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Show and Tell, Again

This time she took her horse. The lovely Princess Onna stood nicely as all the preschool children petted her nose and tried desperately to feed her treats. The whole thing was a little stressful though and she couldn’t handle eating too. The wind had picked up bowing a blizzard in and was whipping through the parking lot where we unloaded, stirring dust up into our faces. Princess Onna stood like the princess she is carefully not smashing any small children.

Horse Stuff

Some horse friends an I got together and did a thing. We had a blast doing it and it’s so fun to have friends from all over the world. There is also the couple from the north of England who farm. A mother from Canada. A young girl from Slovakia. And many others but it was fun to have people from two continents at least get together on a project. Showing off our horses and letting people know that you don’t need force and macho idiocy to train a horse.

 

Category: Horses  One Comment

A Day Of Many Firsts

Putting this up here for mom real quick so she, and anyone else who’s interested, can see the videos. We hauled the horses over to a friends indoor arena to ride with our good friend Paula who we don’t see nearly enough. I wanted to try Rusty somewhere besides home and start getting him used to being hauled.

The morning started out warm, as it was supposed to. We spent the morning playing outside and getting the horse stuff loaded. Ate lunch came back out and it had gotten cold, as it was supposed to. We all squeezed into the cab of the pickup and dropped my long suffering husband off so he could put in a couple of hours of work in town.

At the arena I decided there was no way I was pulling down to the arena, it didn’t look like we’d ever be able to get back out. We parked on the gravel far far away from the arena and started to climb out of the pickup. It was cold and windy. The horses were crazed the children were under foot. Paula had arrived by then and was the only reason we were able to accomplish it at all. She took the leads of two horses loaded with children and I followed with Rusty, helmets, hats, gloves, and treat bags.

There is a pen that needs to be gotten through on the way to the arena and it had horses in it. Paula gave me the other two to lead through while she kept the horses off of us. I abandoned my other baggage and concentrated on getting a crazed Rusty and two other enthusiastic horses through two gates and away from the other curious horses. We all lived.

In the arena Rusty immediately made it clear that he was NOT going to stand tied. Not without choking us on clouds of dust. Trying to get the children ready to ride for real, I forgot those pesky helmets earlier in the rush to get horses saddled before we froze, and into the arena where they could hopefully take care of them selves was difficult. Fortunately, once again, Paula took care of everyone and got the job done.

We had a good ride once everything got settled. 8 rode Coyote all by himself! I was so proud of both of them! The Goblin Child was a little pouty and wouldn’t really try to get Onna to go away from me but she still did pretty good. It was the same jumbled, mad rush to get back to the pickup. The kids were cold and tired and grouchy. It was colder and windier. Once everything was loaded, they hopped right in so nicely, good horses, the kids fell asleep almost immediately. It was a great ride and I for one can’t wait to do it again!

Little Horsemen

Those kids, I’m just so proud of them. They are getting to be such good riders. When I picked The Goblin Child up from the bus yesterday she really wanted to go ride. Who am I to say no to that? It was getting late though, starting to cool off, and saddling takes so long, so they got on bareback.

 

 

Of course they wanted to trot.

Proud Parent Moments

It ranks right up there with taking their first steps. I am so excited that I was able to get it on video! The Goblin Child opened her first gate horseback! She had been watching us, Coyote andΒ  I, do it and we had talked about how she would be able to someday. We had ridden through this gate yesterday and I told he it was an easy one to unlatch, in one way really hard because it’s in a corner though.

We got to go sort the bulls out of the cows today. She got to come along on Princess Onna. Off the lead rope even! She’s been doing so good I thought we could try it. Princess Onna always got overly excited when she and Tanna moved cows together so I was hesitant to let he try it on her own. But she’s been good about it with The Goblin Child so they got to go loose today.

After doing a wonderful job of helping, while poor 8 watched from the four wheeler, she wanted to go for a ride. We went up the lane to go out in the pasture. She walked ahead of us to the gate declaring her intent. I was thrilled to let her try and hurried to get my camera ready. It took a few tries to get lined up and bent into that corner but she stuck with it and together they managed to get it! What very good girls, the both of them.

