Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Illusion of Speed.......

F.Y.I. - Click on the picture to make it bigger and you will notice that Tripp's legs appear to be moving so fast you can't see them! Ah yes, the Illusion of Speed! :-)
This is what happens when you have low batteries in the camera. Brian took several pictures and only a couple were half way clear. We got a late start tonite because we had to fix the underground dog fence....great when they work but a royal pain in the butt when there is a break, or two, or three!

We got the underground fence fixed and headed to the Conservation Area parking lot/camping area. There is enough gravel and good drainage to play around a little bit. I knew I would not have time to hit the trail, but that was fine....I just needed some saddle time.

Holy moly! He was full of himself tonite! I lunged him a few minutes first and he even did some bucking. It was not one of those 'out to get me' kind of things. He was just feeling good and was ready to go somewhere and see something.

When I got on he would not stand still - so we did our bending circle thing until he stopped...and stopped again....and stopped again. Tonite sure was more of a challenge than a couple nights ago, but IT WAS FUN!!!! We did some trotting and I know he wanted to go go go, but it was getting late and I really don't need something bad to happen that time of night. Okay, any time of day or night would not be good for something bad to happen - but if I had to pick, I would make it earlier and in a more contained area! :-)

During his little song and dance of circles, we backed over a dead limb with noisy dry leaves and I was expecting him to hop around. He tucked that butt under him and was worried about it, but he didn't lose his mind over it. GOOD! At this point I still had only 1 foot in the stirrup. I really need to get them turned!

Here is Tripp and I after playing a while...almost time to go. I think he was bummed out. He really enjoys being away from the pens, and I can't blame him. I can't wait for our first long ride!

There were 4 other vehicles in the parking lot tonite, so we rode past them a couple of times. Didn't even phase him. Also had some vehicles drive by and the first couple caught his attention and he watched with interest, ears perked up, looking all cute, but nothing that worried him. The cars after that were not even worth a glance.

That is about it for tonite. Short and sweet.

Thanks for checking in!

Karen and Tripp

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Being alone....but not being lonely....

First of all, I got a whole extra day of my life I didn't know I had! I was thinking it was Wednesday, but it is only Tuesday! Woo hoo! I love getting extra days when I don't expect it! There are still a lot of things I want to see and do!

No pictures on today's post. It was Brian's evening with his kids, so I took Tripp out to ride. You know the cell phone commercial and "the Network" is always following the cell phone users around? Brian is my "Network"....except my Network takes breaks! ha ha!

This evening Tripp and I headed back to Rudolf Bennitt Conservation Area with plans on riding the camping and parking lot area. He was very ancey pants when we arrived and just would not stand still. He wasn't acting scared of being there - just ancey. Could be because it was cooler out...don't know. At this point I thought I would just saddle him up, walk him and lunge him a little bit, then decide at that time if I wanted to get on or not.

He was not listening to me as good as he usually does, but I decided to get on anyways. He had energy to burn...

He stood still while I got on, and away we went. We wandered around the parking area, then we rode around the parameter of the gravel area. The big water puddle was still out there so we worked with that. He did not want to go thru it - was not even interested in sniffing it! We walked around it, walked thru the mud, then worked our way to the puddle.

We also rode down the trail a little bit - there were a couple of washed out areas where the cloth that is under the gravel was showing. I really don't know if he didn't like it, or if it was an excuse to act scared, walk thru the chest high grass, then battle me to keep him moving and to keep that head up. He is a thinker, and I am convinced he had it planned! :-)

We rode a short ways until we made it to the road crossing, then headed back. Have you all seen the movie Finding Nemo? Remember Dori? Dori was there, then forgot she was there? But hey, she could speak Whale! Anyways, on the way back it was Dori syndrome.....we were moseying down the trail and we saw the parking and camping area again, and he acted like he had not seen it before! His interest in going to the 'new' area made me think of Dori. It was pretty cute!

While we were riding the camping area, an airplane flew over. They came back and circled several times. Tripp noticed it the first time it went over - I could tell by his reaction, but it was no big deal...he just knew it was there. It came back flying a little lower and Tripp spotted it coming towards us over the tree line. He stopped and watched it as it flew over us, and circled back around again. I really wish I knew how he saw it.....was it just a blurry movement with a funny sound in the sky? All I know is he was looking up, and seemed very interested in it. He was not worried about it, just curious.

When we came back he and my older Arab mare touched noses, and they both nickered at each other. It was so sweet.....
It is one of those happy and sad things. Sad because he is 4, and she is 27. Sad because even tho there are other horses around, she never really had a horsey friend after her buddy Druch died in 2004. The happy thing is her and Tripp are friends. Truly friends. :-)
She was very vocal about not being happy I took Tripp this evening....and they both made it very clear they were happy to be back together again. :-)

Monday the two of them are heading to the vet - probably not the 'date' they wanted! Ha ha! Tandee is getting her teeth floated, and Tripp is getting his wolf teeth checked and maybe removed. Will let the vet decide what needs to be done. Since Tripp didn't adjust to the bit as well as other horses, I thought I better get him checked. is a very powerful thing, but it can really drive a person crazy with worry. I look back and realize I knew NOTHING about horses when I was a kid - but I sure put a lot of miles on them. I never worried about wolf teeth - didn't know what they were. Now that I know, I try to do everything I can to make sure my horses are as comfortable as possible. Brian and I both keep learning and will never stop! It is great!

I had a lot of fun this evening.....I can't wait until Tripp and I can go on a long trail ride! Rudolf Bennitt is where Tandee and I used to ride for hours and hours. :-) I am back!

Until later.....Karen and Tripp

Monday, July 28, 2008

Monday, Monday....kept it simple...but different...

More storms went thru - lots of flooding and branches and trees down. What crazy weather! I didn't know what to expect when I got home, so I really wasn't sure what I was going to do.

When we got here, I decided I wanted to go for a trailer ride, so I gathered Tripp up, who was a happy fellow because he spent all day having the freedom of going in and out of his small pen, and we headed to the front yard where the trailer was parked. He hopped right in and away we went!

We headed to Rudolf Bennitt Conservation Area. They have horse trails thru there, and they are really working hard on improving them. There are several camping areas where you can pull a truck/trailer unit around and park easily. One of the entrances is only about 3 miles from our house, which is great. I used to spend a lot of hours out there by myself riding, and not doubling up a trail. That was before they improved the trails...I can't wait to ride them now!

We stopped at the closest camping area and unloaded Tripp. Here he hops right out of the trailer and is ready to take a walk.

Hmmmmm, Mystery Manure, and it isn't like any I have sniffed before!

I just walked thru the water puddle - it was soooo scary and I am soooo proud of myself! ;-) It was so much fun I did it several times! See how deep it is??? Yep, I am da dude!

I am still proud of myself....HEE HEE HEE SNORT!

On the way back to the trailer we walked over a very small branch with another smaller branch that had dead leaves on it. His back feet hit the part with the leaves and he skidaddled right over that thing! We went over it back and forth and he scooted pretty quick every time. He finally sniffed at it......then ate it!


He loaded back up, no problem.

We came back, I worked on picking up feet which he was not in the mood for, so we did it some more, then we were done.

Like I said, pretty simple evening but different. He did great traveling, unloading somewhere new, and reloading. I am proud of him because he did it alone without any acting up. He was very curious and well behaved. We even did some lunging out at the camping area. Brian mentioned that it drained well out there, so I can take him out there and ride around the parking lot.....great idea!

Until later.....
Karen and Tripp

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Emotionally a good way!

