Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A lot of horse trainers like to make a big deal about how we're the predator and horses are the prey. I've had a couple instances lately when I realized what a pathetic predator my soft human body really is. Not a great design, unless we're holding a weapon. The first was the other day with the moose. I was walking the property, hoping to get a last look at them, but keeping in mind that I needed cover nearby in case she decided to charge. I was armed only with my camera. Of course I didn't see them again.

Tonight was really creepy. As I was walking with Scout and Tonka toward the hay out by the creek, armed only with my head light, both horses suddenly perked up and started watching the creek. I look over and see a reflection of two eyes. Something watching. Too big to be a little kitty cat. Made my heart go pitter-patter, and not in a romantic way. I hollered for it to "git outta here" and clapped real loud, and the eyes reluctantly disappeared. But I don't think it completely cleared out right away, the horses kept running around for a while. It was probably just a coyote, and I love to see those in the daytime, but night time is different...

And my dog is missing... I know she's not terrorizing the cats because they're right at the back door. I hope she's just out exploring. But this isn't like her.

Okay, on to better things. I got one post for the shelter in the ground today. Digging in the mud is no fun. You end up hefting up the same darn clump of mud 5,000 times because it sticks to your posthole digger. I did finally get it deep enough though. In the sleet, mind you. Fun. We went out to start on the second one later in the day after John got home, but we just about got hit by lightning. My son and dog were toward the top of the hill when it struck and boomed. Scared me, but it scared them worse! They sure can run! Poor Tonka was tied to the trailer and that big boom really shook him. We decided to call it a day. (Really the lightning was on the other side of the hill, but that's still too close for me!)

I think I'm gonna go call for my dog again.

She's back! What a relief.

Happy Birthday to Scout!

Today he is a year old. What did he get for his birthday? A strangles booster, and boy was he NOT happy about it. In fact, he's the only one who threw a big fit. I tried to offer him treats afterward, but he was having none of it.

He's not clean enough for a birthday picture, but here are some old pictures for you.

Monday, March 30, 2009

NEW BLOG: www.adoptamustang.blogspot.com. This is where you can meet my new Trainer's Incentive Program horses and follow along in their progress. I'm going to keep that blog free of personal blather, it's just for promotion of the TIP horses. Although I probably won't be able to keep myself from being long-winded. As evidenced by the first post there...

Today was a long day. The very best part was that I got to cuddle my little lamb "Skinny" again today. He was sooooooo sweet! I picked him up and he snuggled into my neck under my hair. I'm in love. Oh how I wanted to bring him home. But as John so wisely pointed out, we're not fenced for it. Melissa and I got some work done on the fleeces, and hopefully will be done after another couple days of work. With the part I'm needed for, that is.

When I got home I was tired, but I knew I needed to get ready for the TIP horses. We still have to build the shelter. So we spent 2 hours moving all the rotten hay and pallets out of the area where we're going to put one of the horses. I have the spots marked where I need to dig post holes for the shelter, and I think I'm going to go get lumber tomorrow. Work, work, work. I'm so glad John helped me. Not only does work like that wear me out, but it's no fun to do all alone.

Tonka just stands around wishing for something to do, poor boy. I may go ride at the arena tomorrow. You know, I really think I should. But there are those holes to dig and lumber to buy... We'll see.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

More baby pictures! Aren't they cute? Not quite as friendly as the little lambs though.

Later in the day we had a surprise visitor. The boys weren't sure what to think of that strange looking horse.What do you suppose she's looking back at here?

Her baby had fallen behind, not able to jump fences quite as easily as she could. But he soon caught up and tried leading the way.

Pretty neat. I love moose. At a distance, that is.

I'm starting to think about when I'm going to make the trip to Burns for the two trainer's incentive program horses. I think I might try to go durning spring break, which is just the week after next. eek! Better start getting ready for them.

Friday, March 27, 2009

I've been tagged by GTYYUP! I like it when I get tagged for a photo tag, it's fun. The rules this time: open the 10th folder and show the 10th picture. My folders are more complicated than that, but here's where I ended up:
Wee Emma, the first foal born to me. I bought her mama already bred. It was fun, waiting for her to be born, watching her grow.

