His story, from Billy's owner:
"We purchased Billy in 2003 as a 3 yr. old. We had a friend who ranched in the panhandle. In addition to running cattle, he was in partnership with a man who bred registered, cutting-line Quarter Horses. When the breeder's foals came of training age, he sent them to our friend who trained and sold them for the breeder. Billy was one that our friend trained. He sold Billy to a 'cowboy' who worked on a feedlot, with the agreement the cowboy would make monthly payments on Billy. After several months, the cowboy stopped paying, so our friend drove to the feedlot to speak with him. The cowboy wasn't there that day but our friend asked where Billy was and went to the pen to look at him. He was in such bad condition that our friend loaded him immediately and took him home. He had been nursing Billy back to health when we contacted him to see if he had a good horse for our daughter to learn to ride on. He told us about Billy. He said it would take him several more months to get Billy to where he was in good enough condition to sell again as a working horse. So he agreed to sell Billy to us for very little money.
Billy looked bad when we got him. He was thin (even though he had gained weight), full of open saddle sores and had an enlarged, painful knee. We gave him lots of TLC, and he gradually changed from an almost depressed personality to a friendly, happy personality. He had a large pasture to run in and another horse as company. Billy was quiet and gentle with our daughter and loved the attention we all gave him. He regained condition and his back and knee healed fine. He continued to be a good horse for our daughter. She road Billy for 13 years until she went to college.
Billy's greatest talent was pulling sleds for my daughter and friends after a good snowfall. I rode him and dallied one end of a rope around the horn, while the child held a handle on the other end of the rope, sitting on the sled. Billy cantered out in perfect steadiness and self-control. He more than earned his keep in giving those kids much laughter!
We loved Billy for his curious sort of affection. If we were doing anything in the pasture (other than trying to catch him for a ride...and in that case, he loved the hard-to-get game)...Billy would follow us and sniff us and bump us and have to be smack in the middle of what we were doing. If he was in a 'catching' mood and we caught him in the pasture to walk him to the barn to be saddled for a ride......during the walk to the barn, he spent the entire time with his nose against our backs, nibbling and pulling at our shirts, bumping us with his nose and watching us stumble forward, even giving our backs a playful nip. He didn't bite. He knew the difference. He just enjoyed the interaction. And we often wondered if this behavior was due to his 'cutting' breeding.....that maybe he was trying to herd us. :)
Another antic of Billy's was to rub his bottom (with much enthusiasm) on the water pump handle and pipe that was attached to the water trough in the pasture. He really had no choice in that we had no trees. One day the inevitable happened and the pipe snapped creating a magnificent waterfall. He found this fascinating but we, of course, were panicked! Billy really loved water. On hot summer days, we always hosed the horses down to cool them off....andBilly forever tried to figure out how to drink right from the mouth of the hose itself.
With our daughter moving away and our intentions of selling our property, we asked for a place for Billy at Dove Creek. Billy had a front foot that turned inward and gradually worsened as he aged, even with good shoeing. This and other arthritis issues made pain a constant management issue for Billy. We did not want to sell him or give him away, not knowing if he would be taken care of properly. We are HUGELY grateful to Laurie and Dove Creek for taking and keeping and loving Billy!! We miss him!"