We as humans tend to take a lot for granted...but we don't realize it. We go thru our lives daily, most of the time it is the same routine, and we just go with it. At times I fall into the same routine - but my life is great and I love where I am at. Sure, there are things I would like to do, and I will someday, but not right now.

I try to make a point of paying attention to the things around me, but sometimes I forget. :-)
My journey with Tripp so far is a very HUGE thing in my life! I am just now starting week #7 with him, and as I was riding thru the woods this afternoon, I had this very overwhelming feeling of emotions! It makes me cry a happy cry, it makes me smile, it makes me giggle, it makes me hug him.....

Just 7 weeks ago Tripp didn't know who I was. He then met me and was very curious but was still afraid. Now I go out, saddle him up without a halter on, throw the halter on, then go ride. (I am going to skip the bit until I get his teeth checked) Sometimes he nickers at me, he follows me around when I am pooper scooping. He has come to realize that I am a horse-fly swatter and an itch scratcher. Yep.....lots of overwhelming emotions, but they are great!

Okay, on to the day! I got up early this morning and there was a light breeze. I was excited because I thought it meant it would be a cool work out. Nope! We were moving faster than the breeze.

Yesterday was our first trailer ride and he was nervous. I was going to take him on a ride this morning but changed my mind. He didn't want to get on the trailer, so I decided we would work on getting him on there a couple of times, then go for a real ride. It took a while, I was so sweaty I could not hold on to the lead rope and he kept pulling back from me. He even started his hissy fit thing, but kept all 4 feet on the ground! Progress! He just puffed his neck and chest up great big like a brat kid.

I would get him up to the trailer and he would paw it with a vengeance, but would not hop up there. I finally looped the lead line around a rail inside the trailer so I could get more leverage if he pulled back again. That worked wonders! He pulled back and realized that I got real strong! :-) He stepped forward and sniffed the trailer again. Finally he did a little jig in place then jumped in the trailer. He was just scared - that is all. I talked to him and rubbed all over him, then we got off and did it again. We will end this lesson on a positive note.

We then headed back out to the big pen and worked in there a little bit - then we went out into the 'weed field.' Today was a trot day. He was kind of full of it so I let him trot and we did some serpentines and circles. I guess he decided that was hard work so it didn't last long. Walking was fine. It was a great morning! When we were done we played in the hose.

It sure is hot and humid this afternoon, but I need to get more saddle time and trailer loading time in. Is it possible for the inside of the ears to sweat? I think mine are. And the helmet....well, my head was sweating, I got an itch and tried to scratch it without thinking about it. ACK! Can't get to the itch! Okay people, what do you all do when you get an itch on your head when you are wearing a helmet while riding?

This afternoon I changed it up a little bit. I did not go to the pen this time - I went out to the other field beside the 'weed field.' There is a flat spot on top of the hill and the trail goes into the woods - we sort of followed that. He is still learning to go in a straight line. :-) Plus the distraction of edible grass and weeds.... We rode thru the woods, rode the hillside, went around trees in the middle of the hillside, he snorted a couple times and hopped like he was going to take off and I circled him around, we went back down to the bottom of the hill, and actually walked back up the hill. I am used to my guys who know that the hill is the last step before the barn, so there is no such thing as walking in a relaxing manner.

We rode up to the barn and then rode around the 'weed field'. One of the boss horses came trotting up to us all full of himself and I shoo'd him away. He kept his distance and Tripp and I explored a larger area of the 'weed field.' I was very very pleased.......
It was so relaxing at times and that is when the emotions started rolling around inside of me. He is pretty amazing.

I left him saddled up and we headed to the front yard to the trailer. It took about 30 seconds for me to open the door, get up in there, wait on him, then he jumped right in! WOW!!!! Talk about a surprise! I led him out and turned him around and he did it again. I was going to quit there, but as I was grabbing his alfalfa treats I had hidden beside the trailer he came up beside me, so I stayed on the ground this time and pointed him up into the trailer and HE WENT IN! That was the first time he jumped in without me going first. YES YES YES! I gave him his treats - he earned them! Session #2 is at a close.

Brian made it home in time to take pictures tonite. He also got to see us load in the trailer, which I was really proud of!

I took off thru the field while Brian was taking care of the chickens and baby turkeys. I wandered around and he was a little more full of himself tonite than he was this afternoon. At one point he had a sudden burst of energy, threw that head down and it felt like he hopped in the air. It probably was not near as bad as it felt, but he jumped a couple of times and I pulled him around with one rein. I think he is ready to go play with the other horses. He kept looking their direction. He's also ready to run......I am too, but not really. :-) I want to, but I am afraid he is going to take off full speed and I won't be able to pull him around. I also worry about the fences - he doesn't know where they are yet.
He did hop over a small ditch that was about 2 inches deep - it looked bigger to him - and he did lope a couple of, it was smooth! Part of me is kicking myself for not keeping him going, the other part is glad I played it smart because he kept trying to turn around to go to the other horses.

We also loaded in the trailer again, and each time he loaded with me on the ground! Yeeee Haw!!!! I was so proud of him....heck, I was proud of both of us! We did not go for a trailer drive tonite - will do that this week. I want him to willingly go in a couple more times, plus we had things to get done tonite.

We played in the hose and I let him out on the hillside again. He enjoys that a lot.

It was a really great weekend for us. When Brian left Friday night I was still riding in the small pen and around it, and playing it safe. When he gets back I am wandering around in the 'weed pasture' and the '1/2 weed pasture'. He was proud of me too. :-)

At this point I am trying to do better at what we have been doing, and I still need to get him comfortable having his back feet handled. I really do want to canter him, but don't have a good controlled area to do it. I will figure something out...

Thanks for reading!
Karen and Tripp

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Today was MAH-velous!

FRIDAY NIGHT REPORT: Brian and his kids went up to his parents so I am flying solo this weekend. I didn't realize how tough it would be with my official photographer gone! :-) I did the best I could. No photos tonite will read that I was a little busy.

A little bit of lunging basics in the pen, worked with feet, etc. I decided I was going to let him out on the hillside again if he was good because I think his brain needs a break. After the pen work I walked him out and back in a few times - no problem. I then walked him the parameter of the hillside to remind him where the fences are. We were around the big dirt pile and he blew up and blasted the other direction. I don't know if it was a blessing the hill was muddy and slippery or a curse! All I know is his footing wasn't all that great, and neither was mine! I did all I could to stay upright because I knew if I went down, he was going to get away from me. I got him stopped and we had words as we went back to the top of the hill. He threw a couple more fits and actually reared tall - as in his hooves were over my head! I know he is being disrespectful in a major way, and I really think he needs something new to do and he needs to blow off some steam! But this isn't going to win him any brownie points! I stuck with him the best I could and when he would come back down I would swoop in to his side and start moving him over. A couple more rears on his part and a couple more swoops on my part did the trick. We worked back in the pen, mud and all, and we worked outside of the pen!
This is what confuses me - he is an angel when he is in the pen, and he even lunges on a loose line outside of the pen. It is when we start walking around on the green and heading back up the hill he gets an attitude.

It is because of this, plus him working so good after our 'chat' that I decided to let him on the hill anyways. He needs to blow the cobwebs out of his head, he needs to wander and munch grass and weeds like a real horse, and he just needs to relax and enjoy himself. I took his halter off, rubbed him down and sprayed him with fly spray, I walked around his pen and he followed me, then I went into the barn and he stood there for a second, then realized it was okay to munch grass.

This morning he was back in the pen so I shut him in and fed him. It was still quite muddy so I didn't do anything this morning except love on him a little bit.


