Thursday, August 28, 2008

"I'm a man!!! I don't need no stinkin' instructions!!!

Tonite we went Nurtural! I have been riding Tripp with the halter and lead, and didn't have the heart to put the bit back in his mouth after him not adjusting to it as quick as I think he should have. Besides, he was doing fine without the bit, so why bother? I started checking into bitless bridles - mainly because I never could figure out how to tie a good knot out of the lead line.

I checked out the Dr. Cooks site, and I also found the Nurtural Horse site. In between that, I also checked out one of our fellow competitors site and noticed that one of their sponsors was www.nurturalhorse.com, and I saw in some of their pictures that they were using the bitless bridle. I e-mailed and asked several questions...then I bit the bullet 3 1/2 weeks before we leave for Texas and got one. They have used both, and in their opinion the Nurtural was a little more gentle with less pull, not that the other one was harsh. They just preferred Nurtural.

I ordered a brown horse sized one in the Beta, which is the synthetic material that looks like leather. I like leather a lot, but the price difference slowed me down for right now.

I got my new bridle in the mail last night, but didn't have time to try it on Tripp. Argh! Nothing like getting a new toy and not having time to play with it! But let me tell ya, when I pulled it out of the box I was very impressed! I don't know what I expected, but it wasn't this! The quality was great, it seems to be very heavy duty but yet soft, and I lost any part of being unsure about getting this thing right there on the spot!

Tonite was the big night! I met Brian at the arena - I wanted a flat area to let him walk around to get used to the new feeling. First of all I had to put it on and get it fitted right. I think that is the hardest part because I want to do it all right, so I make it more complicated than what it is. :-) I am reading the instructions and fitting all the spots......

Tripp takes over the instructions! He let's me know that he is a man, he don't need no stinkin' instructions!





Here I am explaining that he might not have needed the instructions, but I did, and he would appreciate it later. I then explained that his new bridle was going to feel a little different than the halter. He appears to understand.....





After what seemed to be my final adjustments...will know for sure later....I flexed him a little bit. He did flex, altho not as good as in the halter. It was cute because he flexed and looked at me almost like he was saying "I think this is what you want, so I will just go 1/2 way, and wait here in case it is wrong." A couple times on each side and he was good.

I hopped on and we walked around a little bit. I am trying to visualize in my head the difference between the halter and the new bridle. When I would give a direct pull on the right side, he would pull his head to the left. Hmmmmmm, what to do now? I worked on my right circles first, and I would give a light pull and the second he started to turn, I would let loose of it. He did pull a few times and I had to stick with him, but I think he was getting it. We then worked on the left side, which is his hard side.

In between all this, we were maybe there 20 minutes total before the big storm came in. It went from hot, muggy, heavy air to blowing like a big dog! The sand from the arena was blowing in our eyes, and we were also watching the dust from the crop fields rolling upward. Then the rains started. Holy moly! All heck broke loose! I threw Tripp in the trailer saddle and all! The wind was so strong I could not hold the trailer door and him too, then I lost both of them! Trailer door slammed wide open, and Tripp backed up and I could not hold him. Heck, I could hardly see anything. I did step on the end of the reins, and at the same time he came right back to me. Good Tripp! I decided that was not the time to get him in the trailer before me. The wind was blowing too hard and I needed to get him in before it changed directions and blew that door shut. So I went in first and he followed me. Poor guy didn't know what the heck was happening! But we survived.

So my Nurtural bridle trial was cut short, but he was adjusting to it rather quickly. I didn't get matching reins with it because I have extra reins here. Tonite I just put my cheapo braided reins on it. I need to find my shorter roping reins...those were the ones I wanted.

Brian met me at the arena after work, so I brought him a change of clothes. This is the first time Tripp has seen someone in the trailer from that angle....he was worried at first, then went into nosey mode. That is one thing I love about him. He might get scared of something, and he might lean way back from it for a minute, but he always goes back to check it out. Ohhhh, except the plastic bags. :-)





I think we are supposed to get rain tomorrow too. Oh joy......
All I asked for was a little bit of rain to knock the dust down. You would think that by now I know to be more specific.

It is hard to believe that we are this close to Texas! Where has the time gone? Tripp and I have so much fun on the trails, and he does so well most of the time, I forget that he has only been here for 2 1/2 months. I bet most of the trainers feel that way at this point. Last year was very emotional - trainers really bonded with their mustang. I mean how could you not after spending this much time with them? This year with twice as many adult horses, it is going to be twice as emotional. The difference this year is I am not a spectator in the stands crying my eyes out for all the trainers bringing their horses in on adoption day, then crying a happy cry when they get to keep them, etc. This year I am going to have to take Tripp into the arena, and wonder if I am going to get to bring him home or not.

The weekend that we had Brian's kids and their cousins here.....it was pretty phenomenal that Tripp let them hang all over him the way he did. He was fabulous! The little devil that was sitting on one shoulder told me that I should not be putting those pictures on the blog! They are too good! Then the little angel on the other shoulder reminds me why I entered this competition, and it would not be fair to the mustangs, Tripp or myself to hold out on any of the great stuff! Luckily the little devil guy doesn't hang around very often! :-)

So there you have it....I have to laugh because I start my blog by thinking it isn't going to be very long because there isn't much to tell. Hee hee! I talked to a friend today and he told me to keep him posted. He has not checked the blog lately because it is a lot of reading...... :-) He did say it was a good thing because he could tell I was excited about what I was doing.

Anways, that is the update for tonite.....
Until later....Karen and Tripp

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Karen says "Wow! Cool ultra lite!" Tripp says "That is the biggest freakin' horsefly I have ever seen!"

Sorry everyone, no photos again. Which really bums me out because I am a photo nut! Oh well....can't be great all the time, right?

I will get everyone caught up. It won't take long.
Sunday evening the weather was absolutely beautiful! I had to decide between going to the next door town arena and doing what we needed to do, or going on a trail ride. Brian said we earned a trail ride....oh, twist that arm a little farther! ha ha! I was not sure how long I would be able to stay out there because after Saturday, my tail bone area was not feeling that great. I ended up heading to the lake - water relaxes me - then turned around and came back. It was an hour ride, and yep, I was very very sore! It was still a great ride tho. We did a little bit of schooling on the trail, so I mixed business with pleasure.

We did a lot of transitions between walk/trot/canter/trot/walk. No butt hops, and we had a great time!

Monday we took the whole day off. For some reason I have been very tired - to the point of just not being with it. Tripp got to play out in the yard with the lush grass that evening, so he was happy.

Tonite, Tuesday, after work we headed to the neighboring town arena to work on some cantering. We still kinda suck at it. :-) Due to this crazy headache I have had for a day and a half, I only stayed out there about 35 minutes, but it was a good 35 minutes. The cantering was our biggest challenge. I am still not getting it from a walk, but we did get it from the trot and only had a very small butt hop twice. Folks, that is what I call progress! Woo hoo!

Now to the biggest horsefly Tripp has ever seen. While we were out there he would stop and look out over this field outside of the arena. I didn't see or hear anything, so would get him moving. A little bit later in the distance I saw this thing rise from another field - it looked like a kite. That is how small it was. It got Tripp's attention real quick! We watched it a while, then I realized it was one of those ultra-lite glider things with a motor. It came closer and closer until we could see it pretty good. Tripp was on point - let me tell ya! That neck was straight up and he was tight as he could be - probably hoping that I would not let him down and maybe I could kill this 'horsefly' too! I let him stand there and watch - they are pretty neat! It never did fly over us but it came close enough for us to hear it. Then it occurred to me, he probably heard it before I did, and that is what had his attention earlier. Pretty neat when ya think about it...
Once it turned and went the other way, and we could not see it good because of the angle, I moved Tripp along again.

