The young horseman BJ that had become friends with my dad had the mare I mentioned earlier, Squaw, bred to Big Red in fall of 1966. August 1967 she gave birth to a beautiful bay filly. A star in her forehead. I was in heaven. I started making plans for what I was going to do with her. Her name will be a surprise to come later.
We kept mother and daughter on the ranch until the filly was weaned. My dad and I began gentle breaking the filly as we had done the other 2 horses. All was going well.
From the time she was born for a couple of months we tried to settle on a name for her. But none of the names seemed to suit her. One day my mother commented, “since she acts so much like her mother, we should name her Squaw.” BJ had picked up her mother after young Squaw was weaned. So that was settled.
Old Squaw was a very spirited animal. Young Squaw had less Thoroughbred in her than her mother but was just as spirited. Watching her in the pasture with cows she had a keen awareness of them and would move around among them like neither of my other horses did. More about this later.
Because of the excellent job of training that the young cowboy had done with Peela and Pierre, we decided to send Squaw for training as well. The gentle breaking we had done with Squaw had her easy to handle the time she was ready for saddle breaking.
A week later my dad went and picked her up. I was amazed at the difference in her disposition when dad got home with her. She had been trained with a bosal bridle. This is a type of bridle with a nose piece and made of braided rawhide and does not utilize a bit that goes in their mouth. It acts on the horses nose and jaw. Many riders use them for tender mouthed horses or well-trained reining horses.
When Peela and Pierre were trained they were also trained with a bosal but over the years I had to go to a straight bit and a snaffle bit with them.
I will admit that Squaw was well-trained. The first time that I mounted the saddle, she tried to throw me. I jerked back on the reins and she settled down. I had mentioned about her being spirited earlier. She always had other ideas when I first mounted up. She thought she could get the best of my confidence, but she learned real quick that I was the boss. She would move with the reins or with pressure of my knees against her.
Over the next year every time I rode her I always used the bosal. I was working her on calves teaching her how to be a cutting horse. Or was she teaching me? Ha ha. I had read books on training cutting horses and in Western Horseman. To this day I think that Squaw may have written them. My dad would watch her as I was working the calves and he said she had more cow sense than any horse he had ever seen.
But I was beginning to notice a slight reigning problem with her using the bosal. I first tried using the snaffle I had been using on Peela but found it was tearing her mouth. So I stopped at the local western saddlery one afternoon and found a hackamore bridle.
A hackamore is a type of equine headgear that does not have a bit. Instead, it has a special type of nose and works on pressure points on the nose, face and chin. It gave me much better control with this high-spirited filly.
More to come soon
The memories of the time from 1969 with Squaw are coming soon. Sad to say their are tears as well.
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