto (2010)

Bittersweet is the moment when you perceive that the boy has become a man, the girl a woman, for then you see passageways that are closed forever.  Those days of softness and pliability are gone.  Ahead, there appears toil and disciplined hours that hopefully will insure security and comfort in all seasons, so that  life can go on with moments, perhaps hours, of rest and sociability with family and friends.  As a caretaker for the young, be they human or not, the letting-go as they walk away or as you drive away from the curb extracts a pain within that circulates around the thoughts: Have I done well enough by them?  Do they have what it takes to survive?  What could I have done different?

I trained Shiney (Shiners Fannin Pepto) in ground manners as much as I could while working and traveling at a full-time job.  My life with horses began only eight-years ago when my parents died and I inherited two paint horses.  I began to change when I worked horses.  I gradually became more patient with my life in west Texas that had turned out quite different than I thought it would.  I added another horse.  I bought a fine-blooded mare (Sweet Hija) from King Ranch and from her issued two foals, Fanny and Shiney.  The time came about three months ago to send Shiney to a professional horse trainer to fit for sale.  When I sent Shiney to Jimmie Hardin’s in Aubrey, Texas, I had carried the colt as far as I could.  Since I had only worked with mares or geldings since 2002, he was more than I could handle — or so I thought.

Jimmie Hardin and her crew, especially Peppy, her right-hand trainer, worked with Shiney to fit him for sale: standing, tying, leading, and running with the handler.  Good manners.  Midway in his training, I went up to see Shiney’s progress.  I saw his development in many areas, but one behavior held my attention:  when Shiney ran with Peppy in the corral, he held his head high and the two of them trotted in unison, turning this way and that way, Shiney showing his form and muscle and even excitement to run with a person.  As I first saw them running, I wanted to run with my horse, my colt, that young thing I had blown my breath into his nostrils on his first day, a year ago, May 15, 2009.

Four days ago, Brenda and I picked up Shiney from the trainer.  His mane was braided, coat sleek, and hair trimmed.  All fit for sale in Shawnee, Oklahoma.

We unloaded Shiney after a four-hour trip and I walked him around the sale grounds.  Then, I began to walk briskly, faster, and then broke into a trot.  I held the stud chain close under his chin, neither tight nor loose, and Shiney picked up his pace and we both ran together.  I turned and he turned with me.  I stopped, he stopped.  We ran again.  There, it happened, a powerful creature, joining with a person.

As I walked back to Brenda, she was smiling so broadly: He is so beautiful.  He holds his head so erect.  He is gorgeous.  You two looked so good together.

On sale day, I ran with Shiney three times.  I didn’t have to.  Once for buyers from Laredo and once for Steve Phipps of Springfield, Missouri, who purchased him.  We did not even lead him through the sale ring.  The price was right and Phipps was the one for Shiney.

The third time I ran with Shiney it was for me and him, alongside the barn and trailers, outside in the morning sun of Oklahoma.  I never grew tired or weary with our runs.  I was holding on to him for as long as I could and then I had to let him go.

I’ll never forget as long as I live that I once ran with a colt that was becoming a stallion.  Bittersweet, to see him grow.

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The Hardin Way

Jimmie Hardin Quarter Horses in Aubrey, Texas

Shiners Fannin Pepto, my one-year-old colt, is being ground trained and fit for the Summer Sale at Triangle Sales, Shawnee, Oklahoma, on June 5, 2010.

I took him as far as I could in ground training, but it was time to send him to Jimmie Hardin Quarter Horses in Aubrey, Texas, for training and conditioning for sale.

Jimmie Hardin in Show

I went up to Aubrey, Texas, yesterday, to see Jimmie and Shiney.

I hardly recognized him since he has a month’s growth since I last saw him.  But, that’s not all.  He has been groomed and taught manners.  He stands on his four feet in a show pose and is learning to trot with Peppy, his trainer, and Jimmie.

Jimmie Hardin has been Aubrey, Texas, for several decades, building upon the horse business of her father.  The little town of Aubrey has grown up around her.  Jimmie’s corrals border the Aubrey High School and a Sonic drive-in is just down the street.  She says that nowadays land is selling by the square foot.

