Silky spent the early days of her career at an Appaloosa race track. She sustained a back injury after just a few races that ended her racing career. She then somehow made her way to Oklahoma where she was a barrel racer for a couple of years. For reasons unknown to her mom Silky was labeled as “psycho” and “untrainable” during her barrel racing days and she was sent to an auction. A trainer from Florida happened to be attending the auction and she purchased Silky and shipped her to Florida. It was in Florida, 25 years ago, that Silky and her mom met.
Silky’s mom was attending summer camp at the barn where Silky was living. It was her first time being around horses and she was assigned a 30 year old mare named Star. Star was slow and bombproof and gentle, but Silky’s mom found herself drawn to another stall. The stall that everyone was warned to stay away from. This horse would kick the stall walls, charge the stall door, and snort and grind her teeth so loudly that you could hear it on the other side of the barn. This horse was, of course, Silky.
A few weeks after that, Silky promptly tossed her mom into a puddle — her first fall. As soon as she fell, Silky stopped, craned her neck to look at her, tossed her head and walked back toward the barn. She never fell off of Silky again. Silky learned how to shift herself under her weight when she felt that her young rider was off balance. Countless times her trainer yelled, “she just saved your ass kid.” They learned together and soon found themselves ranked number two in Florida for the 13 and under division on the hunter circuit.
During this time the family decided to move to Tryon, North Carolina to immerse themselves in the horse scene. They bought a small farm, built a couple of barns and an arena, and purchased more horses to maximize training and showing opportunities. Silky remained the “go to” horse, and after the move to North Carolina Silky and her mom changed their focus to eventing. Silky and her mom were Pony Club Rally champions. During all of their years together, both showing in the hunters and in eventing, Silky never refused a single jump. No matter how intimidating the jump was, Silky’s mom said she never had to worry about Silky stopping at a jump because it simply never happened.
During her time in North Carolina Silky survived a life threatening tying-up episode that everyone, including her vet, thought would lead to her being euthanized when she was only 12 years old. Silky shocked everyone by recovering. She had several months off from riding to allow her to fully recover after that scary incident. During that time she was bred and delivered a beautiful filly that her mom named Goddess. Once Silky was ready to go back to work she and her mom returned to their winning ways.
When the time came for Silky’s mom to go off to college Silky went too. After graduating from college Silky’s mom semi-retired her to trail riding status. Silky was 19 years old at the time. They continued to enjoy light riding together until Silky was 25 and her mom decided it was time to fully retire her.
However Silky was a stubborn Appy who liked to prove people wrong. Thankfully she bonded quickly with her new group of friends. The first day Silky was out with her group she was terrified and wouldn’t go near the other horses, still expecting to get chased like she had at her previous barn. Maisie, one of the mares Silky lived with at our farm, insisted on quietly following Silky around everywhere Silky tried to hide. Eventually she touched noses with Maisie, and within a few days Silky was one of the girls and part of the family. The horse that had us questioning her future proved Jason and I very wrong and proceeded to blossom. She gained weight, became very social, and generally had a great time for the last 4.5 years.
Over a 25 year relationship it is not surprising that Silky had earned a variety of nicknames from her mom through the years. Some of her nicknames included The Woo, Woosa, Happy Appy, Appywoo, or simply Woman when she was being testy. Silky loved apples and would beg for a treat by holding up a front hoof. She loved sunbathing, and she loved grooming and hanging out with her friends at our farm. She also made it known to all involved each year that she hated the dentist.