1982  - 26 Sep 2009

In summer of 1993 I was searching for a horse who was not too old and not too young, and gentle enough for my daughters and I to ride.  I was looking for a "good ol boy", who was not a young colt who needed lots of work to be able to ride.  I found ad in the newspaper for an 11 year old "ranch" gelding out on a remote ranch  in the Sweetgrass Hills of North Central Montana.  I drove for about 30 miles on a gravel road, with directions such as turn right at the three mail boxes and keep on going, STOP before you hit the Canadian border.  Didn't have GPS in those days.  Found the ranch and DUDE!  He was exactly what I was looking for, a big, strong red dun gelding, who had some spunk but not too much.   I didn't have a horsetrailer to bring him home, so part of the deal with the rancher was a little extra in the payment for him to be "delivered" to our 5-acre country "estate".  We had fenced the acreage, brought in water and electricity, and built a basic shelter for horse, hay, and equipment.  Dude seemed quite happy with his new home.  He was introduced to all kinds of new experiences with us.  We put an English Saddle on him and taught him how to jump small hurdles (something we learned taking 3 years of riding lessons in the UK).  He took everything new with willingness to learn and gentle spirit.  In his last few years, when he was retired to pasture, he was still 100% safe to put little grandson on for a ride on his favorite horse "Dude".  Dude was 27 (or more) years old when he went to the Rainbow Bridge where he is now able to graze in green pastures (something he could never do while he was alive because he foundered on green grass) with his  Cavalier buddies already chasing butterflies.