Slowly Healing

So I added pics of my pinky so that you would understand that this is not a simple tiny broken bone!

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What you are seeing is a pin going down the middle of the bone because it broke horizontally. The other pin (this is not a complete piece of metal like it appears) goes through the bone because it also split vertically. The metal “button” that is stitched through the fingernail is holding my tendon back in place as it was disconnected. In 3 weeks i get this cast off and then will find out the course of action for the button. If that doesn’t churn your stomach a little, you must be a doctor, a nurse, or a horse trainer. 😉 When I came out of surgery I was in a cast so I was a little shocked at how gnarly my finger actually was. Just like EVERY thing, God can use it for good, and He did! I realized I was in trouble of lagging behind with my horses and being in the right place at the right time with this cast. A friend of mine since high school kept telling me how great her boyfriend was at training horses. Blah blah blah, everybody is a horse trainer. Anyway, over time I have had a chance to get to know Jeff and before I knew he was partnered with me, in getting these mustangs ready for competition! I will post again later with pics of Jeff and I working. We had a friend come out and take pictures, and I am waiting to get those back! And let me just say, Jeff is a serious GOD SEND. He is one of the top two trainers I have ever worked with, and maybe the best…we will see.

In the meantime, I gotta wear this…

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A New Mustang

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After all the issues that have come up with the black mustang mare that I call “Jive” for now, I am uncertain of her future. All I mean by that is that we are given five months to take these horses from wild to competition. They have to be able to handle a certain level of stress, both physical and mental. At this point Jive cannot handle the physical and therefore we really cannot know of her mental ability. We discovered she was 7, not 4. It’s a much different experience when training an animal that has a few years experience wild compared to all of its youth. SO, without my husbands permission-I’m sorry honey. This is an “ask for forgiveness later” situation.

Because I made this decision to check out the LAST adoption of horses that qualify for the Mustang Million, I did not make the preview.

This is such an amazing gathering of horsemen, that once again, a cowboy helped me out with horses that really stood out to him. So, surprisingly, I picked up a 3 yr-old buckskin gelding for $200. I had several people tell me that had they not already bought another horse-this guy was way toward the end of the sale-that they were going to pick him. One guy said he rubbed all over him yesterday! I’m excited to get him home. Right now I’m waiting to load him up.

Mustang Update!

Sorry, I have been a little behind on keeping you informed with the progress of the mustangs. Because I had surgery on that shattered pinky tip last Monday, there were some things I just couldn’t do. (Besides the difficulty of typing a lot on my phone, dishes, laundry, etc. THEN, my husband had deviated septum surgery two days later and we have two little boys, 4 dogs and seven horses to tend to!!) So, I brought in a trainer friend of mine to help me get the girls started right for the next two weeks. He started yesterday with me.

Two days ago there was a freak accident that I couldn’t get to happen again if I tried 10,000 times, but one mare ended up with a punctured leg muscle and stitches. This is a nice mare and once we got our hands on her discovered that at some point in her life she stuck something straight through her neck when she was younger!! I’ll show you if you come watch us one day. The black mare. Anyway, she is sore, but calm and healing nicely. When dealing with these wild horses, these things happen. I think we were lucky. God is protecting us. We are doing desensitizing work with her at a standstill, no round pen work.

The red mare is a smart, smart mare. Very curious and very confident. Man she’s nice. We have done round pen work with her as well as some desensitizing. We expect to be riding her by the weekend, but that’s all up to her. I opened a horse trailer up into one of our pens and without anyone around she jumped in and out of it FOUR times just checking it out. It was so cool.

My friend, Kim, came and took pics today. As soon as I get those ill post more.

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This is DAY 1! This is my son Ely, age 4, allowing one mare to meet him. This is how awesome these mares are. This is all we did on Day1. Next picture is of me and the other mare.20130507-214202.jpg20130507-214223.jpg
Then I had surgery and it was fine because I wanted the girls to get used to their environment with the dogs, pcows, dear, cars, four wheelers, etc.

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This is the mare facing up to me on first day of training. The one below is the feel accident where she ended up with a clip from her halter to her leg. She never freaked out, she allowed me to rescue her after only three days of handling her, having only been able to walk up and touch her for the first time an hour before this.

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I almost didn’t tell you about this, but people need to know that this is serious stuff and you do not need to get into this unless you have worked with A LOT of untrained horses, but especially mustangs. Plus, I’m keeping it real.

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This is her “knocked out” while she gets stitched up. The next day she was sore, but let me rub all over her. We have definitely bonded over this. Poor baby, but I am taking special care of her.

I am happy to answer any questions as I know I have left a lot out.

Oops! Worse than I thought

So the injury was worse than I thought! While I am supposed to be merrily on my way to preview the mustangs-I have a non-negotiable appointment with an orthopedic at 1 pm today. Thankfully they forced me in, and thankfully the preview goes until 8pm tonight. Here’s a couple pics of the X-Ray. It has not been confirmed, but the primary doc and NP believes that the pinky bone split down the middle, and that piece is trying to exit the body! Ouch!!

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At least I didn’t break an arm

Oops. As I sit in the doctors office Thursday morning, awaiting X-rays, I decided to give my last entry for a while on Little Joe.

