Sunday, November 23, 2014


The GCPRA Finals are in the books. Frosty and I didn't do as good as I had secretly hoped we would...not that I really expected to win any money, but we struggled with the first barrel more than I am used to have happening.

On the first run, Frosty's blow-out was completely unexpected. He felt like he was really setting into the turn and then he kind of skittered out of the turn...

The next day, on run #2, I over-anticipated he might do the same thing again and over-corrected him into the barrel. Leave it to Frosty to leap away rather than run over the barrel. LOL. But after that, he didn't want to get close to those other barrels...

He ran 2.2 seconds off of the fast time, both days. I think more than anything, I was kinda disappointed that he didn't run o.u.t., like he did the last time we ran in Utah, but largely, I am impressed that he went in and worked as well as he did, in spite of being extremely uncomfortable with this arena. Frosty was not keen on the inset style of this place. The people and activity that was was going on above him and around him had him feeling extremely insecure. He had to (gasp) warm up amongst ropers, then wade through them to get to the barrel racers holding pen and they were practicing the laser show for the evening performance as well. WHY Frosty is so intimidated by ropes is beyond me. I can swing and throw a rope off of him, all day long and it doesn't bother him. Let him see or hear someone else swing one and he wants to leave. It's very annoying!

Frosty may be a little more intimidated by uncomfortable stimuli than 'normal'...Personally, *I* think he was hauled with Moon to enough rodeos and exposed to enough things that he should be used to all of this by now....However, I suspect that seasoning Frosty is fairly in line with what most horses are like. Since I got spoiled by Moon, other horses just seem a tad ridiculous. Moon was extra-ordinary in that regard. Few things outside the arena phased him and once he locked onto a barrel...NOTHING distracted him. Never-the-less, it's a good thing that was the last rodeo for awhile for Frosty. He is starting to lose his confidence on the pattern and we need to start going to some low-key jackpots, where the external stimuli isn't so overwhelming.

If Frosty's sensitivity outside the arena is more than a little annoying at times, it's quite fabulous when he is making a run. Where I struggled to get any sort of 'feel' with Moon and mostly failed....Frosty tells me everything I'm doing...almost too much sometimes. LOL. But I like it.

It's helped a ton that I have a plethora of pictures and a few videos of these last few runs. I have finally been able to put together a whole lot of little things that I am working on correcting/improving and good, ole Frosty...He 'tells' me when I get it right....Or when I am still missing the boat on the correction. It's refreshing to get that feedback from my horse. :-)

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Call Of The Open Desert

I am wasting no time this year. Got here late Saturday night. Unpacked on Sunday and got to work on Monday. My ponies and I are 'feeling the burn'. LOL

One of them is less than thrilled...

Oohhh, the little red hotrod is pretty sure he is not happy with this new work schedule. He is most definitely pouting in this picture. We had just finished an almost 2 hour ride...most of it spent trotting. Not that you could really tell because the little stinker barely sweated up. But, in spite of the lack of profuse sweat, he was most definitely a little on the tired side. He got to stand tied for a couple of hours and then we did some work around the barrel pattern. Luckily for him, he was a good boy and a whole lot less inclined to whinny for and fight to get back to his buddies. He actually paid a bit of attention to the barrel pattern. If he had still been acting like a turd, we was going to hit the desert for another big loop.

I'm telling ya, after spending these last few years working with 1/2 crippled, older, out-of-shape horses that give out fairly easily...I'm not sure if I'm tough enough to outlast this young, healthy, fit, energizer bunny of a horse. Luckily, LJ is an intelligent and willing little guy. He's not being a turd just to be a turd. He's just full of himself and has youth on his side. LOL

I generally start with the horse that I know is going to take the most time. That way I have several hours, if necessary, to spend making sure they get the time they need put on them before the end of the day.

The one horse I know that doesn't take very long is Jet. We work on a little Showmanship and I usually put 20-30 minutes of riding on him and he's done. But that is probably going to change now, because...

Jet is now an open-area riding horse.


The big guy has been to the desert twice now and has just been a rockstar. You'd think I have been riding this horse outside for weeks now. He just cruises along.

Jet is also starting his barrel patterning and he's fairly studious about it. He's actually pretty methodical about everything. If he sees something in the desert, he just stops and stares at it until he is satisfied and then walks/trots right on by it. I did have to laugh at him though. He stopped and stared at a black trash bag stuck on a bush and then walked right by it, even though it was fluttering in the breeze. However, he couldn't quite wrap his mind around the sofa someone (so kindly) dumped on one of my trails and decided that he was going to give himself a 10' buffer before passing that.

The other two goofballs...

