September 1998

I have had Oreo turned out with Poky, our little 17 year old unregistered quarter mare. I want him to learn to have manners with mares, and Poky has done a nice job of doing that. When she comes in heat, he very clumsily starts learning to be a stallion. However, I don't witness an actual breeding. She's pretty short tempered and impatient with him. She's teaching him quickly that he must pay attention to the ladies' moods. He is getting some basic lessons in manners.

Somehow though while they have been turned out together, he has managed to get a pretty deep cut on a front foot, low on the pastern, but not into the hoof. It requires bandages and medications all throughout September.


October 22, 1998

Oreo continues to entertain and flabbergast me with the things he dreams up to do.

Today during our pre-ride warm-up, I had run the bridle reins across the saddle and secured each one to the saddle rear cinch.

The bridle is a gag with snaffle and is rigged as German martingale. With the reins secured this way, he can still flex and have plenty of head room, but not get his head all the way down to buck.


I turned Oreo loose in the training pen and took my buggy (lunging) whip to signal him to exercise, the routine I use when I think he may be too full of himself and ready to buck a little.

He wasn't too interested in running around the pen and bucking like he usually does. Instead he decided he would prefer to roll.

I managed to get him up before he could do more than lie down, but somehow, and I have no idea how, he managed to slip the entire bridle off his head. I dropped the whip and walked toward him to catch him before he could damage my dragging bridle.

But he took off, not real fast, but obviously wanting to play some games…my bridle was dragging between his front feet and I was cringing with every step he took, because that rig cost in the neighborhood of $50. Being among the retired/unemployed, I don't need to spend another wad on replacing this bridle.

Well, this little boy spies my buggy whip lying on the ground and makes a beeline for it. He grabs it up in his mouth and goes trotting/cantering about the pen waving the whip in the air.

Naturally I have no camera on me.

Eventually I catch him and get the bridle back on him and lead him up to my "mounting block", a big tractor tire in the center of the pen.

He's getting too tall for me to struggle up on now, with my short, fat, arthritic legs, so he has learned to move up parallel to whatever I am using as a mounting block.

After a fairly short arena workout, I took him out into a larger area and did some various drills with him: slow 360s, backing up hill, etc.

Then a new lesson: I opened the gates to the outside and rode him out onto the street, back and forth around the street right of way by our house, and then a little way down the street and around an orchard area.

Coming back up the street a neighbor called out and I stopped to visit for awhile, which was good for the horse. For the most part, he stood quietly.

Then we continued toward the house, and stopped again to visit with another neighbor for awhile.

All in all, a pretty good little workout and rather entertaining, too, what with his buggy whip shenanigans.

In early November his breeder, Erna Ginkel, comes over and rides him for the first time. Who better to appreciate him than the lady responsible for his being here!


November 1998

My biggest challenge with this playful young stallion is disciplining him about his biting. He does not bite at me in a mean way, but he is obsessed with grabbing things, including my clothes and possibly even my flesh, in his mouth.

No one knows better than I do that this could be extremely dangerous, so I'm experimenting with different methods of discipline. Pushing him away only made him act like he thought I was playing, too.

Slapping - ditto.

This week I took a  board to him and that seems to have helped. This is apparently going to be a challenge.


LATE NOVEMBER: Oreo is unusually quiet one day as I ride. I return to the barn and take his temperature. He feels hot to touch.

Thermometer reads 106 degrees!

Naturally I rush in and call the vet. Then I begin hosing his legs with cool water and wet bath towels and hang them over his head and neck. By the time the vet comes his temperature is down considerably, but we dose him with meds for the fever and antibiotics for whatever must be going on. He never really shows any outward signs of illness, does cough some. I kept him on antibiotics for 4 days and then stayed off him for another week. No problems. No after effects, apparently either.

When I checked my mares at our distant pasture, I found them exhibiting similar symptoms minus fever, within the month. Seems to be a respiratory thing going around, something that the vaccines don't cover.


