Wednesday, May 25, 2011 suck...

Well, I guess most everyone has heard about the EHV-1 scare going on right now. Yes, it sucks.

Our barn owner, Barb, has put a movement restriction on the facility. No new horses on and no one is to leave unless you don't want to bring your horse back until she lifts the restriction. But I wasn't going to move my horses for at least 2 weeks anyway. So no biggy for me there. I am just glad she made it a rule as what if someone else left then brought it back. My caution would be for not then.

I missed my sorting clinic, but the weather actually fixed that for us anyway. It rained real good last Friday and JB's arena was too wet and Roy already had an event at his so we couldn't use it anyway. So the clinic was canceled.

I just hung around the barn all weekend. Did some much needed chores and played with my girls and my mini man.

This weekend the SWTPA show will go on, but with one change. They will not have water tanks for you to water your horses. Which I don't do anyway. I always bring my own water and buckets. If Barb lifts the movement restrictions, I will take Shelby and keep her on my trailer away from other horses. If she doesn't life the restrictions, I will just go and volunteer my time.

That's about it for news I guess. TTFN!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Trailers and Horses and Cows OH MY!

Back to more trailer work for Shelby. She is such a little toot.

Friday night, I got to the barn, opened my trailer all up, put her helmet on, pointed her to the empty trailer and said, "Load up." and she loaded up. She stood in there for a few seconds and I asked her back out before she decided on her own to back out. Lesson complete.

I saddled her up, walked her to the round pen with a mounting block and we were going to work on her standing still while I mounted. After the fifth time, she stood while I got on and waited for my cue to move. Lesson complete.

I then practiced opening gates while mounted so that we could exit the round pen. She kept turning on the forehand away from the latch. That too took about 5 times. When I unlatched it, I continued to play with the latch while she stood quietly. Lesson complete.

Once out of the round pen, we walked over to another boarder and talked with him while we practiced standing quietly. Every time she started moving, I started working her. Side pass both ways, backup and step forward. All this while I continued to talk to the other boarder. After a couple of minutes of work, she would stand. When she moved, I made her work. She caught on after a bit. Lesson complete.

Then Tracey and I headed out to the trails. We only rode out there for about 15 minutes and she was very good. She didn't want to put her feet in the pond. She was resistant but not dangerous. So Tracey had Amira put her feet in. When Shelby saw this, she finally stepped in. When she realized it was water and not going to kill her, she bent down and took a long drink. I was very proud of her.

Saturday was horse day and horse shopping day. Well, not horse shopping per say, but horse tack shopping. I got all my barn chores done. And when Tracey got to the barn, we put the girls out and headed to Weatherford for some Teskeys and Horseman's Supply! Shelby got her very own, brand new, purple halter. No more hand-me-downs when we leave the property

When we got back, it was more trailer training for Shelby. Well, today she decided to load up quick and unload herself quick. So after the 4th time, I got Tracey to stand behind the trailer door and as soon as Shelby went in, we shut the door and then it became a short pushing match game. Thankfully, Tracey and I won. Shelby leaned on the door a few times but finally realized she was in until I opened it. After she quit pushing, I slowly opened the door and asked her to come out. We were done for the day.

Tracey and I then saddled up Summer and Amira and headed out to the pasture for some relaxing riding. It was a great end to a very nice day.

Sunday was sorting day. Got to the barn and gave Shelby a bath, got chores done, got lunch ate, got girls loaded and off we went at about 1:45pm. We (me and my girls and Tracey and Amira) got to the arena and had a fun time. Shelby and I rode with Courtney, Robin, Tracey and James. I ran with Robin and Tracey a couple of times.