Jimmie told me to go up to Shawnee on the third of June, settle Shiney into his stall and have him presented for passers-by when they come and look on Friday, the day before the Saturday sale.  She is going to purchase a leather halter and stud chain for Shiney to look his best.  There will be a bit of silver on the halter to sparkle.  I want him to look his best and that means leather halter.

Equine Body History

Horsewoman Hardin said that Shiney has taken a real liking to Peppy, the handler with whom you see in the photograph.  Peppy grooms and trots Shiney.  They have a bond together.  The treatment that Jimmie and Peppy give to my colt will engender confidence in him to trust humans and know that their touch will be kind and never hurtful.  With older horses, like my Star (levitating horse in winter), you can discern the history of treatment to them.  Ears, feet and flanks of the equine body embed the treatment of years past and one can see kind firmness, but also mistreatment and mistakes.  Experienced horsemen and horsewomen can pick up the history.  Monty Roberts, a famous horse trainer, can discern the equine-body history rapidly in the round pen and corral.

The Handler Peppy with Shiners Fannin Pepto

Peppy the Handler Alerting Shiney to Pick those Ears Up

The Hardin Way

It is important for humans and horses alike to respect the other.  It will insure a long and happy life for both.  The Hardin Way develops the horse and provides the human with a well-mannered companion.

Jimmie Hardin with Shiners Fannin Pepto

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Field Log 5/7/2010 (Shiney’s Little Stud Moments)

North Erath County, Texas, 32.43 lat., -98.36 long. Elev. 1,086 ft.  Turkey Creek Quad.

Shiners Fannin Pepto (Shiney) Winter 2009-2010

Shiney at Jimmie Hardin’s

Talked with Jimmie Hardin in Aubrey about Shiners Fannin Pepto’s (Shiney) training for manners on the ground and around mares and people.  She said that “Shiney is doing really great, settling down, but he does have his little stud moments.”  What a world I thought, “Little stud moments.”  I asked Brenda, my wife, the female equivalent of “little stud moment,” and she said, maybe for women, “It’s a meltdown.”

The first time at Jimmie Hardin’s, when we put Shiney in a corral, he was between two mares and they teased him over the fence.  He was really an excited colt with two mares on either side of him.  The mares pranced in front of him and he ran around in a prancing gait, light on his feet, even though he probably didn’t know what was going on.  He became lathered up and I fretted he was over-doing his excitement, but Jimmie said he would settle down once we left with his travel buddy, Star, the paint from our place that we put in the trailer to help ease Shiney’s trip to Aubrey, north of Denton.  Star munched on his alfalfa while watching his little friend, Shiney.

In conclusion, he is doing just fine despite his little stud moments.

Called up to Triangle Sales in Shawnee, Oklahoma.  They will have handlers to help me show him through the ring.  And, knowing he is a stud, they will not put him between two mares in the stall area.

Pecan Tree Pasture Mesquite Trimming

Indian Blanket flowers are blooming over in Pecan Tree Pasture.

Went over to Pecan Tree Pasture to lob off mesquites that were growing in the field.  The grass is up to my chest in places and I can detect large animals–deer or wild boar–that have lain in the grass.

Yahoo Runs Amuck

While cutting mesquite, some yahoo drove through my gate, wanting to inquire about the trailer my neighbors have for sale.  The yahoo immediately drove off the pasture road and started coming toward me in his grey, F-250 pickup, trampling grass I wanted to let seed and grow higher.  I was a hundred-yards away and frantically waved him to stop.  What the dickens was this yahoo doing coming into a native grass field in his pickup?

I walked briskly over to where he had stopped after coming some fifty yards into the native grass field, scattering birds.  I had my pruning shears in my hand, but my pistol (.45 cal.) was in the pickup some seventy-yards away.  I did not know what to say, but this is what happened.

Yahoos Fighting by Dudley Fitts (Illustrator)

“Yew goin’ git chiggers,” he squawked, referring to the high grass I had come through to stop his onslaught into the field.  An entirely inappropriate opening of discourse after entering posted property (Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association blue sign).  Was there some chigger alert I had missed on the morning news from Stooperville’s Fox News?

