2007 Special Update Below

brag v. 1. boast, extol oneself, vaunt, crow, talk big, puff oneself up, blow one's own horn, pat oneself on the back.

bragging n. 2. boast, boasting, boastfulness, self-praise, big talk, crowing

Lady has given us something to brag about.  Who would have ever thought?

......the Lady is Legendary!

Legendary Lady at freedom

2007 RMHA International Trail Pleasure Grand Champion

2007 RMHA AOT Trail Pleasure Grand Champion

2007 RMHA Charles Kilburn AOT Award Winner

2007 RMHA Sam Tuttle Award Winner

2006 RMHA Sam Tuttle Award Winner

Legendary Lady, named by breeder's Robert and Lyngle Lawson at Stoner Ridge Farm in 2000, has lived up to her name.  Lady was born at Stoner Ridge.  Robert showed her in hand as a weanling and yearling.  He started her under saddle and then turned her over to his daughter Erin, as one of Erin's first horses to train under saddle.

We saw Lady, for the first time, on the very first day we ever saw a mountain horse.  We had traveled to Kentucky to find 2 older geldings.  I hadn't ridden a horse in 25 years and Michael was going to learn to ride, so we could trail ride together.

Michael fell in love with Lady at first sight.  He kept telling me that this was my horse.  I tried to explain to him that I didn't need a 3 year old filly, but he wouldn't listen.  Afraid that he wouldn't let me buy any other horse, I agreed that she was beautiful and we purchased her, against my better judgment. 

Erin diligently worked with Lady and I over that first year together.  I was traveling from Illinois as often as I could to take lessons, but Lady progressed faster than my skills did.  In addition, Michael and I had made the decision to breed Lady and so we took a year off while Lady raised her first foal.

When we decided to bring Lady back to Erin in 2005, I took another year off from working with Lady.  We wanted Erin to work with her, without my being a distraction for Lady.  Erin and Lady became a recognized and respected team on the UMH, KMSHA, and RMHA show circuits.

Lady is an extremely sensitive horse, responding to the lightest hand or leg signals.  When I started riding Lady again in 2006, I told Robert Lawson that she was going to make me a better rider and she has.  Lady started teaching me everything she knew.  At first, her sensitivity was very frustrating for me.  I had to learn to have gentle, quiet hands and legs.  I had to learn to use proper equitation and improve my seat and balance in order not to send confusing signals.  Lady was a great lesson horse.  Erin could tell from the ground when I was making mistakes, because Lady had become the kind of horse that does whatever you ask of her, whether it is what you meant to ask or not. 

Erin and I both showed Lady in 2006.  She had many winning rides in saddleseat classes, western classes, and trail obstacle competitions, culminating in her winning the Sam Tuttle Award at the RMHA International that year.  Michael and I had bred her again in 2006 and she came home to Illinois to have her second foal in March of 2007.

I talked alot to Michael about taking Lady back to the International and competing with her as an amateur owner and trainer in 2007.  In July, I carried a saddle to the pasture where Lady and her foal were waiting.  We led Lady into the round pen, set up inside the pasture.  We groomed, saddled and bridled her while her curious foal smelled the tack and stole the brushes.  My husband opened the round pen gate and Lady and I started our journey back to this year's International.

My husband, Michael, and Floyd (Hurricane Warning) traveled many trail miles with Lady and I in the next 10 weeks.  Lady and I did our "arena work" around the edge of the pastures, while her herd mates watched.  We worked on trail obstacle and pole bending in the cover-all barn, where we store hay and equipment.  I got the strangest looks from passing cars, as I practiced for the water glass class down the side of our front pasture.

While we were preparing for the International, I had high hopes for Lady.  Michael would videotape us and I would critique my own rides and try to figure out what to change, to help Lady's head set or keep her collected.  I became very aware of my own riding faults  and tried to eliminate them one at a time.  I knew that our chance at the International depended on me not keeping Lady from being her best. 

I never could have imagined this year's RMHA International or all the kind words from other Rocky owners and admirers.  411 (Lady's number) got called often in the lineup and I was honored to be the one taking her for her victory lap. 

Lady is retired now.  What more could you ask from a horse like this?  Lady has her "forever home" in the pasture with her herd mates, among them is Fair Silk, another living legend.  We feel truly blessed to throw them their hay and watch their foals, in the field next to them. 


....and the Winner is....

2006 RMHA Sam Tuttle Award Winners

Owners Michael and Judy Brummer

Legendary Lady and exhibitor and trainer, Erin Lawson

 No one could ever have been  more pleased than Legendary Lady was to discover that she had won the Sam Tuttle Award.

     Lady's professional show career was ended abruptly at the age of 3, when her owners decided to breed her.  She spent the 2004 show season at home with her first born.  In 2005, however, Lady was returned to training and found that she was expected to keep up with horses with more show experience than she had.  Lady threw herself into the challenge, but she often felt this was asking a lot of a horse who had been turned out as a brood mare.  Rising to the challenge, she not only came back, but she excelled at her tasks.  She became one of the most consistent horses in her trainer's barn.

     Lady's owners decided once again to breed her in 2006 and Lady realized that she would again enjoy a year off.  Unbeknownst to her trainer and her owners, Lady hatched a plan to

get out of showing forever.  She  could have tried to do poorly, but she knew that might not work.  She saw that doing badly only got horses more time with the trainer.  So, she began to watch carefully and she listened hard to other horse's experiences.  She came up with an idea.  She would do so well that her owner's would have to retire her, forever.  After all, it had nearly worked for her sister.   Lady set her sights on an amazing goal, and she achieved it.  She won the Sam Tuttle Award in 2006.  She was sure they would retire her now.

    Lady once again is enjoying the good life in Illinois, awaiting the birth of her second foal.  The only problem is, she has heard a rumor that her owner may bring her back to show in the Amateur Owned and Trained Trail Pleasure division.  How many times can this happen to one horse?

(As told to owner Judy Brummer)


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