Maribeth + Tuff
I’ll never forget the phone call from my friend, “Hey someone dropped off a bunch of weanlings at the sale barn that are super sick and malnourished, will you help me pick one out?” The story goes that in the middle of the night someone dropped off 10 yearlings that were actually weanlings without any food or information – then left. Of course, those babies didn’t bring in any money so the owners of the sale barn were going to shoot them all to put them out of their misery. A woman heard about them, picked up the four best looking, and advertised them on Facebook.
In two days they were all claimed, but on our way down to pick up a filly, the girl who claimed the stud colt decided to back out. My friend immediately asked if I wanted him and I immediately said no. I was a poor college student with two horses, living 800 miles away from home. Upon inspection of the babies that were untouchable, I decided that the colt was the best looking of the entire bunch, but my friend had her heart set on a filly.
Three hours later, we managed to corral one filly and that stud colt into the same stall of a two-horse, straight-load bumper pull trailer. Yes, these were small babies. After draining all the puss from the deep cuts on his legs, convincing him to let me touch him, and putting groceries in his belly, I thought I would be ready to send him off to his next home.
It has been nearly four years. Selling that pony would have been the biggest mistake I’ve ever made. As a two-year-old stud colt, he was going bridleless in open fields. As a three-year-old stud, he was giving riding lessons to first-time riders. As a four-year-old gelding, he ponies around my unruly colts and encourages them to be respectful. As a five-year-old gelding, he will be entering reining shows and showing off all of his insane natural talent. Quiet enough for a youngster, respectful enough to put an aggressive colt in it’s place, kind enough to perk his ears and meet you at the pasture gate every day, beautiful enough to ride through my year as Miss Rodeo Indiana, talented enough to do well in any area you ask. That’s Tuff. That’s my right horse.