We’d Love to Own: Dude

Learn more about the tack our We'd Love to Own horse is wearing.

Details: 2003 ApHC gelding by Sonny’s Cowboy and out of Miss Blue Smoke, by I Love Willie.

Credit: Photo by Larry Williams Photography

Owned, bred, and trained by: Christy Wood, Three Rivers, California.

H&R: Tell us about the tack Dude’s wearing in the photo.

CW: The heritage class is unique to our breed. A long time ago it was called the costume class, but we’ve given it a better name, which is heritage. It’s judged on the authenticity of the regalia that you wear. We’ve collected pieces from the 1870s. The Nez Perce Indians were the ones who developed the Appaloosa breed. The heritage class actually honors the heritage of the Appaloosa horse with the Nez Perce. He’s got over 66 national points in heritage.

He has a medicine collar around his neck which is beadwork on elkhide. It’s a collar that protects his body and his rider from harm. The starburst on his forehead is just part of the geometric design that the Indians used. They used either floral designs (for parades) or geometric designs for everyday use.

In his mouth, he’s carrying an 1870s U.S. Cavalry bit, and that is an original. There’s some really neat old pieces I have. It’s hard to see, but he has a neckcollar made of beaver fur that has more beadwork, bells, and deer toes on it.

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