My explorations and adventures would not be quite as enjoyable without some of my best friends.
Introductions to My “Band”
Where our story pretty much begins. Gilbert H. Jones devoted the majority of his life to preserving my heritage and breed. It is accurate testimony that without his established efforts, my horse ancestors nor I would be here today. Jones created the Southwest Spanish Mustang Association in 1977 and served as President until 1998. At that time he passed the reins to my buddy Bryant Rickman who promised to continue their preservation efforts. Gilbert passed away in 2000 at the age of 93.
Our stories begin with Gilbert Jones, and we pay tribute to him and his works by sharing them with you. We believe that Gilbert would be satisfied with the progress made by my human friends toward securing the Colonial Spanish Mustang’s future. To us, he is a legend, and we have no doubt he continues to ride the trails on Blackjack Mountain where he resides if only in Spirit!!
Bryant Rickman is my buddy, my “titleholder,” and one of the first to see me. After 31 years of teaching, he retired as an Ag Teacher with the Hugo Public Schools. This was about the same time he gained the task of safeguarding the future of my ancestors. In 1998 he embarked on ensuring his pledge to Gilbert Jones to carry on the Southwest Spanish Mustang Association (SSMA). A promise he keeps to this day.
Bryant labors all day and a lot of nights, making sure all of us horses are fed, watered and taken care of physically. He has a particular call he performs, “Come On,” and when we hear it we dart in his direction as we recognize it leads to dining! Bryant recounts our past by sharing stories, some funny, some sad, but each one reveals the history of the Heritage Horse of Oklahoma and how we have endured. Bryant is one of my best friends, and I look forward to all his visits!
Darlene Rickman is also a “titleholder” and Bryant’s wife for 40 plus years. I don’t get the opportunity to visit with her as often, but when I do I enjoy listening to her stories, and I particularly like to hear her laugh! Darlene has assembled the research and records of my horse family and friends for numerous years and can guide you to the article, book or historical detail you are investigating. I hear she is a skillful cook who takes pleasure in raising something identified as chicken…I wonder what Ms. Darlene does with those? She has applied countless hours tending to the horses, and we value all of her efforts! Ms. Darlene put together my first birthday party with balloons and a cake! She is the best, and we adore this kind, strong, and beautiful soul!
Chickasaw Princess is a Grulla colored Colonial Spanish Horse and my mom. She isn’t one that enjoys having human hands all over her, but since my birth, she has become more relaxed about it. We used to spend a lot of time together before I was moved to my new home place. Now, I rarely see my mom, but that is okay. I know she loves me! Every year she has a new foal and adds to my sibling count, but I’m not gonna tell a lie, I’m still the prettiest!!
Documentary is my father, also a Dun Tobiano Colonial Spanish Horse. My daddy has exciting stories that spread throughout his bloodline. The only time human hands are able to touch him is when he is in a pen for a worming or de-ticking session. My dad keeps an eye on his pasture, snorting at strangers when he thinks they may be getting too close. I resemble him more than my horse mom. Documentary is a favorite to many who have crossed his path.
My friend Austen is ‘Mamma D’s’ son. He often visits with her and spends time brushing, talking, and feeding us. “Sugar Baby,” my half-sister (her horse mom is “Little More Sugar”) always tries to take all of his attention. Really, she tries to take everyone’s attention! However, she is one of my best friends, we’ve been together since the beginning. We enjoy when Austen comes to see us. We know a good brushing is coming our way, and sometimes he’ll even bring a snack or two!
Uncle Harold and Aunt Donna are the owners of our new home place. Bar D Ranch-Spanish Mustangs is where we graze these days and are very appreciative of their generosity. We visit with their horses over the fence as they are involved with the Colonial Spanish Horses and have been for years. Both are currently on the board of the Southwest Spanish Mustang Association, and Uncle Harold is also on the board of the Oklahoma Heritage Horse Sanctuary.
Jim Stephens is a humorous guy! Jim resides in Texas with his wife, Anita, and family. His ancestors are from this area which was the draw for his purchasing property in Southeast Oklahoma. He owns a few tracts of land in the region and leases a portion of the acreage to my buddy Bryant. My horse mom and dad reside on a parcel of his Chahta Isuba Ranch property currently. When Jim visits, he typically invites my human friends to something labeled a cabin, someday I hope to discover precisely what that item is. Until then I’ll continue grazing my days away!
Randy is ‘Mamma D’s’ husband and a friend to me and my sisters. He’ll help ‘Mamma D’ out sometimes when she comes to feed or check up on us. We like to see him, especially if we can trick him into giving us a rub down. Before he knows it, we’ve got him surrounded, and the only way out is to pet us or feed us! Randy also brings that yellow fly swatter, which makes him a good guy in our eyes. In this photo, he is with my Uncle “KP.”
Mamma ‘D’ is my assistant, editor, picture taker, and my human mamma. She spends a lot of time visiting me and my family and friends. There is usually a notebook, recorder, camera and sometimes a computer found in the vicinity, all the essentials she requires to get my stories to you. Mamma ‘D’ and I have been bonding since Day 1, and have faith our connection will endure a lifetime. Soon we will enjoy spring, new foals, and more grass, so be sure to stick with us, Mamma ‘D’ and I will keep the stories coming!