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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Practice Practice Practice

Some days I wonder if I really want to cut.  Especially days when I get to go on a nice relaxing trail ride or even days I get to do ranch stuff.  And even on days like today.  I don't really want to ride today cause I have a toothache and my mouth is sore.  But I know I can't compete if I don't have a horse that is in shape or we just risk injury.  So we ride pretty much everyday.  And its boring.  We don't have much to practice cause we are just keeping them in shape.  Walk, trot, walk, lope, walk, trot, walk.   Pretty boring.  But necessary.  Especially with Jessie all I have to do is make sure she stops when I sit and its all good.  Charlene does a little more with Dude cause he gets lazy in his rollback so she practices them and the circle back exersize, but I don't do that much cause Jessie just does it soo good everytime.

And we are now entered for the Sunday show in Ponoka so I guess I better ride today and we have a lesson tomorrow with Doug.  Which is good cause everytime I go for a lesson and get to work cows, I remember why I do this.  Nothing else even compares to the feeling when its going good and the feeling like the cow will never get past us :)  So I guess I better practice so I can work more cows.

We went and worked buffalo on Sunday and it was a good day.  Jardi was over with Tangle and Candice and Mig and Greg and Heartbreaker and Gregs brother, Brad come and rode too.  He used to ride with Guy Heintz and so he helped us out a little and it was a fun day with all of us there.  Wish we could do it more often like that.  Even though I prefer cows to buffalo (cause I'm better on cows, lol)  I figure if we can work a buffalo then a cow should be easy.  And I had much better luck with Jessie on Sunday she was watching a little better and had better stops.

I am still learning how much to warm her up before we go work.  Seems if we lope and I sit and she stops right away she is ready to work if I have to help her stop she needs more loping.  It's hard to know how much to do.  Charlene's horse can probly be loped for hours before cause he gets so excited, but Jessie not as much but I don't know if too much would be bad for her either (as long as she isn't super tired)

Monday, February 27, 2012

The Trees I Really Wanted

So last week our Sunday Stills was trees and I was hoping for snow to land on the trees so they don't just look like dead trees.  Well we got snow but with it also came wind so no snow stayed on the trees.  Then I wake up this morning (on MONDAY) and there is hoar frost all over, of course.  So I went out and got the trees I really wanted to get for the challenge.  Sometimes it just doesn't work out in the week I want to take them and I really like doing new photos, soo here they are, Sunday Stills on Monday.

(the Crab Apple)
(the Poplar)

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sunday Stills- Trees

This week Sunday stills is on trees.  This was an easy one for me, I choose my favorite tree in the garden, the crab apple.  I had wanted it to snow a little so there was some snow on the branches, but it snowed and blowed so there was no snow on the tree, just lots on the ground.

Then I got this tree, it is an interesting tree, its a wild poplar and I actually hate it cause it sends up shoots all over the lawn, but with the crack going up it and the fact it grew crooked makes it a good tree to take pictures of.

For more go to Sunday Stills.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Lessons and Shows

This year sounds like it will be lots of fun, I was a little worrried about stuff after we worked the buffalo, but after our flag lesson I am much more confident.

We loaded up and headed out, heard it was gonna snow but it looked good and so we got about 10 minutes from Dougs and it was snowy!  But we thought we would go and if nothing going on then we would just head home.  But we got there and they were all riding so we unloaded and started warming up.  I was nervous to go first so Char did and Dude did really well, Doug says she is actually learning something and she retained it.  I think she is learning she has to ride him harder and make him do it, he is not gonna just pack her around and when she asks something of him he steps up and does it.  Quite an improvemnt from when we started going there.

