Hello! Welcome to Rooster’s Corner, a new monthly column where we will dive into the fun things our fellow horsemen do outside of riding as well as the curious tales they have to share about their four legged partners. These may be jobs, hobbies, or events that different from what you would normally hear. Different is what makes the world go around, and we are here to bring their stories to you!
For our first installment Rooster and I would like to introduce ourselves to you and let you in on the beginning of our story and how it led us to the self-publishing world with three children’s books about Rooster, beginning with Rooster the Red Roany Pony.
In 2016 (wow where does the time go?) we found Rooster and I instantly fell in love with him. I knew he would have a knack for trail so we decided to send him to a program that would be able to help him excel in that area. After a month, we received a phone call saying that he was something special and we knew we had made the right decision. He had a very strong start to the 2017 season but, at the World Championship Show, his greenness took hold and we didn’t quite have the outcome we hoped for.
The following year, he started the year off a little slowly but then gained steam, earning a NSBA World Championship title in Trail. We were over the moon excited! The next event was the AQHA World Championship and we were cautiously hopeful. However, in the prelims he had a bobble and was the last horse called back to the shootout. The shoot out was slightly better, and thankfully he was the last horse to be called back for the finals.
The day of the finals came, and we were so proud of him for simply making it to that point. We sat in the stands for what seemed like hours! After 19 horses competed, Rooster was the 20th horse to walk into the pen. Rooster had his game face on. He commanded everyone’s attention as he trotted in. He nailed each maneuver as they came to him. Pole after pole I held my breath until finally, they were down to the last walkover. However, this had to be the hardest walkovers I had seen. It was a wheel with 8 poles for the spokes. Riders had an option of taking a two-step path or a three step. As Rooster approached, I noticed they were taking the three-step path, only the second horse to do take that line. Rooster picked his way through, completely clean. I could finally breathe! He had done the best he could and that was enough for us! As they called the final placings, Rooster found himself as the last horse standing. They announced his name as AQHA World Champion in Junior Trail, and the crowd roared. What a day, and what an inspiring journey of perseverance and not giving up even when you have several roadblocks.
About a month or so later, my friends and I were talking about Rooster’s story and someone made a joke about how Rooster needed his own book. The idea burrowed into my mind and would not let up. After some consideration, I decided that I wanted to make this happen. I had no experience with writing a book, let alone publishing one. Just as Rooster was a beginner turned champion, I knew I could be a beginner and find a way, even if it wasn’t a champion hit. We worked with Maggie Harding as our illustrator for Rooster the Red Roany Pony. After several months of back and forth our book came to life in September 2019.
We have shared this book with classrooms in our town as well as local Horse Clubs. It has been so fun to introduce the love of horses and the moral of perseverance to children. We are looking forward to continuing our journey and to check back in with you all next month!
Rooster the Red Roany Pony is available on Amazon. Follow us on Instagram at TheRedRoanyPony or on Facebook to stay up to date with our new releases and events.
Read this column in print in The Pacific Coast Jorunal!