Brian suggested that I start working him in the bigger pen (will be adding to it to make it even bigger) in the field behind the barn. That way he associates work with someplace other than his pen. Good idea! The other horses are out there and I really was not sure how he would be to lead out there.

I got him saddled, did some light lunging and bending in his pen, then we headed out there. The other horses were on the other hillside so I didn't have to worry about anybody getting up close and personal. Tripp led like a champ to the other pen! The gate makes this horrific noise because the hinge thingys are bent - and it did not phase him one bit.

I lunged him a couple turns each direction then got on. We wandered around a bit and it felt good to be somewhere else. My biggest challenge in there was going to be the grass. He knows it is there, and he likes it! He actually did pretty good. He did go for it, but not like the last time we took him out there.

This picture is of Tripp checking out the neighbors ducks that were under the tree on the other side of the mossy pond. If you look close, you can see them right between his ears.

We spent a little while in there then I decided we were going to have to try riding outside of safety sometime, and this was the time! We circled around the outside of the pen a few times. We wandered the top side of the moss pond a while, and he was fabulous! He did take off trotting a couple of times but I circled him around. He might be ready to trot out there, but I wasn't. Not when I was by myself. Walking and working on turns and stops are perfectly fine with me right now.

That was this afternoon.

This evening I did the same thing. Saddled him up in his pen, took him out to the other pen but this time the horses came over to him. Nobody made faces and no squealing....whew! We played in the bigger pen a few minutes and here is one of my creations that will put the Blair Witch to shame! WARNING: If you get motion sickness, I don't suggest you watch this. :-) It is a Tripp cam and I was taking it while riding him.

We then headed back out again and this time covered a little more territory. IT WAS SO MUCH FUN!!!!! There were things that I would not have thought would have phased him that did - like the shallow washed out areas on the hillside. It is a crappy pasture - I don't even know why I call it pasture. We are going to work it over this Fall. Anyways, we rode around the mossy pond, over to the cross fence and said hi to the other horses, rode back, rode across a muddy drainage area, rode around the outside of the pen a couple of times, then this time I rode him up to the gate to head back in his hillside area.

After our ride I thought he needed some trailer work. We still had the trailer hooked up to the truck but it was in the front yard. Tripp had never been in the yard before - dogs, parked tractor, walk by deck, cage full of young guineas, a shed with lots of tall weeds around it that probably harbor horse eating creatures, the illusion of more dogs because they ran from the back to the front, big gate, motorcycles, flowers, back end of trailer......he was soaking it all in. I opened the trailer door and he tried to trick me by letting me think he was getting a fly off his leg....he was going for the grass! Aaaahhh yes, my biggest challenge to get him in there was going to be the grass. I was now on alert!

A couple times of walking back and forth and he stepped up there. I backed him off and we did it again. He finally jumped in, which was funny because I still had him saddled and the side of the saddle was catching on the doorway of the trailer. It was like he was telling me he was really trying to get there, but something was slowing him down! We jumped in and out a couple of times, then I decided we were going for a ride. Before we left I gave him a couple of alfalfa treats. There is a 5 mile loop and we drove around it. I stopped about 1/2 way around and checked on him. He was nervous but doing well. I gave him another alfalfa treat and away we went.

When we got home I did not let him out right away. I got up there with him, rubbed on him and talked to him, and when he let out a big sigh, we unloaded. I took the saddle off in the front yard because it was closer to where it needed to be, and we went to his pen and played in the hose! Woo hoo!!!! After our hose work we did some hind quarter disengagements (halter free), then I walked out of the pen and he followed me. Same as the night before....we stopped at the other end of his pen on the outside, and I went into the barn, and he went to eat.

It was an absolutely wonderful afternoon and evening! I just think about it and I grin from ear to ear!

Next Saturday we are headed to a gathering. One of the EMM competitors is having a Mustang Preworks thing, and Brian talked me into going. He is right - it will be good experience for Tripp and I both. I am nervous because I don't know how Tripp will be.....we have not been anywhere until today. I want to try to ride as much as possible this week...Please please please Mother Nature keep the rain away. :-)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Mother Nature is a Crab Apple Today!

Wednesday evening I was flying solo, so no pictures to speak of. I did get a few of Tripp playing with the tarp, but they are not clear. I am still trying to get used to Brian's camera. His ball and jolly ball were out of the pen and down the hillside, so he had a little fun sometime during the day. He popped his other ball, so we need to replace it. We put in two barrels and he has been playing with those too.

I put the bridle on him and let him wander a bit. I have a real problem with him mouthing the thing...I would think by now he would mouth it a while, then settle down. Nope! He keeps getting that tongue over the bit, and I was helping him get it back because it turned into a ME thing! ACK! I finally had to walk away and let him figure it out. Once he was standing there without moving his mouth and I walked up to him and checked - it was UNDER his tongue and he just dealt with it - for about 10 seconds....then mouthing again. We did several bends and he did great with that. I was glad it didn't take much for him to catch on.

After a while I decided to get on and move him around. I would let him wander around in the pen while he was figuring out how to deal with the bit. We walked and trotted a while, then I picked up on the reins and started trying to guide him. At first he pulled against it but I kept a constant pressure and he finally gave to it. What started out as very rusty steering turned into something much more smooth! We also worked on our backing up. I was hoping he would pick up on the verbal that I use - and to be honest, at first I was not sure that he did. He did finally figure out the backing up thing too - I was so happy!

I opened the gate so we could practice going in and out without a hissy fit. I did what Brian suggested the other evening and stayed in the pen and rode by the gate a few times both ways before going out. It is amazing how much giddy-up and go this boy has with that gate open! :-) We did go in and out, and he did try me, but we worked it out. I don't like his backing up when he gets mad - we backed part way down the hill and that made me a little nervous.

What worries me the most is me not realizing if the bit is under the tongue, and I pull and hurt his gums. So don't pull, right? Well, when I put light pressure and he tries to pull away, I hold my ground...I will be reading to make sure I am doing what I should be. When we were done he looked very sad. Brian got home shortly after and he said he was not sad, he was just pouting like he did in the beginning when he learned something new. Pouting.....Sad......whatever! He is my baby and his feelings were hurt. :-) I will keep at it and we will both figure it out.....

THURSDAY: Today Brian and I took off work. Hay was supposed to be delivered this morning (didn't show up - just now talked to the guy and he had equipment failure and totally forgot to call - no worries. At least he still has our hay.) and this afternoon we were headed to Brian's daughter's day-care with Flash, the large pony. I was pretty excited about this! The forecast was clear until this evening so we thought we were okay.

This morning I get up early to tons of lightning and thunder! ACK! WHAT THE HECK????? It was almost as big as the storms that went thru the other day. We were both pretty bummed...but radar looked like it was going to clear for a while this afternoon.

We did get Flash to the day-care, but it was not long before it started to rain. Only a few of the kids got to ride Flash, which bummed me out. They all took it real well because they got to feed him snacks. I busted up a bunch of alfalfa cubes and Flash thought he was in heaven! When it started raining a bunch of the kids jumped in the trailer, and the other bunch toughed it out and hung out with Flash.
I didn't get any parents permission to use the pictures on the blog, so I am putting on pictures where you can't see their faces...hee hee...but you can tell they are having fun. This is the die hard group who hung out with Flash. Some of the others went back in the building, while another batch were running in the puddles. They were all SOAKED! Then the lightning started...time to go! We are going to do this again on a much better weather day! The kids think it is a good idea too. :-)

This little boy had a broken arm so when it started raining, he had to jump in the trailer to keep his cast dry. We had to bring Flash to him so he could feed him, then there was green spit on his hands and he thought it was funny to clean his hand on my jeans!

