Woo Hoo! What a weekend! We left a couple of days early and stayed with Greg Reynolds, another trainer for the EMM. We went there thinking "We will have 1 1/2 days and we will get so much done!" Well, we did get a lot done, but the time sure did go by quickly! Doesn't it always when you are doing something fun? I will try to keep this short and simple...but you know how I like to talk a lot. Greg and his wife Stephanie are such great hosts! They make you feel like family so it is very comfortable. Thanks you guys!
Brian and Greg built some obstacles, so we played on them.
Copper was checking out the tilting bridge and he just did not understand why he had to step on it if he was big enough to walk over it.
Finally he got the idea...and he handled the movement of the bridge great! I am so proud of him!
Copper had not been tied. When I tried once, he reacted real bad, so I did not try it again because I did not have anything secure and safe enough here. While the guys were working on the obstacles, Greg tied his horse Sunny to a tree, so I tied Copper to one. He did real good! He pulled back once when he got scared, and came right back forward once there was pressure. Good boy!
Dusty the mustang is in the background letting him know it is okay.
The car wash was a challenge. I tied the flaps back and we finally went thru it. He never did go thru with all of them hanging, but he did go thru with half of them hanging. I was satisfied with that, and Copper was glad I was satisfied with that. :-)
After playing with obstacles, we took a walk to the back field. This pictures is a reminder that we are so small in such a big world. Wow...
I love black and white photos...
Here is Greg and Sunny on the bridge...Sunny is a beautiful mustang!
Thursday morning we headed to Murfreesboro, TN. This is the first year for an EMM to be held here.
Day one for us was an adventure. There was a lot going on, and Copper was trying to be so brave but it was coming from all directions. I took him walking the minute we got there, and we walked in and out of the barns because the concrete floor concerned him. I think the darkness was weird too. It did not take long for him to settle down, but he was still looking around corners for the scary stuff.
Then came time for the number to be painted on his butt - which was done like a brand. He did okay, but he just was not sure about the tall lady walking around with the 'stick' in her hand and touching his butt with it. It got washed off, so I put the next one on.
I stayed up until 12:38 a.m. putting together my picture poster for Copper's stall. I think they turned out pretty good.
Here is his stall with him in 'jail'. He handled jail quite well by the way, and I think it helped we took a lot of walks. A stall is not his home of choice, but we worked it out. On the first day some people told me he was rearing up and he had his foot in his water bucket. The bucket finally came down. After that he was fine.
Poster #1....I put pictures of Copper and Batman on this one.
I also wrote up a little thing of things Copper likes so people can get an idea of what is personality is.
EquestrianSingles.com is one of the sponsors of the EMM, so Copper wanted a singles ad hung up on his stall.
The Mounted Color Guard was there with their palomino mustangs. Even those horses reacted to all the clapping and hoop-la when the crowds went crazy. The riders were great and handled their horses like professionals. I heard one of the riders say that they take turns riding at events.
Coppers nose....I love this nose...
Our in hand portion of the thing went pretty good if you ask me! The only thing I had problems with was lifting the rear hoof, which was the last hoof I picked up. I pushed the issue when he pulled the foot away, and I should not have...it was my fault that I turned a little mistake into an ugly mistake. We also had to throw on a pad and saddle, and the pad was wet! Ew! He got a little jiggy about that, and I thought I would keep trying until they called time on me. We finally did get the saddle on and I slapped around on it. I was tickled with how well it went considering how nervous he was the day before.
Here he is smelling the saddle...and let me tell you, it was a heavy saddle! It would have been nice to have a lighter synthetic thing to throw up there. One gal who rides English has a broken wrist, so she asked about that. They let her bring her English saddle out for the English riders to put on.
Copper lifted his other three feet like a champ! See how high his head is? That is how he was almost all weekend. He was taking it all in. He is just like a little kid seeing things for the first time...and I love it.
Horrible pictures, but I am putting it in anyways. I sent him in the trailer and he went right in without a hitch! I was so happy! He turned around and I asked him to wait, then I asked for him to bring his head down so I can pet his forehead, that is our cue that he did good. :-) After hopping out of the trailer we trotted thru some cones then headed to the box...
We only had to do one 360 in the box, and he did not pivot on the rear, but he did fine. He stayed relaxed and that was my main goal...keep both of us relaxed and go thru it quietly.
Then came the 'L'...we backed to the 'L' part and he got a little bit stuck, but we worked thru it quietly.
The last thing is we had to let our horse loose in a pen, shoo them away, then catch them. It went like clockwork. He is very good about facing up to me and following me around.
