Remember Rosie, the horse Maggie started working with back in 2016? Lots has changed for that dear horse in the past two years. Back then our friend Jusdi was leasing Rosie, but since she was able to purchase her. Rosie moved from a small stall at an Anchorage barn to Jusdi’s beautiful horse property out in Chugiak. This was all great for Rosie, but not so much for Maggie. It’s nearly an hour drive each way to their house, and we knew that wouldn’t work with icy highways and busy schoolnights. As a result, we had to say goodbye to Tuesdays with Rosie.
But maybe we should find a way to start again?
Rosie was in Anchorage last weekend for a horse show, so we popped over to say hello to this old friend. After chatting for a while, Jusdi asked if Maggie would like to ride in this weekend’s rodeo. Of course that was an enthusiastic yes! We scheduled a practice session for Thursday morning, and Jusdi told Maggie to study the patterns for her events.
That night I found this on Maggie’s desk. Apparently when it comes to horses, homework is fun?
Thursday morning we headed out to Chugiak for a practice session. It’s been years since Maggie has ridden Rosie, but they clearly remember each other. Maggie is now older and bigger, but just as fearless. She was trotting and cantering away in no time! Jusdi even loaned Maggie her blingy belt so she would be ready for the big event on Friday night.
I’d never attended a rodeo, yet alone had a child participate in one! Jusdi registered one of her little boys and Maggie for three events: barrel racing, pole weaving, and goat ribbon pull. Both kids took turns warming up Rosie, who was acting a bit feisty during the saddle changes. She hasn’t done events like this before (or ever seen a goat) so none of us were sure how it would go. Maggie’s cheering section included Grandma, Sam, Clark, and me. We also had Jusdi’s youngest little guy, who was a wee bit tired!
Maggie’s didn’t know what to expect, but she did not want to be disqualified by breaking the pattern. That was her primary goal. She also wanted to avoid knocking over any of the barrels or poles. SUCCESS!
Here’s a two minute video compilation of her events. (Not sure why the announcer says she is part of the Alaska Quarter Horse Association – that’s not true. And you also have to disregard the guy behind us talking about photographing funerals. Sigh.)
As you can see, Rosie was a champ… for both Maggie and Jusdi’s son!
So now we have a 13-year-old girl who is head over cowboy boots in love with this horse again. And from the way Rosie nestles her head against Maggie’s cheek, I’d say the feeling is mutual. Where this goes from here is anyone’s guess, but right now we all feel so grateful for Jusdi, Rosie, and this wonderful experience for Maggie. I’m not sure she is ever going to stop smiling!