Baldy, also known as DJ Cats Peppy Rey, is my registered quarter horse. He’s a recent addition to the family joining us from Bowen, North Dakota in December. My husband helped me purchase him in a cow horse online auction for my 70th birthday. You may remember I had a performance horse, Joey, who I sold to a family member last spring because with my foot surgery last year I couldn’t ride him. That’s a whole another story but the transfer of ownership didn’t work out as I had hoped. I had committed myself to being without a horse because of my age and disability. A friend took me to a cow horse show and I was fascinated by the responsiveness of the horses and the way they go after cows (known as a horse being cowie). I thought I would really enjoy seeing the competitions and hopefully we could find a competitive horse that would also let me ride him. That’s where Baldy comes in. I paid an expert to help me draw up criteria for a horse I could ride and could also be shown. We decided to bid on Baldy because he had won cutting competitions in North Dakota but his auction advertisement showed him being ridden around the ranch with a woman and small child on him.
I don’t have a horse trailer. One of the auction requirements was that you be able to pick up the horse. I contacted an equine shipping service that said they shipped anywhere in the continental United States. But when I gave them Bowen, North Dakota, I got a response that it was outside their shipping region. It’s a 17 hour drive from Bowen to Boise. I called Baldy’s owner, Matt, and said, “I can’t bid on your horse unless you can get him to me.” He promised to do that for a reasonable sum so the auction was on. Being sly auction experts, we held our hand as the low bids came in. Lots of people dropped out as the horse rose over $5,000. I was gritting my teeth as he passed my max but this is where my husband stepped in. He encouraged me to go higher. In the end, we won the bid for Baldy.
Getting Baldy to Boise was not easy. We were headed into Christmas, snowy weather, bad roads, and a pandemic. Matt wanted his brother to join him so they could drive straight through. They arrived in Boise at 3 am on a cold, early morning a few days before Christmas. Baldy was like Lady Gaga who I’d seen in Oklahoma City. Her huge trailers for her concert filled the parking lot of the arena. Baldy showed up in a huge horse trailer that was all lit up. My helper bee and her honey were there to get in him in the barn. Pete and I were their to greet our new investment.
Baldy is more than I expected. He turns on a dime, spinning as a good cow horse should. But I am able to ride in around the arena. He hates the mounting block but will let me climb up on him using it. After all cowboys and girls are suppose to swing up from the ground. But with my balance and foot issues that’s a tall order. One of my goals this year is to mount him without help and the mounting block. We’ll see if I make it. Barns are essential business. Someone has to exercise the horses and keep them fed and watered. While everything else has been closed down, I gotten to see a lot of Baldy. Our bid was pretty crazy because we hadn’t seen him or ridden him. We went on the word of the owner, Matt, that he was a good horse. The only reason they were selling him was “they needed the money.” During a pandemic, sometimes tough choices have to be made. But Baldy has a good home. He’s ridden regularly by expert riders. I trot around on him weekly after he’s practiced going for the flag. I can’t wait to see him go after cows. I’m sure he’s going to win some double reining cow horse contests.