 

Lesson Ponies

Poor Coyote, he never thought he’d see the day. He’s taking it well though. We had invited Cade and Ava last summer to come ride with us when ever they could so next summer they could come along to any horse stuff we do. Cade has come once but Ava has been making a real effort and is doing wonderfully. Coyote has also been doing wonderfully, far better than I would have expected, as her lesson horse. Like Princess Onna does with The Goblin Child, he goes from his usual hot fiery Morgan to low headed and plodding.

The Goblin Child however does the opposite. The first few rides together she was pretty proud of herself zipping all around and showing off. Princess Onna takes that pretty well but even she has her limits.

 

I have been doing some clicker training with Onna though. I think it may be the perfect way to train a kids horse to get them used to and responding the the very different aids a child gives. Anyway, she is fairly well trained to come running to me because I am the one bearing treats. So any time there’s an issue she runs to me instead of taking off with her rotten little cargo.

 

The two of them on their horses are so incredibly cute. I love watching them ride around together.

 

Last time Ava was here to ride someone was being more than a little rotten and complaining because Onna wouldn’t go enough for her. So she got off and pouted and I got to go ride! Ava and I went out around the corn fields and had a very nice long ride. Baa came with and I thought it was going to kill her. She survived though. Not sure if that’s good or bad πŸ˜‰

Category: Family, Horses  2 Comments

Meeting The Bus

School has been going well I guess. The schedule for parent teacher conferences was difficult so we asked her teacher if there was anything we should know. She said everything was going great so we are skipping.

Meeting the bus is stressful but easier than driving back to town to pick her up. When the weather is nice we have been taking full use of the chance to ride out with the horses to pick her up. 8 is starting to ride Princess Onna by himself. He’s getting so big. Not big enough to reach the stirrups, but he refuses to use them anyway. His feet rest perfectly on top of them when the are set for The Goblin Child. I put them as short as possible once and he refused to even try to put his feet in them. Instead he hiked his knees up and put his feet on top again in jockey mode. He has no fear and happily turns around in the saddle as I try frantically, and unnecessarily, to keep him from falling. We are going to get him his own set of stirrups one of these days to use on the saddle his Grammy got him to use. He gets Coyote for his horse and things would work perfectly if Rusty was far enough along to ride with the two of them on their horses.

The Goblin Child is famous on the bus for her horse. A silly thing since we live in the country, all the kids should have their own horses. She is doing wonderfully with Princess Onna and still wants to be a horse show girl. She’s been enjoying riding with Ava when Ava has a chance to come take lessons. They are adorable together.

 

Dad Came To Visit! And Other Long Overdue “Stuff”

Rodeo! #2

I heard about another kiddie rodeo so I called to get the kids signed up. Turns out it was not so much kiddie rodeo but a fun/play day. When I called about it I was assured that it was usually over by four, we would have no problem making our previously scheduled engagement. Then Paula called and asked if we wanted to enter and ride with her. I happily told her we were already entered but would love to ride with her. Did I mention her new living quarters trailer?

I resumed loading practice with Onna, got our barrels back out and made The Goblin Child go around them and got as much as I could ready. When Paula showed up that day we loaded everything, including Onna who hopped right in and were off. The children stayed behind with their much beleaguered father, who would feed them lunch and bring them later so they didn’t have to sit out in the hot sun any longer than necessary.

We got there early but the grounds were packed. Paula drove her big, long rig right in and found a spot anyway. The spot might have been the point at which we could no longer go forward but hey, it worked! And we were right behind the rest of the family who were there competing or watching. It was perfect.

