Thursday, May 31, 2012


Last Monday, Mrs. Wilson said she would be home, and that if I wanted to, she would help me with Tulsa.

She helped me lunge (sp? I don't remember the proper to spell or pronounce that, and I'm too tired to care right now. x)) him, which was really confusing! Instead of leading, you have to get behind his shoulder and pull his head over.....wierd.

But anyway, I got on him and rode him for a good 45 minutes to an hour. Mrs. Wilson had me do a lot of trot work- I couldn't believe I rode as long and as well as I did. I haven't ridden since I busted my thumb the day Buster left. Tulsa has a nice trot. He's fairly consistent, and he can do a nice, slow western jog. Here's what I learned about him:

He's an Appendix Quarter Horse.
He's 19 years old.
He was originally used as a hunter, and then as a trail horse.
I'm almost positive he's a right-brained introvert...a very chill RBI.

I was able to do some neck-reining with him, and I even got to canter him in the front pasture- with 3 other horses running loose. And he never cared! That was nice!

I love my Red. I always will. But man, it was nice to get on a horse that was consistent and really paying attention. He doesn't quite the cleverness of Red...but I think I'll probably end up taking him, if I can get things worked out. Right now the problem is school. School keeps me from riding. If I don't ride at least 3 times a week, then I don't get a horse, according to June and Mrs. Wilson. I don't have a problem with that. That's an excellent, needed rule.

I just have to find a way to get over there 3 times a week to ride and work.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

I had kind of a bad day...mostly it was because of work. Mrs. Wilson basically lectured me. She was nice about it, of course...she's always nice. But she's very straightforward. So happened this morning, and it just made me crabby for the rest of the day.

She wants me to come over tomorrow and ride Tulsa. I guess I will.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

You give and take away....

Buster left this morning.

We had a day's notice, but I was stuck in town all afternoon, and couldn't get out to ride him until evening. Kate and I got to the barn at 6:30 this morning to get in one last ride. Buster was pretty hyper, and, of course, we didn't get in as much time as I would've liked, but we had some fun. He did absolutely gorgeous walking circles for me this morning, and some nice trotting circles last night.

I almost cried when Dan and his neighbor drove up with the trailer. It was like, a pig trailer. Just metal bars. Dangerous, much? It made him look like he was being hauled to the slaughter house.

But Buster cracked us all up before he left though. I've never been able to work on trailer loading with him, since I've never had a trailer to load him in, so I was wondering whether or not he would go in. Dan hopped up on the trailer, and Buster stood for a second, and then leaped- literally, leaped- in! It was cute!

I hate that I've lost one my best friends ever, but I know Buster adores Dan, and Dan loves Buster. They should be pretty happy. Dan said that I was more than welcome to come see Buster and play with him anytime I wanted to, which was really sweet. I made sure to get Dan's phone number.

I hate that I can't think positive thoughts right now. Mrs. Wilson is trying to get me to take Tulsa (which I probably will, eventually), and get my schedule together and really put a lot of effort into him. I called her and said that I didn't want to yet. I'm not ready to start a new horse from scratch again- I'd just get frustrated and take it out on the horse. I'm going to take a break, and try and get my school schedule worked out to where I could come and ride at least 3 times a week. June and Mrs. Wilson have been telling me that basically, I'm not going to get another horse unless I can work the horse at least 3 times a week- which I totally agree with. But school is pretty much non-negotiable with Momma. I can't wake up at the crack of dawn, do my animals, do my school, go to work, go ride, come home and do general chores and extra school or run errands, do my animals again, and then go to the barn and work until midnight. And that doesn't count 4-H days and doctor's appointments and such......see what I mean? I can't think positively right now. So I guess I just need to wait and cool off before I make any decisions.

I've been singing that one hymn, "Blessed Be Your Name" all day.

"You give and take away,
You give and take away,
But my heart will choose to say,
Blessed be Your Name."

Mrs. Miller told me that anytime God takes something away from us, it means he's opening a new door and giving something new to us. And I believe it, I just don't see it yet.

Also, Jamie Grace's song "You Lead" played on the radio this morning when I woke up.

"You lead, I'll follow,
Your hands hold my tomorrow,
Your grip, Your grace,
You know the way,
You guide me tenderly."

So yeah. That's what I'm trying to live by right now. Romans 8:28, baby.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

It happened...

It's official. I'm losing Buster.

Dan Freet (Buster's owner) just moved onto 20 acres. And he wants Buster back. It's going to be good in a lot of ways...Buster absolutely adores Dan....his face just lights up when he sees him. And he'll have plenty of pasture and Mr. Freet will be able to ride him (he understands that Buster needs lots of long walking to keep him fit).

And Mr. Freet will probably let me come and see him and ride him every once in a while. He's an incredibly nice man...June said that he's extremely worried about me losing Buster like this. I can't be mad at him.

I'm really, really trying hard to be happy for Buster. I know he's going to love being able to see Mr. Freet everyday, and Mr. Freet just absolutely adores Buster as well.

