Friday, March 20, 2009

Happy Birthday Ladde!!! It's been grand so far...

Today is Ladde's birthday. He's 13 years old. Happy Birthday big guy!! Wow, I can hardly believe that 13 long years have gone by since the morning I found this funny-looking, bony colt lying on the top of a pile of very large rocks we'd piled in a corner. Of all the places to take a nap - sheesh!!

This horse is "Sir Ladigo" He's gorgeous in my book, and he is Ladde's sire (proud papa).
He's also our beloved Scooter's first-born. I looked at a lot of stallion prospects before deciding on this guy. Funny thing was, he was one of the first and I just couldn't get him out of my mind. You just can't improve on perfection.

My beautiful little mare "Wag's Pride" also lovingly called Kadie. This was taken shortly after my husband gifted me with her - she was 7 years old in this picture, and she'd never been ridden. She's Ladde's momma.

Day 1 - not more than a few hours old. March 20, 1996

I had no idea just what I had expected...but this wasn't it. He was kinda funny looking.

Kadie thought he was beautiful.

Little did we know, this would become a very familiar site.

And this is how Ladde spent the first few weeks of his flight.

Practicing his sidepass. What a good little student.

I feel good! dadadadada!

Kadie made me cry that day. I'd brought her some carrots, and little brat that she was...she stole the whole bag out of my hands and ran off!! What a brat!

Gonna get me those dogs, ah huh...

First parade. July 20, 1996 - Ladde was 4 months old and fearless. Nothing scared him - absolutely nothing. He was in awe of everything that day! When we'd finished, we took our spot on the sidewalk and watched the rest of the parade with the other spectators. Wow, what fun!!

Can you dance in unison? They'd choreographed their steps for weeks...

6 weeks old. The stallion owner's wife was a photographer and came up to our house to get these shots.

He sure was getting cute!

Oops, this is the same parade in Yamhill Derby Days. July 20, 1996

First bath - just look at those skinny little legs... you can't tell, but Ladde's skin is all covered in polka dots on his skin and they only show up when he's wet. So cute!

His first birthday and we gave him a carrot cake with carrots instead of candles. Of course, he loved it!!! There's not much that Ladde doesn't love.The punk.

The first telltale spots fortelling the coming change in color.

Near Sheep Springs outside Camp Sherman, Oregon. Another one of those "nanook" adventures. Life is good.

Summertime when Ladde was a yearling, you can see how much bigger he was than Harley, who can be seen on the far right. Harley is 1 year younger and was a few months old here.His mane and forelock changed along with most everything else. It used to be much longer and actually layed down.

The first show at McKay Creek Farms near Hillsboro, Oregon. Me and Lad on the left. Ladde was a yearling and took a second place out of a large group of much smaller yearlings. I forget how many times the judge asked me, "how old is that colt?". I screamed and wrapped my arms around Lad's neck and gave him a big ole kiss because I'd not expected to win anything. Happy! On the right is my mom with Harley. Harley got a 4th place in the weiner class out of a very large class. Neither boy had ever been to a show before, and it was Harley's first time ever being away from his momma. Pretty good for a couple of pasture punks.

I'm not afraid that old flag!

Feeling his oats...the stud muffin!

Ladde has done so much groundwork - I think he could now teach me a few things.
And below is a picture of our mentor and hero - Mr. Ray Hunt. These following pictures were taken in July 1999 in Seneca, Oregon at the colt class where I started riding Ladde the first time ever. Ladde and I both have much to be grateful to this special man for. Thanks Ray!
Go catch your colts. Lad had already picked his very own harem. The little paint mare and Ray's grandson's gelding. They were his dammit!! This proved to be a huge challenge the next 4 days for us.

We were like flys on their backs. Riding in halters with strict instructions not to direct them at all, or the halters would be removed. Ray flagged the colts while we rode. Very interesting. Me and Ladde on the far right...little paint mare very close by.

I think I see a pattern developing here...
Steve Rother in background on the left. (he's a clinician now)

This was a blast to watch. I had saddled Ladde many times at home, but some of these youngsters had obviously never even seen a saddle before. Let the games begin!!

My friend Mary who went to the clinic with me is the photographer. Thanks for everything Miss Mary!! She knows all the things I'm thankful to her for. I wouldn't have made it had it not been for Mary. What a friend!

Me and my boy. In case you're wondering, that lovely big spot on his side there is poop.

Back off boys - these two are mine!!

Uh-oh, what now? Ladde's about to get flagged by Ray and learn how to cross over in the front end. Later we got to ride them while Ray did this. It was all fun, but scary at the time too.

