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Cinnamon River - My Gaited Curly

By Angie Gaines of Golden Curls Ranch

My husband, Hank and I have a "mini ranch" in Texas about 30 miles SE of Dallas. Since Texas is known for it's el grande ranches 40 acres, especially when you are mowing it, seems to be just the right size. A year ago, last February, I gave up the busy Dallas city life, turned in my Texas Commercial Real Estate Broker's license, gave away my business suits and heels, traded my swift, gas guzzling car for a comfortable, roomy, Toyota Tundra pick-up and pulled out those comfortable jeans and boots. I moved out to 40 acres of the most beautiful, green, coastal Bermuda grass with majestic, old oak trees one has ever seen. This became Golden Curls Ranch. 

Hank is a wonderful supportive husband. He is still in the busy city of Dallas battling the challenges of our business in this confusing economy and training our sons to take our places in the business one day. He comes out to the ranch on the weekends to give me moral support and keep me focused on the budget!

Like most little girls, I loved horses as long as I can remember. I was very fortunate to have a wonderful, older, Paint mare named Patches who taught me the basics of horsemenship and a deep love for a horse. After our eldest of three sons finished high school and moved on to college, I started volunteering at Equest Therapeutic Riding Center in Wylie, Texas. Being active in PTA, a football mom, baseball coach and every committee known to mankind in the school system I needed to throw my energies into something rewarding. Wow, did I find the right place. Theraeutic Riding Programs offer so many benefits to the riders, the horses, the volunteers and the families. I am a true believer in the wonderful benefits found in the special relationship between a human and a horse.

A few years ago I ran across an article about Curly horses on the web and decided these were the horses I would like to have for our family to ride. Initially, we planned to breed Curly horses for Therapeutic Horse Programs and introduce others to the wonderful benefits of the Curly Horse. We may breed in the future but for now we are having so much fun just sharing our time with our Curlies and sharing our Curlies with others. We have found the Curly horse to be everything we have read about and more. They have the intelligence and calm approach to life that makes being with them a true pleasure.

There are many wonderful types of Curlies to choose from; for example, my husband broke his back in his early twenties driving fast cars; knowing that I couldn't keep him in a saddle if he hurt I was excited to learn about "gaited Curlies". This gave us an even more positive twist to this wonderful horse breed. We have added Renegait Cinnamon River, a MFT Curly Cross, who is currently being evaluated by Mary Donald with ICHO for his gait, to our equine family. Cinnamon River has only been in training for less than a year and represents his name well. He really looks like Cinnamon stirred into a lovely cream. He has warm, sensitive, brown eyes and a soft, even-tempered spirit. But, dont misunderstand when you ask Cinnamon River to move out he enjoys the journey as much as you. So needless to say,when I have a free moment I can usually be found with him.

Cinnamon River and I are competing on a monthly basis in a Independent Professional Horse Development Association homebased in Greenville, Texas competition with other horses. I enjoy getting emails from other members who live in all parts of the country asking "what is a Curly"? He is doing really well in the competition and hopefully I am getting better at reading patterns!

Cinnamon River is from the Walker's Merry Lad and Pride of the Valley Lad bloodline on his dam's side and his sire is Star's Lucky Touch. This wonderful background gives him the refined build for the smooth running walk. Coupled with his Curly personality; he is a real treasure.

My husband is very fond of Cinnamon River and while he can still be found behind the steering wheel of a fast car on the weekends he understands my desire to connect with a wonderful horse like our Curly Cross MFT, Cinnamon River and feel the RPM's going up when we break into a wonderful smooth canter.

Angie Gaines of Golden Curls Ranch

About the Author: Angie is part of the International Ride-A-Curly contest 2009 and it's a pleasure to have her join us in promoting this amazing breed! Angie has also sacrifically adopted 2 BLM mustangs this year and we are forever grateful to her for her dedication in such a brave endeavor. To read more about Angie's curlies and adventures, visit her website link above and also visit the RAC 2009 blog.

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