Saturday, January 31, 2009

Our first T.I.P. mustangs arrive! Woo hoo!

Today was a very long absofreakinlutely awesome day! I woke up about 3:00 a.m., then got out of bed at 3:45 to go out and feed, and get ready to take off. We headed to Ewing, IL to pick up a couple of horses for the Trainer Incentive Program. Weather here was pretty good, but the closer we got to Ewing, we noticed they had ugly weather within the past few days.

Here is the main dirt road that takes you to the facility, Sheep Farm Rd. The trailer tires were widening the was pretty narrow. If we would not have had 4x4, we would have got stuck.

When we got there, Walt said he had been trying to call us to tell us to wait until the weather was better. He was given the wrong area code, so someone got a couple of messages from him....who knows, maybe they will eventually adopt mustangs! :-) He said we could look at horses, and he thought it was safe enough to load them, it would just take a little bit because he didn't have the chute out.
The snow doesn't look bad, but there is a thick layer of ice underneath it.

Here I am amusing myself while Walt runs up a couple of horses we picked. Walt is a really great guy, and he gave us his opinions on some of the horses there.

Here are both boys. Now here is where it is kind of funny...I thought I was looking at geldings because I said that is what I wanted. Little did I know that they had some adult stallions in with the geldings...and guess what two we picked out of the bunch? You got it! Two stallions! Too late - already loaded when we realized. I have never worked with stallions before, but I have read a lot about it, and have talked to several people who have had mustang stallions. It doesn't bother me in the slightest, and I am very excited to get the chance to do this. I just hope that when I start putting word on the street that I am looking for adopters, that they don't freak out about the 'crazy mustang stallions.' I will get them gentled first, then make a call to the vet. The other funny thing is, I still have not seen the family jewels. It was almost dark when we unloaded them...I will look tomorrow, then probably wonder how I missed the obvious! Ha ha!

Both are coming on 3 yrs old. The solid bay with the star is very stocky, and we originally thought he was 4 yrs old because that is what the paper we had said, and he was filled out more than the other one. He is very curious and didn't hesitate to rub his nose on our hands. He is from Wheeler Pass outside of Las Vegas, and was captured in January 2007. As a nick-name right now I am calling him Vegas. I want his adopters to give him his official name. :-)

The other bay has a star, stripe, snip and has 4 white socks. He is slicked off, almost like summer! I am trying to figure out if he has a short winter coat like one of our QH mares, or if he was vacationing someplace nice! We thought he was taller than Vegas, but I don't know now...will have to check tomorrow. He is from Stewart Creek, WY and his capture date was August 2006. He came in as a foal. His nick-name is Wyoming. Brian thinks I need to call them 'V' and 'Wy' to not personalize it so much. I will try...but whatever flows is what I will call them.

Wyoming sporting his American Mustang halter, and his brand shows. Both boys had their brands clipped so their numbers could be read. They have been around a while and the tags were no help.

On our way thru St. Louis we stopped to visit with Angela. They were having a Drill Team meeting, so Angela and one of the gals, Caitlin, came out to say hello.
Angela's daughter Jessi is going to be mad she missed this! She was at a 4-H event. We love you Jess!

Vegas is getting his rump scratched by Catilin, and he seems just fine. I can't wait to work with him. So far he is more mellow than Tripp was.

...Wyoming on the left and Vegas on the right. Wyoming is built nice, but he will fill out quite a bit.

My pictures from unloading didn't turn out that great. Lots of back scatter from the flash. Bummer! Both boys were sniffing around on the mini's. This is the better picture of the group. Looks like the little girls are discussing the new cute boys on the block!

Vegas let me come up to him tonite and rub on his face. He didn't want me beside him, but in front was okay. Vegas does not have a halter on - we forgot it! Walt forgot to shut the chute gate, so Vegas walked all the way thru, and we had to turn him around and send him back. After getting him back out and turned around again, we all forgot about the halter. I am glad it is Vegas because he is more curious than Wyoming.

Wyoming did nose around on Brian's hands while in the trailer, but that was it. He is not interested. I would not call him nervous, just distracted.

I am very excited and can't wait until tomorrow morning to go visit and play.

Do you know how many people get to actually live a piece of their dreams? I know of at least one! ME! Woo hoo! I have dreamed about this type of thing for a long time and really didn't think I would get to do it. We all know how life gets in the way, right? I am very lucky - I have a supportive husband who loves to be involved as much as time allows. Sure, I could do it alone, but it would be harder.

Okay, gotta get some sleep now. I will keep you updated!

