koi and swan, sepia

Saturday, April 11, 2015


I keep finding more pictures. Many readers probably don't know that I have lived on one ranch or another for the last 35 years. This is a very special horse to me, my late arabian gelding Jasper. I bought Jasper at an auction as a yearling and raised him for 27 years. He bolted free across the back of the auction hall and people were scared that he was a nutcase and I picked him up at the time for a song. He was a nutcase but that was okay, I was too.

Galan led by Margaret Rich
Abu Farwa at the Kellogg Ranch
Jasper was from Green Acres Arabians in Temecula, the son of their stud Galan and grandson of the great Polish arab sire Abu Farwa who was much acclaimed and won a lot of horse races in Europe.

Out of the Crabbet line, Jasper was a chestnut and had a great butt, a quarter horse behind on an arab and a very beautiful head. Very intelligent. Too intelligent and he could hold a grudge for years.

Buzz on Darius
I had Jasper's brother Darius for a while, a gray and we would take some serious trail rides. These horses don't start getting started until about the seven mile mark and there were few that could keep up with these particular equines in terms of endurance.

He died from colic, sand and stones in the gut. Liked to pull his hay out of the feeder and eat it on the ground. What are you going to do?

Jasper was broke and trained by an old Minnesotan in Valley Center named Hugo Mueller. Sort of a Monte Foreman devotee. Old school, the original horse whisperer. The horse threw me once and Hugo angrily said he never wanted to see that happen again. It didn't, although he once landed on my calf crossing a creek in Elfin Forest, blew up like a watermelon.

The saddle was made by the late Gary McClintock, a legend in these parts. Very lightweight, 14 lb. Visalia stock saddle style, high cantle, suede seat. My dad was an amateur leather smith as a young man and helped me and Gary design the zuni pattern on the saddle. It was gorgeous, sold it to my ex wife when I was broke. Stupidest thing I ever did.

I favored an english bridle. Used a double twisted wire bit at first to get his attention, reduced to a egg butt or d ring snaffle when things got cool. Used to be able to ride all over out here. Places people would never dream of today.

He was a good horse, too smart but a good horse. Liked to get scratched behind his ears. A wonderful canter and gallup. Fingertip, you couldn't see anything move when it was all working. But you have to ride several days a week for that kind of relationship and if you have to go back to work, everything goes to hell and they become expensive lawn furniture.

Jasper, he was a good horse. I miss blowing into his nose, I miss his smell. Sucks not having a horse.


Sanoguy said...

Handsome young stud! The horse too!

Max Hall said...

Ha ha! I have to agree with Sanoguy!


I never knew that part of you...the horse lover. Lucky for both of you that you found each other. There is nothing quite like a horse companion. I once said, of my childhood horse, that he was my first husband. Solid, caring, patient, frisky at times...I told him everything.