Anyways, keeping him cantering is work. I know part of it is me....I am preparing myself for the butt hop, which can get very tall at times, so I hold on to the horn. Well, I just need to let go of that darn horn and be confident that I can ride out a butt hop if it comes! And if I can't ride it out, well, I don't know. I guess I will fall off. So my next trip out there I will be letting go of the horn and pushing him a little bit, and actually driving him.

He is also pretty good one direction - it is the right lead. That is the thing too....at this point I really don't care about leads. I just want him to go and keep going until I ask him to slow down or stop. I did notice that when we go around to the right, his canter is much more smooth than to the left. The left feels lop-sided, like he is cross firing. The next day or two when Brian has time, I am going to have him tape it for me so I can see what is going on. I feel like I am riding a billy goat! I like the video because I see how my form is too, and even tho I don't like how I look, it helps remind me to KEEP MY ARMS DOWN! I am surprised I don't take flight because they are flapping so much at times.

We worked on our pivots too. Same thing....great to the right, not so great to the left. I had not done any rail work, so we played with that a little bit too. I was moving him slow since it was new and I was learning what to do too, but we would go down the rail, stop, then turn into the rail while pivoting on the hind end, then move down the other direction. Basic stuff for a lot of people, but not basic for me. I am a trail rider....just go ride. I have never taught stuff like this before so I am going slow for me too. With some more practice, we might actually learn to do a nice roll back! I am pretty excited about that too!

I look at all these little things that I have always loved watching other people do, and now I am learning how to do them myself. I still have a long ways to go, but I have already come a long ways. You have to start somewhere, right?

Yeah.....life is good!

Until later....Karen and Tripp

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Our First Fun Show.......Saturday, August 23rd

Saturday, August 23rd, was our first official show that the Montgomery County Saddle Club put on. First of all I would like to say that there were a lot of smiles shared, lots of compliments from people to their friends and fellow competitors, nobody knew us but we got compliments and we gave them, the friends cheered each other on, everyone was helpful for those of us who had never done anything like this before and it was an all around good group of people to be around. There was no feelings of being an outcast because we were 'new blood'. A much more pleasurable experience than the last place we took Tripp to. Thanks everyone!

I signed up for four classes, and Tripp and I actually went into an arena in front of people without me getting sick in front of everyone! Here are my classes:

1. In Hand Trail
We got a 4th place ribbon in this one and I know there were more than 4 In Hand horses! Woo hoo! Angela and Jessi, who went with Judy and I to pick up our EMM mustangs, were also there. Jessi got first place with her mustang Kahlua and Angela got 2nd with her yearling mustang Cord! Three out of the four placings were mustangs! :-)
We could not get all of Tripp up on the tiny platform, but he tried. And he was kind of a brat when it came to the box where we had to do the 360's, but we did them and he did stay in. There was a lot of grass out there, and that is what he was focused on. But he trotted on the lead! Every single time I asked! We also had to sit on a stool for several seconds while our horses were ground tied. Well, let's just say that the grass guaranteed a great score on that obstacle! Ha ha!

2. Walk/Trot Pleasure
I think the warm up before the class started was the best part for us. There were horses going both directions at all speeds, and Tripp had to learn how to deal with it. At first he would stop and try to watch them all go by, then somewhere along the line he realized that was work, so he kept moving, but also kept a careful watch. There was once we had one person coming at us on the rail, we were in the middle, and another horse was passing us on the other side. He did real good with that.
I was hoping there would be no more than 5 of us in the class so we could place. HA HA! Is that bad or what? There were 7 horses, and most of them were much more polished than we were. Not just the horses, the riders too. That is okay...it was good with more riders because it gave us both more things to pay attention to, which equals more experience.
For me, this pleasure stuff is boring. After being out on the trails again the pleasure class just doesn't live up to my idea of fun. BUT I will say this, it is good experience, and even tho I thought it was boring, I would do it again in a heartbeat! There are lots of things in life that we have to do that are boring....we do it, it helps us be better, and move on to the fun stuff.

3. Walk/Trot Poles
I was nervous about this one because Tripp has never seen poles. He handled it like a champ! And it was FUN! He would do great on one side of the poles, then really drift out far on the other side. On the way back down to the timer he would drift to the rail. No worries....we had a great time. It was this class that the announcement was made about Tripp being an EMM horse and that we have only been together a little over two months. Yes, I was very very proud of him! Oh, and me too. :-)

4. Walk/Trot Barrels
Tripp has seen barrels a couple of times so I knew we would be okay here. The only thing I thought he might do if I wasn't careful was stop and sniff them. He did shy from the first one a little bit, but took the other two just fine. On the way back down to the timer he drifted again. Jessi was funny and yelled that Tripp loved the barrel! It sure seemed that way to me too...ha ha! This was fun too!

Here we are in the Walk/Trot Pleasure class.



There was a narrow bridge we had to cross to get to the arena, so we took the opportunity, as a few others did, and made a training session out of it. It had a big round grate at one end, and bright orange snow fence over the railings on each side, and Tripp really did not like that too much. We walked over it a couple of times first, then I tried to ride him over it. He was not so sure about it so Brian came over and asked if I wanted him to walk across in front of us. He did that 3 times. The third time was to get us to the far end of it, that way when Tripp was headed across it, the grate would be on the far side. Smart move wonderful husband! ;-) It worked like a charm. He crossed over that thing several times. I will admit I was kind of nervous. I love bridges, but I have no idea how secure the railings were if he would have got scared and bumped into one.



Tripp was trying to knock off Brian's hat, so this is what the end result was.



Tripp and I doing poles.



In between classes, the wait time can drag on forever.....it was real hot so I was resting, then started playing with Tripp's lips. He was not concerned at all. It is the little things...... :-)



Tripp and I doing the barrels.



Tripp and I having more fun in between classes....life is what you make it!



Angela and Jessi were nice enough to offer Kahlua over to Brian and Madison for the Lead Line class, and Madison also used Jessi's helmet. THANK YOU BOTH!!! All of the kids got first place ribbons because the competition was just so tough! :-) I mean come on, how can you pick only one out of a group of cute kids and cute horses?



Kahlua, a mustang, and Jessi, a girl, entered a few classes too. They are a very cute couple!



Here is Angela and her yearling Kiger mustang, Cord. I am trying to remember his full name....Kiger Cordero....I know the Cordero part is right. Angela went out West to a Kiger adoption with no intentions of bringing anybody home. The little scruffy baby in the pen caught her attention....and this picture tells the rest! Cord was definitely a diamond in the rough, and Angela knew that. Look at him now! He is a very sweet young man! Angela and Cord were in the Yearling Halter class and took first place! :-)



While I was taking pictures, I was also watching Brian and Tripp. They had a couple of bonding moments.







Tripp and Friends at the end of the day.
Horses from left to right: Cord, Kahlua and Tripp.



Tripp loves watermelon, so I took several pieces of watermelon rinds and we shared them with Kahlua and Cord. They were all feeling a little spoiled.
Jessi had some nachos earlier in the day and shared them with Tripp. He thought he liked nachos, and even had some cheese on his nose that he could not get off. Then he decided he didn't like the chips. Jessi was going to be nice and share the cheese with him, but I have a feeling she would not have gotten much of it! :-) He had a couple chip pieces stuck in his bottom lip and kept making funny faces. I finally got in there and scooped them out. I compare it to us not being able to get that popcorn shell out of our teeth! ACK!