Isn't Ray's little mare a cutie? She was the perfect girl the whole weekend. I've never seen Ray ride a horse who seemed even slightly bothered about anything. They're just calm and relaxed. Ladde, the big brute later kicked Ray's horse when Ray positioned himself between Ladde and the little Paint mare...mistake. So, Ray slapped Ladde in the face with his flag. I grabbed horn and held on for dear life while the Laddmonster spun on his haunches and lit out at a full gallop for the opposite end of the arena - yeehaw!!! To add insult to injury, (thanks Ray) over the loudspeaker Ray yelled at me, "don't fall off and teach your horse that you can fall". Thankfully, that was not something Ladde learned that day. This might be a good time to mention that I did a lot of talking to the Father that weekend.

It was a challenge for this short woman to climb aboard this big colt. At 3 years and 4 months old, Ladde stood a hair under 17 hands high already. I refuse to measure him anymore because he has grown since then...I don't even want to know.

This working cattle ranch where the clinic was held was in a valley about halfway between Burns and John Day in a tiny little town called Seneca and was nestled in a valley about 7000 ft. altitude surrounded by the Strawberry Mountains on one side and some other mountain range on the other side. Absolutely beautiful!!

First day riding in the big arena. Oh boy. Sorry for the tiny pictures, this was before we had zoom lenses so Mary was pretty far away.

I can just hear Ray yelling at me over the loudspeaker - "get Appy turned around!!". I heard that a lot that weekend.

It's hard to see, but Ladde's tail is sticking straight out behind him - little sucker was feeling a might too spunky!! This was the last day of the clinic, and did I mention that I got heat stroke?
I finished but when I got off my horse, my legs wouldn't work and I just keep melting to the ground. Mary rescued me with cold water and a cold cloth for my face. Thanks Mary!!

There's Carolyn Hunt riding just ahead of us. I think I was attempting another turnaround to bring Ladde back down to earth.
Squirrely little sucker - he would have enjoyed flying across that great big old arena and seeing me go dirt surfing I believe. I rode him though.

Whoowee!! I am one happy and heat stroked gal here. The clinic is over - day 4 and I have lived to tell the tale. Thank you for everything Ray!!! We've had a blast!!! I will never, ever forget this clinic. One of my best (and most harrowing) ever!! July, 1999 Seneca, Oregon

Me and my boy at Sheep Springs.

Ladde loves to play in the water in the good old summertime. Life is good.

Taking life easy...

My honey and Ladd and Harley on the banks of the Metolius River just outside Camp Sherman, Oregon. Drop dead gorgeous river and country. We would love to move here.

He always listens to me...I love this expression of his. My sweet Ladde-boy.

Taken near Joe Graham Horse Camp by Timothy Lake in Mt. Hood National Forest. Ladde is still too young to be ridden here, but we took him along for one of his infamous "Nanook" adventures in the wilderness. We allowed him to run free while we were riding. Needless to say, he had grand adventures!!

Canyon Creek - cooling down the tootsies. Near Sisters, Oregon

Always the schmoozer. Cowboy Camp Meeting either 2004 or 2005 at Buck Creek Meadows at the base of Mt. Adams near Trout Lake, Washington. One of our most favorite places to go horse camping. Our beloved "Molly" was by my side. Rest in peace my beautiful queenie.

Kadie enjoying a roll in the dirt in the background. Must feel soooo good...

It's always a good time for a little snack -

Me and the Laddmonster riding in the Deschutes County Forest near Sheep Springs Horse Camp. Camp Sherman, Oregon

3 generation photo - Kadie (momma) on the left, Ladde in the center and beautiful Scooter aka Mis Star of David (paternal grandma) on the right. Scoot is also Harley's momma.

Ladde has never had any problems relaxing...wherever he goes! Back in camp - siesta!

Near "The Big Tree" Mt. Adams in Washington state.

Schmoozing and fraternizing with the boy and his hat. I remember this was the campout where Ladde escaped his rope corral and got into our fruit basket. He ate everything except the oranges and bananas - if you do not like it, stomp it into the dirt. (note to self)

Must be nap-thirty again...

Cool and confident...this shot was taken going over Buck Creek near Mt. Adams in Washington state. Ladde leading the pack with our friend Greg aboard, followed by Harley with my hubby aboard. You can't see it, but the creek is rushing through a narrows at this spot and it's beautiful, white water...and the water is cold.

Just another day at the office. This boy is livin' life large...and lovin' every minute of it!!
God Bless you Ladde!!! Hugs and kisses for your birthday big guy...and may there be many, many more to come.
No, I won't forget the cake!!!
Blessings to all, Cingspots


Big Daddy said...

Iam so very proud of you two. I love you both.

Gail said...

What a birthday tribute! And wonderful adventures...thanks for sharing.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Awwww! What a special beautiful tribute to your handsome HUGE Ladde boy. He sure is handsome. I also noticed how much his coloring changed from year to year. It looks as if he is almost whited-out. Will he next darken again or get spots? I don't know much about appys, but I do think they are attractive horses.
It's also amazing how fast and how HUGE he's grown. Is that typical for the appy breed, too? Or could Ladde have something else somewhere in his history?
He sure is one special horse and I can tell how much how you adore him and think the world of him, too.

