Thursday, March 22, 2012

Rolling On The Youngsters

Before we left for Arizona, Megan was diligently working on her youngster, Gunner...
Gunner is the perfect first colt for Megz. He's sweet, kind and willing. He can also get a glint in his eye and try her a little. The first time we cinched him up...nothing. The second time...he started out like it was all okie dokey...then he got that glint in his eye, sucked back, went to buck...and fell down. Oops! He jumped up, looked a little confused and then walked off. You could see him trying to sort it out. It reminded me of the Daffy Duck cartoon...



Yep...that's about exactly how it went. Apparently Gunner thought he had it sorted out because I saw that glint come back into his eye and he sucked back and went to blow up again...Boom! Down he went. This time when he jumped up. He stood there looking at Meg. Guess he decided bucking was too much effort cause he hasn't tried again.

Much to Shooter's disgust, I haven't spent much time with him. A few longing sessions and some grooming, but mostly he has just been in the pasture since he got here. Now see...this does not suit Shooter...AT ALL! This is a horse that is pretty sure that the entire world revolves around him...and only him. Although Shooter is a 4y/o...and a pretty good sized one at that...I haven't felt particularly rushed to get him started under saddle. I get the distinct feeling that in Shooter's mind...he is already broke...he's just waiting for me to get around to climbing aboard.

Normally, I like to take things one step and one day at a time. With Shooter...I got absolutely no reaction from anything...sacking...not even a flinch. Lifting the saddle up and setting it on him...nada. Cinching...He turned around and watched me. He moved off like he had done this his whole life.

The only thing that bothered him in the least was the snaffle. He chewed and chomped and pinned his ears over that...
He'll get over it. They all do.

Megan has been doing some ground work on Beretta for me-longing, sacking out and setting the saddle on her back. Beretta is far more flighty than the boys, but she has still been really good. I figured it was time to cinch her up. She walked around each direction nice and pretty as you please. In my head, I was debating stopping there or asking her for a little trot. Knowing Beretta's maternal line like I do...I knew at some point she was going to grab her ass and blow up. That's what that bunch does, but they get it out of their systems pretty quickly. So I decided to just get it out of the way. I clicked her up into a trot and sure enough...

Ka-Boooommmm!

She grabbed her butt and blew like a little stick of dynamite. No falling down or half hearted attempt for little sister...She gave it her all and looked pretty impressive for a few jumps. I keep my youngsters on a long line in the round pen just so that if they blow up, I have some control and I do try to get them to stop bucking. I don't like youngsters (or any horse) to blow up and just crash around the pen (Shooter wasn't when I took pictures of him, but he was when I was actually working with him). I just kept stopping Beretta and then asking her to move off again. Each time she grabbed her butt and blew up, I'd stop her and start again. It took a few times, but she finally made a few trotting strides without blowing, so I let her drop back to a walk and just walk around to cool out.
I wasn't surprised that Beretta blew up. She will probably do it again. She's way more reactive than the geldings are, which is one of the things I really like about her. She is going to be a catty, fun, little horse to ride...sans the bucking part of course. LOL

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Pony Time And A Little Spring Planning

I have promised myself I would start devoting a bit more time to my blog again. The winter blahs have disappeared with the greening of the grass. ;-)

Back from our Arizona trip, Meg and I took a day to recover, but it's back to the ponies as of today. Competition time is right around the corner. There is a gymkhana at the end of this month and Meg and I both want to be prepared to go and get the first runs of the year out of the way.

Meg has been working hard to get her blue roan, Rip back into shape. He's coming around really well...especially when you take into consideration he has had the last 2 years off, banged up his knee and is 16y/o this year...
(Sorry, didn't realize the light was so bad in this pic)


Meg said he actually feels more alive and hotter than he ever felt before. She's pretty excited to run him and see what his time is like. He's the same old 'ranch horse' out in the desert though...


Frosty is coming around like...unbelievably well. Last year, I spent a lot of time ponying him off of Moon, because he was such a booger. This year, HE is the pony horse...
I have been having hell with Moon's health, but I think I have it figured out. Last fall, I figured out the ulcer thing, so was doing all the reading and research on that. I bought some alfalfa for the benefits it provides as far as gastric ulcers...Didn't take me more than a couple of weeks to remember WHY I haven't had Moon on alfalfa all along...It has a horrible effect on his respiratory. I had just momentarily forgot that. His breathing becomes labored and when I was riding him, it was like he was completely winded. This time the alarm bells went off quickly and I immediately removed alfalfa from his diet (which pissed him off to no end), put him on an immune booster and contacted an herbalist to see what is the best things to feed to assist the respiratory system.

The discussion with the herbalist was eye-opening. He believes that some of my competition problems with Moon stem from respiratory distress. I know there have been times when I have run Moon and it all starts good and then he starts to feel frantic in the run. I have never had a problem with a horse getting away from me in a run as often as I have with Moon, so while I know I have a ways to go to really be able to ride him properly...I don't really think it is a 'training' issue. I started him on a product called Mo Lung, for race horses, that is a bronchial dilator. Along with the immune booster and a double helping of MSM. We'll see if and how well this works...