We got there about 11:00 a.m., and didn't leave until 6:40 p.m. - it was a long day and Tripp did awesome! I knew he was getting tired and even a little bit cranky right before the barrels started, but he still came thru for me. There was a lot of grass so he was happy in between.
The little stinker did try to roll with the saddle on! There were two spots out there with good dirt, and once he even made it to his knees and I was trying to pull his head up and not drop a camera. I didn't have time for that because I was headed over to take pictures of Brian and Madison in the Lead Line class. He finally got up, but he made me work at it!

On our way to the show we stopped to gas up, and we noticed one of the trailer tires was low on air, so we topped it off.
When we left that evening and stopped to get something to drink, I noticed it was low again, but worse than before. We aired it up again and could hear an air leak at the valve stem area. We made it back to Columbia, and thankfully Wal-Mart was still open and got it fixed for us. I really wanted it fixed asap because (today) Sunday was supposed to be a trail ride with Judy and the group she has been riding with, but her husband Ron grounded her from the trail ride because she reacted bad to the heat yesterday. It really did get hot and the air was so heavy.
So no trail ride with Judy and Bob again. We really will catch up to each other soon! I will take Tripp out again today...just have not decided where yet. I can do what I NEED to do and take him to the arena and work on cantering - WITH the saddle this time! Hee hee! Or I can take him to one of the trails and relax. I will decide that later.

The tail bone area...oh, excuse me....the soft tissue damage around the coccyx is doing better. I did get sore yesterday, but nothing I could not tough out. I know it is going to take a long time to heal and I need to be patient, but it is hard sometimes. At least I know I can spend some good time in the saddle, so I can make the best of the next 3 1/2 weeks.

Wow....the time is almost here. This has been quite a journey, and I won't lie. At times it has been hard. Trying to work full time, plus trying to get things done that need to be done at home, and also trying to work in enough good time with Tripp to help him/us be ready for Texas....at times it would be a little stressful. At the same time, I have shown myself that you don't have to spend hour after hour with these horses in order to make progress. Judging by the way he is now, most of the time I have spent with him has been quality time (I just didn't realize it at the time). I was lucky with Tripp. He was confident and curious when we picked him up. Yes, he was scared, but not crazy scared. Except of plastic bags...ha ha!

Okay, have things to do and places to go.....

Until later....Karen and Tripp

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

What is fun to one person, is not fun to another. :-)

No pictures again....ground work by myself, and I am very stiff and sore so didn't want to take the camera out with me. But you can trust me...Tripp is still cute! :-)

Fun...some things that are fun to some people, are not fun to another. Last night I watched the bucking video again, and I cannot pin point when my tail bone made contact with his back bone. In spite of this little set back, I HAD FUN! I don't know if I am hitting my real mid-life crisis (I started my fake one when I was 34 so I could make the most of it) and a nice spicy little buck was a hoot! I was not even afraid of falling off, which I really thought was going to happen. Now don't get me wrong, I don't want him to know that he can pitch me when he is not wanting to be pushed, and I really don't want to buck any more, but it was fun while it lasted. I know he didn't mean anything by it...I think he was having fun too! He just didn't know that he wasn't supposed to have fun that way. :-)

I visited my chiropracter today. I love him and trust him! He let me know, lots of ice is what I need. He also put me on this machine that is supposed to help push the built up fluid away from the irritated area, and the blood should come in. I will go back Friday to see how it is, and if that didn't work, he said he would do something else. The problem is not knowing which one will work. He is not the type of chiro that signs people up for the $1,200 quick fix program. If I need to go, I go, if I don't, it isn't a big deal. Anyways, he knows I am trying to get it to feeling better as quick as I can because I have less than 4 weeks to get ready! Otherwise we would just wait it out. What he is doing isn't going to fix it, it is just going to help speed up the recovery as long as I take care of myself.
I asked about the anti-inflamatory thing and it slowing down the healing process. He said part of it is because when people take the meds, it takes the pain away, and then people push it and injure themselves more. Well, meds didn't take away any of the pain, so I don't have to worry about that. Anyways, that is my quick education of the day....back to fun stuff!

More fun has been had the past couple of nights. I am still not happy about not getting in the saddle, but I do believe I have been spending some quality time with Tripp the past couple of nights.

I did the same thing with him the past two nights. We worked on the 'L', and last night he did alright, and tonite he was wonderful! We also jumped the barrels! Up to this point we have not done that, and I needed something different for Tripp to think about. He didn't like them at first, which is normal. Let's just zoom by them and show how great I can flex my body instead of going over them. He finally made it over so we changed directions. Wow! The comfortable direction was no problem and he sailed right over them! Tonite was a little rough on the 'off' side again, but much better than last night. I enjoy watching him jump, but with my limited knowledge of jumpers that doesn't go much beyond watching show jumping and 3 day eventing on t.v., he just didn't look like much of a jumper to me. :-) The important thing is he can jump a big log if we need to escape from a wild crazy bear in the woods! ha!

We also loaded and unloaded several times with me on the ground. If he can just remember how easy it is when we get to Texas, we will be okay.

Trotting on the ground.....Argh! We still have not gotten that figured out yet. Robert from Team Artista sent me a few tips. We are working on it, but haven't quite got there. You know what is funny, a couple times I thought he was trotting a little bit, and when I looked back, it seemed like he started walking and had an innocent look on his face. It has got to be my body language....I will have help tomorrow or Friday, so I will try having someone 'encourage' him from behind. Thank you Robert!!! I am still trying!!! :-) Oh but guess where he will trot...to the trailer to load! Ha!

Okay, here is my biggest and most exciting accomplishment! I have mentioned that Tripp is terrified of plastic bags. I got to where I could rub him all over, but when I got over that center line of his, he freaked! Especially over his head. WELL......I put a plastic bag on a short dressage whip instead of the short lunge whip. It is easier for me to flip around and I can grab it real quick to rub him with it and my hand.
Last night he let me cross over to the other side of him. He didn't like it one bit, but he let me!
Tonite was even more awesome!!! I was up over his head, over his neck, his back, around his butt and hind legs, and he only freaked once, and he did it in place. I know how much he hates them so I was very proud of him!

I took him for a short walk tonite. We live on a dirt road, but people drive like bats out of you know where, so I have been leary of taking him out there. I decided to suck it up and just go a short ways. I headed out one direction a short ways, then turned and went down the hill to the neighbors driveway. I was hoping his ducks and geese would be in the yard, but they weren't. A little pickup pulling a very noisy trailer carrying a 4 wheeler went by and Tripp got tense, leaned back but didn't pull, and watched it go by. Once it went by he let his breath out, and we walked some more. I was very pleased.

That is about all I know for now.....
Until later...Karen and Tripp

Monday, August 18, 2008

Soft Tissue Damage around the Coccyx.....and it hurts!

Today I was looking up information on tail bone issues. I got to thinking that just maybe there is a quick fix out there I have not heard about. Well, there isn't. But I did learn a couple of things. One of them is this - there are some people who get really ticked off when people like me call it a bruised tail bone. No joke! I Googled it, and found a question/answer group, and one person got very testy about it! She said that "IT IS NOT A BRUISED TAIL BONE!!! IT IS SOFT TISSUE DAMAGE AROUND THE COCCYX!!!!"
Really! I call it a bruised tail bone because everyone knows what that is. If someone asked my why I just fell out of my chair while trying to stand up, because that is the worst part of all this, and I look at them and say "I have soft tissue damage around my coccyx and it really has me down!", what would you think they would think? How about "Sorry I asked!" ha ha!