Then it was my turn.  And the first couple gos to the left she would stop crooked and I could feel it but didnt know how to fix it so he said to pick up my reins and straighten her then as we stop put inside leg on her to hold her.  It worked and she did drift a little away from the flag (which I couldnt tell cause I was paying attention to the cow)  but that was probly cause I had my inside leg on her too much after the turn.  So we did a few more turns and I feel like I am flopping around on the turns, especially when he makes the turns right after each other, but he said thats ok I am still learning to ride a cutter and I will get more in tune.   But afterwards he asked if I ever worked the flag and I told him it was  the first time with her and he was suprised cause I did really well, he even said better than her original owner!  He said he thinks she likes me.  So I was pretty happy with that and feel more confident about showing her even if we do make mistakes, I am doing all right :)))

On the way home it had quit snowing so that was nicer, there was about and inch of snow on the road but good tracks and we drove slow and had no problems, but if I knew it was gonna be like that I probly woulda postponned.  Hopefully next week we will get a chance to go twice for lessons before the show (if the weather holds)

And so we were planning on going up to the rimcuts show Saturday with Greg and then yesterday I got the ACHA newsletter in the mail and see there is on at the new Ag Center in Ponoka on Sunday so we talked about that and Doug said he is going to that so we thought we might as well stay overnight in Ponoka and go to it too.  I would rather just go to a show where Doug is going cause then he can help me, but the rimcuts are pretty easygoing learning type shows, so it will be good practice.

I put a list of all the shows, clinics on my sidebar, I am not planning on going to them all since some are onthe same weekends, but I put them all in anyways.  I know I am missinf rimcuts on the 17 of March for the clinic, and the July 6/7 show I am going to be in California then, so wont go to it, but otherwise it just depends on how much money we want to spend and how exhausted we are.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Busy Week

This week has been more busy again. Over the weekend I rode Both Charlene's horse Dude as well as Jessie a couple times.  Dude is quite a bit different than Jessie, a lot more sensitive to my legs but it was a nice change. 

Then my Mom and Dad come out for a couple day and we had a real nice visit.  They don't get to come out much so its always nice when they can.

Then we went Tuesday and since we rode till they were pretty sweaty on Monday they stayed in the barn overnight.  And I am sure they were itchy so went out and rolled in the mud from the melting snow.  Dude has a blanket and it was covered in mud as well, eww.

Then on Wednesday I went down to Lethbridge and helped my friend move to a place in Vauxhall.  It looks like a nice place and she already has a job close by so that is hopefully where she will stay for a while.

Yesterday was the memorial for a good horse man.  And just a good man.  They guy who started both Bailey and Dinero for me passed away and so went up to that.  It was nice, they had a family graveside service then just a come and go for friends and it was nice to visit with other people who knew him.

Then afterwards took the horses and went to Greg's to work buffalo.  They are a lot different than cows, which I guess I knew but its been so long since we worked them it was a lot more obvious now.  They run a lot more and turn a lot less and its harder to read them.  But we got a few good turns and it was good practice.  And of course they were sweaty again and so they stayed in overnight last night as well, hope they aren't muddy today.

Today we are going down for a cow lesson as long as the snow holds off at least till we are done.  I also entered the clinic on march 17/18 and am pretty excited about that and we are tentatively going to the show next weekend (the 3rd) There is another clinic at the end of April we just found out about as well, not sure if we are going to that yet, but I think I would like to.  Its intructed by Geoff Hoar and should be good too.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Sorrel

Jessie is sorrel.  I'm sure everyone could figure this out if you are not colorblind or have a monochromatic computer.  Like the one we had when I was in school, they are all in orange writing and there was no pictures.  But anyways.  Seems like sorrel is a very commen color of quarter horses, think I heard somewhere that like 70% of them are sorrel.  Although that might have changed recently with all the popularity of dilute genes people keep breeding for.  Which are not my favorites, but I guess they sell.  Anyways off topic again.

I have never really rode a sorrel horse for more than a few times.  I kinda like it.  Looking down and seeing the red, very pretty.  I have a friend who thinks red is the best color of horse and I can see why now. 

Although I do notice more recently, well last summer I really noticed.  That I don't really care so much about the color of a horse anymore and in fact don't notice it so much any more.  I really noticed last summer cause everyone jokes about me riding the paint, and I don't even think of it anymore. 

I still think my favorite color is bay, but there sure are a lot of other nice horses in all colors.  This weekend when my Mom was I out I took her out to see Jessie and since she is not a horse person, she just kept looking at the dark brown and black horses cause that was what hers looked like many many years ago.  I don't think she understands I didn't buy her for her color,  bought her for her skills.  I notice a lot of that around too when people ask me what she looks like or they see her, thier first comment is how much crome she has.  Kinda bothers me that is all they can see.

