We specialize in foundation bred Missouri Foxtrotter


Judella Burton

            I'd like to share with you one of the most pleasurable relationships I've had during my lifetime. This relationship started with a 13 year old Fox Trot stallion named Ramblin Red. Now when I first met Red my knowledge of horses was minimal. I'd grown up on the farm with work horses. I'd plowed the garden and tobacco with a horse and most usually rode bareback since our antique saddle was constantly in need of repair. I'd never been around shows or received any real guidance with the horses. I was a horse lover and I had common sense to my credit.
             The first time I saw Red was pure frustration! I went to see him as a prospective stud for my mare. I was told to stay away from the horse; To just stand back - way back - and look. As I waited out in the barn lot I heard a commotion going on inside the barn. Finally the door opens and out comes a snorting, blowing, prancing, and rearing horse. He was being handled with two leads, a chain over his nose, and two whips. The horse had a blaze, two hind stockings, and his mane and tail were black with gray mixed in. His mane and forelock were the thickest I'd ever seen on a horse! And, wavy too! His tail is full and touches the ground. His eyes are bright, wide set and intelligent. He's about 14'2", he's put together well and reminds me of Justin Morgan in conformation. Standing before me is the very horse that had been running thru my dreams since I was a child and first started thinking of 'my ideal horse'!!!! All I could do was stand and look. I couldn't even touch him!
             Ramblin Red, I learned, was a Kentucky Grand Champion. His foals were champions. He was considered to be the best fox trot stallion in Kentucky. Every horse person you spoke with in Western Kentucky knew Ramblin Red. He was also reputed to be an 'outlaw'.
             I later discovered Red's bloodlines were exceptional.
'Old' foundation blood names were still on Red's papers that had fallen off most of the existing horses papers generations ago; Names such as Black Squirrel and Dare. These names are also foundation blood for the Standard Bred, American Saddlebred, the Tennessee Walking Horse, and the Thoroughbred.
             In 1975, Red's owner died and Red was to be sold at auction of the estate. I went with the intention of buying the horse trailer but it went too high for me. Red was to be the last horse to sell. The mares really sold high. I couldn't believe it when Red came out and really showed his stuff and 'bloomed' for the crowd. No one would bid on him!! They called and called for a bid and no one would bid on that magnificent horse! So I bid my trailer money on him. Then a couple of guys bid against me, so I asked them what they were gonna do with him. One said "I've always wanted to ride the _ _ _ and that's what I'm gonna do whatever it takes." The other said, "Geld'm and ride him." They were all afraid of Red!!! So I bid till I knew I couldn't go any farther. When the bidding closed I asked Red's rider who got him. He said, "You did." I went into shock. A lot of people recognize me from that day. I laughed from the pure joy of having my 'dream horse'. I cried from the absurdity of me, a single woman, having a stallion I had no place for and no idea how to handle. All I'd ever read or been told about stallions was bad. And, always the point that a woman had no business with a stallion was emphasized. But, I finally got to touch him!!
             All I knew to do was follow my intuition. I loved the old horse so I guess the love canceled the fear. I rented a stall for him the first year and was with him a minimum of twice daily. The first day I went to feed Red I took his head in my hands and looked him eye to eye and made a pact with him. I said, 'Old boy, I have absolutely no business with you because you're a stallion. But, as long as you're good to me, you've got a home. But you cross me old boy and you're out." Red held me to that  pact. Never once have I seen the 'outlaw' I was told about.
             That 'outlaw' has been my very good friend for 11 years now. He's taught me a lot about horses, has encouraged and inspired me to read and search out information on all aspects of horse ownership.
             One of the myths I heard a lot on was 'no stallions allowed on trail rides'. Red and I have covered many miles and created a lot of wet saddle blankets on the trail, riding single as well as in a group. Only once did he give me a problem and that was only because he wanted to lead the group rather than follow. The first trail ride we took together was on a 100 degree 4th of July. I was told by the other riders to take the lead going up what appeared to be a deer trail. After about 100 yards Red stopped and wouldn't move a muscle. I kicked, switched, clucked and got embarrassed. Then I took a closer look into the underbrush - it was a sheer drop-off -! We turned on a dime and found a safer trail. On this same trail ride when we stopped for lunch and tied our horses I noticed Red was stomping and switching his tail quite often. I had hitched him over a red wasp nest and he was covered up, but never did he pull against his lead.
