What about...Cowboy Mounted Shooting? Well, I took her to a competition this past Saturday up in Decatur to watch my friends Toni and Kelley compete. We also wanted to see how Summer would react to the gunfire.*
Let's take a moment to reflect on another issue we have been having:*
I have mentioned that Summer has been having some trailer unloading issues. I don't mind talking about, but just don't want everyone's opinions on why she might be doing it and how to fix it. For this kind of problem, I strongly urge anyone to go to a trainer. This kind of problem can literally kill your horse. I will tell the story quickly. A few month ago, Summer started blowing out of the trailer when it was time to get out. I thought she was just being a snot and didn't really think about it. That is, until a few weeks ago when she came out and slammed her head into the roof of the trailer. She started stumbling and shaking her head. That scared me to death. As I have mentioned also before, my new friend Toni is a horse trainer. I confided in her my problems. Since then, she has helped me and schooled me with this issue. This past Saturday night, after the trip to watch Toni at the CMS, when we got home, she unloaded quiet as a church mouse. I buried my face in Summer's neck and cried.*
I can honestly say, nothing Summer has ever done has terrified me, but this did. I was terrified I was going to loose her if something wasn't done. I had even contemplated buying a taller trailer. But Toni said, "No, we will fix this." This had to be fixed because what if I had to use a shorter trailer again. And of course, she was right.*
You would be shocked at what some folks suggested I do to fix this issue. All of which were dangerous in my mind. And what some folks thought Summer's problems were as to why she was doing this. I sit here and just shake my head. If this ever happens to you, please, please, PLEASE seek the help of a REAL trainer. I can pretty much teach Summer to do anything, but this was just something I couldn't do by myself. I just can't thank Toni enough.*
Anyway, back to the Cowboy Mounted Shoot. When Summer and I got there, we parked right next to Toni and Kelley. Toni said, "Let me see you unload her."*
Now, let's go back to the previous night (Friday), when Summer and I went sorting. It took me 20 minutes to get her in the trailer. And she literally tried to run me over several times. Yes, I took a whip to her everytime she did that. Once I finally got her in, I was sweating and shaking. When we got on the road, I called Toni and as soon as she answered the phone I said, "I'm sorry." I then explained to her what just happened. She said, "Don't you remember me telling you that I expected this?" She did say it would get worse before it got better. "Good, Bad, Better, Worse, Trained". She believed that this was the worse. When we got to sorting, Summer sort of blew out of the trailer. But when sorting was done, got back in the trailer pretty good. And when we got home, sort of blew out again.*
Back to Saturday and Toni wanting to see me unload Summer. I showed Toni what and how I was working her (what Toni had taught me to do the previous weekend we went to her place)(see previous blog), and Summer backed out VERY good. Not quiet as a church mouse, but much better even though we had issues just that previous night. Toni was very happy with the progress. I was going to leave Summer with Toni for a week because I honestly didn't think I could do this as I just didn't want to hurt her. But when she just unloaded the way she just did, Toni had all the confidence in me. She said she would keep her if I wanted, but believed that Summer and I would be just fine. So I agreed, and took her home after the shoot. And was glad I did because of the "quiet as a church mouse" unload she did when we got home*
Now back to the shooting event. Summer could give a rat's patooty about all that gunfire. I saddled her before the event and took her straight in to the arena as it was drizzling outside. Toni and I were very proud of her as that gunfire was loud. .45 caliber pistols are pretty noisey in a covered arena. Summer and I watched for awhile then went to the warm up area and rode. Went to the little pasture and pushed the roping calves back. (I knew they were roping calves cause they had horn protectors on).
So, if all goes right, I am going to go to Toni's this weekend as she is going to use my trailer for a lesson for one of her horses, then we are going to (hopefully) shoot off of Summer. Oh yes, there will be pictures!
Oh, and BTW, she was excellent Friday night during sorting pratice. My instructor and I rode 1 round and got all the calves. And no, he didn't "carry" me! LOL But I love running with him cause I am getting a lesson while we run. Can't wait to start competiting at Southwest next year! YeeHaw!