Friday, February 29, 2008

I am so ready for the weekend!

It has been a long week. Work hasn't been the greatest, so having Remington to look forward to every night has been a blessing! Aubrey is back, so she took a few videos of the things we've been working on all week.

Remington still doesn't really settle into the bit, but he's getting there... I think this seems to be an issue with a few of my fellow trainers as well. He is getting really good at pivoting to the left, but to the right he steps behind himself instead of crossing over, so that needs more work. Once he really understands where his feet belong, I'd love to get him spinning!

If you've been reading any of the other trainer updates, you'll know what I mean when I say I feel the same way Danee (Rudy) does. In her last post she talked about focusing on the things they haven't accomplished yet instead of looking at all the things they have done. I am doing my best to realize we have done so much in this short amount of time, but at the same time I keep nagging myself about things we haven't done. Hopefully this weekend we can at least start to get some of those things rolling... such as cantering and traveling!!

I hope you enjoy the video... as hard as I am on myself, I am still very proud of Remington!!


Thursday, February 28, 2008

Sorry I haven't been updating...

My camera girl is in Michigan until tomorrow night, so no new photos until then. We have been working on several new things this week, but still no cantering. I am hoping to accomplish that soon.

On Saturday we are going to Signature Arabians for the Mustang Play Day! I am really excited and look forward to seeing Jessi, Rebecca, Tracy and their mustangs! It will be a blast, and Aubrey will be along for the ride, so videos and photos will be in order!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Nothing new to report...

I don't have much of anything to report this weekend. We've just been continuing on with the basics. I am getting a little frustrated because I have nowhere to canter him, but I shouldn't worry about it. I am hoping if I get him soft at the walk and the trot, the lope will be a piece of cake, but who knows...

Yesterday I was horribly impulsive and went out to buy a new saddle with my tax refund... Silly me. I am happy with my purchase though. It is a reining saddle, I rode Rem in it yesterday, but I think I'll stick with my roping saddle on him for a while longer... I feel much more secure in that one. My new saddle is perfect for my App mare though, I feel like I can communicate much better through this new saddle.





Well since I don't have too much to talk about I think I'll throw out a question to my fellow trainers as well as my readers! What are your thoughts on how to turn out these wild mustangs? I can't decide if I should body clip him or just work hard with a brush at shedding him out. I really would like to have him slicked up for the show, but I'm not sure if I'll be able to get all that hair off by April. So, trainers, what are your plans for the condition score?? I'm sure some of the horses are under lights. Readers, what are your thoughts?? Clip or brush?? I don't have much experience with body clipping, so I would probably need help... *cough*Tara*cough* But would he get a shiny coat after a body clip?? Oh my I am just so indecisive, so I need help!! Please leave comments!!! :-)

Friday, February 22, 2008

The Farrier


The Farrier finally made it back out! Remington was so good! I am so amazed at how these horses change the way they think about things so quickly. This time around Remington was nothing but calm and relaxed, he didn't mind the strange farrier one bit. He stood really well.

Here are a few before, during, and after photos of the trim. :-)








Thursday, February 21, 2008

I should be at the barn right now...

But, I am here at home with my VERY naughty dog. See below...



My schedule at work is different for a few weeks, so I am working from 11am to 7:30pm. Instead of going out to work Rem in the morning, it's now nights.

Tonight I get home and find my bedroom trashed. Caper is a great paper shredder, you see. As I am picking up the mess, I find the remains of what was my boyfriend's valentine's day gift from work. A 7 oz milk chocolate Hershey Kiss. Yeah, it was one of those big ones that comes in a box, and all that's left is the box and some tinfoil (yep, some, because he ate most of that too!).

I gave the vet a call and she said that 7 oz's shouldn't hurt him, but to keep an eye on him because every dog reacts differently. She also said a side effect is usually diarrhea. So, here I am... waiting for the diarrhea to start. Darn dog. At least he will be ok... and lesson learned, from now on, this naughty pup will be kenneled when we leave the house.

Anyway, Remington is doing good, so a night off won't kill him. The farrier is coming tomorrow (finally). Hopefully this will help him out more. He doesn't pick up his feet as much as I'd like, and he does stumble, so once we get rid of those long toes he should be good to go. He is also pretty heavy on his forehand, so I really want to get him working off of his hindquarters better before I start to lope.

I am hoping the weather stays well enough to trailer to my friend's place this weekend. It will be a big step to actually get him into a different environment!