The other thing I learned was if you take ibuprofen or any other anti-inflamatory, it can slow the healing by 30%! I don't mind sucking it up and dealing with the pain, I just thought it was good to keep the swelling down if I can.

All I know, is it is a big pain in the butt! HA! No pun intended! Oh yeah, Brian tells me I also need to get more sleep, and he is right. But I don't know when I am supposed to do that....It is almost 10:00 pm, and I still have things to get done. Goals are good.....find time to go to bed earlier.

I should have been a psychic! Okay, just for one day. I predicted that I would be cranky yesterday and I was! I almost went trail riding by myself again because I wanted to, and that should be reason enough. Then I got sidetracked.....then Brian talks me into laying on ice packs the rest of the day....yep, I was not a happy camper! I tried not to be growly....but I didn't succeed. Oh well, I am easy to get along with most of the time. Can't ask for more than that.

I was talking to Judy (and Bob) and I mentioned doing ground work all week and staying out of the saddle, and she mentioned horses that do tricks, but freak out from plastic bags. That reminded me, Tripp is still terrified of plastic bags! I can rub him all over with them as long as I don't go over the center line down his neck and back. He is so terrified he won't even listen to me. So what did we do tonite? You got it! Worked with the plastic bag. This time I took a light brown one out thinking maybe it was just the white ones. Nope, it is all plastic. We had a couple small blow ups, and he did look at me like I just let him down because he thought I was over the plastic bag thing, but all in all it went okay. We will be playing with bags all week long! And I did manage to get them over his center line several times. I took them away real quick, but he tolerated much better than last time.

We still can't trot on the lead unless something has him excited, so we are working on that too. I really don't know how to get him to do it...I am not graceful enough to reach back with the lunge whip to tap him while trotting at the same time. Yes, I trot. :-) We will keep trying, but if we don't get it, I am not going to sweat the small stuff. I will do as others before me, I will trot, Tripp will stretch his neck out, and we will give the whole place the illusion of speed. I have mentioned 'illusion of speed' several times in past blogs....it is still an illusion. Ha ha!

Feet...he is doing pretty darn good with feet! He did plant a back one tonite and didn't think he was going to lift it, but he did. :-) He didn't even try to take the backs away from me. His feet look pretty good - just need a little shaping up. Will get that done this week too.

Saturday evening after we got home, I came in the house to lay down on ice, and Brian took Tripp back to the pen. Brian walked him and backed him thru the 'L' and said he did great and he wanted to show me how he did it. Do you think Tripp would do it while I was watching? Nope! Probably didn't want me to think he was doing good with Brian and not with me...Tripp looks out for me that way. :-) They had to work at it quite a while, and finally got it. At one point Brian was going to give him back to me so I could play with him, but I told him he had to finish what he started and I was okay watching. This was the first time I watched while Brian did anything with Tripp. It has been all me up to this point. I don't like it because I am possessive, but in reality Tripp is far enough along to be exposed to the feel of other people. Brian just better not get to used to being around MY horse! ha ha!!! Just kidding!

That is all I know for now.
Until later....Karen and Tripp

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Video from Saturday August 16, 2008

After many attempts at attaching the video, it finally worked!

Video #1 - Tripp and I just hanging out. Then I started taking pictures
of him without having to get up. :-)


video


Video #2 - We went to the Sturgeon arena to play a little bit. My goal was to
canter him bareback....and I did! :-)


video


And I was really bareback! I didn't have that big chunk of stuff to hold on to
like the bareback bronc riders do! HA! Just kidding....I don't want to do what
they do! I am more than happy to make my 1.5 second ride! :-)

Until later.....Karen and Tripp

Tripp visits his first Horse Show!

The goal today was to head to the horse show that the Shiloh Saddle Club was putting on in Hallsville, MO, walk Tripp around, let him watch the sights, and hopefully he would get used to things happening on all sides of him.
We ended up spending a total of 4 hours out there. Over half of it was halter and pleasure classes. To those who love pleasure classes, I am happy you do. Me personally, I don't. Not that I won't try to get Tripp in one before TX gets here - he needs ring experience. But there just isn't enough get up and go for me with pleasure classes. And I am sorry, but a trot should not be a tall walk! It was much more fun when the speed events started. Especially the little kids! They are so darn cute! Oh yeah, and even tho I didn't ride, this was the first horse show I have ever taken a horse to.

We hopped out of the trailer and that head of his was up higher than you can imagine! He was in major WOW LAND! Since he has that sore spot on the side of him, it was not my intention to put a saddle on him. Just hang out.....

I walked him up and down the driveway, around the arena, we smelled different barrels than his at home, some plastic and others metal, and he was tighter than a taught rubber band the whole time! There were horses going around the arena, and sometimes they had the nerve to come towards him, and while this was happening, other horses with weird things on top of them (aka riders) had the nerve to ride behind him (safe distances at all times). Holy Moly! No way to keep track of them all at the same time! :-)


ACK! Are you looking at me?????





Here! Let me give you my 'smile' look!




The funniest one was not long after we got there. We were standing in the parking lot watching the horses gathering around the arena gate for the next class, and two very small stocky Quarter type pony/horses came around the corner with little kids on them! He snorted, jumped back, and tried to take me with him! He was just trying to save my from the Lilliputions! HA HA!!! (Remember Gullivers Travels?) Of course everyone turns and looks at scaredy cat because of the small horses.
The other funny is the 2 wheeled cart did not phase him!


Hmmmm, two Lilliputions on one horse. What will they think of next?





No time for cart....must get grass!!!






We spent a lot of time just walking around, letting Tripp eat grass, finding some shade and him eating more grass while I sat down, etc.


This is what Tripp would look like if I fell off! HA HA!!!





He settled in pretty good. One older gentleman asked me about Tripp, wondering if he was a mustang because of the brand, so I told him about Tripp and the event. He thinks they are "neat little horses!" and he thought Tripp was handling everything pretty well. :-) Other than that, we didn't talk to anybody. A few smiles, but nothing to invite a conversation. Everyone is focusing on their kids and making sure that all is where it should be. Who knows, maybe they were waiting for a verbal greeting from me. I know most of the little cliques of people watched Tripp quite a bit. I really tried to keep his brand aimed at the people. :-) Something to think about for the next time I do this.....

The speed games had started and we thought there would be some cheering, etc., and that is the only reason we stayed as long as we did. Well, not much cheering, so Tripp wasn't exposed to much hooting and hollering. Oh, he handled the microphone well! We even walked to the other end and hung out right under a speaker. He didn't act like he even heard it. Good!


Tripp watches the speed riders practice...





Then it was time......(insert big dramatic drumroll here) I needed to ride Tripp around the show grounds! So with a little bit of clumsy movement between Brian and I trying to get me up there, we finally succeeded! I hope nobody was watching....we headed to the bottom of the small hill to do this. I had to ride bareback because of the sore on his side - that has dried up quite nicely I might add! May it heal quickly like the others!

Before I begin - Yes, I do realize I was not wearing my helmet. This is why...I had a hat on! :-) That sounds lame, but the other part of that is I had the hat on, thinking I had the helmet on, because I don't normally wear hats because they give me a headache! I felt the pressure on my head, thinking 'helmet.' OOPS!

I started out small circles close by. I was so nervous...that comes from me not wanting to ride in front of all those people who really are not paying attention to me while their kids are doing the speed games. :-) I was a nervous wreck! I didn't mind falling off - okay, I mind a little bit, but I didn't want to fall off and have a loose horse running around. Especially the first time I was there! Not a very good example.

Then we followed another horse into a small pasture close by and I turned off and headed back to Brian thru a small section of woods. I don't have any idea what Tripp saw, but it was something BIG because he snorted and wheeled around.