My mom did like that she was so friendly and she came when I called her (which I dont know why she did cause she ussually doesnt)  And she just stood around and let us scratch her as long as we wanted :)  And when I rode yesterday me and Charlene were playing the game where one is the cow and one is the horse and when Jessie was the cow, I tried to get her to just turn without stopping and she couldnt do it.  It was kinda weird and you can really tell her training is well taught and I am glad of that.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sunday Stills--Textures

Ok I am back again this week, not sure what happened last week but I missed out but back again this week.  This Sunday Stills is Textures and I think it is a very interesting subject.  I always think of fabric first when i think of texture and not sure why, but as the week went on and I was driving to the boarding barn, i noticed the hills and grass all have a neat texture, so I stopped and got a bunch of pics I thought were kinda interesting.

First was on the hills there are spots that look kinda like holes from far away but then up close look like bark.

Then I saw where the porcupines had been eating the bark off the trees and that looked neat too.

And I noticed even the different grasses have textures.

And the rocks there that are quite porous and have gotten eroded looked neat.


And when I got home, even the clouds have a different texture.

I guess everywhere you look there is texture.  For more check out Sunday Stills.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Pasture Ponies

(Bailey)
I went out Thursday and had a real good look at my pasture ponies and they all look good.  Not as thin as last year at this time, but not too fat either (well except maybe Disco)  I am liking this winter it sure has been a lot easier on the horses and it let Jazz stay out all winter.  
(Duchess)
I am having a hard time deciding what to do with Jazz.  I haven't found anyone who wants to start her, I could ask the guy I got to start my last few, but he was talking about retiring and just riding his own horses.  And I probly wouldn't get in till August or September.  And so I asked Greg if he wanted to and he says he is going to try going non-pro now, so that isn't gonna happen I guess.  I might have to do it myself.  I probly have the skills, I have just never actually started a colt before and not sure I have the best facilities here, I have a round pen, but otherwise its wide open pasture.  But I will have to see how it goes comes April/May.  At least if I can get her saddled and bridled, I might just pony  her around for a bit then maybe get some help.
(Shasta)

And it looks like its time to call the farrier in a couple weeks, I usually get them done in March and the weather can be kinda iffy, but this year its been so nice I can probly pick any day and it will be fine.   I don't get their feet done as often in the winter cause I am not using them and their feet don't seem to grow overly much over winter, but I still try to keep an eye on them in case they need to be done earlier.
(Razz and Jazz)
I am still thinking I will have to sell some ponies just cause I know I can't ride em all, even though I like them all.   It never used to bother me to sell a horse, and so far have had real good luck and they all went to good homes, but now I just want to keep them all.  But I guess if I am gonna get serious about cutting, I probly only need one show horse and maybe 2 other ones for ranch work and other stuff.  I could maybe get away with one, but I hate not having a horse to take if one is injured or something.  And I think it would be really hard for me to only have 2 horses, I cant remember the last time that woulda happened.  Well never I guess I had one for a while (Abraham) then sold him cause he was too much horse for me and got Henry and then I got married and that fall got 3 foals, so I had one then 4 and don't think I ever had less than 4 since then.  (one of those foals was Bailey, she was so cute way back then) 
(Disco)
Seems like just yesterday I got her and now she is 8 years old already!  My how time flies.  I was thinking while riding the other day the poles were set up in the arena and how Bailey would probly make a good pole horse.  She likes to run and she likes to change leads, so it should be easy for her.  Char was saying she wanted to go to some Gymkhanas this summer, so maybe I will take her and try it out.  Well maybe try it out before we get there, lol.
(Belle)
So the only horses I didn't get pics of are George and I kinda did of him, all the shadows on the left side are him he was super close.  And Kali and she was off in the distance eating, she looked back a few times but never come to join the crowd.


Friday, February 17, 2012

Wednesday on Friday

Well we had a change of plans, which worked out well for me since I wasn't sure I wanted to show yet anyways.  Char headed to Regina this weekend and so we aren't working buffalo's this week or going to the show.
(Dude)

But she did ask me to ride Dude a couple times since she wont be riding for at least 6 days and thinks he needs to be kept in shape cause we do want to do lessons next week.  That should be kinda fun even though I never rode him before it will be neat to see how different he is from Jessie.