I have been keeping busy by watching the first competition on DVD. My boyfriend bought me the TV show for my birthday and I ordered the competition DVD as a gift for myself. It is very interesting to see all the mustangs and trainers go through the courses. All the trainers posting their progress in the Midwest Challenge seem to be right on schedule to do really well. I know it's very different when you get a horse in a situation with lots of people and a big empty arena, but it seems like a lot of the horses in the first competition weren't ready for some of the things they were asked to do. Then again, there were some AWESOME performances that I wouldn't expect out of any horse with just 100 days of training, let alone a wild mustang! I suppose that is why they are incorporating the 3 different levels into the Fort Worth competition. I'm not saying anyone did a bad job, just that perhaps no one knew what to expect, and now that we know, we seem to be way ahead of the game. The Midwest Challenge will definitely be a very competitive event!!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The greatest Natural Horseman

Found this on youtube and thought it was pretty funny. Sure glad he's not in the competition with us, we'd all be in trouble!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

BLM Midwest Challenge Photo Gallery


The photo gallery is up of all the BLM horses in the Midwest Mustang Challenge. They included the name of the trainer of each mustang! Remington is in gallery 6, but below is the photo.

Here is the link

And here is my wild child before we met!!




Saturday, February 16, 2008

Waiting for more snow...

Today would have been a great day to trailer Remington over to my friends house. She has a larger indoor arena, but alas, her driveway is too icy for a horse to unload from a trailer.

I have about had it with this winter weather. I am doing my best to just deal with it, but it is so frustrating. I need to start taking Remington to new places and I simply can't. Tomorrow we are expecting another 6 to 12 inches of snow. I want to bang my head against a wall!!! (with my helmet on of course)

Anyway, I took Remington out and rode him outside today. Just in the arena, but I think he enjoyed getting out. Aubrey rode her mustang, Chocolate, as well. We got some pretty neat photos. Chocolate just wanted to put her nose in the snow and plow through it.










And here is this weekend's video. Nothing special though, mostly stuff you've already seen.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Moose-tang?


No, those aren't antlers, they're ear warmers! Okay, so really they're my gloves, but they sure do look funny on horse ears.

Tonight Remington experienced a new rider. Aubrey took him for a spin after I was done, and he was pretty well behaved. Aubrey is quite accustomed to these wild beasts, so it was a successful evening.




After we rode the young'ns we got our old girls out and played around on them. Man, is it nice to ride a really responsive horse after being on a greenie! It was nice to be reminded of how soft and wonderful they get, and I am excited to bring Remington to that point.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Crazy

Remington and I haven't been up to much lately. Just working on the basics and getting used to the bit.

Yesterday I brought out a green ball I bought from Wal-Mart and he didn't really like it. He was pretty goofy, running and bucking all over because of a silly ball. I think he probably just felt good though. After I got some footage of him being a goose we worked on desensitizing him to the ball and by the end I could roll it under him and bounce it off of him without a flinch.

Judging by a few of his bucks though, I bet he could have a career as a bronc on the rodeo circuit! Thank goodness he's never bucked while I've been on him! (knock on wood)

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Fun in a 36' by 36' arena

Yes, there are times I wish I had easy access to a large indoor arena, but there are still many things to work on in a small area! I am thankful for the little arena, because it keeps me out of the snow and the wind!

Today we set up a little obstacle course and had some fun. I think setting up obstacles is a great way to get your horse thinking and responding to your cues. It gives both you and the horse something to focus on and really makes them think about how they are using their body.

I have also been working on trotting. Rem is pretty lazy, so keeping him in the trot is work, but he is starting to understand that when I ask for something, he needs to keep doing it until I ask him to stop. Next weekend is a practice for the mustang pride group. I think I will be taking Remington along because there is a nice big arena to work in... Perhaps by then we will be ready for some loping!

Yesterday the vet was out to check teeth. He took a look at Remington's and couldn't find any sharp points. I asked about his wolf teeth and he said they are large, so they shouldn't give him a problem, but if they do we can have them removed. I was happy that Remington was cleared to go. I put the bit in and out of his mouth several times yesterday and he did what any green horse would do and chewed non stop. Today I put the bit in, but I still rode him in my halter. I could tell he was more focused on what was in his mouth than me, but by the end of our session he was holding the bit with no fuss. He's not real fond of it yet, but I've just got to give him time to adjust.