We did not ride the horse course. I did not think he would do bad, but I did not want to take a chance on him feeling like it was just too much, and causing him some mental issues that he did not need. We went out and did a 90 second deal of me flipping the rope around and then I stood up on the mounting block and had him come to me. Not the cool way that Kitty Lauman does - I still need to learn how to teach that - but just had him quietly and slowly step up and stay there. Then we walked the horse course. I did have him saddled. And get this, I got points for it! I expected a big zero, so getting something I did not expect was fun!
After going thru that part of it, I was relieved. Copper and I took a short walk, and I just held on and smelled him for a while...
On our way back to the stall Brian caught a picture of us, and we are walking by the Grannys House van from Columbia, Mo, which is right down the road. They brought three girls who showed yearlings, and they did great. I want to say that all the yearling trainers were awesome, and I give them a big High Five because when their horses did not cooperate, not a one of those young people gave up!
SUNDAY...adoption day. I showed him saddled, and I was so torn up inside. I started out by being totally honest about him being spooky but him trying hard to be brave. I am a horrible speaker in front of a lot of people, so I did not do him any favors - it is my fault. Well, we are in a place where there are a lot of riding horses, and I have one that can't be ridden yet. Nobody bid on him. The Mustang Heritage Foundation offered to pay the adoption fee, and a young couple stood up. I was a wreck because in my mind, nobody wanted my horse, and he is so wonderful. Reality is a lot of people liked him, but the crowd was not that big, there were a lot of riding horses there, and a lot of the great ones were not even going for that much. It is just hard not having a real bid on your horse. I have seen it in the past - now I got to experience it.
The couple that adopted Copper had been by his stall several times, so they had seen him and liked him. I was happy about that. Derrick also has some horse experience, so that is a plus.
Here are Derrick and Kim with Copper. Kim will technically be Copper's person. :-)
Doesn't Copper look purdy in his new blue?
Kim leading Copper down the barn aisle...Copper is so relaxed and such a good boy.
Here is the other part of this story that is so great I can't stand it! Greg Reynolds, another trainer, is friends with Matthew Bonn, another trainer. Matthew has worked out a wonderful deal with the new adopters. He is going to put 30 days of training on Copper, so he should be ride ready by then. I am so excited because that is another thing that will help Coppers success in the real world. The new adopters are going to school so are very busy, so they were all for it! Greg took Copper home with him, and he and Matthew are going to get together to get Copper to their place. From what I understand, Greg's horse and his adopter are getting the same deal. I am so excited about this and wish I was closer so I could watch the progress. I let them all know that my biggest regret is not being able to ride Coppers trot, so I would like some video of them riding the trot. I can't wait! :-)
Here Greg is taking some time to talk to them about how great mustangs are, and letting them know that we all love our mustangs, so if they need any help, have questions, etc., let us know.
GOODBYE KISS.....ouch, this hurts!
I will be straight up...this is one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. I was an emotional wreck all the way home. I knew I would be upset, I knew I would cry, but I had no idea I would sob thru all 4 states on the way home. We all get so attached to our mustangs...
Anyways, I am still weepy about it, but I had my first smile today when I was going thru pictures. The one of Kim walking Copper, and the light smile on Kims face. Yep, that one made me smile great big! Copper is such a good boy and loves people. He tries so hard to do things right, and once he learns more he will be unstoppable! I can't wait to follow their journey. One more mustang saved.
Will I do it again? Yep! As long as I am approved, I will do it again. I had a lot on my plate this summer, so between overlapping commitments, leaving town for work for 3 weeks, then the rain, I did not get as far with Copper as I wanted. I know he still has a great start and will do great things. The next time I will plan better...can't control the weather, but I will figure something out. I have learned so much over the past two years about horses and people.
I really liked the facility in Murfreesboro because the stall area was open and air flowed thru there.
It is neat because a few years ago Brian and I went to Road to the Horse in that arena, and that is where we were introduced to Natural Horsemanship methods. Clinton Anderson was there, and we were so amazed at what we were seeing! We got DVD's and watched them, and worked with our first two mustangs. It worked! And now I got to be a trainer in the same building that got us motivated to learn. It is a great feeling...
Look for video on You Tube of some of the performances. I don't think there were as many spectators or adopters there, but it was still a great event. I am proud to say I was part of it!
Angela and Jessi are in our Midwest Mustang Group, and they were there. Their support and hugs were so appreciated, not to mention I learned a lot about conformation, etc. Brian took pictures, but they are on his phone.
Okay, I said I would try to keep this short and sweet...so am going to sign off. Just know that we all had a great time!
Until later...Karen and Tripp