You've spent a lot of time with your boy over the years. And how awesome to have had those clinics with Ray Hunt. Awesome!!
I bet you are so happy that Mary took so many amazing photos at that first clinic. You guys looked great and Ladde totally stood out. lol!

You are are also very blessed to have had so many unique and special opportunities to ride in such gorgeous places. You must love to reminise (sp?) all the trails and horse camps you've taken together. I think it's also so wonderful that your hubby enjoys riding horses, too. I'm envious of that, too. My hubby enjoys being around horses, but doesn't have much interest in riding. I'm just so very happy for you, too. You have so much to be thankful for, sweetie. What a full, rich, joyous life you lead.

And with a handsome, big, Appy boy to share it with, too.

Happy Birthday Ladde!!!

Here's to many more birthdays with yummy carrot cakes to savor. :D


Nuzzling Muzzles said...

It was fun looking through all these photos and seeing how he's changed. Happy birthday, boy!

Grey Horse Matters said...

Aww, Happy Birthday big guy. Hope you get your carrot cake. He's a beautiful boy, I love the big horses. You have had so many adventures through such beautiful country. I'm sure there are many more to come. It's easy to see that boy loves you and you him, enjoy each other.

fernvalley01 said...

Happy Birthday to the boy beautiful .I got a little teary looking at his baby pics!
Looks like that colt starting clinic was something ! not for the faint of heart . Ridem Cowgilr .Obviously it worked ,what a wonderful fella!
Have a great W/E I will be in touch re Hawaii!

gtyyup said...

A very Happy Birthday Ladde and wishing you many more!

That was a beautiful tribute to a gorgeous horse!! Lots of familiar territory girl!! Even McKay Creek arena!! Wow...and I used to live outside of Yamhill for a couple of years when I worked for the Bryant's and the Flying M Ranch.

You'll have many more years of pleasure with that big boy...congrats~~

Maria said...

happy birthday Ladde, great pictures, handsome boy

Pony Girl said...

I loved this post! What a handsome boy. It was fun to go on a little journey of his life to date with all of the photos! It's interesting seeing how his coat pattern has changed so much, he really doesn't look like the same horse in some pictures (oh, his sire is gorgeous, by the way!) I didn't realize Ladde was SO huge! He looks like such a character and so expressive, and is obviously a really special part of your family. You've really covered some beautiful land with him.
The pics with Ray were you said, the one on my sidebar (and the one from his website) are from that clinic, how cool that you were there and experienced some of Ray's wisdom and advice!

Molly said...

Fabulous post. To be able to see both father and mother and then early pictures on his birthday made it a totally lovely story.
Happy Birthday studly boy.

Dusty Devoe said...

Happy B-Day Ladde! What a handsome boy. The pictures are great. Wish I had some of Dusty when he was a baby and growing up. Some things just aren't meant to be! I have him now!

Heidi the Hick said...

I love a varnish roan appaloosa!

It's always a buzz to see how they change over the years, isn't it? He's a good horse.

C-ingspots said...

Thanks for the well wishes everybody! We've taken so many pics over the years, it was hard choosing a few to post. He is a special horse and has tons of personality.
And, yes he had 3 pieces of carrot cake and wanted more!
Lisa, Appys don't generally get so big, but occasionally you hear of some big ones. And, it is quite common for them to change coloring over the years, but they don't get darker later, usually lighter. Ladde is as white as snow, but his skin is spotted underneath. The spots only show up when he's wet.
Karen, Bryant Ranch is just a few miles from where we live, maybe we were neighbors! And, Flying M is a common camping destination for us because in 30 minutes we're there and setting up camp. Small world!

Train Wreck said...

Oh happy birthday Ladde. I wanted to stop by and thank you for your beautiful comment. Thank yoiu so much. He was like a brother. I love and miss him. I know it will only bring us closer to his wife and boys. I just wish we had him a little longer.

Jenn said...

What a lovely collection of pics of Ladde! And what LEGS he had as a baby! WOW! His daddy is definitely a handsome fella, good choice.

It looks like he's had a pretty awesome life and you guys have had many, many good times. Happy birthday Ladde, and best wishes for many, many more happy trails!

greymare said...

Happy birthday to the big guy. Reading your story made me think of how lucky we are to have that special horse. They're all nice to us but there is always one that has that special something. My old girl was jsut that horse. She and I had some great times. I haven;t had the same opportunities with her son but the special ones can never be replaced. Enjoy him, he is so beautiful and what a character. Thanks for the memories.

allhorsestuff said...

The way his colori8ng has changed reminds me of the lippizans...I really don't think I coud have picked him out today according to his baby color!
I do love it when they can relax and lay always meake me feel good to see that!
HAPPY B DAY LADDIE!!! I am so glad your lorie has you!

Fantastyk Voyager said...

Thanks for the pictures. Ladde was darling and HUGE. He is still beautiful, and HUGE!!!
Enjoy him!