To read a detailed story of Jan and Rosie, click here: Jan's Journey: Thoughts about my five years with Rosie
Rosie: In Memory
Jan first rode Rosie in September 2000 and bought her in November, when Rosie was 12 and Jan was 49. Rosie died five years later, on September 17, 2005. Jack posted the following summary of those five years on a bulletin board:
The first time I ever saw Rosie was when an older lady contacted me about riding her for awhile. The lady was about 70 yrs old & had kind of learned to ride when she was about 55. I went to pick her up & asked the lady to show me how they were getting along. Rosie would run over you, pull back & throw up her head, bug her eyes out & look for something to spook at.
She was 12 yrs old & had been used mostly as a brood mare. They'd try to ride her every year & when she had a fit, I guess they'd put her back in the pasture & breed her. Two years later, when the colt was weaned, they'd start all over again.
When I unloaded her at home, I led her about 50 feet & here she came 90 miles an hour trying to run over me. I was expecting this & just stuck my arm up & she ran into my elbow. She immediately went into a 10 minute pout with a confused look on her face. I guess I was the first person in her 12 yr old life that had not gotten out of her way, then put "poor baby" back in the pasture for another year because she was an ARABIAN, they are very sensitive, & I was upsetting her. LOL
Then I started riding her. She'd do the same kind of things when you were on her as she did on the ground. Usually I'd just let her have her hissy while I just kept on doing whatever we were doing. The worst thing she'd do is, when you turned for home, she'd just speed up or even take off if you let her. I'd just turn her to the left & give her slack, & then to the right the next time she took off. Just kind of used that energy to do something else with. Sometimes I'd turn her what seemed like 200 times each way in a quarter of a mile.
I gave the lady lessons on her & they seemed to be getting along better. I rode the mare about 45 times before the lady took her back. Anyhow, in about 2 months I got a call from the lady saying she wanted to get rid of the mare & did I know of anyone that wanted to buy her. I said I'd come in next time I was in town & talk to her about what had happened. The lady had gotten scared of her. She wanted to know if we wanted her. We didn't have any money, but she quoted us a cheap price & said we could make payments on her. My wife had ridden the mare a few times while she was in training at our place. They had got along fine & Jan kind of liked the mare. Jan had ridden a lot of horses in her life, but had never owned one of her own. Anyhow, we took the mare home to try for a week to see how they'd get along. Everything went fine, so we ended up buying her.
Jan then rode her for the next 5 years. Jan's not basically an aggessive rider & Rosie needed a lot of leadership. If you didn't think of something for Rosie to do, she'd think of something to do & what she thought to do was not always the best choice. Jan moved a million imaginary cows on her & thought up another million imaginary jobs to do on the mare. Rosie just kept helping Jan get better & Jan just kept on helping Rosie get better. Rosie even got so that I could rope & work colts off of her in the round pen.
Jan used her a lot at clinics to demonstrate things. She got so you could put anyone on her. We gave lessons to small kids on her & we used her a lot to help riders be aware of what a horse with "FEEL" felt like. She could go 90 miles an hour or just plod along--whatever you asked for. The main thing I saw in Rosie was that when we put someone on her, she would inspire them to do things (like give slack at the trot or lope) that they hadn't been able to do on their own horses. Then, after riding Rosie, they'd go back & do it on their own horse.
The main thing I got from all this is seeing what Jan got from Rosie & at the same time what Rosie got from Jan. That's what this is all about. It was priceless & can't be explained. You'd have to have been there & seen it. It definitely showed me what could be possible with a horse & rider & inspired me to be a better horseman.
There's a line in a hymn that Rosie will always bring to mind. It goes something like this: Precious memories, how they linger . . . . .
Excerpt from a special letter from a friend following Rosie's death:
"After the sadness of the loss goes, I think God does fill you all up again, with their spirit. A little essence, something of her, will always be in you. As other horses reach to you for your help and wisdom and "feel," little Rosie will reach right back to them, and help you thru the rest of your time here on earth. Gifts from God are funny that way."
Just out of the picture to the right is the colt being roped, about to step into the loop. You can see her shadow. Chatroom friends meet--from Nevada, New York, and Colorado.
At a clinic, Sandy was afraid to try riding with slack
on her pushy Arab, so she tries it on Rosie first.
Their faces tell the story! An experiment