We Have a New Horse


Her name is Zip! You may have met her before, but this is The New Zip! Zip 2.0! Improved, and fat-free! (Truthfully. She’s been working out.)

Here, Morgan was working her out on her trailer-loading skills.

Once upon a time, The Old Zip had some serious trailer-loading issues.

The New Zip scampers on and off a trailer with no hesitation.

We visited the trainer’s farm on Tuesday evening. This was Morgan’s first time since she got back home. The trainer spent a couple of hours training Morgan on how to do some of the basic groundwork exercises–backing off, flexing, lunging, yielding hindquarters, etc.

Then it was finally time to ride!

Note the horse trainer’s awesome horse barn. I love the hay storage directly overhead. There are even little doors where hay can be dropped straight down into the hay racks in the stalls.

Special wash stall:

Bridles and saddles, take your pick!

One of the trainer’s beautiful Rocky Mountain horses:

Morgan could hardly wait to get on Zip.

Morgan rode around the arena and the trainer gave her some quick pointers on English-style reining. Morgan has always ridden Western. She has a Western saddle. And she can keep having a Western saddle, but she’s going to have to learn to use the reins English-style. Zip has clearly been ridden quite a bit in the past, and she has no knowledge of neck reining. The trainer recommended that Morgan learn to use the reins English-style. Easier to retrain Morgan than to retrain Zip.

We don’t know anything about Zip’s past. In the time she’s been with the trainer, he has worked her hard on respect on the ground, which she was in need of brushing up! She started out not really wanting to do anything, probably because she hasn’t done anything for awhile. She has been ridden in the past, quite a bit, based on her display of immediate knowledge of a random variety of cues he has tried out on her. She may have been shown in the ring in the past. She may also have been used on the trail in the past. She operates really well on the trail. She has clearly been trained in English-style reining. She refuses to canter, no matter how much he tries. She isn’t gaited, though she appears to be a Standardbred (probable mix of Standardbred and Quarterhorse). She responds easily to commands to walk and trot and stop. She’s a companionable horse, friendly with people and something of a lapdog.

Most importantly, she’s a safe horse, not spooky, a horse I can trust Morgan with to ride out to the upper pastures on my farm, and up on the trails, and thanks to Mike Trader at Soggy Bottom Farm, she is a respectful horse now. She had it in her all along, we discovered. She just needed a firm, knowledgeable hand to bring her perspective back under control–and train us to handle her.

I felt perfectly safe letting Morgan take her out of the arena and into the wide open pasture for a joy ride.

Morgan didn’t have to be told twice that she could take Zip out on her own. This, this, this is what she’s been wanting to do!

And the trainer said, “You really lucked out with this horse.”

Then it was back to the barn.

I didn’t get a chance to ride Zip myself. We’re going back for a trail ride, hopefully tonight (if the weather cooperates), but I’ll let Morgan ride Zip and I’ll ride another horse. I knew that would happen. Morgan would come back and I’d have to give over to her–which is fine. I can ride Zip later, at home. I had my time at the trainer’s while Morgan was gone.

Our new horse Zip 2.0 is coming home on Monday and Morgan will be riding the pastures and trails on our farm–finally! And as for Patriot…….

He’s going next, and we’ll find out just what he’s got in him.


  1. Julia says:

    Congratulations! Isn’t it interesting that you have such a good horse for compassionate reasons. You knew Zip and Patriot were friends, and you opened your hearts to Zip for Patriot’s sake. And now look!

  2. liz2 says:

    What a wonderful improvement in both Zip & Morgan was accomplished by trainer Mike Trader! Loved seeing Morgan working & riding Zip. So happy for Morgan. Can’t wait to see the trainer work his magic on big baby Patriot

  3. KellyWalkerStudios says:

    :snoopy: That is SUPER!!!

  4. Teresa says:

    I am so happy it is working out with Zip. I am sure that Patriot will do just as good after some time with the trainer. I can’t wait to see them!

  5. wkf says:

    :woof: BRAVO! You are so fortunate to have Trainer Mike. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard ” I rode a horse once…..” and the littany of trauma’s that end the statement. When this all started I thought “Oh no I am reading another one!”. I was so relieved for you guys when Trainer Mike came into the picture. Horse people learn to recognize the fake trainers and y’all have the real deal. LOVE LOVE LOVE these posts.

