Monday, July 8, 2013

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Ga-i5g7vUA

Link to the video, as promised :-)

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Overdue update...

Sorry I have been a terrible blogger. I've been staying busy with horse training and lessons.  I am going to be starting a part time job for the summer because I am worried about not having enough money to get down to Texas for the competition. I guess I shouldn't worry yet though.

Shadow is doing well. Though there is always that doubt in the back of my mind. I worry about entering the Legends division and being blown away. At the same time, if I don't do it I will never know if I was good enough to get there. I have to have my entry in by July 15. Time will tell. Luckily there will be a good practice show at an event in Madison called Taking the Reins. Hopefully that will give me a good idea of what to expect from her in September.

I am currently in Alabama for my brother's wedding so that's about the only reason I have time to blog. I am hoping to get some video some time soon.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Update...

Sorry I haven't had much time to continue my story...  I just wanted to do a quick update to say how special I think this horse is.  She is so different from Remington and Oakley.  She didn't show any fear the way they did when it came time to approach her and pet on her.  She is just incredible.  That's why I decided to call her Shadow, because she was following me around like a shadow after only a few minutes with her. 

I have had 2 rides on her now and she is so calm and relaxed.  I can't wait to get her going.  However, I do have a teaching job that I need to go to every day, so she has to wait a few more weeks before her real training starts.  I am looking forward to it so much!


Thursday, May 16, 2013

Going good!

I won't type much since I'm on my phone, just wanted to post a photo for those of you patiently waiting.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Auction Continued...

I had my horse!  So, the next item on the agenda was getting a horse for Jessica.  She was outbid on the horse she had wanted.  She was disappointed and unsure what to do next.  She couldn't decide if she should try to bid on another one of her picks or wait until after the auction to choose a pool horse for $200.  We watched as several horses went to pool.  Some of her other picks came through the ring but they really didn't stand out the way that mare did.  Finally, a grey gelding that she had been thinking about came through.  He seemed calm amid the excitement of the auction.  He trotted around, not the big extended trot of the mare, but a nice lofty trot with some suspension.  He was number 2 or 3 on Jessica's list.  The bidding started to rise on him.  She asked me what I thought... I thought she should go ahead and bid.  She didn't get into the bidding until it was all the way up to $800 and no one went higher!  She had gotten her horse.  It wasn't her first pick, but he is still a good horse.  I kept reminding her, these horses are what we make of them.  I know she will do a fantastic job with him.

Once we had both of our horses, and Chewy had his two bay geldings, we went to get our truck and trailer to load up and head home.  Loading went well and was quite smooth thanks to the wonderful BLM and MHF staff.  We were on the road by close to 4, but got stuck in Fort Worth traffic.  After that it was pretty smooth sailing though.  The horses rode well once the sun went down and it wasn't so hot in the trailer.  We made it back home around 10 the next morning (maybe it was 11... I don't quite recall...)  We had to unload the horses again to separate them all out since only mine was going to stay at my barn.  That worked out well though and all the horses were cooperative.  I decided to give her a break and get accustomed to her new surroundings before trying to get to know her so we headed out for lunch and a much needed nap.  I would go back in the afternoon to learn more about her...

Monday, May 13, 2013

Auction

Once I had my mare picked out, I tried to help Jessica find a horse that she would like.  She had a lot of requirements and none of the horses seemed to fit into all of them.  We marked down the ones we thought looked good and then headed into the arena to watch them send the horses through the pens.  Seeing them move would help Jessica to decide since she is a dressage trainer. 

We watched them all go through, pen by pen.  My feelings hadn't changed about the black mare and Jessica's feelings didn't get any stronger about any of the horses that came through.  We just had to wait and see what Friday would bring.

Thursday night we got a good sleep and I woke up at 6 in the morning on Friday, ready to go.  I had a good breakfast and we headed out to the stock yards again.  The first thing I did was head over to see my horse again.  Of course she was still there.  I hung around her pen for a while and watched as people made notes on all the horses in the barn.  If someone would stop at pen 4 I would inform them of my pick... I'm not shy.  They would all agree with me that she is a nice horse.  I would then inform them that they were probably too tall to ride her therefore they shouldn't worry about bidding on her... haha.  Most of them seemed to understand my desire to take her home.  Meanwhile, Jessica was still trying to decide on a horse.  There was a cute little bay mare in the pen with the horse I wanted that she was thinking about.  I thought it was a good choice, but Jessica was hesitant because she didn't really want a mare.  Time seemed to be crawling by, but we finally decided it was time to find our seats around the auction pen. 