Well, James' first 3 runs of the day were with Pete, Courtney and Robin. All of whom got all 10 head, in order in less than a minute. Well, James came up to me and asked if I wanted to run. Of course! But there was pressure. He was 3 for 3 and I didn't want to screw that up. When it was time for us to go in, I handed Tracey my phone to hold for me. She asked if I wanted her to video it and I said no. (Stupid me!) I figured it would jinx the run. Well, we got all 10, in order, in 51 seconds! It was awesome! I have gotten all 10 head before at his place at various lessons, but we are going for quality then quantity and then speed. So I know they were all over a minute, but good, clean runs. So I was pretty pumped with this timed ride. Now mind you, James is good. Very good. So yes, he can make us look good as well cause he is coaching us while we are running. But it did validate my purchasing this lovely little mare and that it was right thing for me if this is going to be my sport of choice. As if I wasn't already sure! :0)

Anyway, Tracey and Amira did real good this day as well. Tracey has signed up for a cow clinic that our friend Toni Perez is holding and she can't wait.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Awesome 3 day weekend...of course it, was full of horses!

I took off work Friday to get Shelby's pen ready for her to come home on Saturday. Well, I decided to give the new pen to Summer as it is much larger than her old pen and she would be right next to her BFF Amira. Summer's new pen has a huge oak tree in it for plenty of shade. I was also happy I made this decision as there are all kinds of wild flowers and small weeds in Summer's new pen and none in her old one as Shelby poops everywhere! Summer is a lady and only poops in 2 places making clean up a breeze for me. If Shelby had been in that pen, it would have been hard to clean up in the middle of the weeds and flowers. Anywho...

I got a bunch of work done and that evening went to JB's and rode Shelby for a bit.

Saturday morning, I went to my barn and got all my Saturday morning chores done. Clean pens and automatic waterers. I think Summer is liking her new pen as she can really run, buck and fart in it. Just still need to get the rest of that old round bale out of her stall so she will have more room.

Around 11am, I loaded Summer up and we headed to JB's to pick up Shelby. When I was half way there, my truck started missing. : ( While there, James came over and talked to me a bit. I gave him a thank you card as he has been so patient and kind to me.

That being said, let me tell you a quick story on the card I gave him. If I can find it online, I'll post a pic of it. **found it, see above pic** In August of 1991, is when my beloved Fawtal came into our lives. The folks I bought him from were so sweet. I even remember their names, Paula and Dan. Due to having to wait on my vet of choice to come out for a vet check, Paula and Dan did a barbaque and gave us brand new swim suits for some fun time in their pool. We did this for 4 hours while we waited on the vet to arrive. It was awesome. Anyway, the card I got them was a little black and white paint foal with a red indian blanket in it's mouth. In the card it says, "Thank you for the red carpet treatment'. The card is produced by Leaning Tree. Now back to James. A few months ago, I found this card again. I had to buy it for sentimental reasons. About a week ago I knew I wanted to get James a card for all his kindness to me. I remembered having that card in my possession and I knew I must use this same card again almost 20 years later for the same reason, a horse. After he read it, I told him the story of Fawtal. I think that meant a lot to him. And it was even cooler that I got a black and white paint from him. Okay, back to my other story...

I got Shelby ready with her helmet and pointed her to the trailer. She saw Summer and hopped right in.

When I got her home, mom and dad came out to meet the new grand-horse as my mom calls all of them. They really liked her. And yes, they gave Summer as much of attention as they did Shelby. While there, I gave mom her mother's day gift and card. She didn't think I was coming over on mother's day. (grin) But I was....

That evening I had a little lesson with her at JB's. So I had to load her and Summer back up to go over there. I had a thought though. What if I just took her? Would she load without Summer now since she has hopped right in with Summer being in there. So I put her helmet on and pointed her to the open door and she hopped right in. However, I did have a fleeting thought, should I take Summer just in case she decides not to get back in at James' since that is her "home". Naw, we'll be fine. (rolling eyes) hehe

Well, I got there and did a nice quiet ride in his pasture. Robin got there and she and James saddled up and we headed for the arena. I had told him that morning that I wanted him to ride her so I could see how he pushes her buttons and makes her do what I know she is capable of. He did and it was AWESOME! I wish I had videoed it. I had stated on my FB that it was like watching Dale Earnhardt Jr. drive his car, but when I got on her it was like watching Fred Flintstone drive Dale's car. LOL But we did have a good lesson. We just worked on heading cows and that was really fun. It was even more fun when I could feel her cut a cow without me even touching her reins. It was just the neatest feeling.