  6. stacey3940 says:

    I’m so glad the training has paid off. I love the photos, especially of Zip and Morgan in the trailer looking out the window. It looks to me that Zip is probably standardbred and possibly off the track which would explain why she doens’t want to canter. I have an off the track SB ex-racehorse (pacer) and he will not canter and the other retired ex racers I know have a hard time cantering as well. I’ve been told because they have been taught not to break stride so much it the past and their muscles are not developed for that action, it’s a difficult thing for them to learn. It can be done but it takes lots of training. It’s not worth it for me. One thing to be careful of is if she is does have a pacing background when anyone riding her wants to trot off she may have a slow trot and then if you ask for more speed she may go into a trot or pace out of habbit… no bid deal but just faster and bumpier than you may expect so hold on if you are asking for more speed at a trot. SB horses are great, they are level-headed and very well trained usually (even if they “forget” thier ground manners LOL). Anyway, great to see Morgan enjoying Zip!

  7. outbackfarm says:

    What a beautiful place he has. The views are amazing. And some of those pictures are so funny! Some of the looks on Morgan’s face are hilarious. But I am so glad Zip is doing so well there. And that you both will have 2 good horses real soon. Happy trails to you!!

  8. Remudamom says:

    Ditto Stacey about the cantering issue. Congratulations. We sent a horse off to a new home yesterday and I know it was the CA ground training that sealed the deal.

  9. Remudamom says:

    BTW, the CA halters are great. I see Zip has one on. If it’s in the budget get one for Morgan to use at home. I won’t use any other kind any more, each of our horses has their own color!

  10. Leah says:

    I’m glad to hear Zip’s retraing was fairly quick &very sucessful. I’m interested to see what the trainer can do with Patriot. :shimmy:

  11. gardnerh says:

    It seems amazing to me how much horses are like big teenagers. They are big and some try to be a bit intimidating, but when they know you love them and won’t take any guff from them, most turn into truly delightful creatures. You’re family is so wonderful for opening you hearts to these guys.

    “No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle.” ~Winston Churchill

  12. Cousin Sheryl says:

    Georgia, Cousin Mark and I are fine after 13 DAYS without power here in WV. Unfortunately, we did NOT have a generator to help with any power needs. We also have well water so we had no water for 13 days. We spent a lot of time getting ice and water from other sources. We just live “over the hill” from Suzanne and we even had the same power company. I don’t know why Suzanne’s power came back on before ours! Thanks to “quietstorm” for asking about us. We didn’t have any damage here on our farm nor was there any visible damage to the power lines from the state highway where you turn onto our road and go 2 miles to our house. We are baffled as to why it is taking so long to get some of the power restored here in rural WV. We did hear that some “copper thieves” were stealing power lines that were not energized – I hope they catch these dudes and put them in NON-air-conditioned jails! They had brought in about 5000 power workers here so THANKS to those workers who left their homes and came here during a heat wave to help us. They came from as far away as Missouri and Louisiana. THANKS to Suzanne for her moral support via phone during the outage. Suzanne invited us and we could have gone over to her house during the outage but we were managing OK here. Glad to be back online and catching up with everyone on CITR! Stay cool!!!

  13. beforethedawn says:

    I love all those photos of Zip and Morgan! Zip is so beautiful!

  14. oct4luv says:

    There is one picture where Morgan has the exact same expression on her face that Ross does in a lot of his pictures. Siblings all the way!

  15. ibnsgirl says:

    I’m so happy for y’all!!!! <3 :hug:

  16. princessvanessa says:

    I’ll bet that a while with Mike Trainer and Patriot will loose all that “piss and vinegar” that he’s so full of and likes to show by copping an attitude with riders. Hope, when he has his turn, he comes home from Mike’s with his head on straight.

  17. MMT says:

    So glad to see the traing went well and Morgan is back in the saddle. Hope you get Patriot trained and ready to ride soon too. I know you will both love riding around your property. As the saying goes “There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a person” The best therapy ever in my opinion. Hope to get to trail ride again soon myself. May get to have a day ride Sunday if it’s not too hot. Good luck and Happy Trails!

  18. KentuckyFarmGirl says:

    Did she come with the name Zip? She may be related to my Charlie. His registered name is Fancy Talkin Zippo. He’s a descendent of Zippos Pine Bar. He’s so laid back and calm. Just an awesome horse and eager to learn and please! If she’s anything like Charlie, she’s a great horse! Hope Morgan enjoys riding as much as we do!

  19. Country Blossom says:

    Awesome!! It looks like you found a great trainer. I recognize the techniques he was teaching Morgan. I’m so happy for all of you!!

Add Your Thoughts