             While riding alone late one evening Red again stopped and wouldn't budge when instructed to. I leaned over and looked down to find both hind feet tangled in woven wire, an old fence row. I dismounted and he very patiently and quietly allowed me to untangle him.
             Another time while on a trail ride the weather took a turn for the worse and we ended up riding in a horrific thunderstorm. The bolt lightening, crackling and sudden booming thunder type. Red never flinched once, just put his head down and lead us right back to the campsite. I couldn't see a thing for the water pouring off my hat brim. The other riders were busy trying to control their Arabians and quarter horses. My girlfriend said, "Yea, I knew when that thunder clapped and I was about to hit the ground that you were still in your easy chair".
             Have you ever had a horse with a real sense of humor? Well, Red liked to play a joke on me once in a while. One time he hid from me right under my nose and was quite as a mouse. I came home from work one night and couldn't find Red anywhere. I searched every stall; I combed the pasture, and called and called. No Red. Finally I noticed the corncrib door latch was undone and went to close it. There up in the crib was Red. He hadn't disturbed a thing. Just opened the narrow door and climbed up in there and stood. There hadn't been a snort, a stomp, or a tail flickering. I scolded and he laughed.
             One thing Red loved to do was play in the water while being ridden. He could tell the very instant your attention wandered and he'd drop down in the water. He'd get just far enough to fill my boot before I firmed the reins and scolded him. He always responded instantly to his training.
             If you wanted to torture Red, tie him on the bank while you went swimming. He'd just prance and fidget and watch the water with such longing you couldn't stand it. One time I remember, there were two families of us swimming, kids too, I put Red on the longeline and let him come in with us. He was just like a kid splashing and swimming in our midst. He loved it. We loved it.
             Some folks think the only place for a stallion is in a very solidly built stall, and that's precisely where Red had been for years. But, you see I have claustrophobia and I just couldn't stand the idea of anyone or anything being confined within four walls 24 hours a day, day in and day out. So I turned Red out to pasture with his mares. This decision exposed a whole new dimension of Red's character. Let me share with you a few situations I observed.
             Red was a babysitter. After the first few weeks of being with mamma the foals would spend most of their time with DAD. I'd look out in the pasture and the foals would all be with Red. The mares would be clear across on the other end of the field, just as if they were glad for some time of peace and quite. When the foals would get hungry I've seen them go to Red intending to nurse. He'd just push them away and head'em back to Mom. They'd nurse and come right back to Red.
             There was another occasion Red babysat a two day old calf. Red and his mares shared a pasture with the cattle. At this particular time the mares hadn't foaled yet. We had a calf two days old. When I called for the horses to come in I could see the black calf running beside the white mare. They were a half mile away from me. Red came up from the rear, circled the mares and stopped'em. The white mare rejected the calf. It went to each of the other mares and they each rejected it. Then Red went to it, checked it out, started it back toward Mom and held the mares in position until the cow and calf were together. Then my horses came on into the barn.
             There has been several times, almost yearly, a mare wouldn't come up and bring in her new foal. Quite by accident I discovered Red would do my work for me. I would allow Red to eat as usual, then let him back out so he could check all the stalls. He'd see who was missing and take out like a streak to get her. If I'm any judge, he was always furious with her for not being where she was supposed to be. He'd go straight to her, have a short conference, and all three would race straight to the barn and get in proper stalls.
             That sounds like a tall tale doesn't it? I probably wouldn't believe it either if I hadn't been there or I didn't know the old horse. He was quite a character, one-in-a-million I believe. Now I know the 'ole man' can't speak English, but I swear he understood every word.


Burton Foxtrotters

4597 U S 62 E, Beaver Dam, KY 42320