The first year I Team Penned, I was not doing so well.. My old horse, Red, was just getting too old to work him that hard, and my newer horse, Ricky, was still learning about cows. I decided I needed a horse that had a bit more experience to get me to the next level.
I watched this beautiful bay horse cut cows like no other, and found out the owner was looking to sell him. I gave him a try and he was really good. We had better times than I ever had. I started to notice how the guy was riding him, and it made me sick! He jabbed the horse with his spurs hard, just to go into a walk! He never asked lightly first. I knew that horse would be even better with someone who treated him with respect. So I made my offer to purchase him. Just before I handed over the money, the horse ended up getting hurt in some barbed wire where he was pastured. I told the owner that I would take him anyway if the vet thought he would be sound.
A couple weeks later the vet gave me the okay and I bought him. In the following weeks Whiskey and I moved up in the standings of both the team penning associations I was in. We were a pretty good team. The previous owner, feeling sellers remorse, offered to buy him back for more than he paid.. Of course I said no.
The previous owner told me I had to wear spurs when I rode him, and not knowing too much I did.. I thought if I was diligent about using my calves first, I would be fine, and I was at first.. I didn’t take into account adrenaline coming into the picture. A couple months into competing on Whiskey, I found out that wasn’t the brightest thing I ever did.. We were riding really well that day, and going for the best time of the day. We had all three cows cut out and headed for the pen, when the cow I was pushing decided to cut back to the herd. I put my heel on Whiskey, not used to the added affect of the spur, and he went to bucking like he was a bronco at the NFR! I was told I put in a 90 point ride, before I got him straightened out and finished penning the cows. That was the LAST time I ever wore spurs on him! A couple of months later I ran into the man (I use that term loosely) who “broke” Whiskey. He proceeded to tell me how dangerous Whiskey was, and that he would surely hurt somebody. I just grinned to myself and put my youngest daughter (7 years old) on him so she could pen in the youth division. She won a check!
We went on to get top ten in both the associations I rode in, and without the spurs, he didn’t buck again. I finally got my other horse to a point where I could pen on him pretty good and I passed whiskey on down to my 7 year old daughter, who not only won more money with him in team penning, but went on to show him in jumping competitions, getting top ten in her first major show against 30 other competitors, as well as winning at barrels, poles, pleasure, flag race, keyhole, and anything else she entered!