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.

20130507-214032.jpg

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.

20130507-214415.jpg
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.

20130507-214703.jpg
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.

20130507-214847.jpg
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.

Days 2&3

Getting back in the saddle of horse training (bad pun intended), I continued working with Joe. I saddled him with a full sized adult saddle, without incident-meaning he didn’t buck, bolt, or jump. I also got him used to a plastic baggy all over his body. I attempted to get into the saddle, but he was really scared about this. Knowing that I have forgotten all my groundwork strategies, I backed off. It had been raining, and I was having a hard time keeping traction in the stirrup so that I could step up and get Joe accustomed to this simple motion anyway. I ground drive him with a halter and long ropes and he did very well. Again, very willing with no incidents.

I had placed a tarp in the round pen the day before the rain so that Joe could get used to something new on his own. On this day, it had water standing in it as well. As far as horses go, he was or was not going to cross that tarp regardless of the water. Because he had never seen one, he didn’t know the difference. So, I sent him around the round pen and eventually he jumped it, then stepped on it, then had no problem running over it.

People think that things you do from the ground, transfer to the saddle, and it isn’t always true. Similar in case here is that he would cross without a halter, but it was different when I asked him to follow me across.

20130228-130035.jpg

20130228-130043.jpg

20130228-130052.jpg
It didn’t take long, and eventually he followed me across as well.

I still was not feeling like I was doing something right. At this point, I felt like I was getting the horse to do what I wanted-but the horse was only doing it so that I, the predator, wouldn’t eat him! Something was missing and I was on a journey to figure out what was going on with me, and fast.

I have been keeping up with my old friend, Mark Rashid for years. He was the foreman, my boss, at a dude ranch in Estes Park, CO. He left the ranch a year or two after I did. We lost touch for a while as this was before everyone had a cell phone and Facebook. I went to equine college, and eventually moved back to Texas. I was married and had my two boys. Mark started a new family as well, and began traveling all over the world performing horse clinics. He also began to master the Martial Art of Aikido.

When I was browsing through Facebook one day I saw that Mark was coming to Texas, and it was time to reunite with my friend. I didn’t know what to expect, but I had expectations anyway. There is a song called House That Built Me by Miranda Lambert. I felt like seeing Mark again and attending his clinic would be like getting back to my roots and the house that built me in horse training.

I will write about it next, but I will tell you for sure that I was right. If you really want to change your perspective and interaction with horses forever, I highly encourage you to get to a Mark Rashid clinic or invite him to your place and host a clinic. Those three days fit divinely in with what I thought I was missing. The teachings from Mark also confirmed my thoughts that I have a renewed heart for training horses.

By the way, Mark has written many books, one of which is in the makings for a movie. Watch the trailer for Out of the Wild. You can also find him on Facebook under “Considering the Horse,” which is also the name of his first book.

The Reason for This Blog

I trained horses from age 15-30 before I went and got myself married and had a couple of boys. They are now ages 6 (as of a couple of weeks ago) and 4. You will hear and see a lot of them in this blog.

Now, I am 37 years old and found myself entered into a competition for horse training. You can look up the details and past events for the mustang makeover and even find tons of videos on YouTube.

This year as I watched the finals I felt moved to enter. After I made this commitment to myself I learned that they upped the competition and now its called the Mustang Million. Basically this means that as long as they adopt 1000 mustangs for this competition, there will be $1,000,000 in prizes. Geesh, just the kind of pressure I really need. I will comment more on this along the way, but I want to get to the good stuff.

I have a little stud colt standing in my pasture. His name is Little Joe. When he was born, about 4 years ago, I had a toddler and a baby. I put a halter on the colt, vaccinated and dewormed him, taught him how to lead a little, picked up all four feet, did it all again a month later-and turned him out to pasture. He was weaned from his mom at 7 or 8 months old (I don’t exactly remember). A couple times when I thought he needed deworming, I would stand amongst the herd with my wormer tube held at arms link away from me and the curious colt would sniff it, lip it, and I would shoot it into his mouth. Worked every time.

Since I have barely ridden and trained a horse over the last six years, I decided Little Joe (my 4 yr old stud colt) would be a great horse to get me back in the saddle to training.

In the meantime, my corrals need to qualify for the mustang million and I need a round pen…

20130215-154123.jpg

This is me.