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Mighty Red aka Babe

by Linda Hokanson

Mighty Red, (ApHCC #24417, CRHA #6221N) aka. Babe, was my very first Registered Appaloosa purchase, the beginning of fulfilling a lifelong dream. I am dedicating a full page to my sweet girl, because without her I would not be or have what I have today. I have always been a fan of the Appaloosa horse, since I was old enough to remember anyway.

This story begins with the death of my dad in April of 1994. I had been "horseownerless" for a few years, living in town and raising my family. We had had a very difficult year, and dad's passing hit me extremely hard, we were pretty close. At my mom's (bless her soul) and one of my best friend's urging, I went horse hunting. They convinced me that a boarded horse was much better than no horse!

After looking at an enormous number of beautiful animals, I still had not found what I wanted. You see, for me, it is much more than what you see with your eyes, it must be what you feel in your heart as well. My horse and I are always connected spiritually, silly as it may sound. I was beginning to feel quite discouraged when quite by accident we heard about this "big, big Appaloosa mare" for sale. I almost didn't go see her because I really did not want "big, big", but the moment I laid eyes on Babe, I knew I had found my girl. The electricity flowed and even though she is not conformationally perfect, I knew she was mine. The deal was done in minutes.

I found a great place to board her at an aquaintance's acreage just out of town. They owned Peruvian Paso horses for recreational riding. Very interesting and neat horses, by the way. So, Babe's and my relationship began in June 1994. She was ten years old, hadn't been ridden for over three years and almost never outside an arena. It was hard to believe she had not been ridden for so long; she was so responsive to me. It took awhile for her to figure out all the hills and valleys in trail riding, but not too long.

I had never heard of the Indian Shuffle at this time, and we could not figure out what gait this mare was performing all the time, managing to keep up to the Paso's. I had to do the two-hour trails to get an hours ride in! She was phenominal! Old Frank has said many times, "I sure didn't think much of that mare when you first brought her home, but, you know, she is one of the best horses I have ever had anything to do with." Not a bad compliment from someone who really is not an Appaloosa fan!! Researching the shuffle at that time was not that easy, as there just was not a lot of information out there. Going through my friend's collection of old Appaloosa Journals was the big breakthrough. In the June 1978 issue there is a very good article about the "Indian Shuffle" that explained a lot to me. I love to ride this mare; she is as smooth as glass and covers ground at an amazing rate; both uphill and down. Totally incredible in the mountains - almost no one can keep up with her.

September of 1994 saw my husband and I purchasing 161 acres of mostly raw land, where we are today. The farm had a great old house, one shed, and no fences. We moved Babe in and began adding to our herd, and building fences like crazy! I bred her in the spring of '95 to Gama Rockn Hank for a '96 foal. He arrived May 19 at 4:30 a.m. healthy and strong, bay with spots on the hindquarter. Star grew to 16.2 HH and broke out easily. Unfortunately, we lost him in March of 2001 to a torsion of the small intestine. But, my Babe has consistently produced beautiful, colored babies, with the majority being gaited.

Babe, my girl, you are definately a keeper. I bless the day we met and I appreciate every day we are able to share. She is now retired from broodmare to lesson and saddle horse. She is enjoying a fairly easy life, and at 27, she is very healthy and I intend to keep her that way. Thanks old girl - I owe you!

Mighty Red aka Babe

"Mighty Red by The Accelerator and out of OK Hot Red"

"Life is passion and action, and if you don't participate, you live in the peril of being judged never to have lived."

... Oliver Wendall Holmes

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