See Tripp spook....





I was even more nervous now, and instead of heading out of whatever it was that scared him, he kept looking down and snorted and jumped some more. I saw NOTHING that caused this, except for tall grass that was layed over. It was layed over in several different directions and was different shades of color. Could that do it? Don't see why not. I did get him under control and had to make myself stay up there. Then we started riding around the arena and back to Brian.


Tripp carries me around the trucks/trailers/riders.....





Tripp and I going around the arena...





We even stood at the arena rail and watched some of the games.






The only other time he got jiggy with me was right in FRONT of the concession stand where several people were sitting. I really don't know what got him going, but I had to one rein turn him several times to get him to settle down. I thought something was biting his rump the way he was tucking that butt under him. Come to find out, once when he turned his tail touched Brian, Brian put his elbow out a little bit, and that got Tripp all excited. Then after that it was his own tail that was brushing against Brian that got him all stirred up some more. He did get settled down, and of course I was thinking "Great, not a good example right in front of the concession stand." I backed him up a couple times calmly, then I turned him around to let him look at something else, then told myself I had to ride in front of those people to show them that Tripp is a good guy! So I did - and he did great. We moseyed on by, he was eyeballing everyone, I got on the other side of them where we were standing earlier, he turned and watched the arena, I gave him a big hug and hopped off. :-D Yay!

It was time for us to go, and our other goal was to stop at the arena we had visited the Sunday before with the kids. I didn't want to spend much time there, just a few minutes to work on a couple of things.


Tripp and Brian giving me a 'break' before we leave.....




We walked around a little bit, then trotted. He sure is small around the barrel! It almost reminds me of riding my Arabs bareback. They are small too of course....but the great thing is it helps me with my balance.

Okay, my real goal was I wanted to canter him again bareback! And we did it a couple of times going away from Brian. He broke into it nice and smooth. It feels weird...kind of like he is low in the front. That is the only way I can think of to explain it. Oh yeah, after watching the video's I did get a canter towards Brian before the 'incident.' :-) It is amazing what I forget in all the excitement.

I wanted to canter towards him so I could see video to see what I need to do different. On the way towards Brian, Tripp just was not going to canter, and when I pumped up the pressure a little bit, that tail started swishing and he was giving me that flat eared sideways look! I knew there was a butt hop in my future. Little did I know how big of a hop! I like to think of the beginning as "This is Tripp....." and the end is "This is Tripp's Brain on Drugs." I will be putting the video in a separate post seeing as I am having problems getting it to load.

The great thing is I stayed on! That tells me my balance is getting MUCH better! The bad thing is the last hop hurt me. His back bone came into strong contact with my tail bone. When Brian stopped the video it was because I could barely move. It hurt so bad I thought I was going to get sick to my stomach and my breathing was way out of control. It took a few minutes for me to know I was okay....it was just crazy! I have not hurt that bad since I got bucked off another horse I had as a teenager...several times! Damaged my tailbone then too....it has a nice little curl at the end of it where it has been broken. Too much information yet? HA HA!!! Anyways, I am strategically wearing an ice pack.

I did know that Tripp was going to act up at the canter because he let me know more than once. After his little hopping around (you will notice all 4 feet off the ground! Yee Haw!) Brian and I both think he realized that I was really hurt because he stopped in his tracks and did not move until I asked him. I told Brian I had to make him go somewhere after that...I just could not get off after him doing that, and let him think that he can do that all the time. It was against Brian's better judgment, but it was something I had to do. So Brian backed up and I walked Tripp in a small circle. He walked out very nicely, but also like he was walking on egg shells. Like he knew he had to be gentle. Thank goodness! Whew! Okay, I was done for the day. :-)

I am due to have a trail ride with Bob and Judy and Co. tomorrow! I HAVE to feel better! I know Judy's husband Ron is going to be there, and they talked about inviting some more people. Brian made other plans because he thought it was just Judy and I going to celebrate. He is bummed! He could have ridden one of the other horses from Ron's Aunty's place. Another time for sure! He will not let himself miss out on all the fun! :-)
I tried to find a place as close to 1/2 way between us as possible - I have never been to any other trails before because I never had a way to get there. I have had my little stock trailer for 3 or 4 months now and am just now venturing out. I am also learning how to back up the darn thing. Sometimes it looks like I know what I am doing, and other times it doesn't....hee hee

UPDATE: Trail ride changes that probably are working out for the better even tho I am not happy about it. Some of the people that were going to be invited have friends coming in town and Ron wants to ride with them at Knob Knoster. That would leave Judy to haul the big honkin' gooseneck someplace we have never been before, and we don't even know anything about the parking area. Soooooo.....I told her to go ahead and go with the others to Knob Knoster, because I am having tailbone issues. Judy and Co. and I are going to catch up on the 24th. I will also take a couple of days off work to mess with Tripp before TX, so I will head her direction for that too. Brian is glad tomorrow is on hold because he thinks I need to rest it....exactly how do you rest a tailbone? Judy says some of the trails at Knob Knoster are fun but steep, so it probably would not be a good thing for me to give them a try now. I just want to scream! Who knew that staying on a bucking horse would hurt worse than falling off? Argh!

WARNING: Little Miss Hormonal is probably going to be a crab apple on Sunday! Just so ya know........

Until later....Karen and Tripp

Thursday & Friday......Tripp says "Been there, done that!"

THURDSAY, AUGUST 14, 2008 -

No pictures this evening. Tripp and I headed back to the Conservation Area to play. The barn lot was still a little too wet to do anything crazy in, and I knew the trails were gravel covered at the CA.

We get there and he is FULL OF IT! He was all over the place, even during lunging. And he usually does very good with that. I did get his hooves cleaned out, but he argued with me on the right back one. That is HIS hoof! Or so he thinks.... I finally said the heck with it and got on. It is much harder for me to get on now that I shortened my stirrups.....but much easier to ride. Sometimes the battles are easier for me to fight in the saddle than on the ground. This is one of those times...

The trail itself was great! We went a direction I had never been before, and he was happy to be out and about. The Conservation Dept is still working on the trails out there, so we came across a big enclosed trailer, and a flatbed trailer with stuff on it. They earned a couple of snorts, then we trotted on by. There were a lot of uphills, curves, and downhills on this one. Very cool!

I was running out of daylight so turned and headed back, and it really makes me laugh how differently he sees everything. I know they have a right brain left brain thing going on, but it still amazes me. We did get to have one short nice steady canter with no butt hop on the way back, but it was work to get him up to it!

This is where the "been there done that" comes to play. This is something I noticed the first time I took him out there and did a short trail and turned around to come back. He argued with me about turning around and going back. On Thursday nights ride, he did the same thing! We were quite a ways down the trail too.....now the average horse knows that it is time to head back to food/barn/whatever. Tripp ..... well, I don't know what he thinks. Sometimes I think he just wants to keep on going to see what adventures are around the next corner!

On the way back he hit a very slow gear.....so I made him trot to try and keep his mind focused on something else. Imagine this....trot - NOT! - trot - NOT!...that is what it was like just about the whole way back. And if it wasn't that, it was food. It was still a good ride, but it was work.

The only thing that really spooked him was the FWAPPING noise of adult turkey wings in the woods next to us! Heck! They scared me too! Tripp jumped sideways, I sure did not have a tight rein on him because I was relaxed, then he stopped and snorted at the woods. That was a reminder I needed to pay more attention. :-)

Then we get back to the parking lot and do you think he wants to go into the parking lot? NO! He wants to go across the driveway to the other trail. Well, it is even closer to getting dark and I need to get him in the trailer. We slowly worked our way towards it, and once he stood there a little bit I got off of him.

