Even though there is only one last month of official summer left, we still have plenty of horses here at the ranch to showcase for our Horse of the Month feature. For August, we wanted to introduce a special horse. One that is new and already so dear to the Bar W family.
Meet Soda! This gorgeous gal arrived at the ranch in March of this year, and she did not arrive alone. But we’ll leave that a mystery until next month and keep the focus centered on Soda. This lovely mare is only 6 years old, and at 17 hands is one of the taller horses here at the Bar W that we use for our guests. Sometimes horses as young as Soda aren’t always ready to take riders down the trail, they usually need to spend at least a couple of seasons being ridden by our wranglers, but Soda is an old soul with a been-there done-that attitude, and she takes great care of our intermediate and experienced guests out on the trails. And not only is Soda a great saddle horse, but she is also trained to drive and pull a cart!
While we don’t know her exact breed, we can tell you that due to her height and thick leg bone, she is likely a draft cross. Our Head Wrangler Lindsay speculates Soda may be the result of a draft horse breed crossed with a Saddlebred horse. We’ll probably never know what her breeding is for certain, but we have fun guessing.
Most folks would call Soda a paint, or maybe a pinto, because of her black and white splotches. But there is an older, much more interesting term, to describe Soda’s coat pattern. The term is piebald. What’s a piebald you ask? Well, a piebald horse is a horse with colored splotches on a white background, to be specific, black splotches on a white background. The pie of piebald (pie is another name for magpie) derives from pica, which is Latin for “magpie.” The other part of piebald comes from the word “bald”, which can mean “marked with white”. The novel National Velvet by Enid Bagnold, stars a horse named “The Pie”, for his piebald coloring. While our Soda isn’t likely to win the Grand National Steeplechase anytime soon, she’s a well-loved favorite horse here at the Bar W Guest Ranch!