Teen turns into a horse tamer | VailDaily.com

Teen turns into a horse tamer

Shirley Welch
Vail, CO Colorado

As was in the genes of the Doll family, Frank knew his way around horses.

One day a woman from Littleton, Colorado called Frank’s dad to ask advice about a balky Arabian she owned. It seemed as though the horse was just fine until you gave it a kick to make it do something. Then it would decide against it, rear up, and go over backwards.

“Can you give me some advice as to what I can do to stop this behavior?” the woman asked.

Frank’s dad knew you couldn’t train a horse over the phone and he said, “I can’t rightly give you any suggestions, but I can send my son, Frank, down to have him give you a hand.”

“All right,” the woman replied.

So Frank, being about 18 years old, went to Littleton and arrived at the ranch. He found a nice looking Arabian horse, mostly white with some gray flecks that looked intelligent enough. With him he brought a three-foot long shot-loaded quirt, a whip, which when held felt as heavy as a two-by-four.

After saddling the animal, Frank climbed in the saddle with his quirt in his hand. The horse remained quiet. Frank gave him a nudge with this spurs, the animal’s ears lay back, and it reared.

Leaning forward, Frank brought the quirt down between the horses’s ears. With a quiver, the animal dropped to its knees. Climbing off the horse, Frank rubbed his thumb and forefinger around his chin and watched the animal get adjusted to this situation. It stayed on its knees, breathing hard for a few minutes. Regaining its equilibrium, the horse stood with glazed eyes and turned toward Frank.

Frank said, “Let’s give it another go.”

He got back in the saddle, got comfortable, and nudged the horse with his spurs. The same thing happened. The horse reared and started to go over backwards but Frank delivered the same blow with his shot-loaded quirt. Again the animal went to its knees, looking dazed.

With a worried look on her face, the owner approached Frank and said, “I think you may kill him.”

Frank threw his hands in the air. “Do you care? You can’t do anything with him the way he is.”

She shrugged but still looked worried.

When the horse had regained his senses and was once again on his feet and had rested a little, now eyeing Frank with respect, Frank said, “Let’s try it one more time.”

He climbed aboard the Arabian and gently nudged its flanks with his spurs. That horse took off around the arena, prancing as pretty as you please. Frank took the horse in a circle and back the other way.

Frank reined the horse in and the impressed owner asked, “Can my daughter try? It is her horse.”

“You can do whatever you like,” Frank replied.

The teenage daughter climbed in the saddle, nudged the Arabian and again the horse took off in a wonderful gait, circling the area, going right and then left when the daughter asked this of her horse, giving no indication of doing anything different.

“Looks like your horse is fixed,” Frank said. “Now I’ll just be on my way so I can be home before dark.” With that, he took his quirt and headed for home.

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