January 10, 1999

I took Oreo for a ride yesterday down to the cutting trainer who originally owned Oreo's sire.
Good experience for Oreo. He hasn't been very many places. He was really, really FULL of himself but settled down and I got in a pretty good ride down there.
It was really funny/scarey before we left here tho.
I saddled Oreo and since he was full of bull, turned him into my training pen to get some exercise while I finished getting ready to go. When I went back down there, he was standing in the corner, head turned looking at me, saddle hanging almost under his belly!
What a guy! Didn't hurt the saddle at all. Lots or most horses would have bucked and carried on until the saddle was demolished!
It was a struggle to get it unfastened because I had secured his halter rope to the horn and it was over his back with the weight of the saddle on it.
Anyway, got it all off and re-saddled as my friend drove up so away we went with no delay.
Beautiful cool sunny day, shirtsleeve weather. Wonderful outing!


Spring, 1999

Oreo has continued to improve although my health has prevented me from riding him as much as I would like to. It's good that he is the kind that can have lengthy layoffs without it bringing out problems in him.

Again, people are wanting to breed to Oreo. I have made arrangements to have a very few mares artificially inseminated at Alpha Equine Hospital. Dr. Baker did a motility count and pronounced Oreo to have plenty of semen and high fertility.

My own mare, BAR MONEYS PINK is in foal to Oreo for February 2000.

This week in addition to Oreo getting another lesson in semen collection, I also spent an hour or so letting him learn how to be "staked out" on a rope. Using a soft long cotton rope tied to a tire in my training pen, I watched while Oreo figured out how not to get tangled up. This is not a horse that panics and the lesson went very well.

-----May 8, 1999

As of this date, Oreo has  three, babies on the way.


June 27, 1999

This has been a good week of experience for Oreo. Lasan has been in season all week and we have been live covering her every other day, including today (Sunday)... With each cover Oreo has improved - becoming a little easier to handle, and becoming more adept at what he is trying to do. Lasan has been a good mare to get this done with.

I have started using a rope halter, i.e., lariat rope fashioned into a halter that can exert considerable pressure, rather than O's regular halter. That has also helped to give me better control over his juvenile exuberance.

Today was the best day yet. I saddled him and left him tied under a shade tree for about 3 hours. Then about 3 p.m. I gave him a pretty fair workout. (Well as much workout as I could stand considering the heat and my advanced age!) When I finished working him, I unsaddled him and put him back into his lot.

Then I got Lasan to check her with him. When teasing showed her to still be in heat, I put the breeding hobble and tail wrap on her and tied her under the shade tree.
When I went in to put the lariat on O, he dropped his head for it, was very very quiet, led perfectly out to the mare, altho of course he got excited and attentive...he did NOT try to run over me, drag me or in any way misbehave....
He sweet-talked Lasan and then moved into position and did his deed.

Afterward he led quietly back to his lot. Perfect behavior. I couldn't ask him to be better than he was today.
Now let us hope that Lasan will be in foal!

{ HAPPY NOTE: MISS GO LASAN WILL FOAL AN OREO BABY IN MAY OF 2000, provided things go well and as scheduled! That gives me two of my own mares carrying his get, plus two belonging to other people. He got every mare that he was bred to in foal on the first try. }

September 1999 - MY, it's been awhile since I tended to Oreo's Diary!

So let me back up:

Around the first of September, Oreo came up with an injured mouth. Evidently he was doing his mouthing thing on part of the fence, and hung his incisor, and when he had to pull hard to get loose, actually pulled two of his front teeth (upper) along with the gums, out of line with the others. I found him bleeding from the mouth that morning. The vet assures me that it will heal, the teeth are baby teeth which are about to shed sometime soon anyway, and that there should be no permanent disfigurement.

I thought I was going to have a permanent buck-toothed horse!

It already looks a lot better.-----

Wednesday, September 08, 1999

Yesterday we brought our four remaining cattle to the house and moved big round bales for them to feed on.