We still had a good time in spite of the weather.

Oh yeah, here is the good one! We were hooked up and ready to go...checking lights...Brian started the truck then shut the door. This truck locks right after you start it....not after you take off and get up to a certain speed. Yep, the sucker is locked! He asks about my purse with my keys, I had just put it in on my side, SHUT THE DOOR, then ran to the back to look at lights! ARGH! We are 1/2 hr from any town with a lock smith, we had a full tank of gas, and we had a day-care full of kids waiting to meet Flash! The back glass has a slider, so we busted it out. We tried to get the thing out of the track first with no luck, and we used a cushion on the glass hoping it would break the clasp - no luck. Now if anybody has to bust out their slider, let me tell you what - BE CAREFUL! Once it broke the glass shattered and blasted all the way to the front! It is a crew cab! But better yet, have an extra key stashed somewhere! We sure will from now on.
I am really mad about it because we know NOT TO SHUT THE DOOR WITH THE TRUCK RUNNING UNLESS THE WINDOW IS DOWN, but once those little kids came out all dressed up for the part in their boots and cute country horsey shirts, I didn't care about the glass. I will call a couple of places next week - in the meantime it is temporarily repaired.

That is all I have for today. I hung out with Tripp tonite and had him follow me around, but it was so slippery we didn't do that long. We did pick up all 4 feet, and I was so proud of the fronts because I didn't have to pull on his feathers to lift them.

I think we have more storms the next few days....that is really messing with my schedule, but oh well, I am happy where we are at. It will work out.

Until later....
Karen and Tripp

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Turtles, Self Portraits and Ropes....

We had some crazy storms here today! When it is raining sideways you know it is doing bad stuff somewhere! I read in the paper that it rained 4 inches in 10 hours. No wonder there is mud.....again. It could be much worse tho!

Brian and his daughter Madison found this little snapping turtle in the front yard. We have seen all kinds of them on the roads - but not here. Some people would have wacked him on the spot, but not us! I think they are cute and amazing creatures. Notice the bug on his shell - I think it is a filled up mosquito!

This is the beginning of week #6, and Tripp and I have not done a self portrait since the first couple of days! I am slacking off...I am usually the Self Portrait Queen! We took so many of them because he kept trying to smell the camera. We laughed and laughed....okay, I laughed. :-)

I am not a roper, but tonite I made like I was one! Brian's Dad got an old lariat rope at an auction and I have had it hanging on the fence waiting to play with it. I had forgotten it was there until tonite. The sound of the coils hitting eachother didn't even phase Tripp. He listened, but that was about it. He is still kind of buggy with his rump, so I made a big loop and looped it over his rump, then put the coils over Tripps head. I walked around and he followed me, even with the rope hanging down his back legs. SWEET!

Then I pulled the rope off his neck and tugged on the rope that was still on his rump....just to see if he would follow me. He did, and I almost didn't get this picture of him coming over the bridge and timbers with the tarp as a distraction on the bridge. No worries. Then I took the rope off him and started swinging it over my head. I have the basic wrist action to rope, I just have never officially roped anything. I need one of those fake cows. OH! I need to get a Hydra Bull like Tracey's neighbor has! Now that is a neat deal! It is a little out of my price range tho. Oh well...I will have to make a cow head of my own! Anyways, I walked around swinging my loop and he followed the end of the rope dragging behind me. He could care less about that big clumsy loop flying over our heads - what got his attention was the hairy end of the rope! He kept snorting at it. Okay, new thing to work on. I have a feeling I will find little quirky things for a very long time!

I worked with all 4 feet tonite - YAY! I remembered to do it this time! He is a doll with the fronts, but the rears are a little tougher. He was still good, but I have to work at it. We will get there.

We also worked on trailer loading. This time I walked around the trailer and was hitting on the side making all kinds of racket. I opened the little side door and played with the latch, then I slammed it shut. It is only a 12 ft stock trailer so there is only so much I can make noise with. At first he was snorting at the side of the trailer, then walked right up to it to check it out. He is a very curious fellow, and if he is nervous he will look at me. Almost like he is asking me to help him be brave.
We then opened the big door and it didn't phase him. I walked up to it and walked away a couple of times, then he followed me up with both front feet. I stopped him and backed out - we did that a couple of times. Then we went for it again - he followed me right in! I planned on doing the in and out 3 times (I like odd numbers) but while he was standing outside of the door after #3, he stepped up there again. Okay, no arguments out of me! Which of course meant that we had to do it again to keep the numbers odd. Well, that time as he stepped off that popping noise happened and it startled him. So we decided we had to go in and out at least twice more. No problem at all! We think we found the source of the popping noise. At times when he moves, it shifts the trailer and the metal is hitting the cinder blocks we have all around the thing.
This was the first thing we did for the evening, and I didn't have the camera out there. BAD KAREN! My Arab mare was hanging out with us - like she was cheering him on. They would touch noses, have a short conversation, then she would turn away and he would proceed with what we were doing. I think I might take her along for his first ride. They are friends, and it is sweet to watch them. I have even started feeding her next to him.

We have a 5 mile loop that I used to ride all the time. It is all dirt road and will be perfect for a short ride, plus a way to get him used to the tin can sounds. As long as it isn't too muddy to get the trailer out, my goal is to take him for his ride this weekend.

It was a good night in spite of the mud - we made the most of it. The mud is easier to deal with now that he is more comfortable with things. Early on it made me very nervous.

Thanks for checking in on us! Have a great day/night!

Karen and Tripp

Monday, July 21, 2008

First night of loading practice...

Tonite was trailer loading practice - our first time. We lunged small circles for a little while - nothing drastic because of the heat. I got him closer and closer to the trailer, led him up to it while I sat on the edge...just gave him time to soak up what was going on. Once he relaxed, which only took a few minutes, I got up in the trailer and he just watched me.

He would come up and watch, and I would get out of the trailer and walk him away. Brian suggested I not give him too much time to think about it, so the second he sniffed, I walked. We would walk back in the round pen, walk over the bridge and poles, then come back. He followed me right in! I had to stop him with both front feet...I wanted the two fronts then I wanted to back him out.

I did the two front feet a few times then decided I was going to just go for it to see what happened. This is what happened! :-)

He came right in, sniffed around, then I turned him around to walk out forward. He would probably have been fine backing out, but I didn't want to take a chance of him getting scared then hitting his head and having a bad memory of the trailer.

Once he stepped up on it and there was a popping noise. Tripp was not so sure about getting on the trailer after that! He would put both front feet in, but then instantly back off. I lunged small circles again nice and slow, and he seemed quite relaxed - he just was not going on. It was almost like those little eyebrows went up and he was thinking "You can't make me." I really was not getting anywhere with him, so Brian came up beside him, which he was fine with, then Brian patted him lightly on the rump, and he walked in. He was nervous this time, but did very well! I had Brian go grab an alfalfa cube real quick - this was the first time I gave him a treat before the lesson was over, and I don't feel one bit guilty about it. He munched his treat while I rubbed all over him, then I BACKED him off and we called it a night.

I was so excited about all of this ..... I forgot to work with his back feet! Ha ha! Oh well, there is always tomorrow, right?

Okay, this last shot was the in between stage when the trailer was not looking as good as it did in the beginning. Once when he was in with both front feet he spotted his reflection on the ceiling! Oh my gosh, it was the funniest darn thing! He looked up and actually went cross eyed to try and see it! He stepped down and kept looking up! I would move so he could see my reflection and his ears would go up - he was very interested in that thing he was seeing. I had Brian bring me his camera so I could get a shot of the look on his face. This isn't as good as the first look when he was a few inches from the ceiling, but it is still pretty darn good!