Well, back to the trailer loading when it was time to go home. Let's just say, I wish I had listen to that fleeting feeling of bringing Summer. Shelby WAS home and it WAS dinner time. "I ain't getting in that blasted trailer." Well, I am glad I bought her a helmet. She did pop her head on the roof, but no damage to her. After a few minutes, James came over and in about 5 minutes we had her in. I have a lot of work, but I honestly see a light at the end of the tunnel. Because she has showed me that she will get in without Summer. Silly horse shouldn't have showed me that! LOL

Sunday came and I went to the barn. I put Shelby out in our turnout for the first time and she had a ball. Not much grass in there so I wasn 't worried about her gorging. After I got those chores done, I was happily surprised when Shelby came straight to me so I could halter her and put her back in her pen.

I left the barn and headed to mom's house with a big bouqet of flowers. She teared up a little as she didn't expect me to come over. have to see your mom on mother's day if you can. I stayed there for a bit then headed back to the barn to wait on Tracey to arrive as we were to go to sorting practice.

When I got back I visited with June while waiting on Tracey to arrive. Amanda showed up to the barn unexpected to give me my mothers day gifts. Or should I say more mothers day gifts, as she had already surprised me with some beautiful hay the day before. It was very sweet of her. I have the best daughter! Or at least in my opinion! :o)

Tracey arrived at about 1pm. She loaded her saddle and such and then loaded Amira. Well, when Shelby stepped half way into the trailer, she sniffed Amira's back before finishing loaded. Amira let out a huge bellowing scream and lifted her tail and peed everywhere. She is in high heat. It scared the snot out of Shelby and she flew out of the trailer. I then went in and spanked Amira's butt. Yes, I said spanked. Opened, flat handed her but about 5 or 6 times and yelled at her. But she wouldn't stop peeing and squeeling. So Tracey got her out and decided to take her own trailer. But Amira was still being a turd. She blew out of Tracey's trailer and smacked her head on the roof and took off, lead rope trailing behind. Well, the lead rope would be the reason she didn't go sorting. It wrapped around her legs and tripped her. She tried several times getting up but couldn't. June was the one that got to her first and Amira got up. She had several marks on her, some blood and already some swelling. No sorting for her. Tracey was very upset and I didn't blame her. But, Amira will be fine, she will just be sore for a few days. Silly, extreme hormonal mare.

Well, Summer had to go anyway. But was a trooper about it. Sorting went well for me. I ran with Robin twice, Trevor once and Toni P. once. Robin and I got 8 and Trevor and I got 8. Robin and I's second run (James was there by this time) could have been better but we did learn what our mistakes were from James. Toni was only really concerned with how her horse was going to behave and she was very happy with his performance. I was not happy with mine, but that is okay. I rode with her to help her boy's confidence. I don't mind helping someone now that I have a horse that is push button as I remember when I needed help and there were folks there to help me when I first started. Pay it forward!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Sorting practice

Loaded up Summer and headed to JB's to pick up Shelby.

Everyone was already gone to the arena as I was running a bit late due to helping David fix my car.

I pointed Shelby to the open trailer door, she sniffed Summer's rump and hopped in. She thinks that Summer is her bestie now. LOL As long as she shows submission to Summer, all she be okay.

Got the arena and unloaded both girls. Tracey showed up and I told her she could ride Summer around and just dink around if she wanted.

I sorted 4 times and they weren't bad. I bent Shelby in half one time and caused a trash cow to get thru. I messed up on a few things but did a few things exactly like JB has been teaching me.

But all in all, I thought we did okay. Shelby and I are still learning each other and how each other works. I am still learning this game and will be for a long time. Shelby on the other hand has been playing this game a long time and I sure is just wishing I would catch up with her. LOL

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Shelby coming home...

Well, little Miss Shelby will be coming home Saturday morning.

