Friday, October 22, 2021

Shortcake milkshake

A stray comment in a recent post sent me on a trip down memory lane.

This is Shortcake. She was one of my favorite horses at the Don K Ranch.
Most of the ranch horses were somewhere in the fifteen hand range, but Shortcake was considerably shorter. That's her in the middle of the photo, making a bunch of small horses look big.
Because of her small stature and sweet nature, Shortcake was mostly used for kids.
Here she is competing in the "rodeo" with one lucky young guest.
When she wasn't assigned to a kid, I rode her.
This was a real treat for me. Most of the staff horses were very green or very problematic. Shortcake was brave, sensible and well trained. I adored her and was really glad I was the only wrangler short enough to ride her!
There was a similar horse at Lake Mancos Ranch. His name was Milkshake, and he was a pale palomino tobiano and (probably) all of thirteen two hands tall.
Like Shortcake, Milkshake was mostly a kid's horse. 
He was not, however, a beginner's horse. Shortcake was a spook. He was very alert and forever seeing danger lurking behind the rocks and trees. This made him a fun challenge for small, older kids who were comfortable in the saddle, but way too much pony for most of our young guests.
There were some weeks when we didn't have a kid for Milkshake, and then he was mine. Those were the best times. In spite - or perhaps because - of the spooking, Milkshake was a delightful partner. He was a sweet, personable mount who made every ride an adventure. Once again, I was so glad I was the only wrangler small enough to ride the ponies. Sometimes it's good to be vertically challenged!


  1. as a rider of a 14hh mare, I wholeheartedly agree <3

  2. definitely, as a very short rider it is sometimes nice to have a bit less horse doing crazy stuff on the end of my lead-line