Joy Riding


Rocky Mountain horses at Mike Trader’s farm. (Excuse the ears.)

Those manes are gorgeous. This trainer gives lessons and provides natural horsemanship training, but he really specializes in starting and training Rocky Mountain trail horses, which he sells after training. There’s a video here where you can see him shooting a pistol off the back of one of his Rocky Mountain horses to demonstrate how cool, calm, and collected the horse is. He told me he felt confident he could shoot a pistol off Zip’s back now, though he hasn’t tried it yet.

Last night, Morgan and I went trail riding–Morgan on Zip, me on their horse Sierra. I call Sierra the mechanical horse because she is so well-trained.

Morgan is having the time of her life and can’t wait to bring Zip home!


  1. Cheryl LeMay says:

    I think you’re loving it just as much as she is! I can’t wait to see what the trainer does for Patriot so you can both go riding together.

  2. falnfenix says:

    That video gives me the willies. Where was he aiming? The horse is fantastic, but…he really should have better control over his firearm than that.

    That said, if we were staying in this area by the time I’m ready to purchase a horse, I’d seriously consider one of his horses. We’re hunters and some of our hunting takes place in areas where we either hike in or ride in on horseback. Would be nice to have a horse that isn’t gun shy.

  3. fowlers says:

    Oh how I wish my hair would flow like that!!! so pretty and it looks like corn silk, Morgan looks so happy on the back of that baby.

  4. baylorbabe says:

    Love the smile on Morgan’s face! I lived on a farm in Missouri when I was a kid and my greatest delight was to ride my cousin’s cow-checking horse, Sugarfoot, when she was staying on our side of the farm. No saddle, no bridle, just bareback with a rope harness. There is nothing like the feeling of being on a good horse with the world to explore.

  5. Bells says:

    Not to worry falnfenix – they use weird blanks/black powder to fire off the horses. There is a whole sport dedicated to this called Cowboy Mounted Shooting – you can watch an example here:

    Glad your horse is doing so well!

  6. MMT says:

    Beautiful horses!! Looks like Morgan is definitly enjoying the ride as I’m sure you were as well. Love to trail ride. Love, love, love my horses.

  7. Rainn says:

    That smile says it all !!!!! Have fun cowgirls!! U both deserve it!! :snoopy:

  8. lesliedgray says:

    I own a Rocky Mountain horse, and she is the best little thing EVER!!!!!

  9. whaledancer says:

    Morgan looks so happy!

    In the video, it looks like that’s a gaited horse. Is that right?

  10. falnfenix says:

    @Bells – thanks for the clarification. 🙂 I’m a stickler for “knowing your target and what is beyond it,” so the idea of shooting every which-a-way is completely foreign to me.

    I was under the impression that Cowboy Mounted shooting used wax bullets, though. Apparently I was wrong. I appreciate the education…now, I have more research to do.

  11. CATRAY44 says:

    This makes me very happy to read!

  12. yvonnem says:

    This is bugging me, I can’t help but wonder if this is the same Mike Trader that graduated from Nitro High School in 1979. I graduated in 1981 and didn’t actually know him, but remember the name.

  13. Blessings says:

    Wonderful that Morgan & you can share this horse adventure:)

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