My plan is to work Oreo on them for a few weeks and then sell the calves and breed the cows.

I followed them around the middle trap on Oreo yesterday, letting them get used to him, and letting him watch them. This is the first day he has been around cattle since last year when I had the two yearlings here and played with them a couple of times. At that time, he "hooked on" almost immediately, and showed tremendous interest.

I didn’t try to separate any of them yesterday, just followed them, turned them as a group, moved them from one end of the pen to the other, etc.

Today I used Oreo to move them from the middle trap into the south trap and the training pen. Once in the pen, we moved them from one end to the other, turned the group on the fence, separated one or two at a time and moved them opposite direction, etc.

Then I opened the gate into the barn/pen and moved them all into it, then separated one calf back out into the large pen.

Out there we could head the calf and move it out, and block it as it tried to go to its mother.

Oreo really wants to do something with these cattle. By the time the little session was over, he was pivoting and moving out with the calf to block it as best as he knew how at this point.

My feeling today is that if I were to let a professional cutting trainer ride him in among cattle, that trainer would really want me to put this horse in training. No question, Oreo has inherited the cutting instinct.

When we quit the cows, I took Oreo back into the middle trap and rode him awhile there, working on stop and turn, back uphill, etc. Then I dropped the bridle and rode him with just the halter and lead rope to see if I could. He really did well today. I’m very pleased and he is a joy to ride.

hellocow.jpg (19512 bytes)
Moving cows around in their new temporary home at the house, September 7, 1999

startHeading.JPG (77305 bytes)
Still moving the cows around, same day, 8-7-99.


OCTOBER 16-17, 1999

OREO had his first overnighter in a coliseum this weekend. We went to Wichita Falls, TX to the Horse Expo, and exhibited him on "Stallion Row" with about 98 other stallions. I took the opportunity to ride him through all the big barns, up and down the streets, through the parking lots, and even down along the Wichita River, which splits the city-showgrounds in two.

He could not have been better. Just a perfect gentleman. What a neat horse and what a great mind.



On a Saturday afternoon this month, after being hale and hearty in the a.m. and cleaning up all his regular breakfast, Oreo was obviously not well at 4 pm.

Since he had some mud on a shoulder, I thought possibly he had slipped and fallen while playing and maybe he was sore. So I turned him out in the back yard to graze and watched to see how he would move. He nibbled very little at the grass and then showed signs of discomfort.

I immediately called for a vet: had to call three to catch one available via his beeper ... dear Dr. Gieb came within the hour and spent over 3 hours here with us, and finally recommended that I take Oreo to a specialty equine hospital near Dallas just in case the problem was going to require surgery. He remembered only too well, I'm sure, how devastated I was when my good buckskin Quarter Horse died some time back. He stressed that he thought Oreo was going to be fine, but "just in case" ...

So at 10 pm I was in Las Colinas at the hospital and Oreo was getting a complete going over by the vets there. I left him with them after all his vital signs indicated he was not in any real danger. They wanted to monitor him for 24 hours, which they did and then I went over and brought him home.

He had to be eased onto his feed after all the stress, but other than that appeared to be doing fine ... UNTIL Monday afternoon when his temperature shot up to 104.5 degrees.

My usual vet who has offices within 2 miles of my house, was still  in his office, so I rushed up there and consulted him, and came home with a fresh vial of penicillin and some paste Bute ... gave that to him and monitored his temp. Bill, the vet, had said that if the fever did not come down, to rush him back to Las Colinas. His fear was that there might be a problem in the gut, maybe even a hole.

But, thank the blessed Lord, within 2 hours of administering the bute, Oreo's temperature was normal.

No further occurrences. Except that my Discover card is suffering severe stress from all these vet bills.


December 22, 1999   Funny Oreo

It has been cold and windy for a few days plus I haven't been well, so Oreo has not been ridden. Today it was not windy and I was feeling somewhat better .....