I'll never say never, because I have a soft heart and will probably change my mind someday, but I'm done with baby horses for now. They're cute, but... Well, there are plenty of buts. Mainly to do with work, worry, and waiting. And expense... Although I am very pleased with Scout, he is a good baby. Someone at the Extreme Cowboy Race, when asked how old her horse was when she got him, said, "He was born into my lap." Someday when Scout and I do great things together, I'll be able to say something similar.

On to other babies! The lambs, oh my, the lambs... They are so soft and cuddly and still the perfect size for picking up and snuggling.

This little guy stole my heart. I want to bring him home so bad. I tried to talk John into letting me ask Melissa if I can buy him (and another for a buddy) but he talked me out of it. I told him I WILL have sheep again someday. I'll do my best to be patient. But it's really, really hard. Just look at him! It's almost too much to bear. His name is Skinny, because he was born with one skinny leg. Odd...

These two looked cozy.

This little boy I'd like to bring home also. He is wonderfully soft, and he's a neat color. And he's sweet.

Here's another hungry lamb, looking for more milk.

Oh no, I'm being mobbed!

"When lambies attack!"

I think I'm totally okay with this kind of attack.
(Look at those little feet!)

This little guy has sharp teeth.

Here's a bunch of lambs hanging out while the mamas get a little grain. Look at those very black ones! Those fleeces won't be hard to sell.

Stick a fork in me, I'm done! Had another rough night with my son being sick, and I have GOT to get some better sleep tonight. Tomorrow we're going to the Backcountry Horsemen's Outdoor Show down in Lewiston. Hope to see Bob and Lea there. I also hope it doesn't rain too much. Tomorrow is John's birthday too! Fun stuff.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

What a weird day it's been! My son got sick last night, bad fever, ears and sinuses hurting. I can't say I mind too much, he's so cuddly. As long as I keep him medicated he swears he's not sick and he wants to go play. But this afternoon his fever was up to 102 and I figured I better have him checked for an ear or sinus infection. So we made the trip to Pullman, which takes about 40 minutes. Right when we were ALMOST to the doctor, my cell phone rang, and it was the school telling me my daughter is sick. With something completely different. Sounded like a stomach bug. John was in Seattle so I didn't have any backup. I turned around and made the 40 minute trek back. When we got there she was in an incredible amount of pain, couldn't sit or lay down, she was just pacing the hall. Said it felt like when her appendix ruptured. So I figured we better get her to the doctor too, and turned around and headed back to town. We drove through every kind of weather today. Hail, snow, wind, rain, glorious sunshine. It was definitely spring weather. The doctor, if she was one, couldn't help us, other than to tell us we can't be helped. They most likely just have viruses. Which is good, but it's been a crazy day.

Sorry, no horseplay today! I might get out there and play with Tonka before the sun goes down. I'd like to try his new Easyboots on him.

Oh yeah, I forgot to write about his Easyboots. I have been wanting a set for him, for when we go on rides that just might be too much for bare feet. Not that he's ever indicated that he can't handle it, but he does get abscesses every now and then, and I wonder if it might be from bruising. Anyway, I got a great deal on a once-worn pair on eBay and they got here yesterday, with comfort pads in them and everything. I've never seen Easyboots this big! They're weird looking. They should fit his big feet just fine. Now I just need to be on the lookout for some size 3's for his hinds.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

"For what the horse does under compulsion... is done without understanding; and there is no beauty in it either, any more than if one should whip and spur a dancer."

Tonka and I had an absolutely wonderful day yesterday, and a great one today as well, though our time today was short.

I've been knowing that I need to work on loping the boy, but haven't done it. Footing, laziness, aversion to arena work, etc... There are always excuses for doing nothing. But the Expo made me realize just how badly I've been allowing my horsemanship to stagnate. Gotta move forward... When we worked on loping before he was having trouble picking up the correct lead. I think it may have been mostly a saddle fit issue. Probably not helped by my riding. :) Yesterday we made a couple trips in either direction at the lope, and he did great. It's nice to have the safe footing and clear area of the arena to work in. I think I'm going to start trying to get over there 2-3 times a week. Hopefully he'll soon start to get some muscle tone back. He's not looking so hot lately.