On a brighter note...

I found a stallion to breed to Chunk (Beretta's dam)...
This guy is darned near perfect...
This was a picture his owner took right after he bought him, so ignore the number on the butt. His name is Meme's Boy. He was raced and has a speed index (SI) of 90. Believe me...that's plenty fast to sire barrel horses and this horse has sired quite a few winners already. He is a son of Rare Form, SI-120. Out of an Azure Te/Easy Jet mare. These modern racing bloodlines should be a perfect nick for Chunk's foundation racing pedigree (Lady Bug's Moon and Leo). I saw this horse in person when I was home in January and what a nice, nice horse. He really is everything you could ever want in a stallion.

So while I was making the deal to breed Chunk to that stallion, I also worked up another deal to breed a couple of mares to his other stallion...
This is Rocket Irish Whiskey. He is a son of Paddys Irish Whiskey. Out of a Doc O' Dynamite/Rocket Wrangler mare. His owner uses him for everything and then his kids ride the hair off of him. His owner has been begging to let us breed a mare or two to him every since he got him a few years ago. The cross of our foundation-bred mares should be an optimal cross to this horse. Soooo...what I finally worked out was...We would let the owner of the stallion breed two of our mares. He picked Cowgirl (Gunner's dam) to breed to and he gets that foal. We picked a red dun mare we have that has not settled to our stallion by pasture breeding. We get that foal...if she settles.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Come To Mikey's Wedding

It was a fabulous weekend and I got lots of pictures and stories to share...but I know you guys are really, mostly interested in Mikey's wedding...so I won't keep you in suspense...

Due to circumstances I'll explain later, Meg and I ended up having to take a hotel room far, far from the wedding location. The morning of the wedding found us chomping at the bit to get out of 'the city'...but by the time we got everything situated in the pickup so it all fit, we were later than what I was really comfortable with. I figured we would be cutting it close to get to the wedding on time. (Eeekkk!) We roared up the road...
Leaving the city behind and winding our way into the desert...

The kiddo and I dressed in all of our cowgirl finery...



It wasn't hard to find the wedding location...Thankfully!
Not a surprise to see an extensive number of pickups at this wedding...
The other guests were already seated and the mounted entourage in place...
A stunning mule...and she was Dun too...I was drooling over her a little...
The riders formed an aisle for the wedding party...
Here comes the handsome groom...
Da, da, da-tada...
Da, da, da-taaaa.....
Da, da, da-ta-da...da, da, ta-da....
Look at how awesome that dress was...
Wade's horse was like...'Oh hellll no' when he saw all of that gown fluttering in the wind...
Which of course, prompted numerous comments about a 'Runaway groom'...Maybe not because he wanted to of course. LMAO!

But the ceremony went off without any run-aways...or bronc rides...
The beautiful bride...
And her handsome groom (with his brother)...
Mercy had the cutest cross tied into Smoke's mane...
The guests...
Although, about an equal number of us were up on the road taking pictures...so it was quite a turnout. ;-)

Married!...Wade's poor horse, he was pretty much over 'the dress' and then the wind came up and blew it right toward him...he was pretty sure it was going to swallow him whole...
Did ya notice that not only were Mikey and Mercy bareback...they were barefoot as well? Those two are awesome like that ya know!!!

The happy family...
And there they go...
While the wedding party was off taking pictures, everyone else drove back up the road to where the trailers were parked for the reception...
There is a gap in my pictures for awhile, because Meg and I got to visiting with other guests...of course it's no surprise that Mikey and Wade know such interesting people, but Wow! So many interesting and nice people to visit with in one spot? It was too much fun!

The cake was sooo pretty...
Cutting the cake...
Wade was nice...there was a lot of people yelling for him to smash it...but he didn't...not really...
Saving the top to put in the freezer for next year...
We got rounded up for a few pictures together...
And then, Mikey and family loaded up because they were taking a mini-vacation/honeymoon. Meg and I stopped to visit a friend who lived nearby for a bit and then roared across the valley ourselves...
The day was young...we still had plans. ;-)

Sunday, March 11, 2012

To Mikey and Wade

I'm as excited as a kid waiting for spring break...as in just a few days, my kiddo and I will be heading to Arizona for the wedding of the century. Our beloved Mikey and Wade are tying the knot. Officially and with all the legal mumbo-jumbo. In reality though, they have been a formidable team for many years now and this is just the icing on the cake.

It never dawned on me that they would do it any other way than what she has planned...in the desert and horseback. Whether you know Mikey and Wade in real life or just through her blogging...nothing else would seem appropriate would it?

Mikey is in life as she appears to be in her blog...gregarious, fun-loving and will keep you in stitches. Wade has a quiet strength...until you get to know him and then it is very clear that these two are cut from the same cloth. Without a doubt, they are two of the nicest people you will ever meet. I am honored to be their friend, excited to attend their wedding and wishing them all the very best.

See you guys in a few days!!!

Much love from my family to yours!
XOXO