Yes, I am excited. I took Summer and my rig over to JB's last night. I put Shelby's helmet on, opened the door and asked her to get in. She stiffed Summer's rump and hopped in. And this time, there wasn't anything in her hay manger. I wanted to see if she would try to bolt out because of this and she just stood there. I was very proud of her. So I locked her in and then fed them both some alfalfa. But this night was going to be a little different. She was going for her first ride in her little sardine can. I drove to Rendon Arena as it is only about a mile from JB's place. I rolled both my windows down so I could hear if she took a stubble or anything while driving there because there are a lot of turns to get there. But all was quiet. Once there, I stopped in the parking lot and checked on her. She seemed fine. When we got back to JB's, I unhooked her trailer tie and butt chain and asked her to get out. She stepped out so quietly. I was very proud of her.

Once I get her home and she gets comfortable there, I will start removing Summer from the equation on the trailer training. It will be gradual and I think with in a month's time, she will be hauling by herself with no problems. I have faith in her and myself that this will happen.

I am taking off Friday to finish cleaning out that bad round bale out of her pen and to go buy some more hay.

I can't wait to bring her home!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Trailer training and other news...

Had a great weekend! Rain and all....

Friday I took Summer and my rig to JB's to work on Shelby's sardine can trailer training.

I got there and took Summer out and put her on the hot walker. Of course she had her helmet on and I am sure was wondering what the heck was going on.

I went in the barn and got Shelby and Summer was like, "who's that, and why are you leading her my way?" I then pulled out Shelby's very own shipping helmet. Now both my girls are safe and will be safe in my little, rolling bear cave. At least that is how I see it. They see it as looking like dorks and they just know all the other horses are laughing at them.

While they were tied to the walker and staring at each other. I went over and got the trailer all opened up and put some alfalfa in each hay manger. I then walked Shelby over to JB's trailer and tied her off. Went back and got Summer and asked her to please load good for Shelby's sake. And she did. I then asked Shelby if she was watching. It took maybe 5 minutes to get her in. I used the learning that my friend Toni gave me and it was wonderful. I would "tap-tap" with the whip on her rump and everytime she took a step, I stopped and praised her. Then more "tap-tap", another step, stop and praise. Then she just hopped in and didn't try to blow out. I am thinking that the alfalfa was a nice surprise for her. I closed them both in and walked away for about 5 minutes. Just enough time for them to finish their treat.

When I unloaded her, she was very good and quiet when she backed out. Lesson done.

On Saturday, Tracey and I worked the trails and got some awesome trail photos and burned some serious calories. Once we were done there, it was lunch time. When we got back, I wanted to do some gate repair on two gates. Tracey held the gates up and steadied them while I fixed them. Then it was time to go running around. We went to check out a couple of trailer places. No luck for her. Went to this huge yard sale and I bought me some very old tea glasses that were exactly like the ones my great grandmother used to have. I got a set of 12 for $10. These exact glasses were at an antique store for like $3 a piece! Score! Amanda was so excited when I showed them to her. We love surrounding ourselves with memories of our family. Everytime we will drink tea out of them, grandma Ballou will be in our thoughts.

After that we did a little more running around then went back to the barn.

I wanted to take Summer and my rig back to JB's for another trailer lesson with Shelby. We repeated what I did Friday. This time it took about 2 minutes and Shelby was comfortably in her trailer munching on alfalfa. We saw JB, Katy and Travis in the arena heading cows so we walked down so Tracey could watch. After about 10 minutes, I unloaded Shelby and she sort of blew out. Nope. Not what I wanted. I was only asking her to put her front feet back in so that I could ask her to come out slower. Well, she got all the way back in. Okay, I'll accept that. I then asked her to back out slower and she was an angel. After I put her away, we headed back to B-Tex.

Once back at the barn, David wanted me to bring my trailer home so he could put a new piece of wood in it on near side as it was rotting horribly. We finally got done with that and dropped the rig back off at the barn at 10pm.

No riding this day, but it was a very nice day. And it seemed long. But what better day to have a good, long day on than a Saturday!

Sunday was rain. All day. But that is okay. We needed it.