Until later...Karen and Tripp

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Mystery Bone Identified!

Thanks to my friend Jill, the mystery bone has been identified! It is a Guinea Fowl pelvis! A couple weeks ago we lost 3 birds to critters, and here I said "two other bones were by it that looked like chicken leg bones...." and I still didn't figure it out! Duh!
This is a site I found with a rough drawing:
Here is another site that shows how the pelvis sits on the legs.

Very interesting.....

Until later...Karen and Tripp

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Did you know that humans have armpit muscles?

Yep, we have armpit muscles...I know this because mine are sore today. The day after a fall, and the day after the day after a fall are the worst. BUT...I am doing good! My jaw is sore, I have had a headache most of the day, and I have a big bruise on my inner thigh - I think I might have hit the horn. I asked Brian since he got to see the whole graceful event, and he doesn't remember me hitting the horn, but he said it makes sense. Tripp dropped his head and swung around to the left and I came over his shoulder, so the angle would have been right....HEY! Wait a minute. If he swung around it was because Brian was standing in front of him - so it is Brian's fault! HA HA HA!!! I found a way to blame my husband for me not staying in the saddle!!! HA HA HA!!!! (Just kidding baby - I love you!)

This morning I went out to feed and the ground was frozen again, so I got Tripp and we headed to the bigger round pen. We did a bunch of ground work and then I rode him. We did a lot of the basics and it went great. I have to admit, going back to the basics is fun because I get to communicate with Tripp different than when I am riding. It also reminds him of what he can do well so he has lots of successes.
Anyways, he was his old self again. After we were done in the pen, I took him for a walk thru the woods. It was breezy instead of that crazy wind we had yesterday, and he didn't act like he cared one bit. Actually, I think he is a little sore too. Maybe he will remember this the next time he gets full of himself. :-)

Brian took some big bales out today and I had all 4 donks in one pen until Brian got done. Summer, the smaller one I am babysitting loves hanging out with the boys. Jester is not in the picture - he was hiding.

From left to right we have: Summer, Zjax and Ajax.

Here is a head shot of Jester...can't leave him out.

Okay, when Tripp and I went for a walk I found a neat bone. There were a couple of other bones by it that looked like chicken leg bones, but this bone isn't a chicken! It looks more like an Alien! Pretty cool, eh?

Another angle...

That is about it for the day.

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Until later...Karen and Tripp

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Well...I sorta got bucked off Tripp today!

Yep, it is true. After several overly cold days and nights, we had a fairly nice day out today. I have been wanting to ride so bad, and after we got a couple of things done that needed done, it was time. I was so darn happy!

I don't know that it hit 40 today, hard to tell due to the winds. It was very windy and everyone was feeling pretty good, including me.

It started out great...Tripp came to me and I spent a lot of time grooming him. Brushing and loving on the horses is therapeutic. Good thing! Little did I know how much I would need it. :-)

I took Tripp to the outer hillside and the plan was to ride to the back of the place. I was pretty excited, and up to this point all was well.

Here we are...ready to go.

Here is the view of Tripp from the ground!

If this would have happened at the Mustang Makeover I would have received extra points - he came back to me! He could have taken off but he didn't. This tells me that I did something right! He was a little freaked out too - he was just feeling good and full of it, and seeing me laying on the ground making weird noises was a surprise to him. In spite of what happened, I am proud of him.

This is what happened...
I started down the fence line and when he got to the closed gate and saw the other horses, he snorted and threw that head around and took off. I managed to get him pulled around and we did a couple of small circles. At this point Brian stopped - I think it was the squeal of shock that came out of my mouth that made him turn around to check on us.
It was cool, windy, and he was feeling good! At this point I thought I would just ride up and down the fence line a few times to see how he did. I was right to the point of getting ready to turn around and he did it a split second ahead of me. He took off bucking and pitching and while I was trying to hold on, I was also trying to get a hold of the right rein with both hands so I could pull that nose around. I was almost there...I got a hold of it, my butt tucked right back in the saddle so I was balanced again, I was feeling pretty good about getting stopped and going to Plan B, and that little snot dropped that head and swung around to the left! I did not mention this to Brian because everyone says "I was fine until they turned..." and come to find out they didn't turn so much. Then Brian said "I really thought you had it, then he turned that head and went to the left!" That is when I knew he really did it. So much for balance...I went sailing and as I was sailing thru the air and watching the ground get closer several things went thru my mind.
1. I was mad that I didn't think to have Brian bring his camera out (I had mine on my belt) because now I can't watch it to see what I could have done different - short of keeping my butt on my horse! (this really was a thought!)
2. As the ground was coming towards the side of my face, I was thinking a lot of good that helmet was doing on my head instead of on my face. (at least it was there just in case...right?)
3. Most important of all, I should have taken him to the round pen first. Everyone was feeling good and full of themselves due to the weather, and I was too focused on getting out and riding. After all, he was great when I hopped on him bareback the other day. Yes, my blinders were on - so shame on me! I knew better.
4. I was telling myself "Don't use your hand/arm to brace yourself as you hit the ground...tuck it and try to roll!" So I tucked it and felt this big THUD!
5. Well, I am sure there was another one and I am just not remembering right now. Ha!