I get his 'clothes' off him, then try to load him with me on the ground. I know he can do it because we were doing it - then he quit, then Evil Chris worked with him and he did it again, and I got him to do it several times, then he quit again. He follows me in no problem, but going in first seems to be an issue. Well, I refused to go in first....it took us over 1/2 hr. of working in the parking lot and walking up to that trailer, but he finally went in first! Do you think I could just go with it and go home? No, silly me thinks if he does it twice, he will remember twice that he can do it. It didn't take 1/2 hr that time, but it still took longer than it should have, and he was a turd! I am glad that nobody drove by because the way he was acting, someone would have thought I was beating him, when in reality I was just holding on tight thankful that he doesn't try very hard to get away!

He finally loads a 2nd time, I get him home and Brian asks how it was, I tell him, then he says "do we need to do some loading?" That tells me "Yes, we need to do some loading...." (insert sarcastic tone here) :-) Brian is right. So we do! It took a while, and Brian stood in the background, but we loaded and unloaded several times. We also made him stand in the trailer for a little bit - he doesn't rush out, but he likes to get close to the gate and I don't want him to know that he is big enough to push his way thru if he wants. I want him to get in, back up a little bit, and stand quietly. It was only a few seconds, or until he relaxes, then we ask him to come out.

Dang! He has had his moments, just like all horses, but this was the most he has tried me! I know it won't be the last either. He is still a baby, and he has been at this for only 2 months. He does so well at some things, that I forget he has not been around here for very long. So these bull headed moments are quite humbling - and a good reminder of where we were, and where we are now.

Brian said that when I was trying to load him, Tripp would get his head in the trailer like he was going to load, then he would just bull up. He could see him tense, get that look on his face, then he would lean back and plant himself. I kept second guessing myself and my body language, but Brian said he was just being a brat.


FRIDAY, AUGUST 15, 2008

We have pictures for this one! :-)

I got home from work and Brian was going to mow, and I needed a trail ride. Brian asked me if Tripp really deserved it after he acted the night before - maybe we needed to work differently this evening. I told him that Friday night was about me needing to be out there, not Tripp. Hee hee! Tripp can thank me later! ;-)
And it really was about me...it was a long rough week.

Let's just say that Tripp didn't prove that he should be going to the CA for a nice ride! He pulled his loading antics again. The driveway where the trailer is parked is pretty narrow, and we did a lot of moving his body parts around because he was all full of it again. He refused to pay attention to me, and I had to get very firm with him to get his attention. Okay, I am at the beginning stages of being hormonal right now, and I felt I was being so hard on him...so what do I do? I almost boo-hoo! Oh geez....Brian is very patient with me and reminds me of how horses get their point across with each other, and me smacking his front legs for coming off the ground right in front of me didn't even hurt him one bit! Uh, okay, I know that. IT IS HORMONES TALKING....OKAY????? Ha ha!!! You get the idea! I finally got a couple positive moves out of him, then just stopped for a minute.

I decided I was going in the trailer first, then he will go in by himself LOTS and LOTS of times! So we did. He followed me right in without missing a beat, I got out and he followed, then I sent him in at least 15 times by himself. The last couple of times he actually trotted up to the trailer and sailed in. Almost as if he was telling me "Okay okay, I got it already! Now let's go!"

We headed out and he stood still while I got him ready, he stood while I cleaned all 4 hooves, he stood still while I got on and didn't move until I leaned over to adjust my right stirrup on my boot, then we headed down the trail. He was very well behaved! Wow!

We had just headed out when I caught our shadow.......




This is our first water crossing. We have crossed mud crossings before but never water. And we still have not crossed water! Ha ha!



We can drink the water and eat the dirt, but nope, not going to cross it. I got off and walked across the little rock dam and back, and he followed me. It was chilly out and I really didn't want to get my boots wet. Yep, I wussed out. :-)
I got back on and he went up to the water to drink, then played in the sand with his nose, but just would not cross it. That is okay, not really a battle I want to fight out in the middle of nowhere. So we crossed back over the rocks, I turned him around so he could get close to it and look at it a while, then I asked him to turn and go. It took a while for him to realize it had to be my idea, and not his....



Hmmmm, what does this sign say? I bet if Dori from Finding Nemo were here, she could figure it out. If she can talk Whale, I bet she can read Conservation language.....




There was only one negative aspect to this ride. The darn horse flies followed us THE WHOLE WAY! I am glad I sprayed Tripp down real good - that kept most of them off him. I got a few good bites tho. Ouch!

The rest of the ride was great. We did a lot of trotting, and we did several short sessions of cantering with no butt hops!

Oh my gosh, get this! At one point we were cantering and he stumbled and went down to his knees, the reins went flying out of my hands, I held on to the horn just waiting to see if I needed to bail or not, then all of a sudden he picked himself right back up, I got the reins off the top of his head, and he kept that canter up about 5 or 6 more strides before breaking into a trot! That was one of the smoothest 'almost crashes' that I have ever had.

There was some new gravel on part of the trail, and I think his feet were kind of sore towards the end of the ride. It is really hard to tell with him.....I know it was dinner time and there was a lot of green along the trail, and sometimes that slows him down. Just in case, I took him off the trail and we rode down the dirt road a while. It was perfect because all the big rock had been zingered off the side of the road, so the middle was smooth. I also rode him along the side of the road in the grass, which was a challenge because he wants to put that head down. It was a good exercise tho.

When I got back to the parking lot he didn't fight as much about being done, but he was not happy. Then I realized that he doesn't like riding close to the truck and trailer. So we rode around it each direction several times. When he ignored it and rode right beside it, I stopped.
Then I led him around it each way several times.

Time to load up.....it only took a couple of minutes, but he loaded up himself. I even did it a couple more times to make sure it stuck.

We got home, I rubbed him down, and gave him groceries.

He has had access to the barn since we let him out on the hillside. That boy has several scrapes all over him. Over his eye, two on each side of his back, one on each side of the bend at the hock, a cut under one fetlock that goes from one side to the other, a big bald spot on one hip, and the newest one is a little bigger than a quarter on his right side. It was pretty irritated when I took the saddle off and I felt like a horrible Mom! It is not where the saddle sits on it - it is where the pad goes over the side of him, and the rubbing due to his movement irritated it. He is just getting into everything.....you know...being a real horse! :-) Like my vet says - if it can happen, it will!

That is all I can remember for those two days......
Until later....Karen and Tripp

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Catching Up...

I have not blogged for a couple of nights, and thought I better catch up. There really isn’t much to tell.

Monday we unloaded a load of hay, then went to pick up another one to unload on Tuesday. I didn’t have time to mess with Tripp except for a little bit of picking up the feet. We let him out in the yard to munch grass with the other horse and two donks. Something got him going and he started running and bucking and farting thru the yard! At first I was worried because I didn’t want him to run into a fence or step in a hole that the dogs dug. Then I had to try to let it go and just enjoy the beauty of him in front of me. Picture the Black Stallion running on the beach with that head up high in the air and that tail raised – that is what Tripp looked like! He was incredible! He came blasting around the front of the house and I put up my hands and called to him. He came running up to me and skidded to a stop! SWEET! He was snorting and looking around. I took him back into his smaller area….he ran around in there a while too then settled down once he found the fresh hay I threw out for him.

