When I was 12 I got my first real horse. By real I mean my own. Previously to that I had my dad's old steer wrestling horse, but I had to share him. Then when I was 12 I got Cuffy, Cuffy Beau Jack is his registered name. He was 3 at the time. He was the first horse I ever trained and spent 10 or so years doing so. He was my barrel racing and team roping horse. I loved him but we had this love-hate relationship. He liked to tick me off and I liked it when he did it. We just knew eachother. I won my first and only saddle and buckle off of him. Here's my little bragging blurb, I actually competed at the Canadian Team Roping championships and won with my brother Cory. I didn't do as well as Cory, he won 4 titles that day, something that had never been done before or since. We had an opportunity to then go to Guthrie, OK to compete in the National Team Roping Championships but we didn't. We were happy enough winning Canadian titles.
Then when I moved into town I stopped using him so much and it was around a time when people from the states were coming to buy some of our horses. My brother sold his horse to a fellow from Hawaii, and they were interested in Cuffy but he was a little older than they wanted. So instead word of mouth occurred and a fellow from Mayerthorpe came to try him out. He really liked him. I was not in the best financial state so it seemed like a good idea to sell. I was asking $12,000 for him. CRAZY, I would never pay that amount of money for a horse. So anyways. Terry, the fellow, liked him and so we went to Sherwood Park to have him vet tested to make sure that he was sound and not hurt in anyway. I remember the vet moving his one knee in an odd way and then when I trotted Cuffy down the hall he came up lame. The Vet said it could be just the way he twisted it or it could be damaged, x-rays would tell. Well I prayed. I remember saying "God if I'm not meant to sell him, have the x-ray show something". Well as you know by the title, everything was fine and I sold him. I cried along with my dad all the way home from Sherwood Park. Sure I paid of my debts, put some money away, bought another horse, but it wasn't the same. I felt like I had turned away from my best friend, sold him out.
That fall Terry lent Cufft to a fellow team roper who happened to be competing at the finals held here. Well I got to see him and one night after the rodeo I went to the barns where he was at and cried. I promised that one day he would come back home.
Well a number of years later Terry had got a new horse and Cuffy was for sale, this time though for $17,000. Seriously?! He's older and now you want more money? Well needless to say if I'm still renting, I don't have $17,000 to spend on a horse! So he sold to someone else and he has been there ever since.
Well a week or so ago my brother, Cory, called and asked if I had any spare cash, my answer "I'm unemployed, no." Well turns out Cuffy is for sale and he is now 20 years old and the asking price is $3000. Well that is a significant drop but still I don't have the extra cash and I couldn't justify borrowing money to buy a horse that really I want just because he was my horse at one time. So that was the end of the conversation, I dismissed it.
The next day Cory called me and said that I best kiss up to my youngest brother, Casey as he bought Cuffy back. I can't believe it. He's coming home. Now I know that I am not the "owner" but I will be one day, I'll go back to work and I'll buy Cuffy from Casey and I'll fulfill my promise to a horse that he will die at the farm. Oh how I love my family though. Really who decides to just buy an extra horse when they don't really need it just to have it back home and put a smile on your big sister's face?! I'm so blessed to be in this family.