Holding my anger, I said, “You don’t need to be rolling into my field crushing the grasses.  It’ll take two months for the grass to come back up.  The trailer belongs to those people,” I nodded in the direction of the Hall Place.

He looked at me, put the truck in reverse, made an abrupt turn around and sped off, then hit high speed next to my water tank and out the gate and on down the highway towards Stephenville.  I paced off how many feet he had knocked down by coming into grassland that was two to four feet high, native species I had planted six-years ago: a total of one-hundred and twenty-five feet of off-road grass crushing.  It’ll rise up again in a few months with the rains.

I’ll close the gate next time to avoid a confrontation.  I was born and reared in Texas, but I am seeing more arrogant and ill-mannered  people than ever before.  I know yahoos are all around us, but jeez!, wouldn’t you think they could all hang out at another cracker barrel in a county over?

The field log is rather caustic today.  Sorry.

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The Horses of Flying Hat

I thought I would put in one post a photograph of each of the horses I work with on a daily basis here at our place, Flying Hat.  All of these photographs can be enlarged by clicking on the photograph. By enlarging the photograph, if you have a moment, will reveal a lot of detail, as these photographs are usually 2.0 plus in megabytes.  I like to take photographs using the most detailed mode (within reason, of course) I can.  You can always lessen the detail in a photograph, but never add detail to it.

Shiners Fannin Peppy

This is Shiners Fannin Peppy or “Fanny.”  Fanny has been in training — elementary school — for a hundred days with Duncan Steele-Park at the GCH Land & Cattle Company of Weatherford, Texas.  Fanny is a daughter of Sweet Hija below.  Fanny is quite vocal.  She will begin to nicker once she knows that I am going to feed.  It is a vocalization that is more of a chortle, kind of a gargle, deep-down in her throat.  Fanny will continue to nicker-chortle every fifteen seconds or so until I put feed in her bin.  Translation to English:  “Oh, boy, I can’t wait, can’t wait for my grain.  Oh, boy, oh boy.”

Sweet Hija

This is Sweet Hija or “Hija,” as we like to call her.  I purchased her in 2003, from King Ranch.  She starred in a King Ranch video for marketing before the auction at Kingsville.  She cut cattle with J. R. Ramirez, her trainer, in front of two-hundred prospective buyers.  I bought her at the King Ranch Legacy Auction in 2003, in front of  2,000 spectators — really stressful, but fun.  When I walked to the stables to view Hija after purchase, two stalls down from her was her grandfather, Peppy San Badger.  He was looking over the crowd and his granddaughter.  Peppy San Badger was nearing the end of his days, but he was still eager to see people and his progeny — be around the excitement.  I am sorry to say that I did not appreciate his background and heritage that day as I was just beginning to understand the quarter horse culture.  Peppy San Badger, Hija’s grandsire, was one of the greatest quarter horses ever to have lived: he rewrote performance records and records in the show pen.  He died in 2005, less than two years after he saw Hija load up into our horse trailer and come to Hannibal.  I have a photograph that shows Peppy in the background, Hija in the fore.  I’ll try and retrieve it for you some day.

When I saddle and ride Hija, I have to give her a run around the round pen before I mount (it’s been a while, however, since I’ve ridden) because she has that spirit of Peppy San Badger.  He would give a little buck when you first mounted him, but not a mean buck, just an energetic buck that he was happy to be alive — so also, his granddaughter.

Ima Lil Moore

This is Lilly, the oldest mare in the remuda.  I inherited Lilly and her son, Star, upon the settlement of my parents’ estate in 2003.  Lilly is the alpha mare of the remuda.  She is challenged by Fanny for placement at the food trough.  Lilly likes to take her good time these days to come to the stall.  I favor her and let her use the alleyway to get into her stall (see the alleyway above) rather than have her walk a longer distance.  You can also see in the photograph above, the barn cat, Paint or Little Paint.  Odd, but he has the same markings of Lilly.