Hehe there are a couple dogs hanging around the barn too, one is a border collie and she is really friendly and more of a pet than anything which works there cause she has no desire to chase horses.  And then there is this other dog there not sure what kind he is, I think a jack russell mix of some sort.  He is really cute and makes me laugh everytime I go out there.

And on Saturday I am gonna ride with Lu so that will be kinda fun too, been a long time since I got to ride with her so I'm kinda excited to see how her horse is.  He is a nice looking bay and seems pretty quiet.

I took a couple short videos of the colt playing and he is quite athletic in the second video he is doing pretty cool moves, but the neatest part is the color of the hills behind him, it was so orange, I think it must have been the sun was setting on the other side and reflecting.





Monday, February 13, 2012

Riding, Riding, Riding

I have been so busy just riding everyday (well except today I needed a day off).  I am really having a lot of fun riding her, but it is a lot of work.  On Saturday we went up to a bigger arena and we rode in there with another girl (Candice) who wants to come to Doug's for lessons and to the clinic we are going in in March.  Oh I am going in a clinic in march.  It is the same one we went to last year but with different instructors.  Sounds like Dustin Gonnet and Gerry Hasma leading it so it should be good.  I am pretty happy to be able to go with a horse that I can actually cut on.  Candice has a 4 year old that she showed in cowhorse last year (and did pretty good)  but she thinks he really would make a nicer cutter so she is gonna give him the chance to do that.

We also got Jessie and Dude's feet done on Saturday and she looks so much better now.  I was torn between putting shoes on cause I didn't want to cause its still icy out and could get worse. But the vet and the previous owner said to keep shoes on when showing and stuff.    But the farrier said he wouldn't if it was his horse, so we are waiting.  And the clinic is in the next 4 weeks so that is before she is due again.  Oh and we might go to a show on Saturday. I am not sure I am ready, I think Jessie is in good enough shape but me I am not sure about.  But this week, tomorrow and Thursday I think we are gonna hopefully go work buffalo's.  That should be interesting.  I imagine Jessie has seen buffalo but I have never even worked her on the flag so I am a little worried about that too.

At the barn there is a lot of cats (probly 10) and they are not afraid of the horses at all.  The horses are getting used to them but Jessie tries to snort at them when they get too close.  When we feed them the cats all sit around the dish and she snorts them away, its really funny.  I tried to get a video but it is kinda dark. 

The other day the cats knocked a blanket off the wall and both our horses spooked at it it was kinda funny cause Jessie was really close and she just lifted her head but Dude was down the aisle and he really jumped.  I think it will eventually desensitize them more.  The one cat likes the horses to rub their noses on him, its weird.





Thursday, February 9, 2012

Horses and Jobs

  So I been thinking lately about the jobs we make our horses do.  I have heard many times if a horse is well suited for its job it will love them and if it doesn't like its job it won't enjoy itself.  Well I got thinking about the other horses I have owned and this didn't seem to matter so much. 
   With my first horse Henry, he was happy indoors, outdoors, chasing cows, following trails, following wagons, running barrels, teaching kids, anything I asked of him he was happy to do it.  But he was a cheerful horse and loved people and maybe that was his job was to make people happy.
   Then I got Bailey and she was ridden inside and outside and she was really good either place after a while (it took a while for her to believe everything I asked her was a good idea)  But I notice the less I ride her she doesn't really enjoy being inside and really leans towards the gate whenever we are inside.
   Then I will skip Gypsy and Princess and Dinero cause I never really had them long enough to really know.  They all seemed happy to do whatever I wanted but I never pushed them to do something.
   And Razz, she is really good inside and outside, she is willing to do what I ask of her as long as its not going super slow at any gait.  I know she likes working cows, but she also likes trail riding and ranch work, so no real specific job there either.
   Then I got Kali and ever since I got her she leaned towards the door, never really thought much of it just worked her through it and she got better, but was always kinda lazy inside.  Then last summer I took her outside and she was so different!  Not afraid of cows even when the kick up their heels at us and walked all around her when she was tied to the trailer.  No hesitation when I asked her to lope and almost like she didn't want to slow down.  I shoulda clued in, but until Doug said something about it and I mentioned all I knew he said she needs to do something else.  I don't know what that something else is yet, but she is quiet enough for a trail horse and will be a good kids horse in the future.
   Then Jessie.  She is the absolute opposite of Kali. She is so calm and relaxed and nice to be around.  When I rode her outside for the week, she was good at a walk, but she didn't want to do anything else.  Kinda like she was not sure why we were out there for.  But when I take her to the arena she is pretty happy and really happy to trot or lope for as long as I ask.  But always looking to the gate (not trying to go to it just looking) and then when the cows come in the arena, she just watches them and I can feel her heart beat.  She just can hardly wait till its her turn to work. 
    It is so much fun to work with a horse that enjoys her job, and not just enjoys it, but really can't wait to do it.  It sure makes it more enjoyable for me more than I thought. I thought my other horses liked their jobs until I got Jessie.  Some of it I am sure is her breeding, but it makes me think that the training and showing she has had must have a big part of that too.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Cow Lesson and New Home

