The Bond of a Lifetime

Joy Doss never expected her broodmare to give her a best friend, but she now has almost 40 years worth of memories with “Ten”

By Abigail Slaubaugh

If horses could speak, some could share incredible storiesand Mr Mount Ten Man, a 39-year-old sorrel overo gelding, is one of them. Born March 20, 1982, “Ten” has been loved and cared by his breeder, Joy Doss, for his entire life. Now nearly 40 years old, Ten is one of APHA’s oldest known Paint Horses, and his rich history is full of life’s adventures where he has provenhis calm mind, athleticism and loving heart time and time again.

Alongside her brother, Joy owned and bred Paint and Quarter Horses at her Sulphur Springs, Texas, farm. Crossing her stallion Bar Mount’s Dude on Chips Freckle (QH) produced Ten, a flashy sorrel overo colt splashed with chrome and the all-around good-nature of his sire. Initially trained by Joy’s brother, Ten made a lasting impression on Joy, who could see something special in the youngster and refused to let him go.

Teaching New Generations

When Ten was 2, Joy took him to trainer Earnest Wilson of Tolar, Texas, to participate in a clinic, and he later taught Ten the ropes in events like trail and Western pleasure. Joy showed Ten in Amateur events for a while, even winning championship honors at the Texas State Fair in the early 1980s, but life soon took the pair in a different direction. Joy, a high school teacher and adjunct college professor, always had a passion for teaching, and that led her to develop a lesson program.

Ten, of course, found himself at the center of the lesson string—with his calm demeanor and sturdy feel under-saddle, he was able to help timid riders blossom and teach students anything new that they wanted to try, from working cattle to jumping.

“We had a girl one time who wanted to learn to use spurs. I said, ‘Hun, if you use those spurs wrong, you can work up a heck of a storm!’ Sure enough, she was riding Ten and she got off balance and slidshe had that spur right in his flank,” Joy said. “He stopped and was tremblingit hurt him so bad, but he stopped and stood there anyways. The girl said, ‘I realize why you wanted me on him. My horse would have went bucking.’

Joy and her students continued showing Ten around Texas, collecting ribbons and other prizes en mass. Ten was proving himself to be a worthy teacher and a poster child for the Paint Horsebreed.


This is an excerpt from the full article—get the whole story in the Fall 2021 Chrome magazine, which is sent to all current APHA members. Not a member? Join or renew at apha.com/join.


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