The right side of my face hit the dirt and I was trying to stay breathing. I kept telling myself to relax and breathe...and was also yelling to Brian that I was alright (even tho I didn't know if I was or seemed like the thing to say) but he could not hear me because of the wind noise.

I decided I would take him for a walk instead, but that was short lived too. He was just feeling too good and kept trying to take we headed to the round pen. I left him saddled, then worked on basics. I remember telling someone who was having problems with their horse maybe going back to basics like a lot of trainers suggest would help, and I was told that their horse knew what to do, that they didn't need basics. Part of learning what works for me is also knowing what does not work for me. That particular person's methods don't work for me. So back to basics we went, and we also worked with the flag on the stick. He did so good with that. Sure, he was still afraid of it, but not terrified like he used to be. We had to be careful with our speed in the round pen because the top thin layer of dirt was slick. He slipped and fell once, and that was at an easy trot.
After the round pen work, we took a walk and he did much better.

So, what is the plan tomorrow? Saddle him up, go to the round pen, work on some basics, then I will get on IN THE ROUND PEN. :-) I will play it by ear at that time. It isn't supposed to be near as windy...

As I was leading Tripp to the round pen, I checked the mail, and Tripp noticed I had a package from the Mustang Heritage Foundation. Yep, we got our DVD's from the competition! Woo hoo!


Of course a self portrait is in order. It has been a while. :-)

As far as how I feel right now - I am very sore. I have enough abrasions on my face to make lotion sting, my shoulder is getting stiff, and my jaw really aches. I am lucky tho, it could have been worse! I really don't think Tripp's goal was to get rid of me...he was just having fun. I just didn't want him to know that it was possible for me to fall off. Maybe he will forget...hee hee!

After we were done in the round pen, I trimmed his hooves and brushed and loved on him some more.
Then I trimmed one of the other 'babies' we have. It got dark so I had to stop.

All in all it was a good day, even tho my ride only lasted about 2 minutes....well actually about 1.6 seconds shy of the buzzer... :-)

Until later...Karen and Tripp

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Beautiful January Day....

I went out to feed this morning and the sun was coming up and kissing the tips of everything. It was very cold out, but still clear and fresh!

Tripp had to come and visit me...

Tripp says: HELLLLOOOOOOO........

Joker the EMM yearling going on two with the sun kissing him all over!

Halo, one of our first adopted mustangs, just hanging out. She was the hardest one to gentle, and now she can't stay away.

Here we have Tripp and Nevada. We acquired Nevada at a Mustang Horse Show a couple years ago. In the picture they look close to the same size, but Nevada is 2 to 3 inches taller than Tripp. Now my wonderful husband Brian likes to think of himself as tall, so I let him think that. But when it comes down to it, he isn't much taller than myself, if that! It will be interesting to see how Nevada and Brian come up with a plan to get Brian up there! Hee hee! Tripp and Nevada get along great and I have decided they will make great trail buddies! Since Tripp didn't get much experience riding with other horses, it will help him, and it will give Nevada a job!

Today I did something I have never done before - I trimmed mini's! I am a newbie trimmer trying to learn what I can. I have been trimming our Bigs and every once in a while I will have my farrier/trimmer gal come out to check and make sure I am doing alright. I am good with good feet, but am not confident on not so good feet. Anyways, I am babbling....
The weather is nice and I have a feeling it won't stay this way, so I figured now was a good time to trim the mini's that I am babysitting. I have been reading a lot on the Yahoo Groups I belong to about mini feet - long toe, grows lots of heel, etc. Yep, they are right on! The trimming consisted of lots of filing, and on Ruby, the little black one, I had to nip the heels on the rear, then evened them out. Both girls were very well behaved! I think they are still a little long, but they are better than they were. They have the cutest little concaved hooves! Just as it should be!