Ahhhh yes, cameras. It seems that mine is pootering out! Apparently they are only good for approx 15,000 pictures before they start having problems. Of course not all of them do, but on the average they do. Guess I fell into that average. I really don't like shopping for new stuff like that. I am on a 3rd photo printer because I either use the heck out of them and they wear out, or they are just junk. I don't know! I will say I have run almost 15,000 pix thru my it might be a little tired. Guess I will start looking around.

I mentioned I had trimmed Tripp's front hooves - I got a good look at them this morning and I did a pretty nice job! I was hoping the angles he came here with were making him look pigeon toed. Nope. He really is pigeon toed a little bit. His hooves are cute tho. :-)

That is all I have for now.

Night night....
Karen and Tripp

Video of Karen and Tripp from 7-20-08

Hello everyone, my husband Brian has been messing with the videos and music. This is what he came up with for Sunday's ride. It is about 5 minutes long, but very cool!


Karen and Tripp

Sunday, July 20, 2008

I am learning to like my helmet! :-)

The whole purpose of this picture is to show you how I am dealing with the helmet and the pony tail! I am using my hair glove that I use when I ride the motorcycle, and it works fantastic! Yay! I guess I can do braids too, but the hair glove is quicker to put in. Once I get to moving around I forget the helmet is on - that is a good thing! The main thing I am having to get over right now is having the visor right over my eyes....not used to anything being there. I think I get to concentrating with Tripp so much I forget it is there.

First I want to say that the difference in Tripp the past couple of days is amazing! We are both more comfortable when he is moving around, and it is taking very little to get him to move and turn. It is also easier to get a trot out of him and he keeps it going longer than before. I am loving it!!!

We only did one session today due to the horrible heat and humidity. I worked with him this morning and we worked on going in and out of the gate without issues. :-) Sometimes he forgets the 'no issues' part and we have to chat about it, then we eventually get to where I was headed. This is Tripp going out of the gate to the pen, towards the big gate to the yard, and we turned around and went back in.

There will be 2 videos on here. The first video is of Tripp deciding he would rather back up than go back in the pen. It starts with me popping him in the butt with the strings on the saddle, and him saying "YIKES!" I don't want to have to use my legs too much on him, which is also a learning experience for me, so I went to the next best thing. I needed to get his attention back and stop him from backing up. It is still good - we will figure it out.

The second video is of us getting out of the pen and venturing out a little farther away. You get to see his stubborn streak and the two of us working it out.

Brian did a longer video that we will post later (he is putting music with it) - My 2nd time out of the pen I was going to do another short circle, but then decided to just go for it! We went around what was once a round pen - now it is crazy shaped and waiting for me to do something with it - then we went by the big ugly hay bales and down the hillside. First let me say that all in all, it was alright. I was not nervous about him doing anything too crazy. The only times I questioned it was when he slipped on some wet hay on the hill a couple of times, and also when I thought we would go around the big dirt pile and ride up the small hill. My thinking was it would be work for him to haul me up the hill. His thinking was he would spin around and hop with the front end a little bit, nothing bad. I did rethink my decision because I didn't know if he would get off balance and we would fall over. We did work our way back around the dirt pile, and made it back up to the pen. Brian said that little deal lasted 5 minutes, and he only got nervous for me a couple of times. All I know is it felt great to get out of the pen, even if he did show some tude. Besides, he is showing me that he is an individual with his own thoughts and not a 'yes man.' :-)

Tonite my original plan was to ride for a while, but the air is so heavy, no breeze, and the sweat was dripping off all of us, even Tripp. I decided I would trim his front feet instead. My original plan was to just file them down, but his hoof wall was so hard I decided to get the nippers out. He did soooooooo good! He has bruising at the toe but I think they looked good other than that. His hooves have looked like they had a weird angle to them, and he trips alot, so I am hoping the balanced trim will help with that. Okay, I think it is a balanced trim. I am going to really work hard on the back ones so I can get them trimmed, then call my trimmer to come out and inspect them for me. This weekend I did get to officially clean out the rear hooves with little problems - he is very touchy with them and likes to swing them back and forth. Little by little that is improving.

Of course after doing the feet, we had to play in the hose. He still doesn't like his butt squirted or his back legs squirted. But get this, I can spray fly spray all over him without any problems.

We also got the trailer parked out by the pen and I will get to start with loading lessons. I sure hope it goes well - we have places to go! :-)

I don't know who all is reading this, but I want to give credit where credit is due. There are so many great trainers out there, and thanks to RFD-TV, the trainers materials, and their weekend clinics I have learned so much the past few years! Not to mention the Internet!
I have had horses all my life, but they were already to the point of 'get on and go.' I did that for years not really knowing anything.
I wish I would have been better informed at a younger age - not that 43 is old...hmm hmmm. I compare it to being a sponge. An older sponge doesn't hold as much 'stuff' as it did when it was young and new. So it takes me a lot more repetition to soak stuff up and keep it! :-) Ha ha!!!

Anybody who thinks they can't do this - think again! You will be surprised!

Okay, the first video was almost uploaded, then I got an error so I have to start again....

Tomorrow is supposed to be another hot one...will wait to see if the air is moving to decide if I will be riding or not. I might be doing some ground stuff instead.

Until later.....Karen and Tripp

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Who is that masked horse???

Yep, Tripp is stylin' in his fly mask, and I am stylin' in my new helmet! It didn't occur to me to check the inside of the truck where UPS usually delivers stuff while we are gone. Duh!

Now, how do I feel about this helmet? Don't ask! I know I will get used to it, but so far I feel constricted! I just don't like anything on my head. Not to mention I have to wear a low pony tail and my hair blows under my pits! EW! The adjustment on it are tabs and I don't like those either. The dial system is much easier to use. In case you all wanted to know for the future. :-)

This morning we went out about 8:30 or 9:00 and according to the computer it was already 77 degrees with 81% humidity. Yep, was going to be a steamy day! I hurried up and worked with Tripp a little bit.

Well, folks, sometimes things happen for a reason, even if there was physical pain involved. Remember my little story about getting sling shotted off Nevada (my fault), so to this day I still don't know how it feels to sit on my new/used saddle on a horse, just on the stand in the living room?

I really thought it would be too long for him, but we put it on with my CSI pad and it fit great! At first I thought it was sitting to far forward, but there was plenty of shoulder room. I will still find someone to check for me to make sure - I sure don't want to cause him any pain. Then again, if he was uncomfortable, he would not let me walk up to him and sling it on him - no halter or anything. So I know he doesn't have bad memories about the other saddle - I am hoping this one is good too. If someone sees something that I don't, please let me know! I like Tripp happy. :-D

I let Tripp wander around this afternoon with the bridle for a while....he doesn't like it, and I don't like him not liking it. So I went back inside for a while. When I went back out to start tonites lesson, I took the bridle off and he stuck his tongue out at it! Ptooey!

I drug the bridge into the is big and heavy! I think we need to put the lawn mower wheels on it that raise and lower. I forwarded my idea to Brian tonite...
Tripp was not one bit afraid of that bridge! He walked up and started pawing it, then tried to eat it. He did that for quite a while and I let him. We are not on a time schedule....okay, we really are but I try not to think about it. :-) When I got on him he really didn't hesitate that much going over it. The only time he stopped and acted like it had not been there before was when I rode him out of the pen gate and back in again....ACK! Where did that thing come from?