On Saturday I took Jessie back to Doug's and Char had a lesson on Dude if Doug was around.   He was so she worked cows and he worked the best for her he has in a long time.  She was pretty happy since Doug hadn't been riding him since she rode on Thursday.  I rode as well and wasn't planning on a lesson but he said it was probly a good idea and he thought she looked in better shape (which made me feel better cause I hadn't been riding very hard)

 So before I started he made me lope more, then back up and turn her.  I was having lots of trouble, she would back up no problem but then when I put my leg on to turn she just walked sideways and backwards.  Frustrating!!!  Then he said I didn't have my hand up her neck far enough, so sure enough I move my hand farther up and voila!  no problems in turning either way.  So then off to the cows.  And he asked me to make sure she stops when the cow stops.  And most of the time she does, but especially when we first start, she gets a little excited and needs to be reminded and I am not very good at that.  I almost got yelled at for not picking up on the reins hard enough.  And afterwards he said something about it and I told him I am not sure my timing is right and by the time I think of it she is already stopping.  And he said to do it anyways cause she is not stopping as hard as she should be and I won't wreck her by asking that. So that was good to know as well and now I have to remember that next time.
(the colt, he's supposed to grow to 16.2!)

We got a calf that was kinda quick and kept trying to push us into the herd but we kept it and I was pretty happy with that.  It went real fast and made some fast turns of which I am not very coordinated with yet but getting better at only using my legs and making sure to keep pressing her off the cow and go in a straight line.  Its so fun when it finally goes right.  But my legs were sure sore yesterday, thought I was working out but apparently not hard enough.

Afterwards we loaded up and headed down to Theresa's where we are gonna keep them for a while and Jessie and Dude get their own pen to share and a round bale all the time (which Jessie doesn't really need, but it will be OK)  They are next to a gelding and a young stud which worried me a little but the gelding won't let the colt anywhere near the adjoining fence (its kinda funny)  And so far so good they settled in just fine, checked out the place then went straight to eating.  Whew.  I know if you trailer horses together and get out at a strange place they are usually OK, but I don't really know Jessie that well so that was a relief they got along.

Then yesterday I went out and rode again in the arena down there.  Met the girl who owns the colt and she is a jumper.  The colt is an Oldenburg and he is getting gelded this month sometime.  I was glad to hear that.  She said she has no patience for a stud and no facility to keep him.  His one foot was a little turned out but he passed inspection as a foal just waiting to see how it grew up, but she isn't even gonna worry about it.  The gelding belongs to Lu and she was down there riding when we dropped them off so that was nice to see her out again. 

