Rosie’s grandfather died two weeks ago. Just to make sure we’re all on the same page, Rosie is Darleen’s little red mare, and her grandfather was the legendary, the incomparable Master Remedy, shown here with Greg Ward. He was thirty-three years old.
For those of you who are not immersed in the Quarter horse world, Master Remedy was one of the all-time great cutting horses (bred by the late Greg Ward), and more importantly, he was a sire of some of the greatest National Reined Cow Horse Association champions, one of only four stallions ever to sire three Snaffle Bit Futurity Open champions. Master Remedy’s own pedigree was of a kind to make the house of Windsor look parvenu. His dam was Wininic, by Sugar Vandy out of Fillinic, and his sire was Docs Remedy, a son of Doc Bar. If my blood were that blue, I would be far too grand to speak to anyone.
But accomplishments and blue blood aside, Master Remedy had two other qualities that made him outstanding. The first, according to John Ward, was his extraordinary athletic ability. “To lope him around, it felt like you were loping on a cloud.” This attribute he unfortunately did not pass on to his granddaughter. Rosie is undoubtedly athletic, but loping her around feels like trying to ride a cross between a cement mixer and a pogo stick, and sitting the trot will send you to the dentist to get your fillings replaced. In fact, Darleen finally threw in the towel and bought a saddle with a padded seat, and it’s not as if she doesn’t know how to ride a horse properly.
Master Remedy’s other notable attribute was, according to John Ward, a gracious and gentle heart, the kind of horse that is a pleasure to be around. Cowboys and professional horsemen are not sentimental about horses (as the late trainer Roger Ott once pointed out, he was in the business of making money, and he could no more afford to be sentimental about horses than a farmer could be sentimental about a bale of cotton), but Master Remedy had something special enough to make John Ward wax anthropomorphic: “This might sound like a dumb, backyard story, but there are chickens on the ranch. One time, a hen with chicks went into his stall, and I saw him nose those chicks out of his stall. I saw it happen, and the kids working for me saw it happen. He was just a really kind horse.”
And that quality he did pass on to his granddaughter. For all her reactive, performance horse nature, Rosie is basically a big, soft-hearted schmoo. She follows us around the pastures like a dog; she tolerates our real dogs, including our bouncy and irrepressible Boxer who, like all intelligent canines, will lie practically underneath her or Snoopy on hot days to get out of the sun; and she actively enjoys Darleen’s cooing and fussing and loving on her, even when she knows it means going for a ride. She may not have her grandfather’s smooth gait, but she inherited his kind heart, and that’s worth more than coronets.