Today is the day I go and preview the mustangs that I hope to be adopting one or two of, for the Mustang Million. So, yesterday was my last day to work with Little Joe. Yes, he was an untouched horse, age 4, stallion. I knew he wasn’t ready to take his first step with me on his back. However, I wasn’t sure if he wasn’t ready, or if I wasn’t. Unfortunately, neither of us were. He did great as mounted, got my outside foot in the stirrup-which I had never done before. He was quiet the whole time. I asked him to step forward and he did quietly. Then it all went south. He gradually begin to bolt, and instead of me riding him out, I turned him toward the fence and then attempted to grab it for a dismount. At about the same time he bucked and went left, I went right, and gravity took over from there.

I hit the ground and he continued to buck around the pen. I felt terrible. I should have never had him scared enough that he felt like defending himself. See, horses only buck in self defense. Sure they do little hops in the pasture, but you won’t see a horse running through a pasture bucking hard unless he is being attacked. So, I felt bad. I knew better. In the process he was fine and I broke my pinky. Well, I assume its broken. I’m waiting in X-ray now. My husband was upset because it was going to cost $1000 for an ER visit, but I told him I could wait until today. I forget that such a tiny injury can cause so much pain. Oh well, it’s just a part of it, especially when I make mistakes.

So, I did what I’m supposed to-I got back on. I didn’t ask him to step off, though. He was calm and quiet and happy to be by me, so I unbridled him, placed his halter on and lead him to the tack shed. I unsaddled him, returned him to his pen and gave him his evening feed. I hate to halt his training there, but I think he needs a break anyway.

So, I’ll keep you posted. The picture is a freeze frame from the video my husband shot on my phone.

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“You’re a MOM!”

I will be attending my first adoption/auction to receive my mustang for the Mustang Million either Friday or Sunday. I really wish I had more time with Little Joe before that as the unexpected has happened.

A little history first. Almost 8 years ago I was working part of an elite counter terrorist organization, at least that’s how I described it. I was an armed security officer at a nuclear power plant where I met my husband. We were married 6 months later, and about a year and a half later I had my first son. I also had a successful horse training business all on my own. When I was 5 months pregnant I was kicked, by my own fault, in the stomach by a horse and spent the night in the hospital. The doctor couldn’t believe that both the baby and myself were unharmed other than a horse shoe shape bruise across my belly button. My husband informed me that was the end of the horse biz for a while. Lucas was born, and 19 months later Ely was born. That was four years ago. Luc is in kindergarten, Ely is in preschool, and I decided to enter this mustang competition. What am I thinking!?

Fast forward. When it came time to actually get on Little Joe, I couldn’t do it. I had tons of excuses: kids were with me and no one else around if I got hurt, horse isn’t ready as he’s really scared, too wet, boots too new that they kind of stuck in the stirrup, jeans too tight, saddle had a screw loose, and so on. I am discussing this with a sister-in-law who is also a horse person and a mom of three. She doubles over laughing at me! She finally says, “Mandy, you haven’t figured it out yet!” Again, i am going through my mind everything I have ever learned about horses trying to figure out what in the world I have forgotten about horse training. Turns out, my problem had nothing to do with horses.

Truth was-I was a mom. I was a mom! I was no longer a young, arrogant, invincible risk taker that had nothing to lose! Sure I may lose my life, but I have been saved eternally by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ-I literally had nothing to lose!! Until now. Now, if I get hurt, I still have to take care of my boys, my house, our animals. My husband works hard and this would be too much for lento add to his life! He doesn’t even like horses! 😉 So what’s a mom to do? Well, first I prayed. And then I fasted and prayed. Then I stared at my horse a few days and then prayed some more.

And I got on the horse. I’m good at what I do. My horses rarely bucked in the past. I haven’t been hurt starting a colt (injuries have come trying to fix “problem” horses). So why should today be any different? I even had Luc take pictures, the ones you see here. He even captured me being a loving mom to Ely when he got hurt (even if it was through a round pen fence).

We took one step backward and I let him be done. Rain has prevented me from riding him since, but tomorrow is looking promising.

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I’m Qualified!!

So I got my package! I’m officially qualified to enter the largest horse training competition on the planet-the Mustang Million!!

So what’s next? I continue eating right, and exercising and training Little Joe. I am also working on being consistent, persistent, self-controlled, patient and perceptive in every aspect of my life. Conversations are a GREAT place to practice all this.

The first chance for me to adopt a mustang for the competition is April 26th, 2013. One of my best girl friends, and my oldest horseman girl friend, will be joining me on the 25th to look over the herd of 150 and mark down who I want to bid on. Then she will be with me during the entire sale on the 26th.

Erin and I go way back to when kids are young, dumb and invincible. I got in trouble by her mom more than my own. We rodeoed together and she was always so much better than me and my horse. Erin is that type of friend that I can go two or five years without talking to and when we get on the phone it’s like we never missed a beat of our friendship. I am happy to be reunited with her. She being a part of this is another confirmation from God that I’m doing what I’m supposed to be.

One of my favorite memories with Erin is swimming our horses in her pond. Her dad would get so mad and tell at us to take the dang saddles off first, lol. We rode bareback at break neck speeds on our running quarter horses (quarter horse thoroughbred mix). They were fast and it never even occurred to us to fall off. We just didn’t. I don’t even know if I can still ride like that. I don’t know if my adult brain will allow it. I’m definitely going to find out given the chance, though. Here’s a picture of my letter. I’ll post a pic of Erin and I at the sale-THREE WEEKS.

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