Then Brian decided to give it a try. This is Tripp's first time to have someone new on his back. He made a face about it at first, but then settled right in. The first walk around the pen went well - Tripp followed me. Then I got out of the way and Brian moseyed around by himself. I was proud of both of them. Brian had not ridden for a long time, and Tripp, well you all know, he is new at this.

Tonite went pretty well. We trotted quite a bit - well for us it was quite a bit. He likes to stop, which makes me think I am doing something wrong. I know I move around a lot and need to work on that. I also need to rig up some reins to put on the halter that are not too long. I am using the lead rope now, so I am fiddling with them all the time too. I will say that he is stopping a lot less than in the beginning, so I see the improvement in just a few days.

I decided I wanted to ride out of the pen gate tonite. We went out and back in a few times and he did good. I figured we would venture out a little further, and he spotted some old dried up faded hay on the ground. It started out a slow 'I am going to rub my face with my leg because of flies' kind of move, then his nose went right down to that old hay! You can fool me once...but not again! So I kept him moving. The little stinker decided he was not going to move, then he decided he would move and started going backwards. Guess what? I can steer him backwards! HA! I steered him around and we backed up the small hill right to the gate. I then rode him back into the pen, left the gate open, and we made several circles around the pen. It is amazing how well he walks out knowing that the gate is open! Now if I can get him to move like that all the time!

He has a spoiled stubborn streak in him - I probably created part of it and didn't realize what I was doing. I need to get a grip on it pretty quick so he doesn't turn into a monster. He is smart, and I think he will realize what is and is not allowed. I was less nervous on him while he was having his minor hissy fit than when I was walking him and he was rearing up towards me. Could it be because I was sporting my new helmet? ;-) No! To be honest, by then I forgot it was on my head. I will get used to it.

We did have fun tonite. We chased chickens, we trotted, we crossed the bridge several times, I worked on moving him off my leg, which is a new thing for me to teach...I hope I am doing it right. We got to venture out of the pen a little bit. Life is good!

I am attaching a short video of one of our bridge/chicken adventures.

Karen and Tripp

Friday, July 18, 2008

These hooves are made for walkin'...

Tripp on the mossy pond bank...not too far behind him is where the cherry tree rubbed over his butt! What a surprise to Tripp!

Tripp and I are walking down the hill towards the big pond. We both need the exercise.

Tripp: The ditch looks big, I don't think I can make it.
Karen: The ditch isn't that big, if I can make it you can make it.
Tripp: Let me think about it.
Karen: (lets Tripp think)
Tripp: Okay, I can do it. And he does!

I did not post any video tonite, but when I was watching the ones we took, I noticed that I talk - ALL THE FREAKING TIME! It is like I am having these whole conversations with Tripp, and I talk to him like he is a person. Brian told me he just wanted me to see what he see's....what does that mean? :-)

Thursday the 17th was a relaxing evening. In fact it is the most relaxing evening that I have spent with Brian in quite a while. No kids - no hurry to get home since I was happy waiting until it got a little cooler to work with Tripp. We went to the Amish and had a couple adjustments made to the saddle. It is much better, but still a little long in the stirrups. Right now it is set so we can make more holes with room for adjustments.

We got home about 7:30 and I just wanted to saddle Tripp and fiddle fart around the pen a while. I moved two timbers in the middle of the pen and we walked over and around them. We even rode straight thru them, then backed up. I can't wait to get my mini course set up! It was a short session but good.

Tonite we spent quite a bit of time with Tripp. I still have a plan for his training, but I need a stronger one, so I have some thinking to do. In the meantime I am also getting bored of being in the pen, and I know Tripp is going stir crazy! That is probably why he is copping an attitude at times. I decided tonite I would saddle him up and take him for a walk.

I put the other horses in the other small pasture - I didn't need any 'help' from any of them right now. He started out real good, then went to the little snorty rearing hopping juvenile that he can be - we went to the bigger pen outside of the fence and worked! The main problem was all the grass in the pen! I really had to keep after him to move move move! It is the first time I got to see him was relaxed and looked so smooth! I can't wait to be on him during one of those times! Anyways, he worked harder today than he has since he has been here, and actually so did I! It was good for both of us.

I then took him for a walk. We went around the smaller pond first and the cherry tree caught on the saddle, then zipped right over his butt! HOLY TOLEDO BATMAN! WHAT THE HECK WAS THAT? He zoomed right past me, I tugged on the lead and he spun around and stopped all wide eyed. We walked back and came back thru again. It took 4 or 5 times before he would spook in place. He didn't like it, but he tolerated it and just stood there. I was proud of him! I was also proud of him for not dragging me around the pond bank! He really can if he wants to. :-)

We walked around the smaller pond a couple of times, then headed down the hill to the bigger pond, and walked thru some of the washed out areas. You know what? He really did good for never having been down there before. He did start trying to pull away from me and rearing up again (we have video of that so I can see what I am doing or not doing - I will study it). I try to get around him to push him, but he anticipates it and keeps his front facing me. I smacked the ground with the end of the lead rope to get his attention. Brian said I needed to do that the first time he did it - hind sight you know.....
This is all a learning experience for me, and I admit it....I am such a girl! ha ha! I have to get a little more assertive with him. Okay, I have been informed that I need to get A LOT more assertive with him. I am getting there - it is just hard for me to do that. Now throw a brat human child at me...I can be assertive and demanding all day long! But an animal - nope, I am not good at it.

He did get back on track and I decided once we had at least one good crossing over the small washed out area, we would be done. He finally did walk across it instead of jumping, and we called it a night. He walked back up the hill like a gentleman, and I hosed him off as a treat.

Brian thinks the attitude is his way of telling me he has had enough. Too much stuff - I want to be done and do what I want to do. Sometimes I think that is true. He does not act mean towards me - he is just being a pushy brat, and I need to find a good way to get control of him and make him move. I have not had my whip/stick out there...I will take that next time so I have more 'arm reach' to get him moving around. Sure don't want an accidental swipe of the hoof to nail me or worse yet, someone else!

As crazy as this might sound to some people, his attitude thing really is good for me. I am learning so much...and it is things like this that make me think differently about what I am doing. Not to mention my main goal in all of this ... It is to prove that most anybody can gentle a mustang and work with them. Any time there are issues, I need to find a way to deal with them, and by seeing me do this and knowing my background consists of loving horses, not training them, maybe someone will realize that they really can adopt a mustang too! Even if they can gentle them and have someone else do the training...I want people to know it is way beyond possible to accomplish this and be a part of a mustang's life.

We are finishing up week #5, and I have been on Tripp almost every night this week. WOW! I don't have any idea what our progress is going to be the next few weeks. I know what I would like it to be - but I will wait to see what Tripp and myself are comfortable with. I will admit, I really wanted to just ride him out the pasture tonite to give him a change of scenery - but keeping safety in mind kept my butt on the ground where it belonged. We needed to walk, we needed to work on him being a gentleman and not a spoiled little boy, we needed to see how he would react around all the new stuff.......

By the way, I ordered a helmet and I really thought it would be here today. I am hoping for Monday now! I got one that I think I will wear even tho I don't want to. I love hats, etc., but they give me a headache. Even if they are adjusted loose. Well, I don't want to have another meeting with the ground like I did with Nevada, and hit my head! That would be more of a headache! So....I am going to try to start a new habit of wearing it while I am out with the horses. Who knows? I just might look HOT in it! HA HA HA!!!!!

Tripp report as a whole - I am happy where we are right now. He tries so hard, and he is so cute when he is thinking about something. He tilts his head sideways and his ears will kind of fall over. I will try to catch a picture of it sometime. We still have a lot to do, and we will get to it in time.

That is all I can think of for now.....
Thanks for checking out our progress!

