Friday, June 2, 2017

A Tribute to Taffy

Spoiler Alert: If you have not read The Last Ride, then I suggest you do not read this Photo Friday post. Through the years, four beautiful palominos have portrayed Taffy on the covers of the Circle C Adventures and now the Stepping Stones. I've had the privilege of riding some of these horse actors. Now that Taffy has passed, I thought it would be a fitting tribute to show the horses who have played her through the years.

1. RUSTY is on the cover of Dangerous Decision, San Francisco Smugglers, and The Last Ride. I bet you recognize the dress Andi is wearing for two of those books. He is the first horse portraying Taffy. He is not as golden as the others, but he has a pretty face.

2. STAR is featured on the cover of the original Price of Truth and on the Circle C Contests and Giveaways blog, as well as on the new Circle C Adventures poster. His owner, Vicki, was always happy to have us come out to her place for photo shoots and for just plain riding fun. Like Taffy, Star has passed on. (Note the difference in appearance of Star in October--getting her winter coat, and the next spring--shed out and shiny.)

I really enjoyed riding Star. No bridle or reins needed with this dream horse! 

3. LUNA (AKA "Loca" Luna) was one crazy horse and only lasted long enough on my daughter's place to get a few pictures. Luna is on the cover of the new Stepping Stones book, Andi Lassos Trouble, but he had to go back to his owner, as this horse was not safe. My DD even hired a trainer to come out and evaluate Luna, and the trainer concluded the horse was pretty green. Yikes!
Good-bye, Luna. This palomino was, however, the closest to Taffy's coloring: golden coat, cream mane, and even had a blaze on the nose and four white socks--just like Taffy.

The trainer spent a long time with Luna, and the horse acted like a lamb for him. Of course he did. The trainer is "Chad" on the cover picture of Andi's Blog.
Luna is beautiful, though!

4. SUNNY was the last horse my daughter kept before moving from their 80 acres (rental) to the woods of North-Central Washington (very un-horse friendly forest. More suited to goats). Sunny is on the cover of Andi Saddles Up, the first Stepping Stones book. Sunny was way nicer and easier to handle than Loca Luna. She was a former cutting horse from Mexico and pretty old. The poor old mare had a gimpy hind leg from her former life, which required much in the way of drugs, which was not how my DD envisioned a horse for her kids. The previous owner missed Sunny so much that she bought her back. Here are Andi and Taffy (Julie and Sunny). Note the real brand on her hind quarters.

Such a time saver! No saddle, no bridle, nothing but halter and a lead rope turned into makeshift reins. That's the way I like to ride, but you gotta have the right horse for it, obviously.

We miss you, Taffy. And a big thank-you to all the palomino owners who helped make Taffy come alive!


  1. I really, really loved this post! But then, it's ALWAYS nice to see horses! ;) All of the horses are so pretty, especially Loca Luna. ;) He-he. I love your overalls, Mrs. M! You look just like a slightly older, blonde-haired version of Andi! Was Jesseca much of a horse-lover?
    Yeah, if it means anything considering she's a COW, and we're not talkin' 'bout cows here, I do ride Blackie with just a halter and lead rope, but then, you probably could've guessed that, huh? After all, imagine tryin' to bridle a cow....I don't even think that would work, because their mouths are totally different. Hmmm. I reckon you could try a bitless bridle, like maybe a bosal bridle. but anyway, I can't afford some fancy bridle for my cow, in any case. :)
    I was just ridin' Blackie yesterday evening, and the lighting was perfect, and it was just GORGEOUS out there!!! Blackie especially, looked just beautiful. We rode through this patch of thistles as tall as we were, and I pretended I was riding my horse ( a palomino quarter horse, of course)at sunset among the cactus on some faraway Texas rangeland....yes, I DO daydream sometime. :) If ya get her in the right frame of mind, and she knows where we're headed ( towards the food :), Blackie will move right along like a real pro. I'm so proud of her! And she really knows how to maneuver herself, I 'm tellin' ya, Blackie can dig a hole in the ground with her pivots.....really! I've seen her do it!
    Anyway, Thank you so much for posting this!
    ~Cowgirl Hope and Blackie the SUPERCOW!

  2. That's cool Hope, and congratulations! Thank you Mrs M for the post! I love to see the horses. They all are so beautiful! I see Sunny's brand. Sweet!

  3. Uh, Mrs.M? In section number two you first you said "him" and then a little while later you called Star a "her". So...... Is Star a male or a female?!?!?

    And, awhile back you said that your granddaughter got a horse and named it Taffy. I don't see a horse named taffy in this post. Even though the horses are pretending to be "Taffy". And what about Suzy-Q? I'm confused.

    But if they want another horse, tell them to come on over! We have a trained horse that they could buy.

    Haha! In the pictures of you riding, Mrs. M, the reins are way to tight. My dad would've said, "give 'em alittle slack." It was almost like you were asking the horse to stop!
    Oh, and did you get to trot or lope on any of the horses? Sorry I just couldn't help but ask that. I love to go fast. I have a need for speed. Haha!

    I ride cattle, Hope! But I don't do no fancy training stuff. (not sayin' it's bad that you do, though) I just hop on and wait for them to run off bucking! But I don't do in on full grown cows. Only the half grown steers. Boy, is that fun. My sisters say that I'm rough and crazy. Maybe I am, climbing up anything that can find dangerously (or AtLeast mom says its dangerous) high. I'm normally doing crazy stuff with my brothers. You be VERY surprised at some of those crazy things.

    1. My daughter renamed Sunny to Taffy. But the horse's "real" name was Sunny when they got her, so that's why I used it. :-)

      And ha-ha back at you, Lexah. I see NO REINS in any of these pictures. It was a lead rope jury-rigged to the halter in all cases, so they were just naturally short.

      And Star was a gelding.

      Hope that answers all your comments. :-)

    2. Well, maybe on "Sunny," but her gimpy hind leg made her not real excited about going very fast. Sadly.

  4. Thanks for this post Mrs. M! I really liked it! Luna's so pretty! How did you think up the name Taffy for the Andi books? Did you suddenly think of it, or were you inspired by something?

    -Abigail D.

  5. I love riding my red dun mare Selah with just a halter! I've pretended to ride Taffy a time or two :-)

  6. I love the post! But I couldn't help thinking 'I wish taffy didn't die" I still cry when I read it and I have read the book like 8 or more times.

  7. Will there be a time when Circle C Stepping Stones books will be really cheap on Kindle?

    1. I've seen that Kregel does not reduce the prices on Kindle in relationship to the print book, so I don't really know. I'm sorry! I don't have any control over prices anywhere. :-(

  8. Mrs. M, can you get from Fresno, California, to San Francisco, California, by horseback? Or do you need a train or stage? (In Andi Carter's time) Also, if you take a horse and get on a ship (as you need to sail through some water to get there) does the horse get to board at a livery stable while you sail (and stays there till you return) or go on the ship?

    1. Also, if you go horseback, how long would it take to go from Fresno to San Francisco?

    2. Oh, sure. No problem. You can ride your horse all the way to San Francisco. You don't need to catch the ferry at Oakland and cross the Bay. You can go down and around and come up on the SF peninsula and stay on dry land all the way. You could take the train all the way around too, but it's much longer, so that's probably why it was easier to take the train to Oakland and then cross the Bay by ferry.

      It's about 185 miles from Fresno to SF (land route). A horse can travel about 20 to 30 miles a day (depending on flat or hilly ground; good roads or trails)
      So it would take the horse and rider anywhere from six to nine days to get there.

      Hope that helps!
      Mrs. M


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