He's so funny! This afternoon when I went to feed him he literally begged me to play! Now remember, playing with a 1200 pound stallion can be hazardous to one's health! ... HOWEVER, sucker that I am, I stayed and played with him for awhile. I retrieved his ball from where he had thrown it over the fence, and bounced it off him a few times, untangled his lariat rope and tossed it over his head and back a few times ... letting him have the fun of grabbing it and snatching it off, naturally ... plus we played "Oreo chases the fat lady until she sticks the whip in his face and hollers 'BACK UP!' " ... then he backs up and pulls that con-artist bit of looking like "Who me? I just was playing, mama!" hahahahaha
Now when a horse passes up his feed to play with a human being like a puppy (sort of), that is playful! Horses usually have one thing on their minds: FOOD (kind of like me ... I think I was a horse in a former life, or preparing to be one in the next) ..... --e t


February 2000

Took Oreo to an open show near Weatherford, Tx and just rode him and worked him in the surrounding areas. Excellent experience for him. This was just his second time to go to a big show with crowds, trailers and such, and although I decided not to enter anything (show was running v-e-r-y long and late), he was responsive and calm enough that I could have.


February 17, 2000

THE BIG DAY. The first of Oreo's 4 year 2000 foals (the first of his foals, EVER) arrived this morning. Looks like a good filly, and she certainly seems to be the right color: buckskin.


SPOTS AND DOTS RANCH gets a BLACK AND WHITE TOVERO FILLY from Oreo and Debby's good mare, Sky Bug. Marked a lot like Oreo and with excellent conformation and nice head!

March 25, 2000

BREEDING SEASON. Five outside mares at the present. Collection is being done at Cottar 2X4 Ranch as well as Alpha Equine. Getting "collected" is becoming routine for Oreo; now he is getting some new discipline as well. Going to be a genuine learning experience/spring for him!



OREO has another daughter. This one is bay with wide blaze, but no other spots that are evident. Nice, heavy muscled, big strong filly. The owners are thrilled with her. 


MAY 19 - LASAN foals ANOTHER Filly ... her 6th out of 7 foals!
This one, guess what, is most definitely a PAINT!



NEXT SPRING will be fun, seeing the new crop of Oreo foals. We had a nice variety of mares to his court this year.

Sad News from Debbie Rogers at Spots n Dots: Her mare Trudy aborted twins from Oreo. The twins had gone undetected on a sonogram so it was a sad shock.


YEAR 2001:

January 16


Oreo places 2nd at halter, 5th in Junior Trail and in Novice Trail.


Oreo places in trail again.

No additional points toward that ROM however.


February 24, 2001 - The first foals of the season arrived at the home of Paul and Jewell Walters, Georgetown, TX. 

April, 2001 - Annie Calling Chief, owned by Thanh and Carol Ho of Colorado Springs, CO., has a chestnut tobiano filly from Oreo.



JULY, 2001

I am working Oreo, getting him ready to go back to Earnest Wilson for the fall Paint Show Season. 

AUGUST, 2001

OREO went back to Earnest Wilson and made 4 fall shows, including the Margarita in Fort Worth, and the Paint Performance Super Stakes in Glen Rose. 

He returned home the first week in November with additional points in Junior Trail, plus a point in Heading, and money earned at the Super Stakes in Heading and Heeling.

His daughter, Van Tykes Skybug, owned by Spots n Dots Paint Horses, won the Super Stakes Yearling Halter Futurity at the Super Stakes, bringing home a nice paycheck.


I was impressed with the PAT PARELLI and LEON HARRELL demonstration during the 2001 NCHA Futurity in Fort Worth, and decided to invest in the first part of the program for Oreo's benefit.

PartnersVig.jpg (175459 bytes)
Oreo and Me, winter 2001/2002

After only a few days, OREO was relaxing more, enjoying me more, and I am certainly enjoying him to the fullest. I'm now riding him in the Parelli hackamore, which is basically a tied rope halter with a mecate'. What a nice boy my big O is.