Karen and Tripp

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

We shrotted!!!

Tripp is beginning to relax and move out a little bit more. Yay!

(I am attaching a video of us moving around - and not moving around at one point...he got stuck in one spot)

Well, tonite Tripp and I shrotted! Let me explain...a girl I used to work with has a very good friend with a curly haired daughter that is cuter than heck! Her name is Taylor, but we call her Bammit. When she was 3 yrs old she was walking across a rocky parking lot and kicked a rock or something....then said "Bammit!" You know what she meant! ha ha! Bammit comes from a rodeo family so is totally fearless with the horses. One day she was trotting on one of the horses, and she told everyone "I shrotted!" So, yep, we TROTTED!

Tonite I let him wear the headstall and bit for a while until I got done with other things. He picked it up and held it quicker than he did last night. He even did very good with his bending with the bit. He doesn't like it, but he did it. :-) I don't know who was happier when I took that bridle off - him or me!

I put the halter back on him and saddled him up. I have not had time to take the saddle in for the adjustments I need. We are taking it tomorrow after work. Even tho the stirrups are too long we picked the pace up a little bit. He finally relaxed and dropped that head and really walked out. In fact, we were both more relaxed and it felt great! We even trotted a couple of times! The good trot was the first one which of course we did not get video of. :-) The second trot was just a couple of steps, but we did get it on video.

I was very pleased with tonite and am really hoping we don't get any rain this weekend. The ground is dried out nice, and I need it to stay that way a few more days.
We did have one minor mishap, but we both survived. We were walking along and he tripped and went down to his knees. I had a moment of panic wondering if I should try to get off before I scare Tripp and have him spook and/or jump away, or stay in the saddle and hold on to that horn for dear life until I knew what he was going to do. I opted for holding on to the horn - he stood up and shook it off! We just stood there a minute, Brian checked his front legs to make sure we didn't have issues, then we moved on. I was soooooo proud of him for not over reacting. I really love this guy!

After we were done and I brushed him down, then we did some walking in and out of the gate. We did that several times and he didn't show any attitude at all. I will add to it every night, and make the ground coverage a little bigger so he knows what is acceptable and what isn't.

Another great night...........

Until later, Karen and Tripp

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Being handsome doesn't keep Tripp out of trouble!

Tripp wears his bridle for the first time.

Tripp wears the tarp.

Resident black snake in the chicken house. She has two bumps in her that we are assuming are eggs. :-) We don't mind sharing eggs as long as she eats mice too.

What is up with the subject line you ask? Tripp has been a turd two days in a row. Yesterday I decided he has been very good so I let him out on the small hillside without me as a babysitter. He wandered around and munched grass and was quite content. I didn't want to leave him on the grass too long, so it was time to come in. I put his lead on him and we headed up to the pen. Once he realized we were going off the green and onto the brown, he stopped. I tried to move him off balance back and forth - nothing - he was not moving. So I thought I would lunge him a little bit to get his feet moving. I twirled the end of the lead rope and he snorted, threw that head up, then turned and tried to escape while he snorted again! I planted my feet the best I could and yanked him back my direction. We did this 3 or 4 times before I got smart. He backs up very well, so I backed him the rest of the way up the hill! When we got close to the gate, I turned him around and we walked in. Then we worked for a while. I prefer to work then rest. Well, yesterday was work, rest, work again.

Today.....I let him out again thinking it would be different. Not only was it not different, he got a little more bold and gave a small rear and pawed the air in front of me. Some would call that a strike towards me. I popped him a good one on the butt, turned him around again and we backed up the hill. He tried to stop and get away from me again and darn it, I was not happy! I am pretty easy going but I won't tolerate things like that because it just plain old isn't safe! I turned him around a few times, started backing him again before he could think about it, then we went into the pen. We worked again! Harder than yesterday. He doesn't hold a grudge. We worked and he was wonderful! Today I was stupid and did not go out dressed for the occasion. Tomorrow I will be - and he has lost grass privileges for a couple of days by the way - but we will take a walk out of the pen and back in the many times as it takes for him to realize that I am not another horse and he can't play rough with me and cop an attitude like he would with one of the others. He has tried to be pushy with me before, and I thought we had addressed that with success.

But.......everything else has been great! Yesterday he wore the tarp and it was funny because when I had it from the top of his head to his butt, I think he thought he was stuck and could not move. Usually he will face me no matter what I am doing, but he just would not move for a while. I finally touched his lead rope and he followed me. We did that for a while, then I saddled him up and put the tarp over the saddle and lunged him. New noise, plus it was flapping on each side of him. He did GREAT with it! A lot better than those plastic bags!
We also worked on our bending, picking up feet, and leading. I am sure we did other stuff but I am tired and can't remember.

Today, Tuesday, was great (except for the attitude thing) too. I finally decided to put the bridle on him. He played with the bit for 20 - 25 minutes before he finally picked it up to hold it. It was driving me crazy...I wanted to 'save him' and take it out. So I went to feed and water critters instead while he got used to it. I went back in and put the saddle on him, and instead of pulling the stirrup up, I just slung that thing across his back. He scooted about 1 ft sideways then stopped. I got it cinched up and let him wander around with it while I finished feeding and pooper scooping.
After taking care of things I had to get on - it had been a couple days and I needed it. The past several times I had been on bareback. When I tried getting on the first time tonite he jumped a little bit. I did the up and down thing on both sides, then swung myself up and over. We stood there a while, then I got him to moving. Nothing too crazy yet because the saddle won't adjust to fit my leg length. My other saddles don't fit him so we need to get this one worked on. He did walk around a little bit and we turned both directions. We backed up several steps too. He tucks his nose very nicely during his backing.
I worked on picking up feet again and we got all 4 up without him swinging the back legs! Woo hooo!!!! I also took my Hoof Jack in the pen for him to nose around. He needs to get used to it - that thing makes it much easier on the bad back.

That is about it - I need to make some pen adjustments again so I have more room. I have my bridge but still don't have it in the pen. I get a little claustrophobic, so it is just a 'me' thing right now. :-)

I think he is doing good. Sometimes I read about other trainers and their progress, and I am ancey to get to where they are. They are amazing! I am trying to learn every single day, so I know I will get there someday. For now I need to keep it real - go at my own pace, which just happens to be slower. It is all good - I am living one of my dreams...not everyone can say that.

Okay, gotta get some sleep.
Karen and Tripp

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Smurf Invasion.....

I am walking on flat smurfs!

ACK! Smurf attack! It is on my neck!

Holy moly! Now it is on my butt! Someone control the smurfs!

(I am putting on another video - hope it is simple but was fun since I did it by myself)

First of all I would like to apologize to those with sensitive legs very rarely see the light of the sun, as you all can tell! Now you all know why I wear jeans on those close to 100 degree muggy is for your protection! HA!

The weekend was not what I had planned, but it was still a good one.
Saturday we got some pretty big storms with heavy heavy rain, and we were soaked and muddied up again. I really do wish we could have shifted these rains to California to help with the fires. You all are in my thoughts!

I did try to work with Tripp before it started raining, but it was a matter of minutes before it started. We kept going until the wind picked up and the buckets started pouring on us. Tripp and I voted on it and decided to call it a day! It did quit later that evening, and I did get to work with some feet and the plastic bag, but that was about it because it was very slick out. The pen sits right on top of a clay shelf, so there is the little bit of mud right on the clay. Slippery slopes of fun...

Today was a lot of fun. We worked on the basic stuff we have been doing, then of course the plastic bag and I did some more with the tarp. He is getting better with the plastic bag. I keep one attached to me, so I started rubbing him with that one and got all over his body. I did the same thing with the 2 bags on the stick. The main thing he cannot deal with is it going over the center line of his body. So I worked on keeping it low - he still stresses out with it, but did so much better.