It seemed like ages before the auction got underway.  I was glad I wouldn't have to wait long for my horse to go through.  The first pen sold pretty well and I think only one horse got sent to pool.  The second pen did okay and a few horses were sent to pool.  None of the horses were bringing more than $500 so that helped to ease my nerves.  I had $900 to spend if I absolutely needed to.  I was listening to a woman in front of us talking with her trainer.  She had said that if she found a horse that "floated" then she would open up her pocketbook and get out her credit card.  I was a little worried that her and Jessica might go after the same horse if it happened to come through.  Pen 4 was up and the bay mare that Jessica was thinking about came flying into the round pen, she did a flying change and then broke down to a beautiful extended trot.  I heard Jessica say, "That's the one" and I knew we were in trouble.  The bidding started at $200 and started to climb.  Of course the woman sitting in front was the one bidding against Jessica.  Jessica bid her all the way up to $900 when she realized that was too much to pay.  She was so disappointed when the woman in front of us took her for $950.  I just hoped the same thing would not happen to me. 

I didn't have much time to console Jessica because my horse came in next.  I waited until the auctioneer started at $200 and then I raised my hand.  Someone raised the bid to $250 and I followed at $300.  I was quick to raise my hand as fast as I could so that whoever was bidding against me knew I meant business.  The bidding finally stopped at $500!  She was mine!  I was so happy!

To Be Continued...

At it Again

I am not sure what made me decide to do the Mustang Million... After last year, I thought I was done with the Mustang competitions.  I had gotten into the top 10 and got a really nice mare out of the deal.  So, why do I feel the need to enter again?

It's tough to say, but once I had my heart set on it I knew I would find a way.  Jessica Davis and I got the idea back in January.  She was in the same boat as me, after the competition in April of 2012, we said we were done.  But time passes and feelings change, I suppose.

Jessica and I started to plan things out in January.  There were a total of 8 auction dates and 4 auction locations to choose from.  We decided on the last weekend in Nebraska to pick up our Mustangs.  We sent in our early applications and anxiously awaited the date that we would be picking up our Mustangs.  It was really tough to watch all the other competitors picking up their horses at earlier dates than ours.  But, if it's one thing that I've learned through these competitions, it's that patience pays off.  So we waited...  May 11th was the Nebraska adoption date.  On Monday, May 6th I got a call from the Mustang Heritage Foundation saying that the Nebraska adoption was cancelled due to an influenza outbreak in the herd.  My heart fell instantly.  This gave me 2 options... Forget about the Mustang Million or change our plans and head to Fort Worth for the adoption on May 10.  I am not a quitter so I knew what I was going to do.  The drive to Nebraska is about 9-10 hours, the drive to Fort Worth is between 16 and 17.  It is a huge difference in time and fuel, but where there is a will, there is a way.  Jessica was on board, and we contacted another Wisconsin trainer who had been planning on the adoption in NE.  He agreed to join us and split travel expenses.

We left for Fort Worth from Wisconsin around 6 on Wednesday night and pulled into the stock yards around 10:30 on Thursday morning. I was so excited to see all the Mustangs.  I wanted to find that feeling that everyone was talking about, where the horse chooses you.  I wasn't sure if I believed it or not.  In the previous Mustang Makeovers I was always given my horse, I never got to choose it.

The mustang pens were set up along an aisle.  There were about 25 pens of around 6 mustangs each on either side of the alley.  When I walked in I started walking down the aisle.  I thought I would look for the horse that pulled me to her.  The pens were numbered and I walked in at the end on the pens starting from 25 and working their way down.  I took a quick look at each horse in the pens as I made my way down the aisle. I wanted something that could do reining.  A small horse, something athletic.  Color was not a big deal to me, but I am not attracted to sorrels, so I didn't look too hard at any of them.  I saw a few dark bays that caught my eye, but nothing that jumped out.  I was quickly approaching the end of the alley.  As I got down to pen 4, I saw her. She was solid black.  I knew she was the one I had to have.  She was small, probably less than 14 hands but stout and stocky.  She was put together so well, I almost didn't believe she was a Mustang. I stopped and stared at her.  My presence made the other horses in the pen nervous, but she didn't seem bothered.  I got down low to see if I could get her attention.  She just looked at me with an inquisitive expression. I had been there less than 15 minutes and I had already made up my mind.

To Be Continued...