Echo River Ranch

Alkhar’s Melody Echo
1963 - 1985

This was a remarkable little horse who surprised us time and again. She also gave us some beautifully colored foals.

Statistics - A Description of Melody

Alkhar’s Melody Echo Alkhar’s Melody Echo went by the barn name Melody. She was a registered appaloosa mare born in 1963. And she was 14-2 hands (or 58 inches) at the withers.

Horse Statistics At A Glance Melody was white with both sold black spots and two tone spots (wide grey ring around black spots) all over her body; she was considered a black leopard colored appaloosa. Her mane and tail had both white and black hairs. She had one white sock half way up her left back leg, but no specific white markings (no stars or blazes) on her face.



The Beginning - How We Obtained Melody

picture of Melody Ranch ownership first noticed Melody when we visited a boarding facility. She was a beautifully colored horse and she was nursing a colorful and stunning colt. But what really caught our attention was that through the tangle of legs we could see a human child (a two year old girl) sucking on her other teet.

We were at the facility to arrange boarding for a horse. In fact, Melody was not even for sale. We learned that she was eighteen years old and first generation out of foundation stock appaloosas. She had always been used as a brood mare and her deep swayed back was evidence. Her current baby was supposed to be the fourteenth colt that she had foaled. She was not broke to ride, but she would lead around calmly with children sitting on her back.

A few months after meeting her, she came up for sale, so we bought her.



Horse Tails - Funny Things & Stories About Melody

picture of Melody            First Foal For The Ranch

We tried riding Melody as soon as we brought her home. She did not mind the saddle or the rider, and she was not difficult to steer, but she would only walk. It took several minutes of kicking to get her to trot and even more to get her to gallop which was usually preceeded by a couple of half hearted bucks.

Shortly after bringing Melody home, a search of the local appaloosa registries identified a stallion that was second generation foundation stock appaloosa, Milk River’s Frost. So she was introduced and the next eleven months dragged as we waited for our first baby. The night she finally began dripping milk, we spent the entire night in the barn stall with her. Not until 5:30 in the morning, did she finally give birth to Echo River Bandit.

Melody was ridden a lot around the pastures and occasionally on trails. She was perfect to use for lessons, she was slow and tolerated lots of kicking from young students. She was used for pleasure rides, but never on the competitive distance rides. She loved attention. She was ridden in the Lakefair parade with her baby at her side and shown in little 4-H shows, including the Thurston County Fair.



Horse Tails - Funny Things & Stories About Melody

picture of Melody            More Foals For The Ranch

Melody was bred two a second stallion (out of the "Double Bid" bloodline) and gave birth to another colt exactly one year later. This second colt was born in the middle of the night of a full moon and named Bid on a Full Moon (Peanut, see our In Memory page).

Melody was kept open for a year and then bred a third time to yet a third stallion. A letter had been written to the prior owners on her papers, asking for information. Their only comment was a warning that she was a dangerous mare when birthing. Although she hadn’t been aggressive during the birth of Echo, we were not their for the birthing of Peanut. We decided to be more careful on this next baby.

Melody decided to have this foal next to the fence adjacent to a school bus turn-around in broad daylight. Quite an exhibitionist, as the bus driver paused so that a whole load of school children could watch. However, there seemed to be something wrong, she would not allow the baby to nurse. We decided to move them to the barn where it would be more private.

As we entered the barn, Melody pinned her ears and barred her teeth and in that split second, we remembered the prior owners warning. Fortunately, she charged past us to get at a cat that was behind us. She grabbed the cat by the hair, shook it back and forth a few times, and then sent it flying across the barn. It was scared but unharmed. And we were thankful that it was the cat and not us that she was aiming for.

Once in the barn, she continually smelled up the rear of the foal, but would not allow it to nurse. She had been an excellent caring mother to both Echo and Peanut. Then realization, seventeen foals and this was the first filly; we named her Amekan Flip Flash (Amy). It took lots of reassurance, but Melody finally allowed Amy to nurse and everything was fine after that.

We decided that we did not want to be in the business of breeding, so we put her up for sale. Melody was a healthy 22 year old horse who went on to produce foals for her new family.