Then I decided to get the tarp - aka - the big flat smurf! We have played with it before, but that was it. Sometimes I forget what I need to be doing... :-) First we walked on it and he really didn't care one bit about it. At first he tried to bite it and pull it up, but he was standing on it. He lost interest real quick. We walked over it a few times just to make sure it wasn't a fluke - nope, no worries. Then I decided to fold it up and put it over his back. Still not to worried about it. I then strung it out so it hung on each side of him and hit the ground, and he still did alright. He ended up stepping on it with a back foot and it kind of pulled on him a little bit. He stopped - I think he felt stuck. So I backed him up a couple of steps, moved it a little bit, and we carried on with our 'walk'. I played with feet again. He is very adamant about me leaving those back ones alone - so what do I do? Mess with the back ones! This morning he did pretty good with them, but this afternoon he was back to the leg swings. I went back to the rope and started rubbing all over his legs, then lifted them. He did a lot of swinging and I didn't let go until he quit.

After all of that I decided we needed to take a walk thru the donkey area and look for grass sprigs. I took my camera and a magazine and away we went. We did practice walking thru the gate and back a couple of times. Once he did it without hesitation we headed to the greenery. There was a breeze, it was peaceful, so I planted my butt down to read while he munched on grass and weeds. Brian got home just in time to see us walk back thru the gate...and he was impressed. That was not the show he saw last time! hee hee!

I got on him again tonite and he was a little more feisty than he had been. I kept it short and sweet. Brian walked around the pen and I would guide him first to the inside, then to the outside of him. We walked over our timber and he is earning a new meaning to his name. He is kind of clumsy and trips going over them. I keep telling him that we are losing points, but Tripp says points mean nothing to him. Really! I heard him say it! ;-)

I am almost out of apple wafers. He does not get them all the time. Treats are supposed to be just that - treats. But he sure does enjoy them. We got a big bag of alfalfa cubes that was discounted 50% because the bag was busted open. Right now those are our treats. The cubes break off into little 'flakes' and are perfect size for treats! That bag will last a long time.

Wow....I got this updated before 11:00 at night. What am I going to do with my free time?

Everyone have a great night and a great week!

Until later....Karen and Tripp

Friday, July 11, 2008

Happy 4 week anniversary to Tripp and I!!!

Tripp cruising right along...

Tripp holding the water hose all by himself...

Hello!!! It is exactly 4 weeks after I first met Tripp and fell in love with him. :-) Happy Anniversary to us!!!

After a while of 'playing' with the plastic bag, and Tripp letting me rub his withers with it, we called it quits on a good note and moved on to the mounting bucket! (that silly bag is still a challenge...but we are making progress)

When I was a kid I rode bareback all the time. Grab a halter or bridle, go catch a horse, and take off in a swimsuit, shorts and flip flops to the creek to play in the water. Those are great memories!
Well, let's just say my balance is not quite what it used to be and there is less bounce in my spring. Sitting on a horse bareback now is much more of a challenge! But it is a RUSH! It is a RUSH because I got up on Tripp again tonite, but I actually RODE him! YES YES YES!!! Sure, my balance was off, but Tripp doesn't know that I am supposed to feel differently up there. Won't he be a surprised fellow once I get it together! :-) Once I get it right, he just might want to keep me. Hee hee!

I was able to get him moving and he actually stopped most of the time when I asked. The tarp that was hanging on the fence got to moving in the wind and he got a little worried about it, but we worked thru it. Tripp also has a wonderful 'back' on him! He is so light and will take several straight steps back at a time. There were a couple times that he was picking up speed and the 'whoa' was not working. I finally remembered the one rein stop, duh, and it worked like a charm! As I was getting off of him, my right foot kicked his hip, he jumped, I struggled to stay up there because I wanted him to know it was okay, and I wanted to rub my foot and leg around on him. He stopped real quick, I rubbed him all over his rump, then slid off. I am so pleased and little bursts of giggles keep popping out of me at spur of the moment times!

We played in the hose again and I watched him roll. I kept telling him not to roll all the way over because I didn't want anybody to think he was worth too much! Ha ha! I will be honest....he did a 1/2 roll on one side, got back up and found another perfect spot, then did 2 1/2 rolls. He was a mud puppy by the time he was done. He looked so happy.

I have been working with Tripp for almost 1 month now. Working a full time job and trying to work with him every night has been a challenge. Tonite I realized I have not been visiting with the rest of the horses as much as I was before. Poor Wendigo's front hooves were horrible! I was so ashamed! Brian and I pulled her up to the barn lot and I got her fronts trimmed. They look so much better and I am sure she feels better. Everyone is caught up now except for Tripp. Oh yeah, I actually cleaned out his front hooves tonite without much ado, and we worked on the backs, but I have not cleaned them yet. I did put a rope around them and was lifting, but he didn't like it and kicked like crazy! I just stayed with him until he stopped, then I stopped.

Another good night!

Karen and Tripp

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Me and my shadow......

Me and my shadow....

I actually got on him bareback tonite! Woo hoo!!!

Tripp got to go on a walk and munch on grass. He is happy! :-)

First of all, I pooper scoop every night and I have to tell ya, there are some days I think Tripp has a party in his pen! I don't know how he can produce that much manure by himself on what he eats! Today was one of those days! Whew!

It was hot and muggy again tonite and I really didn't know what I was going to do with Tripp. So I winged it....... I started off with my mounting bucket and layed across his back again like a big sack of taters. While I was up there I noticed our shadow - jumped down, grabbed the camera, then jumped back up there and took a few pictures. I am a photo hound so he needs to get used to the sound and movement of the camera. The only time he got jumpy was when the breeze would pick up and move the tarp that I hung up on the panels. Other than that, he just stood there. Then I did it......I slid on up there! Woo hoo! I got on and off a couple of times from his left, then I went to his right. I knew it was not going to be pretty due to that right handed left handed thing, but I managed to scramble up there and he took it like a champ! I don't think I stopped grinning the whole time!

I was so excited after that I decided to take him for a walk. He walked thru his gate no problem, and we walked around the small hillside that has more weeds than grass. It is pretty rough, which is perfect for the burros we adopted last year. He was very curious and alert to the new angles that he was seeing everything. Then he noticed grass! We did have a small battle about who was the boss when grass was close by. He thought he was and tried letting me know it - I knew he was not the boss, so I had to stick to my guns and make him walk with his head up. When he relaxed we stopped so he could munch on grass. He walked back in his pen better than the last time, and we walked right back out and went for another walk and did some more grass munching, then I walked him around the other smaller pen that has a small trailer loaded with junk. He snorted at it and stopped, but he didn't try to take off. He decided it was not going to get him so we proceeded around the pen and thru the sort of narrow passage way between the panels and the barn. I was way beyond pleased!

Remember in yesterday's post I said I wished he would play with the balls I got him? Tonite he did! First he pawed at the big pink one and he walked away. I figured I got all excited for nothing. Then a few minutes later Brian noticed him pawing at both the big pink one and the smaller purple one! Where was the camera? Back in the house! Hmpf! Next time! :-)

By the way, my totally dark horse with no white HAS WHITE!!!! ACK!!!! He has a few white hairs on his side, and a few long ones in the mane. I thought kids were supposed to give parents white/gray hair, but apparently I am giving my kid white hair instead! He is still cute tho!

I am really tired so am wrapping this up for the night.
Thanks for visiting us!

Until later....Karen and Tripp