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The Herd

Published: 3/28/2013
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By Maddy Butcher Gray

After four years of interacting with NickerNews readers, officially introducing my herd is probably overdue.

Let’s just say, things got busy.

And anyway, NickerNews is geared more toward hearing from others – with Guest Columns, Your Horse, Bucket Lists, and Memorial pages.

But you asked for it, so here goes.

To view photo albums of each horse on our facebook pages

Brooke – 14.2 hands. Bay Quarterhorse. 14 years old (or so).
The Alpha Mare. She came to me from a rescue agency and had a history of neglect (being crammed into a stall with three other horses for years). She’s the most food aggressive horse I’ve ever had. She’s got bright eyes and can be smart and willing. She can also throw tantrums. Read more

Jodi – 15 hands. Paint. 4 ½ years old.
Jodi came to us from Wisconsin last year as an untouched tank. Wide and willing, she’s curious, strong, and will be a challenge for us this year as we get her under saddle. After arriving in July, she quickly worked her way up the chain of command and sits at No.2, but can sometimes be out-maneuvered by Shea.
Read Jodi-related blog posts
Watch comic video

Shea – 15.2 hands. PMU (Half Quarterhorse, half Belgian). 13 years or so.
Shea had a least three owners before coming to me with little experience undersaddle. But she’s developed into a sensitive lug and reliable, willing partner. She’s not fast or agile, but sure is sweet. She’s marvelous at ponying other horses and I often take advantage of her pulling genes for fun or for a job.
Read Shea-related articles
Watch Holiday video, starring Shea

Pep – 13.2 hands. Paint pony of unknown lineage. 13 years.
Her former owners were exasperated by her bolting, spooking, not wanting to be caught, and for her steadfast refusal to assume the role of beginner’s pony. What an incredible go-go girl! She has a well-established reputation of smarts, speed, attitude, and endurance. As long as you stay off the reins and stay ready for sudden movement, you’ll have a fantastic time.
Read Pep-related articles
Watch Summer video, starring Pep

Comet – 15.3 hands. Paint. 10 years. When my significant other, Steve, acquired Comet, she was wild and unrideable. Since then, she’s been patiently developed as a graceful, strong trail horse. She’s at the bottom of the herd rank which may explain how at ease she is on her own. She’s a bit of a prima donna whether in the pasture or on the trail; she acts dainty and likes to have things just-so.
Read Comet-related articles

See herd slideshows on NickerNews facebook pages.

A few practical and philosophical notes.
At my barn, we’re into:
  • long-term relationships
  • second chances for troubled horses
  • letting horses be horses with minimal management
Like so many of you, these ideas continue to evolve as I learn more as a person, journalist, and horsewoman. I’ll look forward to hearing about your ideas and seeing your herd!

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View Reader Comments:

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4/4/2013 Hannah
4/4/2013 Vintz da printz
Maddy, so glad about what you have done for all of your critters and my special Miss Brooke.
5/29/2017 rita
Great. Love to read. Thanks

"If the horse does not enjoy his work, his rider will have no joy." - H.H. Isenbart