Thursday, February 7, 2008

Snow Antics




Oh yes, there was lots and lots of snow, but that doesn't stop this crazy cowgirl from working her mustang! ( Ok, so maybe I can't call myself a cowgirl when I'm wearing sweatpants... but they're much warmer than jeans!)

I'm not sure what the totals were, but with drifting there was some areas up to my mid thigh. Granted, I'm only 5'3", but still! That's more than enough snow.

So, I get the bright idea that I should RIDE in this snow. You know? Like how the Indians would take their horse to a river, get on in the middle and ride, because it's hard to buck in water! Well shouldn't it be hard to buck in knee-deep snow? Not for Remington! Well, we got all the bucking out of his system BEFORE I got on.

He was just being a horse, though. I can't blame him for that! He had been in a stall during the storm, and now I was going to work him, not in the barn, but outside! He didn't know what to think. So he had a grand old time, pulling me around and generally being disrespectful, until he finally realized that it would be much easier just to do what I asked.



After that, he was exceptional. I felt very confident riding him outside and he proved just as easy to control outside, as he is indoors. He did call to the girls a few times, but I don't mind that as long as he can still do what I am asking. Over all my ride in the snow was a success!




Enjoy the video and photos, courtesy of Aubrey!



Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Fort Worth Extreme Mustang Makeover




The application for the Fort Worth Competition is now online!! If anyone out there thinks this Mustang training business looks like fun, send in your application!!
This competition will have 200 trainers competing for a purse of $50,000!!! There will also be different training divisions this time. They are Star, Idol, and Legend. That is a pretty cool idea, if you ask me! Gives pretty much anyone a chance to really do well.

We are in the middle of a snow storm here in Southern Wisconsin. We are expecting 12 + inches. Work has been canceled (at least 1st shift, haven't heard about 2nd) so I am hoping to get out to the barn, but how? I will have to call Aubrey... she can pick me up in her 4WD Dodge truck!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

7 things...

There has been a "tag" game going around where if you are tagged you need to tell everyone 7 things they might not know about you. I was tagged by Tracey a while ago and I am just now responding because I am having a hard time thinking of 7 things to tell! I decided they would have to be mostly horsey things, so here goes...

1. As some of you might have noticed, I am NOT a professional horse trainer, I am an artist! I have a full time job working 2nd shift as a production artist, but I am also a fine artist. Here is some of my work...



I do commissions, but I will not have any free time until the end of April.

2. I am an active participant in the Midwest Horse Fair. I have ridden in the Mustang Pride demo and been a volunteer for mounted patrol. This year I will once again ride in the Mustang breed demo on a horse named Walker. He is owned by a friend and trainer who has helped me out a great deal in learning how to train horses.

3. When I was 8 I was bit in the face by a horse and had to have stitches, I still have the scar.

4. My first horseback riding lessons were saddleseat, but these days all I ride is western.

5. One of the reasons I went to the UW-River Falls was because they had an Intercollegiate Horse Showing team. I was on it my freshman year and then became too poor to go to the shows!!

6. Some of you may not know that I will not be bidding on Remington come April 20. As much as I'd like to keep him, I can not afford 3 horses! So... if anyone out there wants a great horse, come bid on Remington!

7. I am now an honorary member of a group called Hags on Nags!

And here's a picture of Remington's 3rd ride! Just ignore my stupid rubber boots...


And here is Chocolate, in desperate need of a bridle path clipping! Chocolate is a BLM Mustang from California. She is owned by my friend, Aubrey. I always tease her that Cocoa is really a burro because of her HUGE ears! She is only 13 hands!



One more photo of some hungry barn cats!!


Saturday, February 2, 2008

First Ride


Remington made sure he was safe during his first ride by wearing protective headgear!

I have been working on stepping in the saddle and sitting on him all week. My friend, Aubrey, helped me out by leading him around while I was on him. He is pretty relaxed about all this nonsense.

Today I decided it was time to try to ride without the help of Aubrey by his side. I got on and sat for a while talking to my aunt and uncle who came to visit. Then I asked for some forward movement.... nothing... asked again and got no response. The third time I asked he proceeded to rest a hind foot! Ok, so Aubrey was my videographer but she had to stop in order to help get Rem going. After following Aubrey around the arena, Rem finally started to realize what I was asking, so Aubrey could leave the arena and resume the video.

I am riding in a rope halter because I'd like to have his teeth checked before I put a bit in his mouth. I start most of my horses in a halter anyhow.


I'm looking forward to another ride tonight!