Shiners Fannin Pepto

Here is “Shiney.”  He is all-boy, a colt and a peppy one at that.  He is the son of Sweet Hija.  This is the guy I am having so much fun with these days.  He is an intact male and I have him for sale, but Brenda and I have talked about keeping him — me more than her — but it would require the construction of a stallion run.  Shiney is such a fine boy.  I really like working with him.

Stars Bars Moore

Star is a gelding and the baby-sitter for Shiney.  Star and Shiney inhabit the large outdoor arena and are given to playing many games of “Gotcha,” a variation of tag.  Star is a large horse.  I often refer to him with affection: The Beer Wagon Horse.  Star is the son of Lilly.  Star is known far and wide as the levitating horse of Flying Hat — check a previous post this winter on the blog.

A friend of mine at the college, Roland Stroebel, says to me almost daily, “I’m homesick, Jack.”  By that he means that he wants to go back to his farm south of Cisco, Texas, and work with the land and his cattle.  He misses his farm — homesick.  When Roland’s work is done at the college, he leaves and I can see him working with his fine Angus cattle into the evening darkness.

When I am away from all of the horses and land upon which they trod, I am homesick for their companionship, their warm breath and smell.  It is said:  “There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a person.”  I believe that with all my heart.

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Field Log 3/15/2010

North Erath County, Texas, 32.43 lat., -98.36 long. Elev. 1,086 ft.  Turkey Creek Quad.

Cooler today than expected, lower 50s F. most of day.  Partly cloudy.

Re-checked horses for nicks, scratches and punctures.  None found.

Moved hay bin in arena for easier access by tractor and pickup.  Shiney the colt thinks it’s play.  Gallops around and rears up several times, challenging the black hay bin and noise.  Brenda climbs over arena fence to assist, adding to his fun and excitement.

Edited sale information for Shiney.  Gave a copy to Cooper’s Feed-store in Stephenville.  Amber looked carefully at the flyer and said, “Beautiful.”  Bought three (3) alfalfa, two (2) coastal bermuda, one sack of Senior feed for Lilly and one Country Times cat feed for barn.  Hay consumption is down with spring grass.  Linsey, manager, gone for lunch.  No sales tax for feed for barn cats, Bubbles and Paint.

One Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica) sighted on front fence.

Composed operational instructions for caretaker, Jeannie Chisolm, while on trip to Fredericksburg, Texas, March 16-17.

Lilly has taken up a new habit.  Without halter, she walks to her stall through the alleyway from the corral, avoiding up-and-downs of terrain.  She waits for me to open the gate to the alleyway, then slowly brings her twenty-five-year-old body down the alleyway, pausing at her stall door, then turning into the stall, exhaling loudly.  I make sure that in her grain, she has her arthritis medicine, Active-X, the powder with ground yucca.  (Note: I took my flex medicine this morning.  Correlate man and horse in article.)

Worked with Shiney on ground manners: grooming, full-body touching with hands, approaches on flanks, lead rope, halter.  Has habit of wanting lead rope or halter in his mouth when I first approach.  Nervous habit deflects tension?

Unloaded hay and feed.  Barn cats, Bubbles and Paint, not amused that I took away their scanning area on the hay in the pickup.


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Winter Photographs at Flying Hat

Winter 2.11.2010, Poprock Pasture

Poprock Pasture and Arena In Winter

Yucca and Fence

Shiney and Star Playing Gotcha

Shiney Galloping to Corral

Remuda at Well House Corral

Mountain White-crown Sparrows Above Stables (Zonotrichia leucophrys oriantha)

Stable Alleyway with Panels

55 Horses by Case Farmall

Flying Hat Ranch House

Schools in Abilene and Fort Worth, Texas, were canceled this morning.  I went out to take some photographs of Flying Hat.  If you click the photographs, you get a full-size picture with detail.

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Shiners Fannin Doc to Vet

Shiners Fannin Doc, or “Shiney,” is to be loaded up with Sweet Hija today for his next-to-the-last injection for his reaction a month ago that caused swelling in his hindquarters.  I take him to the Equine Sports Medicine Center in Weatherford.

At the Equine Sports Center, the doctors use the C&C Stock Trailer’s inside compartment to block gently the little colt, Shiney.  Shiney has been a good colt and has not overreacted to his injections.

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