“It is hard to be a gal from the other side of the tracks in the midst of a herd full of “the royal Kigers”. I am just a gal from Warm Springs and I have Kigers and Riddles as far as the eye can see on every side of me. All the fuss people make about them, you would think that they passed golden apples. Well, theirs looks just like mine and it most certainly is not gold. They are short, have those big ugly stripes down their backd, and they are all the same colors. And there must have been a lot of kicking and fighting around here because most of their noses look Baroque. (I know… bad joke).
I am a member of a small, elite group at Wild Ones; the group of mustangs not from the Kiger or Riddle herd. There is Jade from Beatty’s Butte, Buck from somewhere in Nevada, and Bear who pretends to be from Coyote Lake (they’re the smart ones) but everybody knows he is from Sand Springs. Then there are the fractional horses, three half Kigers and two quarter horses. Our joke is it takes four quarter horses to make one mustang so together they make half a horse. Seriously though, Blondie and Slick are members of our family and hooves and hair would fly if someone tried to hurt them. They are two wonderful horses and although we tease we admire their abilities.
Even though I am not a Kiger, you could never tell by how well I am loved by the staff and kids out here at the ranch. I am in the same league as Sahalie, the wild Kiger mare and Birdie, the ever popular grulla. Here, where we come from isn’t as important as how much we love the kids, and I adore them. When I see that bright green dollar day pad come out, I know my friends are coming to play and I enjoy the laughter and giggles coming from my back as the staff leads the little ones around. I have had kids under a year old on my back and I know how to take care of them. Even though I am a popular Dollar Days mount, I am also skilled at helping the brand new rider feel safe and confident.”
Big Red is a former gaming pony that has settled in real nice in her new role at Wild Ones. She is a dependable trail horse and a hard worker. She ranks #2 just under Sahalie as the most popular dollar day horse. At a whopping 15:1 (big for our farm) she towers above the others and her heart towards work matches her stature.
One four-year-old Dollar Days participant was perched up on the back of Big Red as we went quietly around the arena. As I reached up to take the little one down, she looked at me with the most sober expression,
“I can tell Big Red loves me”
“How?” I asked.
“Because she carries me so sweetly round and round.”
“She most assuredly does,” I answered.
The truth is, Big Red is a true champion, from Dollar Days to husband horse, she is fabulous. She is 27 years old and still giving her all, although she now carries a lighter work load; and she is worth every kernel of grain or blade of hay she eats.
Her legacy will be giggles and laughter. Her memory will warm our hearts. We jokingly refer to her as our honorary Kiger but the truth is most of our Kigers would be doing good to be an honorary Big Red. We are thankful for this big red dun and rejoice to see children delight in God’is creation because of her.