Once saddled we went in to warm up. I debated hard which horse to ride. Paula had very kindly offered to let me ride one of hers because Coyote is off a little. I was going to take him to ride anyway, he isn’t exactly lame just a little off and I hoped it would be an easy day for him. This was much better but, now I had a young horse that I had never ridden and would like to get used to. Paula assured me that he had ponied a horse, once or twice and had been “OK” with it. I am a chicken rider, not one who rides chickens πŸ˜‰ but a rider who is chicken, thought I should clarify that, and the “OK” part didn’t reassure me. I also had Onna who did great last time but last time was not near the mad house this time was and I was going to put my small children on her. I chose Onna to warm up.

In the arena it was crowded. By crowded I mean I could almost see the ground occasionally as people walked trotted and loped endlessly to the left with the occasional stop and back thrown in. I’ve shown horses for years but I had never seen a warm up like this.Β  I tried to discern some sort of pattern, was the outside track for walking? No. Maybe the inside and loping to the fence? NO. Everywhere for everything, cutting back and forth and through then slamming on the brakes and backing into the rest of the horses doing the same thing. I guess more people can fit in to a rode, each run last a few seconds as opposed to a cowhorse event where each rider gets approx. four min. There were lots of people. I don’t think the pictures can show just how crowded the parking was, maybe that made it seem worse.

I didn’t want to do anything but walk Onna in the warm up. She needed to learn that it was a calm place with nothing to be worried about. It wasn’t but it would be nice if she could think it was. That done we went back to the trailer where I switched horses. Luckily Paula showed up about then and I was able to get on with her there and her horses buddy that she was calling for so desperately. Tee Bird is a she so if I refer to her as a he anywhere forgive me I seem to keep doing that. Once on she was fine, with her buddy. I was a bit nervous on a new horse in that madhouse of a parking lot. She wanted to be with her buddy pretty bad but once we got that settled she was great. She never spooked as children on foot and children on horses galloped about, she wasn’t bothered by ponying Onna, she didn’t even get upset about the idiots that thought this was a great time to play football, throwing the ball over the heads of horses walking down the narrow isle between parked pickups and trailers and the tents set up all around the arena full of people and more vehicles.

The Goblin Child did the goat snatching, where you run up, dismount, and grab the ribbon off a goats tail. I let her go on her own and they were both great. She can’t quite get all the way off on her own but she’s so close. She did the poles,they’ve been doing great practicing at home so I let her off the lead. It was a mistake,I thought sh was going to die. There was some over steering and I was sure Onna was going to leave. She got a little far off the side of the saddle once but managed to pull herself back on. All in all it was a good run. And she did barrels, that was their best event of the day I think. I ponied but was able to let them go around the barrels by themselves after the first.

8 only ended up getting to do poles. I had been going to ride Onna like last time but Tee Bird was doing really good and I felt safe just riding her with 8 in front of me. We didn’t quite fit in the saddle but it worked and I hear he looked happy, pointing at the crowd and smiling. 8 left with his exhausted father to make our previous engagement before he got to do barrels. there was no way this show was going to be over by four as previously predicted. It was after five already with many classes left to go.

It was a fun day, hot and dusty, long for the kids but their cousins were there watching which helped a lot to keep them entertained. They seemed to enjoy this one that I thought had everything conspiring to make it slightly miserable and I think we will try to hit a few more next year. The Goblin Child is just starting to ride off of a lead line and with a winter to work on it she should be doing good by next summer. 8 is difficult. Maybe he will develop a lick of sense and make an effort not to fall off, maybe he will grow enough to reach the stirrups or maybe he will keep going in front of me. Princess Onna is great, we are using clicker training to help her learn how to do these things. She handles the crowds and all the scary things involved like a pro I couldn’t have asked for a better horse for the kids to learn on. As for me? I’m learning about this whole rodeo thing. It’s still not my thing, I’m discovering that I am a dressage queen at heart but, I am slightly competitive. Maybe I’ll have to show Rusty how to run a round a pole πŸ˜‰ I can see why people think a horse that’s been rodeo-ed on should be so broke they have to put up with a lot. If nothing after hauling Rusty to these things a good old normal horse show will seem like a vacation!