We had a pretty good ride, don't think Jessie is used to much straight riding cause at the lope if I try to push her back towards the wall with my inside leg she changes leads.  I figured out after like 5 tries that if I put both legs on but more on inside then she stays in lead and moves over.  So much to learn about the cues she knows that are different than my other horses. 
They were out shooting coyotes when I got there and the palomino and grey were bucking and playing and Jessie had her nose stuck in the bale, not a spooky one there, lol.  But after the ride when we turned them out, she was prancing around  and throwing her head like she wanted to just tear up the place but never did, just lots of rolling and prancing (all without my camera of course)
(Jessie :)
Oh and we were talking to Doug about his training one day and he said he rides out at least once a week, especially the young ones, gives them a break and they seem to come back better.  And if they don't make a cutter they are easier to sell later.  And they are all quiet well broke in the face cause its so much easier to get them working correctly.  We musta said or done something cause he said its changed a lot, he said no one ever touched the faces before, but that doesn't work as well now, so that was interesting to know as well.  Always hear so much and never really know what is true or not but he will pretty much tell us his opinion on anything we ask about.  Which I appreciate (mostly)

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Sunday Stills--Liquids

This week the Suday Stills Challenge was on liquids of any kinds.  I really was hoping to get the dugouts melting since it was so warm this week, but they are still ice covered, although it looks like they are cracking so maybe it will be soon if the weather stays like this.

So the only liquid outside I could find was a puddle in the yard, but no matter what angle I took the pics at it just looks like mud, which is sorta a liquid.



So I got kinda creative with our water cooler and was pouring water and thought it would look cooler from the top so I got that view too.



For more check out Sunday Stills.

Friday, February 3, 2012

More Jessie :)

On Tuesday I went with Char to her lesson and she learned how to use run the flag. I guess we should be the ones running the flag cause we should know when our horse needs more help and we can do whatever we need to get that fixed.  It is a lot more complicated than it seems, but with a little practice she was doing really well.  I had skipped riding Tuesday cause, well, no reason really, and Doug asked and of course I had to say I rode Mon but not Tues and he says I should be riding pretty well everyday if I am gonna get her in shape ever. 
So I rode Wed and Thur and we had two good days of riding.  I found a couple spots out in the pasture that are chewed down and fairly level and we been trotting circles and figure 8s in them.  Today I didn't want to ride but we are going out there tomorrow to pick up Chars horse and so I don't want to get in trouble again (lol) so I went anyway.  It was kinda windy but we had a good ride anyways, just walking but we checked out the dugout, I was looking for liquid, and all around the pasture and then headed back in.

I tried my blankets on her and I think Razz's will fit her so no new ones needed yet.  I was gonna keep her without a blanket but if we are gonna get her sweaty and leave them in overnight I might start putting one on her in the daytime.  I was really just wasting time hoping Neil would come out so he could get a picture of me riding, but he never did, so I guess I might have to get Char to take some.


After our ride her treat is to graze a little, she enjoys it and the other horses just stare over the fence like they are wanting to be out in the yard too.  Kinda funny cause she wants to be out there.  I think they think I abandoned them, especially Jazz, she just watched me the whole time I am out there and whinnies if I look at her.  Good I guess since she will get her share of attention in a few months.  She sure is getting big, but her tail is still short and fuzzy :)

Seems to me that Jessie hasn't been rode out a lot.  She is really good out there, but she trips which could be from gawking around (and she needs her feet trimmed) but little dips are weird for her she looks at them strangely but always goes where I ask.  And she doesn't really know how to walk or trot in a straight line.  I suspect she has never been where you can see for miles and miles and there is nothing out there.  Probly just used to the arena and small areas outside but I am sure she will get over it cause I plan on riding out all summer when not cutting.  We walked down the road the other day and she kept staring at the ditch suspiciously so where it was not too steep I made her cross it and you would think we were going straight down hill, was kinda funny but we made it so I made her do it again and after that it was no big deal. 



Sure is nice she is so willing to go out and go wherever I ask her to.  A few times she tried turning back towards home and I just lifted my reins and she kept going the way we started going.  She is so nice on the ground too, easy to catch, I can just leave the lead rope on the ground when saddling and unsaddling and she just stands there waiting.  I was hesitant about taking her home for this week and then taking her to a boarding place, but now I am glad that she was here this week and we got to know each other better and will feel more comfortable when she is boarded.  I kinda want to keep her home, but Neil wants to use the pen she's in to bring in his heifers so I would have to haul water to her everyday for a couple months, so I am not gonna do that and she can come home in April and I will have space and water that won't freeze every night. 
Looks like she might be losing some weight :)