Just outside the warm-up arena, I noticed a handsome horse . . . a strikingly handsome stallion. He was standing there saddled but riderless, calm and quiet, while many of the horses being warmed up acted less than well trained. I wandered over to get a closer look, and struck up a conversation with the horse's owner. He introduced me to Dino, his adopted Kiger mustang who was rounded up by the BLM as a four-year-old (a fact that made his gentlemanly demeanor even more impressive). After watching Dino move, I was so enamored that I wished out loud for a good mare he could service in order to see what he could produce for a dressage mount – he was that nice!
|Riddle Me Dino|
But I didn't have a mare; I had Russell, and I was very happy with him. He was progressing nicely in dressage and taking excellent care of my little boy:
|Brian scaling "Mt. Russell" just days after that fateful State Fair|
|The horse my dad called "one in 20,000"|
But that plan was derailed – or at least moved onto a sidetrack – by two things. First, the BLM's holding facility in Burns, OR was closed to visitors due to a big influx of newly rounded up horses thanks to huge range fires in their herd management areas. And second, just as I was wrapping up Larry's month of training for his new owner, my friend Sylvia called, urging me to take Horton in for training. Seeing as we needed the additional income, I put thoughts of getting my own horse on the back burner and agreed.
In August, while my son was visiting my folks in Texas, Rick invited me to ride with him to a vet appointment over at the coast. He figured we could take advantage of the rare opportunity to have a date after he finished his call. So off we went. In the course of visiting with the client, she mentioned breeding for buckskins or duns because she and her daughter show on that circuit. With a newly refreshed memory, I piped up, "I know which stallion I'd use in that case!" When she asked which one, I said, "Kevin Sink's Kiger stallion." The client laughed out loud and pointed to the horse in the corner stall – a tall, good-looking colt who had already caught my eye – and said, "That's his daddy!" She had bred her short palomino mustang mare to Dino in hopes of getting a short Western-type filly, but instead got Lancelot, a tall, English-type gelding. The only part of her wishes that was fulfilled was the red dun packaging! I rued aloud that I didn't have space or budget to take him off her hands, and Rick and I bid her and her lovely colt good-bye.
On September 7 my phone rang. It was Rick's client, asking if I would be interested in Lance. She had put him in training at a barn here in the valley for the month of September in order to see what he was best suited for in order to market him. After the first ride or two the trainer said "dressage," and suggested the owner call me. I reiterated that I had no space or money; she offered to keep Lance for the cost of hay until I had space available, and trade out his purchase price on her vet bill. Then she suggested I go try him out, and the rest is history . . . most of it still waiting to be written – and ridden.
"Well, look who's coming through the door