Brian and I have joked about building a lift for the mini's, then I can get a milking stool and sit next to them to get the job done. We thought a nice little platform on a motorcycle jack stand would work great! Put little railings on it....yeah, if these little ones stick around, I am going to have to do something. Getting down on the ground like this was not comfy at all...guess like everything else, it takes practice.

After trimming Ruby, we took her to get her picture taken with Tripp. They are like Me and Mini Me.

We have a dirt pile we ride over for practice, and we took Ruby up there. That way they were eye level....

Then Brian suggested putting Tripp up on the dirt pile....

After photo time, I thought I would hop on Tripp to see what he would do. I have not been on him in a while, and I just had the halter on him. Didn't even tie the lead around to make reins. We wandered around a little bit then I was done. I got my fix, I also proved to myself that in spite of the short amount of training he has had, I have a safe horse! Will he always be perfect - NOPE! We will continue to learn new things together, we will try to be safe, and we will have fun!

We took Ruby back in to the donk and Tandee pen. Tandee came up to say hello to Ruby.

It really was a pretty day here. I can't say it got very warm, but the sun was shining, we were not getting snow measured in feet, and we are not getting the flooding that they are getting in the Northwest. Hope everyone is doing well!!!

Until later...Karen and Tripp

Three Asses & Three Turkeys!!!

Ahhhh yes, I could not resist!



Brian and I enjoyed a 4 day weekend together! It doesn't work out very often due to circumstances beyond my control, so when we do get the time together, it is nice.

We were more lazy than what we planned on being due to the weather, but we still got a few things done. As in trimming Ajax, our 4 yr old BLM burro.

Ajax is Brian's, and he is a sweetheart! He doesn't mind being handled and he is quite the love bug. When we are out messing with the others, he is the one who will quietly come up behind or beside you, and before you know it he is lightly leaning on you for a rub or scratch. This was going to be our first time messing with his back hooves. Ajax has hooves shaped a lot like horses hooves - that nice angle, etc.
Brian brushed him down and loved on him a bit, then I came in the pen. He did not have any problems letting me work on the front ones, and the back ones were not near as hard to handle as I thought they would be. He did kick out and swing a couple of times, but since he did not make contact with me, I know it was half hearted. One thing I will say about donks is they have quite the aim....when they want to!
His rear hooves look great and I was pleasantly surprised how thick the walls are! The fronts are little odd shaped (our fault) and I will admit that they scare the heck out of me. I have been doing a lot of reading, etc. on donkey hooves, and I am still scared of them. I am afraid of the sole. I read someplace that they don't shed out their sole, so you have to trim it out. That would apply on our ground, but I am still afraid of it. I thought I was touching live sole so I stopped... I was very conservative and did what I could. After I was done, he moved around just fine, so until the next time.....more reading!

Brian brushing Ajax (no pictures of trim since it was just us)

Zjax is my burro, he is 11 yrs old and was captured when he was 10. I often wonder what his life was like in the wild. Ten yrs is a long time to be out there doing your burro thing, then get rounded up by big scary things in the sky and hauled away from your home. He is very stout and he is also very affectionate, but we never made time to work with him like we should have, so haltering, etc. is an evil thing to him.

The mini's think it is hard work watching all of this hoop-la!

Zjax doesn't like being told what to do, so he thinks he will just 'go over there....' and Brian doesn't think so.

Zjax says: "Hmmm, that was an awful lot of is much easier just standing here, so that is what I will do."

Brian says: "Dang he is tough! Thank goodness he is standing still right now!"

His hooves are different than Ajax. When we adopted Z, I noticed his hooves look more like he was standing on upside down bowls, and they were about the same size all the way around. The vet said because of his age and maturity, to keep trimming him the shape they are. No trimming was done with this session. Brian spent all of his time working with leading and picking up the front hooves. Z is not ready for the backs yet. :-) Brian and Z did very good! We just need to be consistent and keep up the work with him.

Zjax says: "I will just give him the darn thing so I can go!"
Brian says: "Oh look, he is getting it!"
Karen says: "Okay, the camera is ready in case Z jumps or takes a kick....I am all about action shots!"

Zjax says: "Okay, the other side too...are we done yet?"
Brian says: "Oh look, he is getting it!"
Karen says: "Hmmm, no action shots today."

Brian and Zjax make friends after their lesson. I am proud of them both! Not only did Zjax pick up both front feet several times, he let Brian lead him around a bit. :-)

Here are our two new adoptees being lazy too....

We had a great weekend, and hanging out with the critters was a lot of fun!

Until later....
Karen and Tripp