Echo River Ranch

Miss Britt Sea M
1981 - 2005

This was a loving and patient horse. She had been a healthy 24 year old horse who was still ridden regularly on the trails that she loved. Britt is buried on ranch property.

Statistics - A Description of Britt

Miss Britt Sea M Miss Britt Sea M went by the barn name Britt. She was a registered appaloosa mare born in 1981. She was 15-2 hands (or 62 inches) at the withers.

Horse Statistics At A Glance Typical of most appaloosas, Britts colors changed with age. She was born a dark seal brown with a large white star on her forehead and no other defined white markings or spots. Shortly after she came to the ranch, her rump started roaning and showing dark spots. Every year, her main body color got lighter and her spots clearer. The star on her forehead eventually blended in with the roaning of her body too.



The Beginning - How We Obtained Britt

picture of Britt Ranch ownership was interested in riding the Chief Joseph Trail (CJT) which can only be ridden on a horse that is a registered appaloosa. We had been looking for several months, when we heard about a registered appaloosa mare who had been found starving in a barn after its owners unexpected death.

Upon first site, Britt was extremely malnourished but alert and responding favorably to people. Her immediate rescuer had already put a lot of weight on her, but she still needed another 250-300 pounds. Her color was a solid dark seal bay without spots of any kind, but she had the necessary registration papers to qualify her to be ridden on the CJT.

During her starvation, Britt had picked up the horrid habit of cribbing. Cribbing is a vise were the horse sets its teeth on a surface and bites in while swallowing air; this action releases seratonin (a feel good sensation) to the brain and, with repetition, fills the animals stomach with air. Cribbing is an addiction that is impossible to stop, but her price was right.



Horse Tails - Funny Things & Stories About Britt

picture of Britt            The Early Years

Britt took the trails immediately. She didn’t mind riding out alone and it was obvious that someone had really put some training into her. It was discovered that she had extensive dressage knowledge, but she also had arena attitude. She would fight collection by pushing out her nose and flattening her ears, and requests for a lope would result in bucking. Since arena work was not her intended purpose, she was returned to trail riding where she flourished.

Shortly after Britt arrived at the ranch, she came into a heat cycle. Echo (Echo River Bandit) was still a young stallion, so he was allowed to breed her. Almost a year later, she gave birth to a large black colt with a very small star on his forehead. The delivery was very difficult and almost killed both her and the baby (named Seatco, see the In Memory page). She was a good mother, but she was never bred again.

She also started showing appaloosa spots. Black spots surrounded by white hairs (a roaning effect) appeared on her rear end. Each year there after, her body color got lighter and lighter.



picture of Britt, click here to go to the book 5+3=80      A Trail Horse Over The Years

Britt loved the trails. She was used to help identify, clear, build, and mark many a mile of trail.

She competed on many Washington State Competitive Trail Rides (CTRs). One year she missed receiving the mileage award by only 5 miles. She would have had it, but she had been disqualified from a forty mile ride when her saddle had given her some sores. She later competed on the 50-50 hundred miler and came in second place (and without saddle sores). And that same year, she won her name on a traveling trophy as all round horse after competing in both some arena riding (with gaming and performance) and a distance ride.

Click here or on the picture of Britt and Echo above to go to the book and read about a packing adventure.

Britt also competed in many National Association of Competitive Mounted Orienteering rides (CMOs). She repeatedly won state and national year-end awards. She was one of the first horses to be awarded the 200 cummulative points award. And in 1988, she was one of only a few horses who qualified for the first national championship ride held in Minnesota.

The national ride was supposed to be held in a new area. Unfortunately, every competitor had previously ridden and competed on those same trails, accept Britt and her rider. Even at a disadvantage, Britt still took second place. And she received first place for year end awards.

picture of Britt Over the years, we were never able to breack Britts cribbing addiction. We tried cribbing straps, but she fought against them until they dug into her hide and created awful sores. We tried electrifying every possible cribbing surface, but she got so good that she could crib off a bucket or the side of a fence post.

We even removed everything from her paddock that was not protected by an electric wire and she prepared herself for the shock and cribbed any way, endouring the shock. By her later years, she had worn her front teeth down to the gums, leaving a hole in her bite. One dreadful morning, Britt did not come in for breakfast. We found her standing on three legs in the bottom pasture. Uncontrolled neighborhood dogs had been chasing her and she had collided with a fence post which shattered her leg.

For all the many thousands of miles that Britt was ridden, never one was on the Chief Joseph Trail.