Tuesday evening it rained so no unloading hay. I cannot tell a lie….I wanted it to rain a little bit, but I should have been more specific. I wanted it to rain LATER than it did. It was pretty slick out, so the only thing I worked on was going thru that ‘L’ forward, which is no problem, and backwards, which is a problem at the turn. When we get to the corner it doesn’t matter how slow we go, he moves that butt a little bit, then all of a sudden it sling shots all the way around and he is facing the opposite direction than we started at! We were working in hand only because of the footing. After a lot of baby steps, we finally had a couple of good runs both directions and we called that one complete. I then went to feet. Front feet – wonderful, although sometimes I have to pull to get them up instead of him giving them to me. The back ones that night were a bear! He took a pretty good swing at me and I smacked his butt just as quick! He jumped and looked at me in shock. I then took the rope and used it to lift the back ones a few times, then went back with my hands and he was fine. The turd was sulking!  He really does make me laugh tho!

I also realized as I was walking him around, that somewhere a long the line I lost my “ME LEADER” role. He was pushing me a little bit and I was moving. WHAT? I woke up and realized what was going on. I told my husband what I realized and he said “Ya think?” I take that as, yes, he noticed. He is always there with suggestions if I ask, but this has been my project and he lets me do my thing. Sometimes I forget to be leader and I fall into friend mode. Well, I can do both as long as I am the leader first. So once the ground is dry enough, we will do some more ground work to re-establish what we already know. We all need reminders sometimes, right?

Tonite, Wednesday, we unloaded they hay. We are done for the winter/spring! Yay! That took a while, and by the time we got done feeding critters afterwards, it was 8:30. Tripp had been out in the yard with the others again – we called everyone back in. He came to visit me a while, and I messed with his feet. He picked up all 4 no problem. Now that is the way it is supposed to be!

When we were getting ready to come back in Tripp came up to the gate and we just hung out a little bit. Here is how it probably went:
ME: Oh how sweet, here comes Tripp to visit with me.
TRIPP: Mmmm, grass.
ME: Oh how sweet, Tripp is giving me kisses.
TRIPP: Let her think I give kisses and she lets me out! Ha!
ME: OOOHHHHH he is so wonderful! He is laying his head over my shoulder and nuzzling my neck!
TRIPP: Just a little bit closer and I can get some grass.

Yeah….you all get the idea! That is what happens to me.

Since I don’t have any pictures of Tripp, I am going to share another part of my life. Here you have Brian and his Snowman Massacre Snowman…….if any of you have read Calvin & Hobbes, you will know this story.....and if you have not read Calvin & Hobbes, let's just say things are always pretty interesting around here. :-)



And here you have me, to save the day with my Red Cross Snowman. I got the scarf free for donating blood – very cool! And the snowman loved it.



Life is good!

Until later….Karen and Tripp

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Different Arena and Flash Joins the Fun!

Another fun day for all of us! We headed to a small town arena, and luckily it was not locked. There was some grass and weeds in it and nobody had been in it for a while. There were bleechers, and an announcers stand. Some guys were working on tractors and drove them back and forth, another guy drove a Gator by, the train came by (I love trains!), and this cute chocolate lab came over and was running all over the arena with us! That dog cracked me up - I think he belonged with the tractor guys. Tripp didn't pay any attention to that dog - perfect!

Cantering with Tripp today was the same....butt in the air then a nice canter. I have to tell ya, I could not help but laugh! It didn't matter if I smacked his butt to get him moving, or if I slapped my leg - that butt was going in the air first. When he would do that I would try to keep him moving. At times it was WORK! I think he is a tad lazy. :-) We finally got a few good canters out of him without the butt hop. Judy was talking about how smooth Bob's canter was - well, Tripp's canter comes with lots of turbulence! Ha ha! It just is not near as smooth as what it looks. It will come...he is still a youngster trying to figure out how to carry a rider. This is very new to him and it will come like other things.

Here is Tucker and Flash cantering....the right side stirrup ended up breaking part way thru the morning, but everyone continued to ride and have fun!



Madison and I going on our make believe trail ride....



Tori and I riding around with the dog chasing us. The other kids are up in the announcers stand making all kinds of noise....they were yelling and hitting the tin...they did good!



I walked and trotted Tripp around some barrels...he was nosey and stuck his head in a couple of them...



Tucker and I going on our make believe trail ride...



Tori was trotting on Tripp and this shot makes it look like she was running barrels....



Mug shot of Tripp right after Tucker got on him....



At one point Tucker was riding Flash to the other end of the arena and Tori wanted to trot again. I had been running in front of them, and I was just plain old tired! I told her to tell him to trot and kick him, and see if he would follow Flash. Not only did he follow Flash, he broke into a very nice canter, which was a first for Tori! Of course nobody was on camera duty at that point, so I had to do some begging to get her to try it again. :-) They did it, and she was so excited! So was I! He did not butt hop! Then we got Tucker to do it too....he could not have his little sister do something more cool than him! Ha ha! I hope to have some video up the next day or two.

My plan for the evening was to take Tripp back to the Conservation Area, but we got a phone call about some hay. Gotta get it while you can!

Tripp got a treat and was allowed to graze in the yard this evening. Most of the yard used to be fenced off as pasture, and years ago we took the fence down to make it yard. Now we let the horses in to eat. If I don't hurry up and get the yard mowed I am going to have to let them all out for a while! :-)



Another fun day gone by...the time sure is flying by!

Until later....Karen and Tripp

Saturday August 9th - to the Arena!

I really wanted to head back to the trails today - they are so relaxing. BUT....I got a great offer from someone to use their arena - they were going to be gone all day Saturday. I was asking about another arena in a small town close by that the 4H kids use, and she offered hers. Brian's son Jordan took lessons there for over a year. Sharon gives lessons at The Horse Farm to beginner kids and adults both. Not only is she a great instructor to be able to deal with littles and bigs, her horses are the cream of the crop. Many of them are older and they love having a job! The kids love them too! http://www.thehorsefarm.net/

It was late morning when we headed to Sharon's and when Tripp hopped off the trailer he looked around, then tried to eat grass. Yeah...he was so worried! :-)
Once in the arena, I rode him on the rail each direction for a while and he did good. He would drift off the rail once in a while, and I would get that shoulder back in and we would mosey along. We did a lot of walking and trotting in circles and across the pen, and also down the middle of the length of the arena. All in all he did pretty good with going in a straight line.

Then came the canter.



I was not too worried about it - my goal was to get him to a canter and let him get used to moving around wherever he wanted to go. Well, remember the last time when he double barreled both hind legs in the air? We did it again....and again....and again. He would hop that butt in the air, then get into the canter. We kept at it until he did it right a couple times, then we went back to the walk/trot and moving body parts around.

We were trying to teach cousin Tucker to take neat pictures....he did alright for himself!



Brian's two kids and two of their cousins were there too, so most of them rode Tripp. Tucker and Tori, the cousins, were not one bit afraid of him. Brian's kids are more afraid to ride, but we finally made Madison get on. Once she gets on, she realizes it is okay. She didn't want to trot - no problem. If walking is where she is comfortable, walking is where we will stay.

Tripp was a doll! He put up with pulling, kicking, yelling "WALK!", etc. I was very proud of him! I tried to 'gently' let the kids know not to pull on him, etc. They did pretty good for the most part, and I think Tripp loved it.

Here is Madison on Tripp.



Madison is on Tripp, and Tori is walking along with Tripp following...



Tori is on Tripp. Tucker is running and she was trotting after him! We have moved up from herding chickens to herding the boy! :-)



Tripp and Tucker...



Tori and Tucker loving on Tripp....



