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The Team


The Team
November 1, 2022

Beth, my lovely wife, and I needed a lot of assistance getting started.  I noted in prior blogs that I’d catch y’all up on the team.  Now is the time.

I’ll start at the top.  Ikey is the senior member.  She is 92 years senior.  She was the second licensed female jockey in the United States.   She has mild dementia and is a hoot to talk to, if you have experience with dementia you know what I mean.  She says she had to be twice as good as the men to survive, she was!  In lucid conversation she tells amazing stories.  Now a days she walks around the stalls and sweeps.  Beth and I sit and talk to her.  She listens to Ivy tell her what to do but, then she does her own thing.  Great to be around.

Ivy, next in line, is Ikey’s daughter. Ivy is a retired veterinarian.  She worked as head of vet medicine at racing tracks in California for many years.  Ivy is a free thinker.  What I mean is she knows how to get me to do tasks.  She calmly reminds me when this or that needs fixing.  She doesn’t nag, she tells me and expects I’ll get it done.  She is busy 110% of the time.  She feeds, waters and tends all the horses.  Ivy says she was born in a tack room at a race track.  She learned a lot from her mom Ikey and is passing it on to Winter.  If there is a logical one on the team it is Ivy.

Winter is ivy’s daughter.   Winter’s early years were spent in California.  Then the family moved to Lindale, Texas and operated a ranch and training school.  Circumstances caused a loss of their ranch and a position at Broken Heart Ranch, now our Wild Heart Ranch.   Winter is the official trainer, but aided by Ivy and Ikey.   Winter is amazing with kids and rider training.  I know this from observation and experience.   Beth didn’t think she would like horse riding but with Winter, everything is so calm and so well explained that Beth now looks forward to our riding lessons.   As mentioned before Winter lives for horses.  A consequence, in my opinion, is non linear thinking.  A conversation begins then meanders left then right then ends.  Sometimes I have to ask Winter what she wants because the point of the conversation is lost between ‘Mr Jeff can you…..and the horses need water.’   You can’t fault Winter, she is a worker.  Winter volunteered to have riding sessions for Light House for the Blind, and sessions for troubled teenagers.  There are always teenagers around the place helping Winter with chores in exchange for lessons. It is clear that she is great with kids, specially very young students.  She is always positive.  I’m an old man but I still smile when she says “good job Mr Jeff”.

Swazie is Winter’s daughter.  Swazie is 13 going on 22.  Y’all know what I mean.  Swazie rides and trains Goober, her horse.   She is instructed by Ivy working Goober.  But, Swazie  has her own trainer, Hanna separate from Winter.   As Winter noted, Swazie listens to her trainer but she won’t listen to Winter (about riding).   Swazie does listen to Winter as a mom.

As I write this I’m thinking - Beth, Ikey, Ivy, Winter, Swazie - no wonder I’m always working.  There is always some female around to tell me what to do.

Really impressed. My kids started by grooming and ended with a trail ride

Nate E.