Miss T loves nothing more than giving joyrides around her home turf on The River Valley Ride. Owner and guide, Nicola, tells us that this doe-eyed beauty was once an ugly duckling! Read on to learn about Miss T’s lucky break, and what makes her such a star team member.
Horse’s name: Miss T
When and how did you find Miss T?
I had been wanting my own horse – one to train just for me. I drove out to a property in our area that had a Quarter Horse stud. Looking at the young ones, some very beautiful, I couldn’t see one that I really wanted. But a few days later, I saw a photo of this young horse from the same property being advertised, so I went back. The breeder hadn’t shown her to me when I visited because going by the description I gave him, she was not what I was after.
When I first saw her in the yard, I decided he was right: she was not what I was looking for. She was two years old but so little, and not that well-conditioned, even a bit scrawny. Standing in the corner she looked alert, but derelict at the same time. She stood a little pigeon toed on one hoof and had the most hideous brand on each shoulder. Apparently, she was the last-born foal of the season, number 34, and I presumed the runt.
Standing in the yard, I turned around to say thanks for getting her in, but ‘no thank you’ to taking her. Before I could open my mouth, I felt a nudge on my back. Unbeknownst to me, she had walked up to me and started nibbling the fringes of my jacket. Like all of the property’s young horses, she was completely unhandled. The stud brings them in to be branded and drenched, then turns them out on the hill country. Yet she felt so soft, and just stood there when I turned around. My heart melted. When I opened my mouth, the words that came out were, ‘Thank you, I will take her’.
How does she fit in with your herd?
She is very alert and is the first to notice you coming into the paddock. She is always looking out for the other horses.
What do your riding guests most love about Miss T?
Probably the fact that I put her in our trekking team! Her most recent rider, April, said this:
‘Miss T is the sweetest, most honest little trooper. Very responsive with gorgeous gaits. I loved riding her and couldn’t wait to see her each morning. To me, she was ‘the complete package’, an amazing mount for eight days of trekking in the wilderness. I wanted to take her home!’
As a guide, what do you most love about her?
Her responsiveness and ability to walk out and be a good leader in a group.
What are some of Miss T’s idiosyncrasies?
She has a tomboy personality and can be goofy, expressing herself without any airs or graces. She lets you know how she feels, being melodramatic at times, which makes me laugh. I taught her to turn her head and look at you when you are mounting, and this makes you feel very connected to her.
Is there a stand-out story, or anything else we should know about Miss T?
The stud that Miss T came from delivers the horses in their own truck. When she arrived, she was very frightened and had knocked her nose in the truck. It had a reasonable cut, was bleeding, and swelled up over the next few days. I couldn’t put a halter on her to handle her for six months because of this, so we did everything without one. The day I put one on her, she was not impressed! She made it very clear she did not need that! Fortunately, that was the only major disagreement we had together with her training. She has been a dream to work with and has taught me not to judge a horse by how it looks on the outside. Like her, the best horses are those that love to be with us and give us their hearts. She was my intrepid trail blazer on the exploratory expedition for the River Valley Ride, finding our way over rivers and mountainous countryside.
If you’d like to learn more about The River Valley Ride, check out the ride page here.
You can also check out our Q&A with hosts and guides Nicola and Janey here.