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National Day of the Horse

Please welcome guest blogger, Kirsti Kasch!

National Day of the Horse

by Kirsti Kasch

She was nothing special when I found her, just a scrawny yellow mare. No papers, no record breaking genetics, “just a grade mare” who wasn’t very well taken care of. I begged and pleaded to call her mine when graduation rolled around. Finally dad broke down and gave her a chance at greatness. He invested in her, but most importantly he invested in us. Fancy and I became a team. She was a hot mess. But so was I.

Kirsti and Fancy at a rodeo in Gruver, Texas.

Shortly after buying Fancy, who was to be my first “practice horse” that I was hardly getting along with, my childhood rope horse came up lame. Not the lame that you give them some “bute” and turn them out for a few days. The kind of lame that makes you cry all the way to Hansford County Vet. I dried my tears when I stepped out of the truck, only because cowgirls don’t cry in front of people. Pepsi couldn’t back up. As much as his heart wanted to please me, his body couldn’t make it happen. He had no idea how to make his hind end work. The staff at the vet ran test after test resulting in a negative. If I had known he was going to live the last week under a microscope I would have brought him home, so that he could have died with dignity. I wanted to save him. I wanted the vetenarian to save him. He was just a piss head that I had begged my dad for, and if love could’ve saved him, he would’ve lived forever.

When I got home there stood Fancy, a tiny little mare who had been underestimated her whole life, perhaps just waiting for an opportunity to shine. I hated pushing her, but I had no choice. She was the A team now, the only thing that could get me down the road. I was in a slump for weeks after loosing Pepsi. I couldn’t catch a calf, if someone handed it to me. I trotted for miles trying to get her rode down. They had the same spirit for sure. Hot.

The last run I had made on Pepsi, I roped a 2.3 and was one place out of the short go, at some jackpot I wasted his talent on. My first run on the little mare Fancy, I was a 3.2 and was sure it was only while I was settling her into the box, Dad had said, “Ride her like you stole her.” I pushed her that day. The calves were really running and I was one place out of the short go on her too.

I gained my confidence back at that event and Fancy began to power out of the box like Pepsi used to do. She got in the ground like him. She had a lot to prove like him. I hauled her for two years  and she became an all-around gal, ranch work, wheat pasture, and in the arena she was sure to not disappoint. I made her ride exactly like Pepsi, which wasn’t my best plan. At a shoot out rodeo in Canadian, Texas in an arena with a roping set-up that I hated, I backed her into the box. I needed a time. My mom, a former rodeo secretary, had it figured out down to the point. “I don’t care if you bounce the calf of the back fence, if that’s what is takes for you to catch,” she said. I giggled. I was going to pitch my loop as soon as I got out of the box just to make her nervous.

That is exactly what I did. “2.6 and that was smokin’,” the announcer said. I looked back to check and I was clean at the barrier. I looked up to give God the Glory and then looked down with thoughts of Pepsi, the man that got me here. He deserved some credit too.

I had the time of my life on Fancy, but then I grew out of her. I was having to ask her for her life which she gave to keep me in the money. It wasn’t fair for her to give everything just to keep me satisfied. I had a tough decision to make. The solution became clear. I gave Fancy, the horse that was my everything, to a young girl who was ready for a step-up.

I blessed my blessing and never regretted it for a minute. The talk went around, as it usually does, and I heard that this family had paid $10,000 for my Fancy. The stories rumors weren’t true. I smile because based on her performance and talent, that is probably her worth, but she’s worth way more than that to me. Give and it will be given to you. Pressed down, shaken together to make room for more. (Luke 6:38)

Fancy with her new owner.

In short time, my life was blessed back with another hot little mare called Olive, with more talent than I could have ever thought about praying for. I have been blessed by every four-legged stepping stone that gallops into my world.

Kirsti and Olive at the Sanford Ranch’s spring branding.

Today, on National Day of the Horse, I could write stories for years about horses saving me physically and emotionally, and making a huge impact in my life. So cherish the old ones, use the young ones, and don’t be afraid to

“ride ’em like you stole ’em”


Thanks, Kirsti, for stopping by Prairie Purview Blog and for sharing the story about Pepsi and Fancy.

NOTE: Kirsti works as our office manager at Bright Land & Cattle, and she also helps me with book promotion and event planning at NKB BOOKS. She’ll be guest blogging more in 2018, so check back for a few cowgirl struggles and Texas horse stories from Kirsti. In the meantime, check out her new blog at Gracefully Reckless.

Kirst and Bob, her Corgi.


Coming Soon from Natalie Bright: 

More rescue animal stories in short chapter books for your emerging readers. Flash is back and you’ll meet TAZ, a registered Hackney rescue horse that marched in his first parade. Both books will be available in eBook and Print format, and we’ll be announcing dates and times for book events where you can meet these two horses. Sign up for my eNewsletter to keep updated on all of the upcoming news and events.