Monday, September 1, 2008

Love long weekends....but not so long until we leave for Texas! ACK!

I have used my new Nurtural bitless bridle 5 different times now. I thought he was pulling on it more and tossing his head more than he was with the halter. I figured that was due to the pressure feeling being different, and sometimes he gets cranky when he is learning something new. After a trail ride with me feeling like I had NO control when he got excited, I adjusted the nose band. I had it very is a me thing - I don't like feeling constricted and just the thought of it stresses me out. I adjusted it the way the directions suggested, and last night he did much better with it! Yay!

Saturday morning we headed to the neighboring town arena and I worked on everything we have been working on up until now. I also needed to get a head shot of myself for the catalog brochure for the EMM. Somewhere along the line they were not getting my e-mails. I sent in a picture with the application, and I sent them the name of my horse the first day they asked, so I have been ignoring the e-mails that were going out 'reminding' us to get our stuff in. OOPS! I didn't have a clue they didn't have, I got that done. Considering how many horses they are going to have in Texas, and how many activities that are going on, I am surprised they can keep everything straight! My hat goes off to them! Along with a big THANK YOU for helping to make this happen!

Here is the picture I sent them.....

I did a lot of walk/trot/canter again, and he was back into butt hop mode! There was only one that was big enough to throw me forward on the horn - OUCH! Other than that, they were small and he just appeared to be annoyed. I checked my gear to make sure all was well, and I sure could not find anything amiss. Sooooo, the more he butt hopped, the more I asked him to canter. I think it went pretty well all things considered. I got him going both directions, I did NOT feel like I was riding a billy goat, and I was steering him different directions. He falls out of the canter, but that is okay. We will get it. He did okay with the new bridle - it was when he had attitude that it didn't help me. Learning process.....

Saturday evening I had plans to ride again, but Brian asked me if I wanted to go to The Junction for dinner.....I went into mustang mode and was food motivated. :-) Dinner it is!

SUNDAY - AUGUST 31st - originally that morning I was going to head to the arena, and that evening to the trail. Brian had a bad migraine, so I headed to the trail first. I thought my camera was in the truck - I thought wrong. So I took pix with my cell phone. That is fine and dandy, but I can't figure out how to get them loaded to the computer. My phone didn't come with software, I had to use a cord from my camera box that fit, I downloaded a driver, but nothing is working. I guess I will have to e-mail them to myself? Don't know....will figure it out later.


It is Labor Day weekend and I knew it would be busy at Rudolf Bennitt. The place I usually park had quite a few trucks and trailers, so I headed to the parking area by the shooting range. There were a lot there too, but I found a spot where I didn't have to do any tricky maneuvering.

Another truck pulled in right after I got parked and it was two gals who were riding together, and they invited me to go with them. I warned them that Tripp was very green and has not rode the trails with other horses. They didn't have a problem with that as the Haflinger that one of the gals was riding is also green.

Group Picture of my new trail riding buddies.

Left to right: Laura on Saddlebred mare Tramp, me on Tripp, and Donna on Haflinger Magic. This was taken at the Trailside Cafe, which is close to one of the bigger campgrounds. We had stopped for something to drink and munchies.

On the trail...

As a whole, the ride was good. I have not ridden with a group in a long time and I didn't want to be in anybody's way...I got over that pretty quick. Donna and Laura are not crazy riders, so the ride was nice and relaxing most of the time.

I was warned about the group by the Trailside....trail etiquette is usually 'different', so it would be best to just get out of the way when they come by. That is no joke! Well, when one group came up on our tail, poor Tripp just could not comprehend what was going on. Not to mention he was pooping...and he is not a pooper/walker yet. Where I came from you slow down until you know what the situation is just in case someone is on a nervous horse, having problems, etc. You all know what I am talking about - common sense and courtesy. One group went by and their horses were bumping Tripp's butt, and not lightly either, and he just lost it and took off running down the hill and up the other side. That is the one time I felt I had no control with that bridle! I finally got him stopped and there was a spot off the trail I could get him to. None too soon either.....because here came another couple of groups of riders. I kept Tripp out of the way, but he was not happy about the situation.