I haven't bawled yet. I always feel worse after bawling. I'm going to video my Parelli audition on Saturday.

I knew that this would happen sometime. I'm glad I prepared myself....still, it hurts. A lot.

Friday, May 4, 2012

I got to work Buster for about 45 minutes last night. It's been almost a week, so we went back to where we were for a little bit, but he picked right back up. Still having some attitude on the right side, but we're working through it!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

An article from Horse Illustrated

This article was in the June 2012 issue of Horse Illustrated magazine(which we just got a few days April??). It's not a Parelli article, it's by Clinton Anderson. I'm not as big a fan of Clinton Anderson.....he studied under Parelli, and then went on to change things up a little, and never credited Parelli. He's a little more fast and aggressive- in my opinion, his methods work pretty good for LBE's...but not for horses that need to take things slower (Introverts). Then again, I haven't gone into real depth through his stuff....

Either way, it talks about horses bucking when you ask them to lope- like Buster. A lot of it made real sense, and a lot of it is basically what Mrs. Miller taught me to do, so I thought I'd type it up and post it here. Anything in bold is my personal notes.

Respect At The Lope

Q: My 4 year old horse is usually very laid back about everything. However, when we start loping, he strts bucking,. I have checked my tack and nothing seems to pinch him, so maybe he is just young and excited,. How can I fix this habit?

A: First, good job on eliminating your tack as the source of your horse's problem. Now, let's define what bucking truly is. What a lot of people call bucking is when the horse's front feet stay on the ground and he kicks up his back legs. That's not bucking. Bucking to me is what you see at the rodeo: All four feet are off the ground, the horse's head is down low, and his mouth is open. Kicking up, or "crow hopping", is a simple demonstration of a horse's lack of respect. What type of horse usually kicks up? A lazy one that doesn't want to go forward -a left brain introvert-. When you ask a horse like this to go from a jog to a lope and he kicks up with his back legs, it's his way of telling you to get lost.

On the other hand, most horses that are really bucking are not showing a lack of respect. They are most likely reacting to fear: the fear of a rider being on their back, the girth, the back cinch, the rider's legs, the spurs, or something that jumped out of the bushes. Something caused them to use the reactive side of their brain. That's how most horses learn to buck. Sometimes, once a horse has dumped a rider three of four times and has gotten used to bucking, he starts bucking out of habit, not so much out of fear. I think this is what happened with Buster. He bucked the first time out of fear or maybe even plain old resistance- at the time I didn't know how to deal with it. After that, it became habit.

Whether your horse is kicking up to demonstrate his lack of respect or is truly bucking out of fear or habit, there are several ways to fix the problem. If he's kicking up because he doesn't want to go forward (which sounds accurate), get his feet moving better on the ground. Preferably, put him in a round pen -this is what Linda said to do as well-(or on the longeline) and then point up in the air with your hand to signal him to move forward, then cluck and spank with a whip until he lopes around the round pen. First spank the ground, and if necassary, spank your horse. Get him so focused on you that as soon as you ask him to move by pointing with your hand, he immediately responds. If you get rid of his laziness and lack of respect on the ground first, he'll be a lot more willing to go forward when you get on him. In fact, if you diligently do your ground work, more than likely, kicking up under saddle will no longer be an issue.

When you do get on your horse and ask him to lope, first squeeze with both legs and ask him to go forward. Wait for a count of two, and if he doesn't go, cluck. Wait for another count of two, and if he doesn't go forward, spank him from side to side with the end of your reins or a whip. If you spank with rythym and he kicks up with both back legs, spank him again. You may have to spank him several times before he realizes that every time his hind legs leave the ground, you will leave him alone.

If your horse is truly bucking, the last thing you want to do is spank him because he'll only buck harder. If he is bucking, immediately do a one-rein stop; bend his head around to one side and try to get him to disengage his hindquarters. This takes away his ability to buck because his hind legs are moving laterally. As soon as he's stopped, get off him and go right to work moving his feet on the ground. Don't get off and put him away. If you do, you'll teach him that bucking is what earned him a rest. Hustle his feet so he understands that bucking was a big mistake. This is the mistake I made the first time. I didn't know what to do, so I quit working with him.

You do have to be a confident rider to go through this process. If you're not, make sure you do your groundwork thouroughly and correctly so that your horse will go forward under saddle as soon as you squeeze and cluck. Or, have a more experienced rider  get on for a few days to get your horse's feet moving at the lope.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

A Nerdy Day

I had the nerdiest, funnest day today!

Momma recently met some people that live just up the road from us- she met them through a homeschool group. And they just got chickens for the first time this spring, so when they heard that I knew lots about chickens, they wanted to come over and just chat bout chickens for a while. Of course, I was so willing to do that. :)

So I spent the whole morning just chatting and getting to know this lady and her son. We had lunch together, and I got to go over and see their chicks (they got their chicks from the mill, so their chicks are from the same batch as mine). They're great people! I'm just feeling really blessed to be able to meet such great people in our community. :)