Today I watched a video on clicker training. Alexandra Kurland's The Click that Teaches. It was basic but good. There are a couple really basic things I've done wrong when trying it in the past. So today I went out and found my clicker in the tack shed and tested it to see if it was clicking right (my son messed it up a little). Tonka headed eagerly in my direction and followed me along the fence to the gate. Think he remembered that sound? We did do some very basic preliminary work with it a year or more ago. Maybe he just really wanted something to do. But I think he probably remembered the clicker.

I filled my pockets with treats and haltered him, then worked on targeting. I didn't have a lot handy, so I grabbed an empty wormer tube. He didn't like that a lot, but he's not a freak about worming so I figured I wasn't setting him up for failure. He'd touch it, I'd click and treat. He got his targeting on that down pretty good, then we went to a lariat and I pointed to it and asked him to touch it, and he did several times. Then I put him away. He really didn't want to go back through that gate. Maybe I should have taken him for a walk. I wanted to keep it short and sweet though.

I sat down to break the treats into smaller pieces and of course I had a very interested audience. Cisco and Bella were dying for some goodies too. I decided to try it with Cisco, over the gate, because he is very pushy about treats. I used the end of the lariat as a target, a wormer tube would have been too hard for him. It took him a little longer, mainly because he was so focused on my pockets. I was also not using the voice command "touch" to ask him to touch it. I was just sticking it out there. He did a lot better when I added the voice command, and was consistently touching the lariat instead of mugging my pockets and hands. Good boy. Then I let Bella touch it once and clicked and treated her, but I'll have to get her out away from the other horses for a real session. I could work with Cisco with Bella there only because he wouldn't allow her to interfere. Bella would have gotten pushed away by Cisco if I tried to work with her over the gate.

Boy, sorry for the long and boring post. I better get back to doing more productive things now.

Monday, March 23, 2009

I think John found a new sport to love. I'm so glad he went with me to Albany. He kept dragging me back to the Extreme Cowboy Race. I wasn't complaining too much :)

So guess what we did on our first full day back?
Loaded up and went to play in the arena.

Yep, I think he's got the bug.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The absolute best performance
Mustang Sally and Laird McCabe
Stunning. You had to be there.
Because my pictures definitely do it no justice.

That's it for me tonight. Going home in the morning, and maybe tomorrow night I'll have some pictures of mustangs in the Extreme Cowboy Race tonight. Maybe not though, these pictures are wearing me out.
Those of you staying for the Cowboy Race finals, have a blast! Wish I could join you!

After a tack change, Jackie and Kahlua

Bella and Kyle jumping


Keith Danielson and Hooper Hannah finished 9th
The way she carried her head was not very attractive, and I wonder if that affected her price.
Keith didn't do anything flashy, which sounded like the right thing to do for Hooper Hannah, since she was still not real relaxed about people and their crazy ideas.
Kahlua and Jackie Sigloh finished 8th


Meg and Dave
Nope, he's not beating his horse, just cracking a whip.
This was pretty cute, she made sure she got her treat for laying down before he could get started with his whip.

Still Meg and Dave
She's a good cowhorse
Bella and Kyle Churchill finished 5th

I still have about 300 pictures to go through and post the decent ones, bear with me...

Dave and Rudy did take this jump bareback, but my camera didn't catch it.

Kevin and Princess finished 10th

David Bosen and Meg finished 3rd


Corinne and Wild Horse Annie stopping that calf.
By the way, in the previous picture of her jumping the faux flames, she would have used real flames, but the facility wouldn't allow it.
Scott Zimmerman and Dynamites Destiny finished 6th
They're dragging tin cans here:
That's a stock whip in his right hand.
"My" horse, Rudy, with rider Dave Weeding finished 2nd
(No, I didn't adopt Rudy, I just called him my horse all weekend)
Side passing:
Still more to come...

Nine of the top 10 Weston with rider Jasmine Ison finished 7th

Corinne Elser riding Wild Horse Annie finished 4th

Posting pics 5 at a time to keep them in order. More to come.