One guy did holler at us "Hey! Is that one of those Extreme horses?" and I said it was and this is his first time with a big group - he usually rides by himself and the gal with the guy hollered "It is good for him!" I just said that it was, and that is why I was there. They didn't even slow down.

I was glad when they all went by! There was nothing relaxing about that, and that is the perfect example of why too much booze and riding don't mix! I guess I should be happy they were not out driving, right? :-)

The smaller groups were not bad - it seemed to be the bigger groups that were more than what I care to be around. Just personal preference. :-)
Later on we saw one of the groups that passed us, and one of the guys was slapping the crap out of the side of his horses face over and over again.....that did not settle well with me either. It made me sick to my stomach and sad at the same time.....They were on another trail on the other side of the road from us.

Then a little bit down the trail I smacked Tripp on the side of his face with my hand! I felt like a hypocrite! He pinned his ears and went after Tramp, and I didn't want him biting or kicking at Tramp and Laura so the first thing I had was his face turning around by my left leg and I smacked it. Yes, he is fine, it was me who wasn't. I am still fretting over something that got his attention, changed his mind, and he moved on!

Tripp got to experience being in the lead, being in the middle, and bringing up the tail. He was exposed to a lot of things out there.

We also rode by the shooting range, and this time the guys with the 'cannon' were there! I don't know what it is, but that thing BOOMS big time! We had been listening to the normal shooting and that was not a big deal. Then that darn cannon went off! I jumped - Tripp flinched. :-) They kept shooting it off and Tripp ignored it. The other girls commented on how well Tripp was doing, and maybe they needed mustangs! I let them know that I have a mustang at home - Wendigo - that would not be as calm about it, so I think their horses are pretty good. :-)

Donna, Laura and I exchanged numbers so we can meet up again. In spite of crazy riders, it was a nice morning/afternoon. I met them about 11:00 and we got back after 3:00.

I gave him a 3 hour break and we headed back to the arena. After the 'runaway' incident, and after him having a few sessions of head tossing, I decided to adjust the new bridle as recommended and give it another chance. It worked wonders! He still pulls a little bit, but not more than he did with the halter. It was a very good evening! I had forgotten how early it gets dark.......

We had a beautiful sunset....

Brian wanted a short ride on him too - he wanted to feel that was getting dark so most of the pictures didn't show up. Here is one that kind of works.

It was a full day and Tripster was a tired dude and I was a tired dudette! Both times at the arena and on the trail he worked up a good sweat. He did not give me a frothy sweat at all - it was all clear sweat which is good sweat. The other two horses from the trail ride were big horses, and they also had a clear sweat. They go to several different local places to trail ride quite a bit, so their horses are used to it and in shape.

That is all I can think of for Saturday/Sunday...

Until later....Karen and Tripp


Judy and Bob said...

Wow, What a weekend! The trail at Bennet looks really nice, is it like that all the way through? I can't believe those rude riders you encountered!! That is NOT any kind of trail etiquette. Thank goodness you and Tripp survived the experience intact. On the funny side, you've joined me and Bob in the "Air Miles Club"!

nikki said...

I am about to start saddle training one of my mustangs and am thinking about purchasing one of the Nurtural Bridles and was just curious if you still like the one you got for Tripp? Do you have any pros and cons on the Nurtural Bridles?

Karen C. said...

Hi Nikki! I still love the Nurtural bridle I got. One of my main Pros is I am not having to put a bit in his mouth. I got the Beta in brown, and I think it looks nice on him. My only con is the adjustments. It was tricky for me to adjust, and I sort of didn't follow the directions. :-) I am not used to having anything around the nose, so I left it too loose. Don't do that - I had no control. Once I got it adjusted correctly, it was a difference of night and day. I really do recommend them. I have been hearing that the Beta does not release the pressure as well as the leather, but I have not had that problem except when he was a butt and I had to PULL hard to get his head turned. But that is a training issue with us, not the bridle. If you get one, good luck! OH! I had to order a 2nd one because my first one was left at an arena (found and returned thank goodness) so the 2nd one came as a set. I hate the reins! They feel great, but they also have a buckle that tangles in his mane. So I switched them out. I guess something could be put over the buckle. And if you have questions about the adjustments, I have someone you can contact about it. They helped me at the EMM last year.

Hope you are doing well!!!!

Karen and Tripp who loves his Nurtural. :-)