Are doing pretty good too. Frosty's belly is pulled up and he is starting to look and travel a little more athletically again. I opted not to run him this week. I wanted to give him a few days of steady conditioning before our rodeo run this coming weekend. Frosty has been pulling pony horse duty with Shooter and he doesn't find that much fun. Shooter makes him work pretty hard because he stays right up beside Frosty the whole time and danged if it doesn't bring out Frosty's competitive spirit. Shooter has such a naturally long stride that when he trots he can easily outpace Frosty and Frosty has to bear down and really reach to stay even with Shooter. It's great for me!! I just get to sit there and let them long-trot race each other and they both get their workout. (Hahahahaha)

I haven't rode Shooter outside yet and it might be a little bit before I decide that it's a good idea to do so. Shooter has started throwing in these lovely, not-so-little bucks out of nowhere, but is especially prone to getting overly exuberant when he goes from a trot to a lope. I can ride them out and get his head up in the round pen, but I'm not so sure I would be able to if we was in the big, wide-open and he decided to do that. He's not really trying to be rank or even particularly naughty. It's more of a 'I just feel so darned good' thing. I'd just as soon not let him get the best of me though. Shooter is no dummy. If he figures out he can get me off...He might just to decide to get serious about it and then I would have a problem on my hands. Shooter isn't a youngster anymore. He's a big, stout, 6 coming 7y/o and he has no idea how powerful he is. I'd prefer he not find out. ;-). LOL

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Settled In For The Winter

AAhhhhhh....Back in Arizona!!

I was only 2 days late getting here. LOL

I don't know what the heck it is with my luck these days, but I sure seem to go through bouts of 'everything I touch....breaks!' right about the time I am trying to get everything done up so I can leave.

It was so ridiculous this time, even MH had to laugh. He's actually gotten to the point where he feels sorry for me when the 'breakzies' set in.

I swear, I have no idea why this has started happening to me these last couple of years, but I tend to think of it as 'a someone is looking out for me' kind of thing. You know, like I just wasn't meant to leave right at that time for a specific reason. More than once, I have gotten left later than usual for some seemingly stupid reason and come across a wreck that apparently happened around the time that I should have been going through this specific area. So now, when everything seems to go to shit all at once, for no apparent reason, I try very hard not to get too stressed or force it.

The good thing is, I actually left the house and the yard all cleaned up for winter. Irrigation lines drained, hoses unhooked, drained and coiled up, everything is mowed and the horse pens are clean. MH will do the fall burning and winter can commence whenever it wishes.

I had to do a little re-arranging of the waters for the horses that will be left. I thought I would see if I could turn Moon in with the mares so there would only need to be one tank heater set up this winter, but that didn't work out. Moon gathered up Beretta, Belle and Frenchie and then put the run on my poor gray mare. Poor Miss! She just got settled in and comfortable with the 3 mares...

And she didn't understand why Moon was running her off.

He is such a dick!!!

Miss had obviously never been turned out with a herd of horses before and it took her awhile to get comfortable having all of that space to move around in, but once she did, she is so obviously happy with her new life...and then all of the sudden there is this jerk of a dun horse chasing her away from her girlfriends. She was so upset.

It's kind of weird because Moon hated Beretta when she was a youngster. He even went through the hot rope once just to try to kill her.  But he is totally in love with Belle. And Belle is in love with Moon. So I thought about putting Belle with Moon for the winter, but when I did that, Beretta and Belle both had a fit because they were separated. So I put Moon with Belle AND Beretta and put Miss and Frenchie together. Frenchie does not like Moon. He can't put the run on her, but she keeps a healthy distance from him. Maybe she is embarrassed that her uncle is such a dick!! LOL. That arrangement seemed to be okay, but then I noticed that Beretta seemed aggravated that Belle was always with Moon. Beretta was wringing her tail and taking charges at Moon. Which, if she wasn't carrying a baby it wouldn't have mattered, but I cannot risk her getting riled up so much that she might lose her foal, so, in the end...

All of the mares are together again and Moon is all alone. The mares are happy again and Moon is just going to have to settle for love across a hot rope. LOL.

Flashy got moved to the neighbor's and now has 5 acres to roam around in with friends. I'm hoping that getting out helps bring him out of the dumpy look he has going on now. Poor, little guy. He just looks horrible. He's got twice as much hair as the filly he is with and has a huge belly on him (in spite of being wormed twice now). He looks like a shetland pony, not a high-end future race horse. I really think it is from lack of exercise, because even Arrow (the filly he is with) was starting to get a big belly on her. I don't like seeing my babies go through an ugly stage, but I don't worry about it. He's got good feed and plenty of it. Now he has room to run and play. I'm betting that by the time I see him again next spring, he will have come out of this stage. It doesn't help that the filly he is with is a very tall, leggy, elegant looking filly. Flash is not destined to be a tall horse and he has twice as much bone as the filly, so looking at her and then looking at him just makes him seem dumpier than ordinary.

Now, it's time to get to work on my four boys again. I'm so excited. This is going to be a fun, fun winter!!