OREO in his first class as a senior at the 2002 Fort Worth Stock Show APHA Show. Not a bad showing for his first time with the big boys, garnering a 6th in Heading.
That's me, keeping keeping Oreo quiet and letting him watch the other ropers coming out of the box. Excitable, isn't he?


MARCH 21, 2002

ORO VAN TYKE, Overo COLT from Oreo and Bar Moneys Pink.
Full brother to Oreo Pinkstuff Cookie
Our only foal this year.

Salt Creek Open Show Grand Champion Stallion - Age 4 months
First time away from home - First show - weaned 2 days previously

APRIL 2002

OREO is so quiet and good in his "Parelli" hackamore, that I rode and showed him in it (even though it is not "show legal" ... not severe enough apparently for a six year old horse! haha) at a rather large all-breed show, twice in April.

This is us "warming up" outside the arena

I rode him in Western Pleasure for the second time at this show. He did quite nicely. I had entered him in another show last fall where I rode him with a snaffle and rope noseband. He was good there, too. But just look at what he is wearing in this photo. And look at his quiet willing stride. And NO, I will never ask him to roll peanuts. haha

sidebar SHOW NOTES:     



Tykes Freckled Daisy, Tykes Smokin Silver, Tykes Desert Jazzmine

2004 and 2005

Oreo came into his own in
team roping and steer stopping;
and we experimented with showing
in English and other classes


a momentous year for Oreo...

Our 2006 Filly - Celtic Kate

Sold at 5 months of age

We have downsized to three horses: OREO, BAR MONEYS PINK and Oreo Pinkstuff Cookie.
We will  show Oreo from time to time. Cookie has been with Earnest Wilson this fall, and is headed for the Paint Performance Horse Super Stakes Finals. Cookie won her first APHA points in West Texas earlier this fall.

2008 UPDATE: Oreo Pinkstuff Cookie now resides in New Jersey at Chrome Acres, having been purchsed from us in 2007.

Also in 2007 we re-purchased the final AQHA daughter of our late Miss Go Lasan, LYNX LASAN, and she is one of the three horses that we still share our lives with here at home: Oreo Van Tyke, Bar Moneys Pink, and Lynx Lasan.

Harlan Tidwell and Oreo Van Tyke, APHA Charity Ride, Fort Worth, TX


    After considering it for three years, we became comfortable with the idea of Oreo becoming a gelding. He became a non-stallion on October 24, 2006 and is a less-stressed individual now. No hormones raging, and even though he was a very well-behaved stallion, we feel that he will be a happier horse all the time now. And we will be welcome on trail rides and other activities, where sometimes participants are not comfortable around stallions.

    BAR MONEYS PINK bore Oreo's final foal  May 2007, a buckskin filly that we named NELLIE FINALE', as the grand finale of Oreo's siring career. Nellie belonged to Renita and Terry Massey of Midlothian. Here she is shown doing one of her many 'tricks' ...

shown with horse trainer deluxe, Christine Radosta.

Nellie now is part of an outstanding equine operation in Texas.




2010:  Among his jobs these days is being a Therapy Horse at
Therapeutic Riding Of Texas, where Renita Massey is a volunteer
and Director.

Oreo Looking Good on Rail 2010 SM.jpg


Horsmanship Rider (above) was Austin Eddy

Jake's rider is Natalie Jones

Parker Johnson rode Oreo in Western Pleasure

    in memory of a great horse,

1996 - 2011



we can take comfort in knowing that we gave him the best care and unending love.



SPOTS 'n DOTS Paint Farms:

In Memory of Debbie Rogers

  by Oreo [ left: Oreo Van Tykes Clone' aka Chloe ]


Debbie was an Oreo fan, even though she owned stallions herself. Her enthusiasm for Oreo was gratifying. She was a wonderful lady and we continue to miss her.

    Thank you for following us  via this web site. We invite you to come along for the ride as we continue on down Happy Trails!

    Life has been good to us, and as we travel our 7th decade of it, OREO remains always in our memory..   --Eileen

back to OREO VAN  TYKE main page