We got home and I was watching a video on the computer about abrasive trimming. That is trimming hooves with power tools. I was so tired I started nodding off right at the computer! I don't normally take naps but I went to bed and layed down. The plan was to get up and head back to Sharon's by 6 or 6:30. I didn't nap good at all - lots of up and down and just not comfortable. The next thing I know it is 7:30! ACK! Brian thought we needed to head to Sharon's anyways because it would be good for the horses (we decided to take Flash, the large pony with us).

We headed that direction and stayed about 35 minutes. I didn't want to take the time to put on the saddle, so I rode Tripp bareback. We have not done that since the beginning of me getting on him. We did a lot of walk/trot and he did great...plus it helps me work on my balance. The kids rode Flash, and Flash loved it! He really enjoys having a job.

Sunset picture of Tripp and I...



It was getting dark and they took Flash out to unsaddle him. I took a couple more laps around the arena....they have one dusk to dawn light out there and I wanted Tripp to see our moving shadows. It didn't even phase him.

This was our first trip in the dark, so I didn't even try to make Tripp go in the trailer before me. He has been battling me on this....we fight a while, then he jumps in. Definitely something we need to work on! He isn't afraid to go in - he will follow me. I really don't know what it is....I am having problems reading what he is telling me. He could be giving me the finger for all I know! Ha ha! It could also be all the grass and flowers he has to walk by to get to the trailer.

It was a fun time in the arena, and we got to work on things that are harder to do here. THANK YOU SHARON!!!!

We got home and unloaded them without a hitch. We got them fed then started shutting up the chickens. We have lost a few hens - I go out and they are laying in the hen boxes dead without marks or anything on them. We could not figure out what was getting in there. Last night Brian goes in to check on all of them, and he tells me we lost another hen, and he was holding the culprit. I could not see him because I was in the barn, and I was thinking "HE IS HOLDING IT? CAN'T BE A POSSUM!"....he comes walking into the light where I could see him and he is holding a big honkin' black snake! It had been coiled around the hen! I have seen the black snake in the boxes before but never bothered them. I thought as long as they ate mice, bugs and an egg here or there, we could live in peace. I never dreamed that they would kill chickens! Brian let it go behind the barn.....then he heads back to the chicken house to make sure the young guineas found their way back in there. They aren't too bright......
He comes out with ANOTHER black snake! He then tells me that the hen that was wrapped up in the other snake made it...whew! She is our part bred Faverolle - they have cute little beards and 5 toes. The 2nd snake was in a box right next to a hen that was snoozing! Both snakes were well over 5 1/2 foot long. This one was really mad and was coiled around his arm - I had a hard time getting it unwrapped. The first one Brian held by the tail, and it kept trying to strike at him. Good thing I love snakes! :-) He let it go behind the barn too. That is my weird story of the night.

Until later....Karen and Tripp

Friday, August 8, 2008

Absofreakinlutely Great Night!

I have to give the credits for 'Absofreakinlutely' to Brian - the first time he said it I thought it awesome!

Second of all, I just went out to check the water hydrant at the barn and I had the flashlight. It was the first night that Tripp didn't snort at me and that light, then leave! Yay!

Tonite I got home a little early and decided Tripp and I were going on a trail ride! I called Brian to let him know which direction I was headed just in case....then I was gone. I left the parking lot at 5:27, and got Tripp loaded back up at 7:27. Almost 2 full hours of riding by ourselves!

I have not been out to the Conservation Area for a long time - I crossed over several of the old trails I used to ride. It is neat because the Conservation Dept. has really worked hard on the trails - they are graveled and a lot of trimming of branches has been done. It is also sad because I am a nostalgic person, and crossing over the old narrow trails brought back old memories. It is all good tho!

A few years ago they shut down the section of trails that was closest to where I lived - they were building a lake. The trails are back open and from my side, they take us around the back side of the lake.

Here is a view of the lake by the dam....




I thought this shot was cool of his whole face...



This was neat because the clouds look painted...



On the other side of the dam there are large boulders and the rails...he snorted at the boulders, then decided it was a false alarm and we moseyed thru the rails and up the hill...



This funky log got a big rise out of him! He is funny because he snorts at it, and tries to walk away but just can't! He has to step towards it real fast, then back up again. Almost like he is trying to scare it away. It didn't leave, and Tripp decided it wasn't going to either...



It felt so good to be out on the trails! We did a lot of trotting, and the only skidding halt we did was when some young turkeys flew out of the brush. Other than that, it was small halts when he saw funky logs or something like that. We did have a couple conversations....he wanted to eat and I didn't want him to. I also wanted to work on our "Whoa" because I am still doing one reined stops most of the time. He didn't want to work on "Whoa" and he was telling me he was actually hearing the word "GO!" Ha ha! I finally got a few good stops out of him, and decided that we are having fun - will work on details tomorrow. So away we went.

There was one area beside the road where the water was pooled up in deep tire ruts. He drank out of the puddle! I know he is a mustang and used to do that all the time, but not with someone on him! Woo hoo!

New fact about me - or maybe not. I don't like spiders! In fact they make me want to puke when I see them...altho I have been trying to psych myself out and I am getting better. There was a HUGE wolf spider on my computer chair this morning! ACK! GAG! It was horrible! I managed to get him in a jar and put it outside. Just sick to my stomach the whole time.....

While on the trails these spiders make webs between the trees. Not only did I take several webs down with my face - spiders attached - but they got on my clothes too! I even had to mash a couple.

I was not afraid of spiders until we moved to Missouri. We are originally from Southern California and we had lots of spiders and tarantulas. It was those webs between the trees while riding that got me freaked out about them. Ugh! This proves I am getting better about it....when the sun came thru the trees and hit the webs just right, they were beautiful! When the sun didn't hit it just right, I could not see them and ran right into them. :-)

After I got back Brian was home with his kids and their cousins. This is his daughter Madison (light blonde) and her cousin Tori loving on Tripp...Tripp was amazing with them!



Tori's brother Tucker was leading Tripp across the bridge, so she wanted to do it too. Tripp went over like a champ!



Tucker was playing with Tripp's forelock and had it pulled back - he wanted to make sure I mentioned that so nobody thought him doing his little pose made him look like a moron.....uh, yeah Tucker, no problem! ;-)



After the kids were finished hanging all over him, I decided I was going to trim those back hooves! Tucker held him for me - I only wanted one person because my goal is to have him stand on his own. Tucker isn't around horses that much, and he did great holding Tripp, and Tripp did great letting him. :-)
I got his hooves up on the cradle part of the Hoof Jack and we 'discussed' it a little bit, but not much. I got the flare trimmed off and a tiny bit of filing done before he started moving around. I decided to pick the foot up, hold it a second, then let him have it back. I needed to do that so I could get the other one trimmed too. Got it done and I had to hold it to file, but that is okay. I am very proud of him for letting me get them done! Well, sort of done. I will shape them up a little more this weekend. All in all, they are 95% better than they were!

Tomorrow is going to be a big day for us. Brian's son Jordan took riding lessons at a place not to far from here, and I was inquiring about the arena they use for their 4H stuff. She said I could use her outdoor arena and they are going to be out of town all day tomorrow. So I will be taking Tripp to her arena tomorrow, and the show arena in Sturgeon another time this weekend. I am excited! We can work on our cantering without obstacles to worry me.
Sharon is one of those kind of people who is great working with kids and adults both. Her horses are wonderful too. Skip is one of my favorites - he is 30 or 31 this year, a big palomino, and reminds me of my first horse Taffy. Taffy was also older when we got her...safe for a 4 or 5 year old kid. :-) All of her horses are great! http://www.thehorsefarm.net/

It is late and I am tired.....
Until later....Karen and Tripp